The United States presidential election scheduled on November 4, this year, will be the 56th consecutive quadrennial election for president and vice president.
It is a quite complex process generally divided into four steps: the primary race, January, Super Tuesday and the spring.
The primary race mainly witnesses the start of candidates in the different parties who struggle to raise funds for their campaign and win a maximum of delegates. To gain votes candidates try to collect a maximum of the delegates voice in different states and thus secure their nomination in their respective party.
The two outstanding parties: The Republicans and the Democrats start a continuous competition during these months to win delegates in most states. In the run for delegates, the Democrats’ candidates each need 2025 delegates to win the race, as for the Republicans, they need 2380 delegates.
In the on-going explosive primaries, five presidential candidates stood out; three Republican candidates: John Mc Cain, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee, and two Democrat candidates: Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama. At this stage of the primaries, each candidate tried to raise funds for his campaign and made eloquent speeches to highlight his/her qualities.
In the republican side, after a serious flop in his popularity, John Mc Cain surprisingly came back to the fore after the Super Tuesday with 714 delegates. His sudden win ahead of his ‘colleagues’ led Mitt Romney to suspend his US presidential campaign: "If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win".
As the race and Super Tuesday seemed to be favorable for Mc Cain, it has however left a tight knot between the two Democrat candidates.
Clinton and Obama begun their campaign with a vigorous competition between them at times attacking each other and at other times praising each other. It is really hard to decide which one is heading as they both at some point lead or lose. Though in the same party, they have quite opposing policies and ideas. Clinton is of course well seen in this presidential as she incarnates experience and beneficiates from the support of her husband Bill Clinton. She is highly supported by the women as well as the senior population and the Hispanics.
However, the fact that she is a Clinton, she is seen with a bad eye by the people as the government then would appear as a repeated shift of reign between the Bush and the Clinton family. As a result of the Super Tuesday, held on the 6th of February, Clinton took a slight advance over Barack Obama with 1060 delegates compared to 981 delegates for Obama. On the Super Tuesday, the latter won more states - 13 out of 22 states- than Hilary but she won the state of California which has the most delegates.
Still, the race between them is very close and Obama soon after his slight defeat won votes in the states of Washington, Nebraska and Louisiana and thus closed the gap between him and Clinton.
The real plus of Barack Obama is that he brings a new fresh wave of ideas and ideal in the race. He is notably against the war in Iraq. His nomination would bring a real positive change in the US and he has already shown in his speeches – like the one he held on UCLA campus in California- his great aptitudes worthy of a US president.
Obama is highly supported by the African- American population and the middle aged white men. As in the Democrat party, it seems impossible to decide between Clinton and Obama, in the Republicans, Mc Cain seems well ahead his party opponents. He should however strongly consider Huckabee’s recent victory in three pro Republican states.
Meanwhile, the candidates still have more months to prove themselves and convince the electorate. The democrats have up to the August 25 before the Democratic National Convention nominates its democratic candidate for the presidency and the Republican National Convention will nominate its candidate on the September. The last step will be the final race between the two nominated candidates where one will eventually be voted in January as the new president of the United States.
The 2008 presidential are highly publicised in international media throughout the world especially with the unusual fact that the two Democrat front runners are a woman and a black man. It could be a first in the history of the United States to have a woman or an African-American as a president.
But let’s not get too excited since the race is not yet over and could still hold unanticipated turn of events like Mc Cain who seem to relax on his conservative policies and gains more and more votes. He could actually become a strong adversary for the democrats. In any case the 2008 presidential will certainly be full of surprises and new development which could generate a real change and evolution in the States.
The election coincides with the 2008 Senate elections, House of Representatives elections, and gubernatorial elections, as well as many state and local elections.