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The Presidential Election of 2016

The following article was written in the midst of the 2016 American Presidential Election. The election process had been a huge part of national and international news for many months and Election Day on November 8 was fast approaching.

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symbols of the Democratic and Republican party. Illustration.

Listen to this rap naming 44 former presidents chronologically. Who do you think is going to be the next President of the United States?

The Democratic Candidate

Hillary Clinton is the candidate for the Democratic Party. Hillary Clinton is an experienced politician with a broad power base and an experienced marketing team behind her. She has not been able to gather popular support and create enthusiasm as Barack Obama did in 2012. She is seen as an establishment candidate with a polished campaign, primarily designed not to offend voters. Clinton is a former Senator for New York (2001-2009) and State Secretary (2009-2013).

During the campaign there has been great focus on the so-called e-mail scandal. Clinton made use of a private e-mail server when she was State Secretary, and this has been used by her opponent as something she should be imprisoned for, although the FBI this summer concluded that nothing illegal was done. With only 11 days left of the campaign, FBI went public saying that they have found new e-mails that may or may not reveal new information about Clinton´s correspondence.

The Republican Candidate

Hillary Clinton´s opponent and the Republican candidate, Donald Trump, has taken the anti-establishment approach and gained a lot of support. Trump is very controversial with his harsh statements on immigrants, especially directed towards Mexican and Muslim immigrants. Being a successful businessman, he has promoted himself as the man who can make America great again. He has a lot of support from poor people all over the United States despite the fact that he himself is part of the super rich segment of American society. Donald Trump also lashes out towards Wall Street, corruption and the political establishment in Washington. Unlike Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump has an unpolished and hard- hitting rhetoric with slogan-like solutions. A lot of voters fear that his focus on scapegoats, simple solutions and power politics will lead America into a period of conflicts.

Trump has had the attention of the media ever since he announced he was running for president. Part of the reason for that is that one never know what he will say next. In early autumn a leaked tape of him talking in a demeaning way about women made a lot of Republicans turn away from the party´s candidate. Trump has also stated that he is not sure he will accept a defeat.

Here are some websites where you can follow the campaigns during the final days before Election Day.

CNN.com: Election2016

USA Today: Elections 2016

Timeline 2016 Campaigns and Election

Check out this video for a closer look at the election system:

The U.S. presidential election easily explained

The Primaries and Caucuses

Primaries and caucuses are scheduled through the winter and spring, the last being in June 2016.

Read more about the scheduled primaries and caucuses at wikipedia.org or search for "Primaries and Caucuses 2016".

The National Coventions

The Republican National Convention was held in Cleveland, Ohio in July. On the last day of the convention, the delegates to the convention nominated their candidate for President and for Vice-President.

The Democratic National Convention was held in Philadelphia in July. The convention nominated the Democratic Party’s candidates for President and Vice-President.

The Presidential Election

This year, the presidential election will fall on Tuesday, November 8.

Read more about the presidential candidates using a search engines. Search "presidential election 2016", "candidates" and "politics".

The Electoral College

This year, the Electoral College will meet to carry out the actual election of the United States President and Vice-President on December 19.

Read more about How the Electoral College Works and Electoral College Voting.

New President in Office

The new President of the United States will be sworn into office on 20th January 2017 at an official ceremony called the Presidential Inauguration. Who do you think it will be?

Questions to Ponder

  1. What do we mean by establishment candidates and anti-establishment candidates.
  2. What do you think "Wall Street" and "Washington" represent as symbols to the American voters?
  3. Why do you think anti.establishment candidates have done so well the 2016 campaigns?
  4. Why are the National Conventions of the two parties important in the election process?
  5. Who is actually elected on Election Day? Is it the President, or is it the ones that are going to elect the President?
  6. Unlike many other democratic countries, the President of the USA is not elected directly by the people, but by Electorates. Why do you think they have this extra step in the electoral process?

The Candidates

Find out more about the candidates for the presidency. Work in groups. Your teacher will assign a candidate to each group. Make a brochure, create a slogan and prepare your candidate for a debate on economy, gun control, immigration and health.

The National Conventions

The keynote address, held by the parties’ presidential nominees, is considered one of the most important speeches of the presidential campaign. Search for videos on National conventions and USA. How would you characterize these meetings based on what you see in the videos. Sit in pairs and discuss your findings

Names of Presidents

Can you complete the names of the U.S. presidents?

Sist oppdatert 13.11.2018
Tekst: Karin Dwyer Løken, Åse Elin Langeland, Eli Huseby og Knut Inge Skifjeld (CC BY-SA)


US Politics

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