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Complex Electoral System of United States: Decoded


Article by SUBHODIP CHATTERJEE

After four years of Donald Trump presidency United States of America is set for another Presidential Election Along with House of Representatives and one third of Senate elections. But how election happens in USA and how the candidates are chosen by the Main two parties? Many this type of things we are going to discuss in this blog.


Firstly is USA really a two party system? Short answer would be NO. it is not a two party system officially because there are many other parties in USA like Liberatarian Party, Green Party, Constitution Party etc but the electoral system does not permit them to be significant contestant so many voters think that voting for any third candidate will mean that his or her vote is wasted. From the year 1852 there is no president who is not either Republican or Democrat. In presidential election of 1992 third candidate Ross Perot got 18.9 percent vote but he did not won any Electoral votes. Electoral votes is one of the loophole for this Unofficial two party system. We will come to it in the later part of this blog.




Now how two main parties Democrat & Republican parties elect their candidates for the final election. For this the organize Primaries and caucuses in different states where delegates of the respective candidates gets elected. Delegates meet at the annual Democratic National Convention & Republican National convention to elect their official candidates. Candidate then chooses their Running Mate. Running mate will be Vice President in the winning candidates Presidency. In this Years Election Democratic Party Candidate Joe Biden’s Running Mate is lady of Indian origin named Kamala Harris. And Incumbent president Donald Trump’s running mate is Incumbent Vice President Mike Pence.

Now let us see how main General election functions. In general election Public does not votes to the Ticket ( Due of Candidate of Presidency and Vice Presidency) they votes for the this that we discussed early which is called Electoral college. Electoral College is a Panel of members which depends on the population of a particular state. As an Example California has the highest Population so it has the highest electoral college votes to decide the president. In total there is 538 electoral college votes in USA. So a candidate has to get 270 Electoral college Votes to win the Presidency. But the fun part is if a candidate win slightly or by big margin candidate will get all electoral votes. It is the only reason why in the previous election Donald Trump got much less popular vote than Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton but won 306 electoral college votes and won the office of president.

Mainly the US presidential election depends on some state that can not be state with large population but state which are Battleground state. States which swings in different election some times democrat candidate won there and sometimes the republican candidate wins. In 2016 donald trump won Major Battle ground states like Wisconsin , Michigan , Pennsylvania. So he got an easy run.


But what will happen if any candidate doesn’t reach 270 ? House of Representative can decide then or case may go to the Supreme Court. Now how House of representative gets elected. It has two year term. Mid term elections held in every presidency. If people are not happy with the performance of the president at the office people can weaken his party in these midterm elections. If the presidents party gets a majority in this house it is easy to get law passed. Every seat in this house is a congress district. Senators have terms of six years but one third of senate gets replaced in every two year.

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