How an outsider became president of the united states

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How an Outsider Became President of the United States


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Explains the presidential election process from beginning to end.

How to Become President of the United States

  • Show the Video Transcript The RequirementsLots of people dream of becoming President of the United States. But to officially run for office, a person needs to meet three basic requirements established by the U.S. Constitution (Article 2, Section 1).A Presidential candidate must be:
    • A natural born citizen (U.S. citizen from birth)
    • At least 35 years old and
    • A U.S. resident (permanently lives in the U.S.) for at least 14 years

    Step 1: Primaries and Caucuses

    People with similar ideas usually belong to the same political party. The two main parties in the U.S. are Republican and Democrat.

    Many people want to be President. They campaign around the country and compete to try to win their party’s nomination.

    1. In caucuses, party members meet, discuss, and vote for who they think would be the best party candidate.
    2. In primaries, party members vote in a state election for the candidate they want to represent them in the general election.
    3. Step 2: National Conventions and General Election
    4. After the primaries and caucuses, each major party, Democrat and Republican, holds a national convention to select a Presidential nominee.
    5. The party’s Presidential nominee announces his or her choice for Vice President.
    6. The Presidential candidates campaign throughout the country to win the support of the general population.
    7. On election day, people in every state cast their vote .
    8. Step 3: The Electoral College
    9. When people cast their vote, they are actually voting for a group of people called electors.

    The number of electors each state gets is equal to its total number of Senators and Representatives in Congress. A total of 538 electors form the Electoral College.

    Each elector casts one vote following the general election. The candidate who gets 270 votes or more wins.

    The newly elected President and Vice President are then inaugurated on January 20th.

An election for president of the United States happens every four years on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The next presidential election will be November 3, 2020.

Primaries, Caucuses, and Political Conventions

The election process begins with primary elections and caucuses. These are two methods that states use to select a potential presidential nominee Nominee: the final candidate chosen by a party to represent them in an election.. In general, primaries use secret ballots for voting. Caucuses are local gatherings of voters who vote at the end of the meeting for a particular candidate. Then it moves to nominating conventions, during which political parties each select a nominee to unite behind. During a political party convention, each presidential nominee also announces a vice presidential running mate. The candidates then campaign across the country to explain their views and plans to voters. They may also participate in debates with candidates from other parties.

See also:  What is a mathematical series?

What is the Role of the Electoral College?

During the general election General Election: a final election for a political office with a limited list of candidates. , Americans go to their polling place Polling Place: the location in which you cast your vote. to cast their vote for president. But the tally of those votes—the popular vote—does not determine the winner. Instead, presidential elections use the Electoral College. To win the election, a candidate must receive a majority of electoral votes. In the event no candidate receives a majority, the House of Representatives chooses the president and the Senate chooses the vice president.

What is a Typical Presidential Election Cycle?

The presidential election process follows a typical cycle:

  • Spring of the year before an election – Candidates announce their intentions to run.
  • Summer of the year before an election through spring of the election year – Primary and caucus Caucus: a statewide meeting held by members of a political party to choose a presidential candidate to support. debates take place.
  • January to June of election year – States and parties hold primaries Primary: an election held to determine which of a party's candidates will receive that party's nomination and be their sole candidate later in the general election. and caucuses.
  • July to early September – Parties hold nominating conventions to choose their candidates.
  • September and October – Candidates participate in presidential debates.
  • Early November – Election Day
  • December – Electors Elector: a person who is certified to represent their state's vote in the Electoral College. cast their votes in the Electoral College.
  • Early January of the next calendar year – Congress counts the electoral votes.
  • January 20 – Inauguration Day

For an in-depth look at the federal election process in the U.S., check out USA In Brief: ELECTIONS.

This poster explains the presidential election process in the U.S. Download a free copy. Teachers, use this lesson plan created for use with the poster.

View a larger version of the infographic.

How an Outsider Became President of the United States

  • Show Description of Infographic

    How to Become President of the United States

    The U.S. Constitution's Requirements for a Presidential Candidate:

    • At least 35 years old
    • A natural born citizen of the United States
    • A resident of the United States for 14 years

    Step 1: Primaries and Caucuses

    There are many people who want to be president. Each of these people have their own ideas about how our government should work.  People with similar ideas belong to the same political party. This is where primaries and caucuses come in. Candidates from each political party campaign throughout the country to win the favor of their party members.

    • Caucus: In a caucus, party members select the best candidate through a series of discussions and votes.
    • Primary: In a primary, party members vote for the best candidate that will represent them in the general election.

    Step 2: National Conventions

    Each party holds a national convention to finalize the selection of one presidential nominee. At each convention, the presidential candidate chooses a running-mate (vice presidential candidate).

    Step 3: General Election

    The presidential candidates campaign throughout the country in an attempt to win the support of the general population.

    People in every state across the country vote for one president and one vice president. When people cast their vote, they are actually voting for a group of people known as electors.

    Step 4: Electoral College

    How anti-establishment outsider Donald Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States


    Look back at President-elect Donald Trump's colorful life.

    WASHINGTON — Donald Trump was shunned by much of the Republican establishment, but he forged a message of economic grievance and political change that resonated with white voters in rural areas and small towns.

    Early Wednesday morning, the political novice who was taken seriously by almost no one when he announced his presidential bid 16 months ago won the White House over Democrat Hillary Clinton, the final stunning turn in a campaign that defied one conventional wisdom after another.

    With a signature pledge to “make America great again,” Trump managed to run up a huge margin in counties that have voted Republican in every election since 2000. He was winning those counties by 66%-30%, a margin of 36 percentage points. In 2012, Mitt Romney had carried them by 29 points.

