The presidential nominees will be chosen through a series of primaries and caucuses in every state and territory that began in Iowa on February 3 and ends in Puerto Rico in early June.
Short of a big shock, the Republican nominee will be Donald Trump. Even though technically he has two challengers, he is so popular among Republicans, he has a clear run ahead of him. With that in mind, the Democratic primaries are the only ones worth watching.
Step one: The start line
A whole year before the primaries, the first candidates emerged from hibernation. Over the year, others woke up and eventually 28 people announced they were running to become the Democratic nominee for president.
But dwindling funds, luke-warm or (ice-cold) public reaction and campaign infighting have, to varying degrees, led to 16 candidates pulling out of the race.
At the start of primary season, 11 people remained in the running. In theory, any one of them could become the nominee. In reality, only a few have a chance.
Step two: The Iowa caucuses
The first event of the primary season isn’t a primary at all – it’s a series of caucuses, in Iowa. These took place on February 3, in somewhat chaotic fashion.
What are caucuses?
A caucus involves people attending a meeting – maybe for a few hours – before they vote on their preferred candidate, perhaps via a head count or a show of hands. Those meetings might be in just a few select locations – you can’t just turn up at a polling station.
If any candidate gets under 15% of the vote in any caucus, their supporters then get to pick a second choice from among the candidates who did get more than 15%, or they can just choose to sit out the second vote.
Why Iowa caucuses matter?
A win there for any candidate can help give them momentum and propel them to victory in the primaries.
Why is Iowa first in the primary calendar? You can blame Jimmy Carter, sort of. Iowa became first in 1972, for various technical electoral reasons too boring to go into here. But when Carter ran for president in 1976, his team realized they could grab the momentum by campaigning early in Iowa. He won there, then surprisingly won the presidency, and Iowa’s fate was sealed.
Why Iowa caucuses don’t matter?
Iowa doesn’t represent the entire US – it’s largely white, so the way people vote there is very, very different than in other states.
The sate’s record on picking the eventual nominees is a bit rubbish too, at least when it comes to Republicans – when there’s an open Republican race, Iowa hasn’t opted for the eventual nominee since 2000. Such names as Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and Ted Cruz have won there in recent years.
Step three: The New Hampshire primary
Eight days after Iowa on February 11, is the first primary, in New Hampshire. The tiny north-eastern state of only 1.3 million people will once again become an unlikely hotbed of political activity.
What is a primary?
Unlike a caucus, where voters are expected to turn up at a few limited locations at certain times and stick around for a while, primary voters can just turn up at a polling booth and vote in secret. Then leave.
How does a primary work?
The more votes a candidate gets in a caucus or primary, the more “delegates” they are awarded, and all candidates will be hoping to win an unbeatable majority of delegates.
The number of delegates differs in each state, and is decided by a convoluted series of criteria. In California’s primary, for example, there are 415 Democratic delegates up for grabs this year. In New Hampshire, there are only 24.
This year is a bit different. Any candidate would need to get at least 15% of the vote in any primary or caucus to be awarded delegates. There are still 11 candidates in the running – an unusually large number – so there’s a risk the vote share will be spread out and some of the candidates may struggle to reach 15%.
After New Hampshire, we could get a clear picture of who is struggling, but whoever has claimed the most delegates at this stage is still far from guaranteed to be the nominee.
Even those who are struggling may not drop out right after New Hampshire, because there is so much at stake on…
Step four: Super Tuesday
A few other states vote in between New Hampshire and the end of February, but this is when things really start to warm up: Super Tuesday, on March 3.
What is Super Tuesday?
It is the big date in the primary calendar, when 16 states, territories or groups vote for their preferred candidate in primaries or caucuses. A third of all the delegates available in the entire primary season are up for grabs on Super Tuesday. By the end of the day it could be much clearer who the Democratic candidate will be. The two states with the most delegates are voting on Super Tuesday – California (with 415 Democratic delegates) and Texas (228). California is voting three months earlier than in 2016, making Super Tuesday even more super than normal.
California and Texas are two states with very diverse populations, so we may see them going for very different candidates than those chosen in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Step five: The rest of the race
After hectic Super Tuesday, everyone gets to cool down for a week, before another busy day on March 10, when six states vote, with 352 delegates available.
