A presidential election takes place every _____.
Is the president chosen by direct popular vote?
no, but by indirect popular election
What is the role of delegates during the national party convention?
to vote for presidential candidates
(Although voters in primary elections may seem like they are voting for a particular candidate, they are actually voting for a delegate to the party convention who loosely promises to support that candidate.)
What is a party platform?
also known as a manifesto, it is a political party’s formal declaration of general objectives and stance on controversial topics
What is the difference between a caucus and a primary election?
In a caucus, party leaders debate issues, discuss the party platform, and choose delegates for the national convention.
In primary elections, voters simply go to the poll to choose potential delegates.
How is the number of delegates determined for each state?
based on population
How many delegate votes does a candidate need to be chosen as the party nominee?
a majority vote
What is announced at the national party convention?
the presidential and vice presidential nominees
Do citizens directly choose a presidential candidate?
no, they choose their state's electors, which in turn determines the presidency
Across all states, does one standard procedure exist to select electors?
No; in some states, different political parties will nominate electors at state party conventions.
In others, a party’s central committee will vote for electors.
Can senators or house representatives be appointed electors?
Can an elector be a high-ranking U.S. official?
On what basis are electors selected?
to reward a loyal party member’s years of service
can be state-elected officials, party leaders, activists, or people directly affiliated with the presidential candidate
During the general election, do the names of electors appear on the ballot?
varies depending on individual state procedures
In what month do citizens vote for President?
(every 4 years, on the Tuesday between Nov. 2-8, coinciding with elections of various other federal, state, and local offices)
Between all 50 states, there is a total of ___ electors.
How is the number of electors determined for each state?
number of a state's House representatives + number of a state's Senators
In order to be an elector, does one need to hold U.S. office?
Why may the bigger, more populous states be especially important during elections?
more populous states have more electors, more electoral votes, and thus greater impact in determining the president
When a candidate wins a majority of votes within a state, what proportion of the state's electors does he/she gain?
all of the state's electors
This is true for all states except Maine and Nebraska that use the Congressional District Method. This gives one state electoral vote to each district that the state is divided into.
Is an elector obligated to vote according to his state's popular vote?
no, this is not required by federal law or the Constitution
Define a “faithless” elector.
an elector who casts a vote that disregards the popular vote or his political party (this is very rare)
What are the potential consequences for an elector who does not vote according to popular vote?
he/she will probably not be re-selected as an elector
How many electors are needed to win on Election Day?
the majority, so at least 270
What happens if no candidate wins a decisive 270-elector majority?
the House of Representatives determines the president
On what date is the president inaugurated?