Presidential nomination process is not enshrined in the United States Constitution. As a result, parties and states have formulated their own rules and modalities which, nonetheless, must be in conformity with the electoral regime. An announcement of a candidate’s interest to run for a political seat sets in motion the process of nomination. The nomination campaign for the presidential seat constitutes the first stage of the long road to the White House. In the nomination stage, the candidate competes within the party so as to get the ticket and the mandate to run on that particular party. To this end, the candidate puts his or her effort in winning delegates who in turn vote for him or her in a political nominating convention as well as help in the final campaign of persuading voters. However, the role of the national party convention in determining a presidential candidate has changed from the former system where delegates or party leaders held a sway on who becomes the flag bearer. Currently, the parties make use of caucuses and party primaries where the general public or voters are able to take part in the nomination process. A caucus involves the convergence of party members to nominate a candidate. Party leaders attend such caucuses to debate issues, choose delegates, consider candidates, and discuss the statement of principles. On the other hand, a primary resembles a general election since voters go to the plebiscite to vote in favor of nomination of their preferred candidate or a delegate who will do the nomination. The rules governing the nomination process are determined by parties and individual states as the Constitution gives states powers to promulgate their own election laws. After the nomination, the candidate goes to an election campaign with the backing of his or her party to communicate with the public and seek their votes.
Article II Section I Clause 5 stipulates the eligibility of a candidate to run for presidency and hence eligibility to run for nomination. Qualifications include that a candidate must be over thirty five years. In addition, the candidate must have resided in the United States for over fourteen years before making their application of interest in the seat. However, Amendment XIV Section 1 now allows for persons born outside the United States soil but who have been subsequently naturalized, to run. The Electoral College represents a compromise between the need for the public to have a say in electing a president and the Congress in determining the leader. All elector votes from a particular state are awarded to the candidate with the majority popular vote in a particular state. A minimum of 270 Electoral College votes are required to enable a candidate clinch the presidential seat in default of which the House of Representatives takes the responsibility of electing the president.
The United States political system has changed dramatically in so as to ensure diversification and flexibility over time. It is an undeniable fact that the United States is a multi-cultural society enriched with significant diversity. This is because the nation consisted of several indigenous cultures even before the immigration of Europeans. Subsequently to that, immigrants have continued to stream into the nation in search of better economic opportunities. Essentially, and in conformity with the democratic principles of public participation in voting and universal suffrage, the political system has had to shift so as to accommodate these groups. However, they included a provision for amending the Constitution when political conditions or indeed other conditions, so necessitated. True to this vision, the Constitution has been amended a record 27 moments and is a testament to the significant flexibility of the document that has enabled it to remain relevant for over two centuries. Historically, some of the races such as the Blacks were not allowed to vote especially during the time of slavery. However, this changed with the Fourteenth Amendment which changed the method of electing the president and abolished slavery. Further, the Amendment secured the rights of Blacks to vote by protecting the right of every one to vote irrespective of their race. Be it as it may, the government continues to face hiccups in addressing the challenges brought about the diversity of its people. Indeed, most of the amendments in the Constitution have been geared towards this end as they have been aimed at protecting political liberties more than changing the structure of government.
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