US election 2024: A really simple guide

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In November 2024, Americans will participate in the presidential election, a crucial event that significantly impacts both domestic and international affairs.

The next occupant of the White House will wield substantial influence, making the election’s outcome relevant to everyone.

The current US political landscape is characterized by the dominance of two major parties, with each president in modern times belonging to either of them.

The Democrats, representing the liberal spectrum, advocate for civil rights, a comprehensive social safety net, and measures to combat climate change.

Incumbent President Joe Biden, seeking a second term, is the face of the Democratic Party.

On the conservative side, the Republicans, also known as the GOP (Grand Old Party), stand for lower taxes, reducing the government’s size, defending gun rights, and imposing stricter regulations on immigration and abortion.

The Republican Party is yet to finalize its presidential candidate.

The 2024 presidential campaign is in full swing, featuring 15 candidates (nine Republicans, four Democrats, and two independents).

President Biden, aiming for reelection, is expected to secure the Democratic nomination, while former President Donald Trump leads the Republican polls.

The nomination process involves state primaries and caucuses, starting with Iowa in January and culminating in “Super Tuesday” on March 3, a pivotal day with numerous state contests.

In the US presidential election, candidates vie for electoral college votes.

With a total of 538 electoral votes, the winner must secure 270 or more.

Each state contributes a specific number of electoral votes, determined partly by its population.

The electoral college system means candidates focus on winning state-level contests rather than the national popular vote, potentially resulting in a candidate winning the most votes nationwide but losing in the electoral college, as occurred in 2016.

The majority of states follow a winner-takes-all rule, awarding all electoral votes to the candidate with the highest number of votes in the state.

Key battleground states, where either party has a chance of winning, attract the most attention during campaigns.

While the presidency commands the spotlight, voters will also elect new members of Congress.

All 435 seats in the House of Representatives are up for election, along with 33 Senate seats.

Currently, Republicans control the House, and Democrats hold the Senate.

These legislative chambers play a crucial role in passing legislation and can act as a check on the president’s plans if the controlling party in either chamber opposes the president’s agenda.

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