There is a lot of coverage of the US election. But do you know how exactly the election works, why the americans vote on a tuesday and how it is with the electors and swing states??
An interview with prof. Klaus stuwe. He grew up in bamberg and teaches political systems and comparative politics at the catholic university eichstatt-ingolstadt.
Who is allowed to vote?
All US citizens over the age of 18 are eligible to vote, in some states even over the age of 17. Unlike in germany there is no automatic voter registration. This means that you can only vote in the elections if you have previously filled out and signed a registration form in your home state. In the past, registration was sometimes quite complicated and was used in some southern states to discriminate against african americans. Since 1993, there has been a simple and easy-to-understand registration form that can be used, for example, for.B. Available at driving license offices or can be downloaded from the internet.
How many u.S. Citizens were allowed to vote?
According to the results of the last people’s payment in 2010, there are currently about 235 million people in the US. U.S. Burgers so old they were allowed to vote. Since not all of them register to vote, the actual number of eligible voters is much lower. In the last presidential election in 2008, the registration rate was 71 percent. If this rough order of magnitude is achieved again in 2012, then this year around 166 million euros will be possible. U.S. Citizens to vote in presidential elections. However, voter turnout is significantly lower than in our country: only between 50 and 60 percent cast their ballot.
Can you lose your right to vote?
The right to vote can also be revoked in the USA. In many countries, for example, it is the rule to deprive prisoners and former prisoners of the right to vote and stand for election.
Can u.S. Burgers vote in franken?
U.S. Citizens living abroad must send a postcard application to their u.S. Home municipality. About 45 days before the election date they get their brieahlunterlagen ("absentee ballot"). You can then mail them back to your home community or drop them off at the nearest u.S. Consulate. Some states even allow the paperwork to be submitted electronically by fax or e-mail.
May indians vote?
Yes. In 1924, the native americans were granted US citizenship by law. Since then, they have been allowed to vote.
Why is the election always on tuesdays?
For more than 160 years, the U.S. President has been elected on a tuesday in november. In the agricultural country of america, election day should be timed so that the crops are already harvested. Sunday was excluded by the legislature because it was the day of the lord for religious americans. Monday was considered the day of arrival, because at that time there was usually only the possibility to vote in the district capital. Thursday was cancelled altogether because that was the day the then unloved british elected their parliament. Friday was considered unfavorable because of the need to prepare for saturday, the traditional market day.
So only tuesday or wednesday remained. The election finally fell on the tuesday after the first monday in november to mark the 1. November (all saints’ day) to be left out as election day. According to this tradition, americans have also elected the house of representatives since 1872 and the senate since 1915 on this tuesday in november.
How do the states traditionally choose?
Mitt romney and barack obama are in a neck-and-neck race in the last days before the presidential election, so that the decision will probably be made in some so-called "swing states" (see above) will fall, whose voters are still undecided. A number of states in the south and midwest of the u.S., such as texas, tennessee and louisiana, have voted for the republican party for decades and are therefore a safe bank for mitt romney. Barack obama, on the other hand, can rely on the densely populated states in the northeast such as new york, new jersey, massachusetts, and in the west on california, which traditionally vote democratic.
Why we care about the U.S. Election?
The united states is the most powerful country in the world and its president its most powerful politician. For this reason alone, the U.S. Elections are momentous and of international significance – not only for us germans. In addition, the USA has been germany’s most important ally for more than half a century. And finally, the U.S. Elections are a media event in our country as well. The staging, the many colorful images we see on television, have a high entertainment value.
How does the search for candidates work??
In phase one of the campaign, about 15 months before the actual election date, the search for presidential candidates begins: the two political parties, democrats and republicans, have a de facto monopoly on candidate nominations. Independent candidates hardly have a chance. If an incumbent U.S. President can be re-elected – as is now the case with democrat barack obama – he is considered a shoo-in for his party. With the other party, the search for a candidate is usually more difficult, because there are usually several candidates competing with each other. Mitt romney finally prevails over eight competitors as the republican candidate. In both parties, the formal decision is made at major party conventions at the end of august or beginning of september of the election year.
And then the show begins?
The staging is important: the candidates are put in the right light by the media. The second phase of the campaign is about to begin. For a good two months, republicans and democrats focus all their resources on supporting their respective candidates and criticizing their opponents. Both candidates travel the country and give hundreds of campaign speeches. TV shows run election commercials every day. Millions of viewers watch the three TV duels. Finally, the third phase is the actual voting process, which is quite complicated in the USA (see above).
What role do the TV duels play??
Many think that the TV duels have a great influence on the election decision. It is often recalled that john f. Kennedy had won the 1959 presidential election partly because he had cut a better figure in the TV duel than the republican richard nixon. And in fact, the TV duels still attract a great deal of attention. They are the most important events of the election campaign. However, several scientific studies have found that the effects on the actual voting decision are in fact not very large. In fact, many U.S. Voters see the TV debates as a confirmation of their position.
What does a candidate need to know??
Four factors lead to success: charisma, program, support, money. Nothing works in the media age without personal charisma. Only those who are telegenic, can speak publicly and otherwise cut an acceptable figure have a chance of attracting attention. Ideally, this should be accompanied by a compelling political program that is attractive to broad segments of the electorate. Tax cuts go down particularly well. Republicans tend to favor the wealthy, democrats tend to favor the lower-income. No political career without support: if you have friends in your party’s establishment, among powerful interest groups, and in the media, you can more easily prevail over intraparty rivals. And, of course, you should have enough money for the election campaign.
How expensive is an election campaign??
The election campaign in the USA is the most expensive in the world. In the 2012 election year, presidential and congressional elections together will probably cost around 5.8 billion US dollars. That’s another 400 million U.S. Dollars more than in 2008.
Influenced by storm sandy the election?
Barack obama almost seemed to be on the losing side – then storm "sandy" arrives and shakes up the election campaign. Obama presents himself as crisis manager. Romney can’t compete. It looks like a neck-and-neck race: the internet platform "realclearpolitics", the average of the most important polls sees both opponents exactly on the same level – 47.6 percent for obama, 47.6 percent for romney. "Dead heat" what commentators call a dead heat.