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Реферат Presidential candidates. Learning the information of the Electoral College, to understanding the process by which the President is officially elected. The formal ceremony of presidential inauguration, including the information about its time, place.


Тип работы: Реферат. Предмет: Политология. Добавлен: . Страниц: 2. Уникальность по antiplagiat.ru: --.

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Chapter I. Presidential Candidates
Chapter II. The Nomination Process
Chapter III. The Nominating Conventions
Chapter IV. The General Election Campaign
Chapter V. The Electoral College
Chapter VI. Inauguration

`Presidential elections' is one of the most serious and weightiest issues that prompt increased interest and debates among people all over the world. Election is an opportunity to decide who will make responsible decisions or rule the country during the next several years. It is a crucial mechanism that plays a great role in society and state organization, and thus, in life of every individual in particular. The procedure varies in different countries, each of which has its own laws, activities, and customs that govern this contentious formula.
The purpose of our investigation is to study, describe and reveal advantages and disadvantages of this significant process in the country that claims to have the most unbiased and impartial system of electing its president - the United States of America.
In the research the following goals are pursued:
1. to get acquainted with the candidates for the presidency themselves, their qualifications for office, the procedure for gaining ballot access, the stages of their campaigns, and the protection accorded them by the federal government.
2. to illustrate the nomination process, describing the evolution of the current system of primaries and caucuses, the basic structure, methods and rules governing selection of delegates to the nominating conventions, and the major characteristics of the contemporary process;
3. to examine the national party conventions, including both their evolution and traditions, and contemporary structure and procedures;
4. to analyze the general election campaign, single out widely used campaign methods, examine the important role played by television -- through advertising, news coverage, and debates, and present information on Election Day itself;
5. to evaluate the information on the Electoral College, to understand the process by which the President and Vice President are officially elected;
6. to describe the formal ceremony of presidential inauguration, including the information about its time and place.
All these tasks are realized in six chapters of the research which are closely connected and complement one another.
In the research the following methods are used:
1. analysis of various sources of information: books, encyclopedias, publications in magazines, newspapers, the Internet;
2. compilation of this information;
3. comparative analysis of the facts.
Chapter I. Presidential Candidates
The basic process of selecting the President of the United States is spelled out in the U.S. Constitution, and it has been modified by the 12th, 22nd, and 23rd amendments. Every four years, Americans elect a President and Vice President, thereby choosing both national leaders and a course of public policy. The system that governs the election of the President combines constitutional and statutory requirements, rules of the national and state political parties, political traditions, and contemporary developments and practices.
Article II, section 1 of the Constitution specifies that, no person except a natural-born citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States. Under the 22nd Amendment, no one may serve more than two full terms, although a Vice President who succeeds to the presidency and serves less than two full years of the prior incumbent's term may seek election to two additional terms.
American voters have chosen men of varied backgrounds on 55 occasions they have gone to the polls to elect a President. All American Presidents served the country previously either in government or the military. Of the 24 Presidents who served prior to 1900, seven had been Vice Presidents, four were Members of Congress, four were governors, and nine previously held an appointive federal position. The trend in the 20th and 21st century presidential elections has favored former Vice Presidents, Governors, and Senators. The previous occupations of American Presidents of this period were: career Army officers, cabinet officers (e.g. Taft and Hoover), governors (e.g. Wilson, F.D. Roosevelt, Clinton), Senators (e.g. Kennedy) and Vice Presidents (e.g. T. Roosevelt, Truman, Nixon).
Before the primaries and conventions, the candidates determine the presidential field. The decline of party leader dominance over the nominating process has resulted in a system whereby self-selected candidates compete in the states for the delegates needed for nomination. The democratization of the nominating process has meant that many candidates enter the race, begin raising money, and organize for the primaries and caucuses well before the election year in order to be competitive. In reality, only a small number of these are considered by the media as serious candidates seeking the nomination of the two major parties.
