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U.S. Presidential Election About To Hot Up

The American Presidential election marathon gets underway during this month.

GoreSeveral months of primary elections and party caucuses will culminate in August conventions which will officially nominate the Republican Party and Democratic Party candidates. The general election will take place on Tuesday 7 November.

President Bill Clinton is not contesting the election because of a constitutional provision which prevents him being elected for more than two four-year terms.

Vice-President Al Gore is the leading candidate for the Democratic Party, although he is feeling the heat from former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley. At this stage, Texas Governor George Bush is the front runner for the Republican Party, although he too is facing a convincing challenge from Arizona Senator John McCain.

The primaries are the American form of party pre-selection, whereby registered party voters in each state vote to select delegates to attend the party conventions. Delegates are pledged to support particular candidates. The candidate who garners the support of a majority of delegates becomes the party’s nominee for president.

On January 24 the Iowa caucuses take place for both the Republican and Democratic parties. Simulataneously, a Republican caucus will take place in Alaska. But the primary season becomes serious on February 1 when the first major primary in the small north-eastern state of New Hampshire takes place. The primary season may well produce a winning candidate for each party at the conclusion of voting on “Super Tuesday”, March 7, when 16 states will hold primary and caucus elections, including the big states of California, New York and Ohio.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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