After that, the primary season still has three months left to run, and at the end, the role of those delegates will become clear…
Step six: The conventions
Donald Trump will almost certainly be sworn in as the Republican nominee at the party convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, between August 24 and 27. The Democrats will confirm their candidate at their own convention between July 13 and 16 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
What happens in a convention?
Here’s where those delegates come in.
Let’s say that during primary season, candidate A wins 10 delegates. During the convention, those 10 delegates would vote for candidate A to become the Democratic nominee. (Any party member can apply to be a delegate – they tend to be party activists or local political leaders.)
All through the Democratic primaries, there are 3,979 delegates available. If any one candidate wins more than 50% of those delegates during primary season (that’s 1,990 delegates), then they become the nominee in a vote at the convention.
But if we get to the Democratic convention and no-one has more than 50% of the delegates, it becomes what’s known as a “contested” or “brokered” convention. This could well happen this year. There are so many candidates that no one frontrunner emerges in the primaries, and they split the delegates between them. In that circumstance, a second vote would follow.
In that second vote, all the 3,979 delegates would vote again, except this time they would be joined by an estimated 771 “superdelegates”. These are senior party officials past and present (former president Bill Clinton is one, as is current Vermont senator and presidential contender Bernie Sanders), and they’re free to vote for whomever they wish.
If a candidate wins 50% or more in that vote – 2,376 delegates – then they become the nominee.
This is all thanks to a rule change in 2020: last time around, the superdelegates voted at the start of the convention, with the delegates. But many had pledged their support to Hillary Clinton even before the convention, leading her rival Bernie Sanders to suggest the deck was stacked against him.
Bernie Sanders is the one who campaigned for the change – and it may benefit him in 2020.
Step seven: The presidency
After inching past Iowa, negotiated New Hampshire, survived Super Tuesday and come through the convention, there is only one step left for the nominee: the presidential election, on November 3.
Presidential hopefuls seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination to fight President Donald Trump’s re-election bid in 2020 have gathered for the Polka County Steak Fry in Iowa.
The event comes less than five months ahead of Iowa’s caucuses – the first to take place nationwide in each presidential election.
Event organizers said more than 12,000 people attended the fundraiser.
Of the 19 Democrats left in the running, 17 spoke on September 21.
The attendees showed up for burgers and face time with 17 Democratic presidential candidates at the Polk County Democratic Party’s annual steak fry in Iowa on Saturday. Although 18 candidates were initially expected to attend, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio dropped out of the presidential race on September 20.
The 2016 Presidential election is shaping up to be one of the most exciting in living memory. We’re still 10 months away from the election, and the sensational headlines are already hitting home. Last week played host to – what many call – the start of the election campaign in Iowa. The Iowa caucuses have a long-standing place in American presidential election history. It’s the time when the Republicans and Democrats come together to narrow their candidate field. Iowa is fiercely proud of its tradition, and the state has an uncanny ability to predict the ultimate outcome.
If that’s the case, then boy are we in for a treat. The Democratic vote was split almost down the middle between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders. Clinton came away with the victory, but with only a hair to separate them. On the Republican side of town, Ted Cruz stormed to victory over headline-grabbing Donald Trump. Today, we’re digging deeper to find out what exactly happened.
Trump’s steam might be running out
Proof, if it were needed, that narcissistic, devisive politics can only get you so far, Donald Trump’s steam is running out. The New York businessman has lead a campaign based on headline-grabbing quotes. While that has brought him plenty of support, it’s not clear that it will translate into votes. That played out in a big way last week when Ted Cruz stormed to the number one spot in the Iowa caucuses. On a wider scale, Trump still leads in some of the US presidential election polls. His defeat in Iowa may simply be down to an ill-fated comment not so long ago. He famously asked “How stupid are the people in Iowa?”
Donald Trump can make Ted Cruz look progressive
A lot of people breathed a sigh of relief as Ted Cruz took to the podium. The thought of Trump as president has scared a huge portion of the country. But, let’s not forget that Ted Cruz has still spoken out in support of torture techniques like waterboarding. He is a fierce gun supporter, and proposes to repeal Obama’s healthcare plan. He is hardly a progressive candidate, but Trump has made him appear deceptively electable.