The formal announcement of candidacy is often preceded by a period in which candidates “test the waters” as unannounced candidates for nomination; this may begin several years before the convention. Likely candidates may form exploratory committees to gauge popular support and to begin developing a base of supporters and contributors, while avoiding some of the legal requirements of the Federal Election Campaign Act's (FECA). As unofficial candidates who are not technically campaigning for office, persons may raise and spend unlimited amounts of money without registering as candidates with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Upon declaration of candidacy, however, the individual must register with the FEC and report all financial activity while testing the waters; these amounts become retroactively subject to all FECA regulations.
An individual must file a statement of candidacy with the FEC within 15 days of reaching the law's financial threshold (i.e., $5,000 in receipts or expenditures), and must name a principal campaign committee to receive contributions and make expenditures. This committee must file a statement of organization with the FEC within ten days after being designated; the statement must identify the committee's title (which includes the candidate's name), the treasurer, bank depositories, and any other committees the candidate has authorized to raise or spend on his or her behalf. Such other committees which the candidate authorizes may raise and spend funds, but they must report such activity through the principal committee.
The timing of the formal announcement is crucial because of its political impact, and also because of the legal and tactical implications. Once a public declaration of candidacy is made, candidates are subject to state and national spending limits if they qualify for and choose to accept public matching funds, and they are subject to the broadcasting provisions of the equal-time rule.
Nominations today are usually won during the primary campaign rather than at the convention, and primaries have proliferated and been scheduled earlier in the election year. Because of these developments, competitors are pressed to announce their candidacies much earlier than in years past.
The guidelines that candidates follow to qualify for primaries and caucuses differ from state to state. In primary states, the Secretary of State is the authority for listing candidate names on the ballot; in caucus states, the parties oversee the procedures for candidates to gain ballot access.
Candidates generally file a statement of candidacy with the Secretary of State or the party chair at the state level. In some primary states, the Secretary of State may automatically certify for the ballot the names of all major party candidates, those submitted by the party, candidates who have qualified in other states or candidates who have applied with the FEC or are eligible for federal matching funds. Presidential candidates may also be required to pay a filing fee, submit petitions, or both. Signatures may be required from a requisite number of voters in each congressional district or from a requisite number of voters statewide.
The primary season gradually reduces the field of major party candidates. The accelerated pace of the present system winnows out those who fall short of expectations, and hence, find it difficult to raise the money needed to sustain their candidacies. Furthermore, the reforms of the past 30 years have changed the dynamics of the nominating process by closely tying the allocation of delegates to electoral performance. The days when a candidate could compete in a select number of primaries to demonstrate popular appeal have passed: the nomination goes to the candidate who has amassed a majority of delegates in the primaries and caucuses. Party conventions have largely become ratifying bodies that confer the nomination on the candidate who won it in state contests. The 1976 Republican National Convention was the most recent one at which the determination of a major party's nominee was in any real doubt before the nominating ballots were cast [3;221].
The names of the major party nominees for President and Vice President are automatically placed on the general election ballot. Some states also list the names of presidential electors adjacent to the presidential and vice presidential candidates whom they support. Voters mark their ballots once for a party's presidential and vice presidential ticket; electors also cast a single vote in the Electoral College for the party ticket. Minor party and independent candidates are also listed on the ballot, if they qualify according to provisions of the state codes, and several such candidates are usually on the ballot in different states.
In the aftermath of the 1968 assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy while he was seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, Congress passed legislation which, for the first time, authorized Secret Service protection of presidential and vice presidential candidates. The law made the Secretary of the Treasury responsible for determining which major candidates are eligible for protection, after consultation with a bipartisan advisory committee comprised of the Majority and Minority Leaders of the Senate, the Speaker and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, and one additional member to be chosen by the committee. On occasion, candidates have declined protection offered to them.
