Explained: All you need to know about 2020 US Elections « Khabarhub
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Explained: All you need to know about 2020 US Elections

13 August 2020  

Time taken to read : 4 Minute

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KATHMANDU: Voters in the United States will decide on 3 November whether or not Donald Trump remains in the White House for another four years.

Trump is being challenged by Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden, who has been in politics since the 1970s. He was the former President Barack Obama’s vice-president.

Biden on Tuesday declared Californian Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate.

Trump aims for a second term at US presidency. However, it is yet to know whether he will continue with Vice-President Mike Pence as his running mate for 2020 elections.

Speculations are that the Trump campaign will announce last-minute changes.

What is a running mate?

The US Constitution provides for both a President and a Vice President, and under the present system, the presidential candidate for the two major parties — the Republican and the Democratic party, chooses a vice presidential running mate.

Actually, the running mate is the vice presidential candidate, and the US voters vote on the two — presidential and vice presidential candidates — as a team. The same is applicable to fringe political parties.

Background to the running mate system in the US

The system of running mate in the US politics has not been formally adopted in law though it existed since 1864.

Selection of running mates

The selection process of running mates is easy. A presidential candidate selects his/her running mate with the advice from his advisors. In fact, no set or required criteria is required to choose a running mate.

Any presidential candidate usually chooses a running mate who will help him/her to get elected, or do no harm, and, if elected, help him/her to govern the country.

Do presidential candidates change running mates?

Presidential candidates do not change their running mates. However, this has happened in US election history at least once. For instance, in 1971, presidential candidate George McGovern had placed Thomas Eagleton on the Democratic ticket at the very last minute.

Currently, presidential candidates chose their running mates by considering the background, professional and personal life of the running mates.

Role of running mates play in the US election process

In fact, the running mates usually do not make a significant difference in the election. However, as the running mates who are elected can become Presidents themselves, they are important from that point of view.

National polls

National polls are a good guide to know as to how popular a presidential candidate is in the United States.

For instance, in 2016, Hillary Clinton had led in the polls and won nearly three million more votes than Donald Trump.

Despite this, Clinton lost because the United States uses an Electoral College system. Therefore, winning the most votes doesn’t win the election.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden is also ahead of Trump in national polls for most of the year as he has hovered more than 50% in recent weeks and has had a 10-point lead.

(With inputs from Agencies)

Publish Date : 13 August 2020 16:23 PM

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