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Why are US presidential elections so long ?

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Why is the US Presidential election such a long process (15m) The process of electing a president of the United States is certainly a long one. The formal process takes nearly a year but in reality starts before it's even begun. The first point to make is that of the importance of the campaign trail. Presidential elections take place in November but before this a significant countrywide election campaign is launched. The Presidential election specifically is as much about character and personality as it is politics, and so it is seen as vital that the chosen candidate of each party effectively "tours" the country fist hand to deliver their message in person. Naturally, The US having 50 states can make this process a long one, but not only does it add a personal aspect to each of the states votes, but also can act as a good test of stamina. ...read more.


It is usually the earlier primaries that are the most important, attracting the most media attention and often providing a sign of things to come later on. As a result states attempt to hold their primaries as early as possible, resulting in a situation of "front loading". Iowa and New Hampshire are usually first but in 2008 Michigan and Florida attempted to hold theirs on the 15th and 29th January respectively resulting in the Democratic National Committee (DNC) being forced to take action to spread the primaries out. As a result of the primary season combined with the final campaigns of the 2 eventual party candidates, the "official" election season is nearly a year long, from January to November. However, the battle between candidates attempting to gain their parties backing is not confined to the primary season alone. In fact an "invisible primary" may begin months if not years before hand. ...read more.


A year before the primary season had started 5 democrats and 4 republicans had announced their intention to run, with Obama making his entrance on February 10th and McCain on April 25th 2007. In essence, from the first candidate announcing they wish to run for president to the day the eventual winner is confirmed, nearly 2 years had passed. On top of this, the winning Presidential candidate does not take office until the next year. However in conclusion, we could argue that the final point of the invisible primaries isn't really part of the election, rather is simply just "politics". The official start is the primary season and the official finish is the election of the president, taking less than a year. The outside campaigning and political point scoring continues almost indefinitely and parties and candidates always have the next election in mind. While the election may have a specific date, the overall process never really finishes. From the instant a president is elected, people will already be thinking "what's next." ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

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Overall this answer does address the needs of the question by explaining the process through which US Presidential Candidates must go in order to get elected, however there is some additional information that should be included. A mention of the debates and electoral college would improve this answer, and a more chronological approach would really emphasise how the long the process is.


Marked by teacher Jessica Jung 04/04/2012

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