Bernie Sanders has the youth vote tied up
There’s a similar story over in the Democratic party. While Clinton perhaps thought her nomination was tied up, Senator Bernie Sanders isn’t giving up without a fight. In fact, he has mobilised an entire generation of young voters, and has rallied a political energy in much the same way Obama did eight years ago.
The Democrats are turning on each other, again
If there’s one thing you can always bet on, it’s that the Democrats will eventually turn against each other. Sanders and Clinton had their first knives-out fight regarding campaign funding. The candidates have already accused each other of a smear campaign. It’s very early in the election cycle, and the Democrats risk destroying themselves from the inside out.
Stick with us throughout the election, and we’ll bring you the latest updates as we have them.
Donald Trump has announced he will boycott the final Republican presidential debate before the Iowa caucuses.
The Republican presidential hopeful accused Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly, whom he has clashed with in the past, of being a “lightweight”.
The unexpected move prompted his closest rival, Senator Ted Cruz, to challenge him to a one-on-one debate.
Donald Trump’s campaign manager announced the decision on January 26, with just 48 hours to go before the debate.
Corey Lewandowski said immediately after the press conference: “He will not be participating in the Fox News debate Thursday.”
The announcement followed a press conference in which Donald Trump lashed out at Megyn Kelly, claiming she had been “toying” with him.
Donald Trump said he intended to hold a separate Iowa event at the same time as the debate to raise money for wounded veterans. Iowa hosts the nation’s opening presidential primary contest on February 1.
“With me, they’re dealing with somebody that’s a little bit different,” he said.
“They can’t toy with me like they toy with everybody else. Let them have their debate and let’s see how they do with the ratings.”
On Tuesday night’s airing of her Fox News show, The Kelly File, Megyn Kelly said the debate would “go on with or without Mr. Trump”.
A Fox News spokesperson said Donald Trump was still welcome to participate in the debate but would not be allowed to “dictate the moderators or the questions”.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) said the decision was up to Donald Trump.
“Obviously we would love all of the candidates to participate, but each campaign ultimately makes their own decision what’s in their best interest,” said RNC chief strategist Sean Spicer.
Donald Trump had added an element of unpredictability to the Republican contest, and helped generate big ratings in the previous six Republican presidential debates.
His decision leaves seven other candidates in the debate: Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Ohio Governor John Kasich and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.
Donald Trump, who is in a tight race with Ted Cruz, has garnered media attention with provocative actions and statements, including a call for a temporary ban on all Muslims entering the United States.
Hillary Clinton’s emails from her private server will be released in January 2016, the State Department has told a federal court.
Since launching her presidential bid, Hillary Clinton has been on the defensive about her use of the server to conduct official business while she was secretary of state.
The timing for the release could prove tricky for her campaign.
The State Department says it will publish some of the 55,000 pages of emails online.
It proposed the date in court documents filed on May 18. The documents were in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made by Vice News.
The proposed date falls just a few weeks before the Iowa caucuses and other early state primary elections.
John Hackett, the state department official in charge of handling FOIA requests, said the 55,00 pages of emails were delivered in paper form and would require time to review before their release.
“Given the breadth and importance of the many foreign policy issues on which the secretary of state and the department work, the review of these materials will likely require consultation with a broad range of subject matter experts within the department and other agencies, as well as potentially with foreign governments,” he said.
Hillary Clinton, who voluntarily turned over emails from the server after discarding the ones she deemed personal, has said she wants the department to release the emails as soon as possible.
Republican Rick Perry will make the formal announcement on Saturday in Charleston, South Carolina.[googlead tip=”patrat_mic” aliniat=”dreapta”]
The Republican Rick Perry will officially announce his candidacy on Saturday, August 13, said Washington Times after information was provided exclusively by Carl Cameron from Fox News, known as having a hostile position to the current president, Barack Obama.
He will make his announcement in Charleston, South Carolina, where he is scheduled to speak at an annual conference of conservative bloggers.
Republican Texas Governor, Rick Perry is running for the US presidential race.
Rick Perry will then travel to New Hampshire and on to Iowa Sunday — hitting 3 of the first 4 states to hold nominating contests next year.
