U.S. Constitutional Requirements for Presidential Candidates
Ø The president must:
- Be a natural-born citizen of the United States
- Be at least 35 years old
- Have been a resident of the United States for 14 years.
Ø Presidential Primaries and Caucuses
- Before the general election, most candidates for president go through a series of state primaries and caucuses.
- Primary elections or often just primaries, are the process by which voters can indicate their preference for their party’s candidate, or a candidate in general, in an upcoming general election.
- Caucuses: a closed meeting of a group of persons belonging to the same political party or faction usually to select candidates.
- Though primaries and caucuses are run differently, they both serve the same purpose. They let the states choose the major political parties’ nominees for the general election.
- Conventions finalize a party’s choice for presidential and vice presidential nominees.
- To become the presidential nominee, a candidate typically has to win a majority of delegates.
- 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.
Stalemate at Conventions:
- But if no candidate gets the majority of a party’s delegates during the primaries and caucuses, convention delegates choose the nominee. This happens through additional rounds of voting.
- Ø General Election:
- People in every state across the country vote for one President and Vice President.
- When people cast their vote, they are actually voting for a group of people called electors.
- These electors constitute the Electoral College that will elect the President.
Ø Electoral College:
The Electoral College consists of 538 electors. A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the President.
POSSIBLE UPSC CSE MAINS QUESTION: