Come funzionano le elezioni presidenziali negli USA?

One of the most fascinating things about America, people always tell me, is its politics.

Even more specifically, the way its government is set up is unlike any other government on Earth.

Have you ever truly studied what makes America’s government and politics so unique on the world stage?

You’re in luck, because now you have an opportunity to take a deep-dive into answering these questions and more. 

The US Government

Let’s start with the basics. How do you think the US government is structured? 
Take this quiz: 
(B), you’re right!

The US government has three branches based on the Constitution.

These three branches provide a separation of powers where the legislative branch makes laws, the executive branch carries those laws out, and the judicial branch evaluates said laws. 

The Legislative Branch

When you turn on the TV or go on YouTube to catch up with the current events happening in America, do you ever hear about “Congress”?
Congress is inside the US Capitol Building. 
Congress is also another word for the legislative branch. It has two parts: the Senate and the House of Representatives. 

The US Senate

Inside the US Senate, there are 100 elected senators (like Barack Obama before he ran for and won the presidency in 2008). 


Each senator represents their states for six years.
To be elected as a senator you have to be at least 30 years old, there are few rules (less formal) and representation of the states is equal with two senators

per state. 


It, along with the House of Representatives votes on which laws the US should have.
Both have to come to an agreement before it passes to the President. 

The House of Representatives

Just like the Senate, House representatives are elected publicly. However, instead of 100 equally distributed representatives for each state, there are 435 elected House members that represent states based on each state’s population.
This means that if a state has more people, it will have more House representatives.
For example, California has the largest population in the US with 40 million residents. It has 52 House representatives.

On the other hand, Wyoming, with the lowest population of 572,381 only has 1 House representative. 

The Executive Branch

Everyone knows about the White House in Washington D.C. It’s in movies, in magazines, online, in history books, but did you know that the White House is officially considered to be the executive branch of the US Government?
As you may have guessed, this is where the US President lives. 
He (or she) is responsible for choosing a Vice President and the Cabinet.
The Cabinet is a group of people that assist the President with his everyday duties.
Each member is nominated by the President and must be approved by the Senate with at least 51 votes.

Most people outside of the US think that the US President is the most powerful man on Earth.


Is that true? Does he really hold all the power? Let’s see….
Here is a list of the things that the US President can do in a maximum span of 8 years (or two 4-year terms):
Not much, right? These are highly important tasks, of course, but they are not everything.

Keep reading to find out who exactly holds all the power… 

The Judicial Branch

The judicial branch is the highest court in America that has the ultimate jurisdiction control over the state and federal courts.
It is comprised of nine judges nominated by the President and later approved (or not) by the Senate.
So, who truly holds all the power in America? The answer is: no one and everyone.
The US government is special because we have something called checks and balances where every branch makes sure the other branch is balanced in power and doing its job fairly.
This concept was invented by the Founding Fathers (i.e. Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, etc) to avoid having a tyrannical “king” or president take complete power and control. 

US Presidential Election

If you ever want to be president of the United States, pay attention. There are a few qualifications anyone running for president must first have before moving
1) You need to be at least 35 years old.
2) You need to be a natural-born citizen of the USA.
2) You need to be a resident of the US for 14+ years.
There are two parts to electing a president in the US every four years. 
The first part is called the “primaries”.
The second part is the “general election”. 

The Primaries

There are many people who want to be president, eachwith their own ideas on how the government should work.
People with similar ideas belong to the same political party like the Democratic Party or the Republican Party.
Candidates from each political party travel across the country to try to convince their party members that they are the best choice for president. 

To make this choice, party members discuss and vote openly in a caucus where they can also ask a candidate questions in a forum style.
Then, when the time comes (usually starting in February until July), every state has a primary where party members can vote for their favorite party candidate in
This vote is for the best candidate that will represent them in the general election.
Each party holds a National Convention to select a final presidential nominee.
At each convention, the presidential candidate chooses
a vice-presidential candidate.
This is when the presidential candidates travel across the US to win the support of the whole country. Then, on the first Tuesday after November 1st, people cast their ballots in secret and vote for the next president and vice president… 

But they are actually voting for a group of people known as Electors that make up the Electoral College.
Every state gets the same number of electors as Senators and House Representatives. For example, if California has 55 House Representatives and 2 Senators, it gets 57 Electors.
After the general election, the Electoral College comes together and each elector casts one vote (hopefully the one they promised) for a candidate.
Whoever gets 270 electoral votes or more, wins the Presidential Election!
Don’t worry if you didn’t understand 100% the first time around; American politics are very complex and that’s what makes it so fascinating!
Get ready for the Election Day!
Good luck! 

Tratto dal libro “Once Upon a Time in…American School”

Impara la lingua che si parla davvero nel mondo e viaggia attraverso gli Stati Uniti guidato da una vera protagonista.

Il primo libro in Italia scritto in Inglese Americano.