    But Clinton didn't make similar gains in traditionally Democratic counties. She was winning in those by 66%-31%, the same margin that Obama had carried them four years ago.

    The long, contentious and sometimes ugly campaign deepened divides by geography, gender and education. New coalitions were emerging that could roil the two major parties and reverberate in American politics for a generation.

    Clinton's Democratic coalition included overwhelming support from African-Americans and a wide margin among Latinos, plus the backing of a majority of white college-educated women and the affluent — voters that used to be Republicans. Trump's Republican coalition was almost entirely white and included a crushing margin among men without a college education — the sort of working-class guys who used to be Democrats.

    They were battling for votes in a nation that was downbeat about their leaders and, for some, their lives.


    Donald Trump has been elected the 45th president of the United States. (Nov. 9)

    In exit polls by Edison Research, more than three in five voters said things in this country had gotten “seriously off on the wrong track.” Among those voters, 69% supported Trump, 25% Clinton. Nearly a quarter of voters described themselves as “angry” about the way federal government is functioning. They were at the core of Trump’s support.

    Only a bit more than a third predicted life for the next generation would be better than today, the fundamental tenet of the American dream.

    Optimism and enthusiasm was in short supply.

    The most common reaction among Trump supporters to the idea of Clinton's election was “scared;” that was also the most common reaction among Clinton supporters to the prospect of Trump's election.

    Fewer than half of voters said they strongly favored their own candidate; four years ago, two-thirds had. Only one voter in 50 viewed both candidates as trustworthy; nearly one in three voters said neither was.

    That wasn't exactly a prescription for a political honeymoon.

    Historians and political scientists struggled to cite a precedent for a contest so defined by division and attack. The dominant message from each candidate was that the other couldn't be trusted with the keys to the White House.

    “You'd have to go back to Burr-Hamilton in the Weehawken duel,” said New York Rep. Steve Israel, an eight-term Long Island Democrat who is retiring. (History class reminder: In 1804, then-vice president Aaron Burr mortally wounded former Treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton.)

    Trump's election was groundbreaking. At 70, he will be the oldest president ever elected, and the first to have had no experience in government or military command.

    He defeated another groundbreaking candidate. The former secretary of State was the first woman nominated for president by a major party in the 240-year history of the republic.

    Sixteen months ago, they launched their candidacies within days and a mile of one another, at Trump Tower and on Roosevelt Island. Here's a look at what happened in their final showdown Tuesday, and why.

    • Blue-collar whites turned red

    There was a time when white men without a college education — men who worked with their hands, including those in unions — were a backbone of the Democratic coalition FDR forged.

    But this year, they gave Trump his most avid support, embracing his message that unwise trade deals and competition for jobs from illegal immigrants had cost them their place in the middle class. They backed him by more than 3-1, 72%-23%.. While Clinton was endorsed by the leadership of most labor unions, voters from union households backed her only narrowly.

    In an analysis of counties where the most people work in manufacturing, Trump was leading by an overwhelming 70%-26%. He was winning by another huge margin, 60%-37%, in the 121 reporting counties with the highest rates of unemployment.

    With that, he cracked the so-called “blue wall” of reliably Democratic states across the industrial Midwest.


    Now that Donald Trump is president-elect of the United States, he faces the monumental task of actually running the country. His campaign may offer clues about Trump's coming time in the White House. (Nov. 9)

    “Trump speaks plainly, assaults the 'political correctness' forced upon them, embraces traditional values and promises to protect and restore working-class jobs,”  said Steven Schier, a political scientist at Carleton College, in Northfield, Minn. Meanwhile, Clinton comes across to many as “an elitist who sees many of them as 'deplorable,' won't protect American jobs, pushes offensive 'trendy' moral values and is a lifetime government hack.”

    Maybe this shouldn't be a surprise: The campaign featuring the first female nominee — and one running against a male opponent accused of sexual harassment — was heading toward a record gender gap.

    Men backed Trump by 12 points; women backed Clinton by 12 points. The exit polls indicated that the difference in support for a candidate between male and female voters would match or surpass the record 11 percentage points in the 1996 campaign.

    Also unsurprisingly, women were more upset by allegations that Trump had groped and demeaned women in the past than men were. Close to six in 10 women said his treatment of women bothered them “a lot;” just over four in 10 men felt that way.

    A majority of college-educated women voted for the Democratic candidate for the first time since at least 1952, when exit polls allowed demographics characteristics to be analyzed.

    However, the key divisions Tuesday weren't only about gender. They also were about education. White women who weren't college graduates? They backed Trump by double digits.


    President-elect Donald Trump delivered his victory speech after a historic upset, pledging to be a president for 'every citizen of our land.'

    • President Obama was both one of Clinton's biggest assets and one of her biggest problems.
    • Never in modern times has an outgoing president worked as hard as Obama did to try to elect his successor, and his healthy job-approval rating, now at 56% in the Gallup Poll, was a boost for his party's nominee.

    But Clinton didn't do quite as well as Obama did among African Americans, one part of his winning coalition. And she lagged him among Millennials. Voters under 30 backed her 55%-37%, a formidable margin but not the 66%-32% that Obama scored over John McCain in 2008.

    Clinton's embrace of Obama also put her at odds with a broad sentiment for change.

    Democratic consultant Tad Devine, top strategist for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries, called it a “tremendous headwind” against her, especially given her close association not just with one president but with two. In effect, he said, she was running for “a fifth Clinton-Obama term.”

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