While the law provides protection for major party presidential and vice presidential nominees in the general election, it does not specify the criteria for determining major candidates in the primary season. However, criteria and standards in the advisory committee's guidelines specify that an eligible individual: (1) is a publicly declared candidate; (2) is actively campaigning nationally and is contesting at least 10 state primaries; (3) is pursuing the nomination of a qualified party (i.e., whose presidential candidate received at least 10% of the popular vote in the prior election); (4) has qualified for public matching funds of at least $100,000, and has raised at least $2 million in additional contributions; and (5) as of April 1 of the election year, has received at least an average of five percent in individual candidate preferences in the most recent national opinion polls by ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN, or has received at least 10% of the votes cast for all candidates in two same-day or consecutive primaries or caucuses[8]. Notwithstanding this, the Secretary of the Treasury, after consultation with the advisory committee, may provide protection for a candidate even if all of the conditions of the guidelines have not been met. Secret Service protection for primary candidates generally begins shortly after January 1 of the election year. On occasion, the Secretary of the Treasury has accorded protection to certain candidates earlier than the election year.
Chapter II. The Nomination Process
The nomination process is the initial testing ground for the next president. It plays an essential role in presidential elections by narrowing the field of major party candidates. The process of nominating a presidential candidate begins months before the convention. The most important step in the process is the selection of convention delegates. At the convention, each delegate votes for a presidential candidate. The candidate who gets a majority of the delegate votes wins the party's nomination.
Delegate selection takes place in elections and other state contests that occur during the late winter and spring of each presidential election year. Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands and other U.S. territories also send delegates to the conventions.
The national committee of each party decides how many delegates each state may send to the convention. The number is based on the party's strength in the state in recent elections. Thousands of delegates attend each convention, but exact numbers vary from year to year.
As there are two major competing political parties in the USA it makes sense to take a closer look at them.
The Democratic Party has two basic types of delegates, grouped by whether or not they are pledged to support a particular candidate. Furthermore, there are three categories of pledged delegates (which comprise the majority of delegates to the convention) and four categories of unpledged delegates.
The allocation formula determines only the number of delegates in the pledged categories: (1) district-level base delegates; (2) at-large base delegates; and (1) pledged party and elected official delegates.
Of the number of delegates assigned to a state according to the allocation formula, 75 % are assigned at the district level and 25 % are designated at-large. Although district-level and at-large delegates are allocated in the same manner, they are chosen separately at different stages of the process.
Pledged party and elected official delegates represent a 15% addition to the base number of allocated delegates. They are usually chosen in the same manner as the at-large delegates.
The number of unpledged delegates for a state depends on the number of individuals available in each specified category. Delegate slots are allocated for: (1) former Democratic Presidents and Vice Presidents, former Democratic Majority Leaders of the U.S. Senate, former Democratic Speakers of the U.S. House of Representatives, and all former Chairs of the Democratic National Committee; (2) Democratic Governors; (3) members of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), including the State chairs and vice chairs and officers of the DNC; and (4) all Democratic Members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
Aside from three congressional district delegates and six at-large delegates assigned to each state under Republican allocation rules, a number of bonus delegates may be awarded for the at-large category as well.
Four and one-half at-large bonus delegates are assigned to each state which cast its electoral votes for the Republican nominee in the previous election. One bonus delegate is allocated to each State in which a Republican was elected to the Senate or the Governorship between the last and the upcoming presidential election. One bonus delegate is also allocated to states in which half the delegation to the House of Representatives is Republican. (In 1996, 15 at-large delegates have been allocated to the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico has been allocated 14 at-large delegates, and four delegates have been allocated each to Guam and the Virgin Islands.)
The national party also awards bonus delegates to states where the primary or caucus is held after mid-March of the election year. In states where the primary or caucus is scheduled between March 15 and April 14, a 5% increase to the national convention delegation is awarded; a 7Ѕ% increase is awarded to state parties with contests scheduled between April 15 and May 14; and, a 10% increase is awarded to states where the primary or caucus is held between May 15 and the third Tuesday in June [11].
State parties have considerable flexibility to determine the means of electing or choosing the district and at-large delegates, according to national party rules.
