Political parties are an important part of the US political system. During the election process, they allow citizens to compare candidates from different political parties, understand their suggestions, and decide what is better for the country. A party can be defined as a group of individuals united by the same beliefs and proposals for the political development of their country. According to Geer (2019), a political party is a group of individuals who join together to choose candidates for elected office – whether by informal group voting or a formal nominating process. Therefore, parties aim to win elections to access power to provide change according to their vision.
When a party representative wins the election, the party decides the county’s course for the next five years of its office. Parties are important not only for the presidency but also for other chambers like the Senate or the House as they mostly consist of the party’s representatives. The leading positions pertain to the Republican and the Democratic parties. They show different attitudes toward health care, national security, taxes, climate change policy, and other spheres of people’s life. For example, the current US president Joe Biden is the representative of the Democratic party.
The US election system is rather compound and difficult to understand, therefore, political education is an important part of the education system. The presidential election process starts with an election campaign where candidates supported by their political parties present their ideas, plans, and attitudes towards the future development of the country. Various tools such as interviews, social advertisements, and public events are used to promote the candidate’s policy and gain followers to win the competition. Geer (2019) states that one significant event in the fall is the series of televised presidential debates. Electoral campaigns can be defined as the competition in marketing among all the candidates as at this stage of the election process promotion and advertisement are even more important than the policy itself. To gain followers and admirers the future president needs to build an image of a trustworthy, intelligent, diplomatic, and kind person to establish an emotional relationship with his adherents.
In the USA both the president and the vice president are not directly chosen by citizens, instead, they are elected by special “electors.” Those electors are people representing their state and their number depends on the number of members of the House of Representatives and Senate coming from this state. Currently, there are 538 electors in the USA; to win the elections the candidate needs to possess more than 50% of all votes which means being supported by over 270 electors. In last year’s competition between Biden and Trump Joe Biden won the election with 306 votes against 232 votes for Donald Trump. In case the candidate cannot be chosen according to the results the next president is chosen by the House and must be elected from the top 3 candidates. The vice president is then elected from the top two candidates left. However, such situations do not happen often during the election campaign.
Along with the presidential election, American citizens are electing members to the two chambers of Congress as well. Those are the Senate and the House of Representatives that support the president’s policy. Without support in these two chambers, the leader’s ability to pass laws and acts is noticeably limited. The country’s leader needs support from their vice president as well. Kamala Harris is the current vice president of the USA, and she is the first woman with Asian roots in this position. The electoral system of the United States fully represents people’s opinions and is democratic, therefore, it allows to involve of all the states in the election process.
Geer, J. G., Herrera, R., Schiller, W. J., & Segal, J. A. (2019). Gateways to democracy: An introduction to American government. Cengage Learning.