Rick Perry makes his entrance about six months before the Iowa caucuses, the traditional kickoff of the nominating season (the first major electoral event of the nominating process for President of the United States). Iowa is scheduled to be followed by New Hampshire’s primary, Nevada’s caucuses and South Carolina’s primary, though several other states are considering moves to jump ahead in the line.
The rest of the field has been assembled in Iowa for Thursday night’s nationally televised debate, Saturday’s Ames Straw Poll, the Iowa State Fair, which runs for 11 days and is a traditional hot spot for meeting voters and mugging for cameras.
[googlead tip=”vertical_mic”] Rick Perry’s presidential nomination is expected to fundamentally reshape the race and divert attention from other contenders, many of whom will be competing this weekend in the Iowa Straw Poll.
Being now in his 11th year as Texas governor, Rick Perry could fill the void some party activists see and could unify social and economic conservatives in the “Grand Old Party” (GOP a traditional nickname for the Republican Party)
“This is about electing a true conservative leader with a real record of job creation as our next president,” said Scott Rials, executive director of “Make Us Great Again”, one of the several pro-Perry political action committees that have formed to raise and spend money independently of Rick Perry’s campaign.
“Governor Rick Perry is our best qualified candidate to win back the White House and get our economy back on track.”
“Contrary to written reports that Governor Perry would use his Charleston speech on Saturday to announce his intention to run, he will tell the influential red state gathering … that he has entered the contest,” Rick Perry’s campaign strategist, David Carney told The Washington Times on Thursday.
In a preview of the Perry campaign’s emphasis, David Carney hailed the three-term governor as someone “known by many as America’s jobs governor.”
Carney, who was chief strategist for Rick Perry last year when he defeated Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison in Texas’ gubernatorial primary, said the Perry record stands “in perfect contrast to the current occupant of the White House, whose administration has appeared to be flailing around, trying to deal with economic woes for months.”
The GOP’s move also adds another target for President Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee, which had invested time in trying to discredit former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, whose polls show he is the front-runner in the field.
Conservatives were pleased with Rick Perry’s pending announcement.
“I think Governor Perry entering the race will solidify conservatives,” Dr. Randy Brinson, an Alabama gastroenterologist and founder of Rock the Vote, told The Washington Times.
“Romney will hope for a perilous split due to the large number of social conservatives in the race but history shows it will not occur as Romney strategists think.”
“Perry travels to Alabama and the key state of South Carolina to line up solid support over the weekend,” said Dr. Brinson, who is considered a major force in conservative politics in the South.
“Obvious strategy is to anchor South Carolina which is the make-or-break state for all Republican presidential contenders.”
Kirsten Gray, Texas Democratic Party spokeswoman, who disputed Rick Perry’s activity claims by saying he fought for a budget that would lay off thousands of state workers, said:
“Not surprising Rick Perry is making his announcement in South Carolina instead of Texas — there’s nowhere in the Lone Star State he could announce without an angry mob showing up.”
[googlead tip=”lista_medie” aliniat=”stanga”]According to the RealClearPolitics.com average of polls, Mitt Romney leads Rick Perry 20.4% to 15.4%. Former Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin, who has not announced a candidacy, places third, in a near-tie with Republican Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, an announced candidate who polls fourth.
Rick Perry did not seek space at the straw poll, though his announcement Saturday could fuel a write-in campaign there.
On Thursday, Mitt Romney was heckled by liberal activists as he delivered a soapbox speech at the Iowa fair.
"I’m not going to raise taxes. That’s my answer. If you want someone to raise taxes, you can vote for Barack Obama," said Mitt Romney to the liberal hecklers at Iowa fair.
“You ready for my answer? I’m not going to raise taxes. That’s my answer. If you want someone to raise taxes, you can vote for Barack Obama,“
Mitt Romney told the hecklers.
Rick Perry’s entry makes him the first sitting governor in the race, the field having a handful of former governors.
Winning the presidency by Perry would mean for Republicans to return to the power after the defeat of George W. Bush in 2008.
Last May, Washington Times wrote that Governor Rick Perry is capable to attract not only among Republican voters, but also from conservatives, independents and even Obama’s Democrats.
The first sign that he could run for US presidency was in June 2011, when he was invited to a Fox News show and said:
“I am thinking seriously about it.”
Rick Perry is the Texas Governor since 2000, when he ascended from the lieutenant governorship after George W. Bush won the White House.