The Road
to the White House

The Nomination

When you vote in your primary, you’re actually telling the delegates (party activists, local officials, regular people) in your state to vote for your choice. Each state gets a certain number of delegates who are supposed to vote for the candidate who won their state. There are about 3,979 delegates, and a candidate needs a majority – at least 1,990 delegates – to win the nomination. For Democrats, that vote will happen at the Democratic National Convention between July 13-16, 2020. If no one gets more than 1,990 on the first vote, it becomes a “contested convention” and a second vote must be held. About 766 new delegates (or “superdelegates” – former presidents, Members of Congress, party leaders) will then be invited to participate to help give one candidate a majority.

2020

The General
Election

After the party conventions, we enter what is called the thunderdome general election. The Democratic nominee and Donald Trump (and potential third-party nominees) will debate, launch ads, organize voters, and cross fingers in hopes of winning on November 3rd. But it’s not enough to win over the majority of voters (or what’s known as the popular vote), they must win the electoral college to become president.

The Republican Incumbent

VS

The Democratic 
Challenger

The Electoral College

Ah yes, the electoral college. Not an institution of higher learning, but a devilish, constitutional requirement to elect a president. The Founders viewed this as a compromise between electing a president by popular vote and only allowing Congress to choose who wins.

Wisconsin

California

Battleground States

To win the presidency, the nominee has to earn 270 electoral votes, and winning the most populous states like California and New York isn’t enough to win the presidency. It takes a patchwork of states from all across the country to reach 270, which is why a lot of presidential elections come down to a few states where the contest is very close, also known as battleground states or swing states. These are the states we’re paying special attention to in 2020. More on that later.

Know Your State

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