There are two main methods of choosing which delegate candidates will attend the convention as delegates. They are the primary election system and the caucus-convention system. Some states allow each party to choose which of the two systems it will use.
At one time, political parties nominated nearly all candidates at national, state, and local conventions or in caucuses. A caucus is a meeting of party members or leaders to select nominees for public office and to conduct other party business. In the presidential nominating process, it is often used in combination with a state convention to elect delegates to the national nominating convention. The caucus-convention process is typically comprised of several tiers, beginning with broad-based meetings of rank-and-file party members, usually at the precinct level. Because of their cumbersome nature, precinct caucuses invariably attract fewer voters than do primaries. Participants must invest substantial time to attend a caucus, in contrast to voting in a primary, and participants usually register their support for a presidential candidate by public declaration (by a show of hands or by gathering in groups according to presidential preference). In some places, caucus participants may vote by ballot for presidential candidates, but, in any event, the process requires face-to-face contact with other participants that is not required when casting a ballot at a polling place.
Once the presidential preference vote is tallied, caucus participants elect representatives for their preference who attend the meeting convened as the next stage in the process. Precinct caucuses are usually followed by county or congressional district meetings, with a smaller number of representatives selected at each stage--based on support for them or the candidate they favor--to go on to the next level. Delegates to the national convention are finally chosen by the representatives to the congressional district caucus or the state convention, or both.
A primary is a state-run election for the purpose of nominating party candidates to run in the general election. In a primary election, a political party, in effect, holds an election among its own members who will represent it in the coming general election. Any number of party members can run for an office in a primary. But only the winning candidate can represent the party in the general election. Parties learn from the primary votes which candidates the members of their parties prefer. When several candidates enter a primary, the winner may receive less than 50 percent of the vote. Some states, especially in the South, then hold a run-off primary, in which the two candidates with the highest number of votes run against each other.
Nearly all states have a binding primary, in which the results of the election legally bind some or all of the delegates to vote for a particular candidate at the national convention, for a certain number of ballots or until the candidate releases the delegates. A handful of states practice a non-binding primary, which may select candidates to a state convention which then selects delegates. Also, presidential preference contests exist, which are merely "beauty contests" or straw polls that do not result in the selection of any delegates, which are instead chosen at caucuses. Both parties have rules which designate superdelegates.
In most states, only voters registered with a party may vote in that party's primary, known as a closed primary. In some states, a semi-closed primary is practiced, in which voters unaffiliated with a party (independents) may choose a party primary in which to vote. In an open primary, any voter may vote in any party's primary. In all of these systems, a voter may participate in only one primary; that is, a voter who casts a vote for a candidate standing for the Republican nomination for president cannot cast a vote for a candidate standing for the Democratic nomination, or vice versa. A few states once staged a blanket primary, in which voters could vote for one candidate in multiple primaries, but the practice was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 2000 case of California Democratic Party v. Jones as violating the freedom of assembly guaranteed by the First Amendment.
Under the 2008 Democratic Party selection rules, adopted in 2006, delegates are selected under proportional representation, with a candidate requiring a minimum threshold of 15% in a state in order to receive delegates. In addition, the Democratic Party has the right to reject any candidate under their bylaws. Each state publishes a Delegate Selection Plan that notes the mechanics of calculating the number of delegates per congressional district, and how votes are transferred from local conventions to the state and national convention. The Republican Party adopted its rules at the time of the 2004 convention. There are no provisions requiring proportional representation, and as such, many states used the winner take all method in 2004 [13].
Chapter III. The Nominating Conventions
presidential candidate inauguration electoral
The United States presidential nominating convention is held every four years in the United States by the political parties who will be fielding nominees in the upcoming U.S. presidential election. The formal purpose of such a convention is to select the party's nominee for President, as well as to adopt a statement of party principles and goals known as the platform and adopt the rules for the party's activities, including the presidential nominating process for the next election cycle.
The writers of the Constitution of the United States did not outline a procedure for nominating a President. Until the early 1830's, a party's supporters in Congress or in state legislatures usually nominated the party's candidate for President.
