The Palaver Over The Pond

2016 US Presidential Election got you all confused? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered

The Americans never fall short on anything. Be it with food, landmarks, celebrities, and even theme parks, you can always count on them to give us a show and the 2016 race to the White House is no exception.

So pull out that star spangled flag, put on your cowboy boots and grab some pompoms because right here is all the info y’all need know.

Currently led by 44th President, Barack Obama, America has (mostly) enjoyed the maximum 2 terms (or 8 years) the democrat has served in office. But as the new elections in November lurk closer, it’s time for someone new to grace Washington D.C

Unlike the UK, there are only two parties in the US: Republicans and Democrats. So you would think it’d pretty simple to understand right? Wrong! But let’s meet the candidates.

From the red corner (that’s the Republicans) we have Ted Cruz and the infamous Donald Trump (plus some more but right now they’re not important) they’re the right wing and a bit like the UK’s Conservative party. Having the most supporters in the south (yeah ok, like the UK too) they’re main stance is on privatising healthcare and in Trumps case, demand for tighter boarder control.

From the blue corner (that’s the Democrats) we have Hilary Clinton (yup, Bill Clinton’s wife) and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. They’re considered left wing and in the UK’s terms a bit like the Labour party. They take a more focused stance is on the work place, and raising minimum wage, creating universal healthcare and campaigning to reduced student debt.

However, not all the hopefuls will get a chance to actually run for president. What we’re in now is what is known as (key term alert) the primary election. The primary election is where all 50 states vote on the two candidates (one from the Democrats and one from the Republicans) they want to actually run for office. This process normally lasts a month, with the states of Iowa and New Hampshire casting their vote first.

After to final two have been chosen, then the real fun begins. Candidates then will have to hold conventions, rallies, and campaign parties all over the nation to try and get people to vote. This lasts most of the year until November (that’s when the final vote is cast).

Sounds pretty straight forward doesn’t it?

But when the time comes to make a final choice, things get slightly more complicated. Yes, each state gets one vote but in the eyes of America is not just ‘one vote’. Each state has a certain number of points, commonly known as Electoral College Points, for example California is worth 55, whilst states like Colorado only being worth 9. This is based on census collected population statistics so in theory state points can change. There are 538 points up for grabs, and on average you need 270 of them to win the race(in 2012, Barack Obama got 332 votes to Mitt Romney’s 206).

‘But Maddison’ I hear you say ‘aren’t red and blue states a thing?’

Yep! Because America is essentially a two party nation, tracking which states vote for either Republican or Democrat repeatedly is easy. With most states having a definite stance, either red or blue, it’s mostly up to the (another key term alert) swing states. These states can be described as purple, as they change their political stance from election to election depending on who is running. Florida, New Mexico, Arizona and Georgia are all examples of the 2016 swing states, so as you can imagine these are the votes that the candidates need most.

Then finally when November rocks around and each state has declared their stance, they will officially announce the new president of the United States.

So there you go everything you need to know (in the most simplest way I could find) about this year US election.

Who you do think will win?

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