On Election Day, political actors are not the same.
Some people reduce their power by not voting for a variety of reasons.
The citizens want to see that good and effective leaders are elected and that power is transferred peacefully from loser to winner.
By the standard of highly informed voters, the electorate may seem to fall short.
The electorate does not do too badly because of the differing abilities of people and the media's reluctance to be fully forthcoming about policy proposals.
Voters look at a variety of factors when making their decisions, including membership in social groups, policy information, candidate image, and campaign narratives.
Discuss factors that affect citizens' voting decisions.
Getting the job in the first place is more difficult than being president of the United States.
The media like to call the road to the White House a "road to the White House".
Each of the major parties needs to come up with a single viable candidate from the long list of party members with ambitions to serve in the White House.
The sort of candidate chosen will be determined by how the candidate is chosen.
The rules are always important to shaping the outcome in politics.
Prior to 1972, primary election results were not binding.
Party nominees for the presidency have been chosen in primaries since 1972, taking the power away from the party elite and giving it to the activists who show up to vote.
It's hard to say when a presidential campaign starts.
Potential candidates may start thinking about running for president when they are young.
When Bill Clinton shook President Kennedy's hand, it was said that he wanted to be president since high school.
There are several crucial steps between running for the nomination and going for the big prize in politics.
Potential candidates test the waters.
They talk to friends and fellow politicians to see how much support they have, and they leak news of their possible candidacy to the press to see how it is received in the media.
There is a period of jockeying for money, lining up top campaign consultants, generating media buzz, and getting commitments of potential support from party and interest group notables, even before candidates announce they are running.
Candidates file with the FEC to set up a committee to receive funds if the first step has positive results.
The formation of an exploratory committee allows the candidate to collect money to determine if he or she wants to run, but it is also useful as a form of campaigning.
The announcement of the creation of a committee can be used as a media event by the candidate to get free publicity for the launching of the still-unannounced campaign and for signaling to the political community that the presidential primary landscape has changed.
It costs a lot of money to be taken seriously.
Some candidates are able to raise large amounts of money before officially entering the race, while others have to scramble to catch up.
According to CNN analyst Paul Begala, those with the most pre-primary funds are more likely to win.
Voters support big money.
In party primaries, the ideological differences between candidates are not huge and often the candidates are not well known.
The potential candidate needs to use the pre-primary season to position himself or herself as a credible prospect.
In most election years, both parties' nominees have held prominent government offices and entered the field with some media credibility.
There is a huge advantage for incumbents here.
The announcement of candidacy is the final step of the pre-primary season.
The statement is part of the campaign.
Promises are made to supporters, agendas are set, media attention is captured, and the process is under way.
The actual fight for the nomination takes place in the state party caucuses and primaries.
The form the process takes can affect who wins.
The rules have an impact on who wins and who loses.
Iowa is where crucial first votes take place and where presidential candidates spend a lot of time.
John Delaney was the first candidate to visit the state ahead of the 2020 election, which earned him some respect among election-weary Iowans.
In a party grassroots members of the party in each community gather to discuss the current candidates.
They vote for delegates from that locality who will be sent to the national convention or who will go on to larger caucuses at the state level to choose the national delegates.
Critics argue that caucus attendance is time consuming and that they are less democratic because of the low participation rates.
The caucus states where he excelled were the northern and western ones, and his supporters were more enthusiastic and took the time to caucus.
The most common method for choosing delegates to the national convention is to commit to voting for a particular candidate.
Depending on the rules the state party organizations adopt, presidential primaries can be either open or closed.
At the polling place, the voter chooses the ballot of the party whose primary he or she is a member of.