The Anti-Masonic Party held the first national nominating convention in September 1832. The first convention that closely resembled today's gatherings was that of the Democratic-Republican Party in 1832. Soon, the convention became the established procedure in the United States for nominating presidential candidates[1;381].
Due to changes in election laws and the manner in which political campaigns are run, conventions since the last quarter of the 20th century have virtually abdicated their original roles, and are today mostly ceremonial affairs. The two major conventions are the Democratic National Convention and the Republican National Convention. Some minor parties also select their nominees by convention, including the Green Party, Libertarian Party, Constitution Party, and Reform Party USA.
The convention cycle begins with the official “call” to the convention, customarily issued by the national committees of the two major parties some 18 months in advance. The “call” is an invitation from the national party to the state and territory parties to convene to select a presidential nominee. It also sets out the number of delegates to be awarded to each, as well as the rules for the nomination process.
The convention is typically held in a major city selected by the national party organization 18-24 months before it is to be held. As the two major conventions have grown into large, publicized affairs with significant economic impact, cities today compete vigorously to be awarded host responsibilities, citing their meeting venues, lodging facilities, and entertainment as well as offering economic incentives.
The location of early conventions was dictated by the difficulty of transporting delegates from far-flung parts of the country; early Democratic and Whig Conventions were frequently held in the central Eastern Seaboard port of Baltimore, Maryland. As the U.S. expanded westward and railroads connected cities, Midwestern cities such as Chicago, Illinois became the favored hosts [8]. In the present day, political symbolism affects the selection of the host city as much as economic or logistical ones do. A particular city might be selected to enhance the standing of a native son, or in an effort to curry favor with residents of that state.
Although conventions of both the Democratic and Republican parties are opened by a temporary presiding officer, election of a permanent chair is usually one of the first points in the order of business. The Permanent Chair, who presides for the balance of the convention, is usually a senior party figure, most often the party leader in the House of Representatives. The party's national committee also designates a person to kick off the convention with a rousing speech called the keynote address. Members of Congress or other important party members usually are chosen for these positions. The committee also picks a convention site.
Much of the convention's official business is carried out by special committees. Committees of the national conventions prepare reports for the conventions on delegate credentials, rules of procedure, and party platforms. The full convention ratifies or amends the respective recommendations from each of these committees.
Contemporary national conventions are generally held over a four-day period, with both the Democratic and Republican parties observing similar schedules. The proceedings are regularly interspersed with films honoring party figures. A continuing procession of party notables, usually selected to reflect the party's diversity, offer short speeches throughout the proceedings, while clergymen from various denominations offer invocations and benedictions to open and close each session.
The first day of a national convention is generally devoted to routine business. The convention is called to order by the national party chair, the roll of delegations is called, and the temporary chair is elected. Welcoming speeches are delivered by the mayor of the host city and often the governor of the state in which the convention is held. Committee appointments, which have been previously announced, are ratified. The Democrats generally install permanent convention officers at the first session, while the Republicans, in recent years, have completed adoption of credentials, rules, and the party platform before turning over convention proceedings to the permanent chair, usually on the second or third day.
The Democratic Convention keynote address is also delivered on the first day of convention proceedings. The Republicans tend to schedule keynote speeches for later in the convention, usually at the second session. The keynote address sets the themes and tone of the convention and often of the general election campaign to follow. The keynote address is highly partisan in tone and content. It extols the party record and the incumbent President, when the party holds the White House. It attacks the opposition candidates, policies, and record.
Routine convention business often spills over into the second day of proceedings, as reports of the credentials, rules, and platform committees are debated and approved by the delegates. While the acceptance of delegate credentials is usually a perfunctory procedure, in some years credentials have been hotly contested as rival slates of delegates from the same state, representing contending factions, were presented.
Adoption of the Rules Committee report, setting convention procedures, is another important function usually completed on the second day of the convention. Consideration of th и т.д.................

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