Selecting a President completely and concisely explains the nuts and bolts of our presidential electoral system while drawing on rich historical anecdotes from past campaigns. Among the world’s many democracies, U.S. presidential elections are unique, where presidential contenders embark on a grueling, spectacular two-year journey that begins in Iowa and New Hampshire, and ends at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Modern presidential campaigns are a marked departure from the process envisioned by America’s founders. Yet while they've evolved, many of the basic structures of our original electoral system remain in place—even as presidential elections have moved into the modern era with tools like Twitter and Facebook at their disposal—they must still compete in an election governed by rules and mechanisms conceived in the late eighteenth century. In this book, Clift and Spieler demonstrate that presidential campaigns are exciting, hugely important, disillusioning at times but also inspiring.
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THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION YEAR: A SNAPSHOT
On a Tuesday evening in early November, Americans gather in front of their television sets for the grand finale of a political drama years in the making. Once every four years, the usual sitcoms, primetime dramas, and reality shows give way to special news coverage: America is electing a new president.
As Election Night unfolds, a map of the United States begins to take shape. States won by Democrats are colored in blue, while those won by Republicans are shaded red. Sometimes, the night unfolds at an agonizingly slow