political science essay and discussion

Chapter 10 explores the complicated process by which elections occur in America, especially presidential campaigns and elections. The 2012 presidential and congressional elections which occurred November, 2014 and this topic is relevant in both immediate and historical terms as well as the results of the 2016 presidential elections.

The Chapter begins with a discussion of the different types of elections–primaries in particular–which are interesting and in presidential elections especially important in determining whom the political parties nominate for president and vice president at their national conventions each presidential election year. The Electoral College, by which presidents and vice presidents are elected, is important and begins on page 394. Take a look at how campaigns are organized beginning on page 398.

Also review the role of money in politics, presidential campaigns in particula which begins on page 407. Presidential campaigns and elections are the most important to the voters and bring more people to the polls than any other election in America. It is an election for the national leader once every four years that sets the tone for American political life as it did in 2012 and in November 2016.

The material on the national political party conventions is important and begins on page 393. It is here that the candidates for president and vice president are nominated by their respective political parties Conventions have been at the center of the American political process since the early 1800s.

The section on how voters decide, beginning on page 372, is part of what is coming in the next chapter, voting behavior, and provides a first look at the manner by which individual voters evaluate candidates and decide for whom they wish to vote on election day.

The Chapter also reviews the 2012 presidential election and the 2014 congressional elections (begins on page 418) which provides a foundation for what occurred in 2016.


Presidential elections are unique, the most important event in American political life.

Describe presidential election campaigns. How has the nomination process changed over the past few decades, from the primaries to national political party conventions? Today, what is the role of these political party conventions as was the case in 2012 with the Republican and Democratic Conventions? What role does special interest (lobbyists/PACs) money play in presidential politics? What lessons can be learned from the 2012 presidential elections as well as 2016 presidential contest as the county look forward to the November, 2020 presidential election after the 2018 congressional results?

From the Chapter’s description of the 2012 presidential campaign, how is a presidential campaign organized and what is required to achieve victory in the November general election? What specific ideas or suggestions can you offer for both candidates for president in 2020, for both the Democratic and Republican candidates.

Please note: Only the two major political parties are relevant in this discussion, Democrats and Republicans. in both historical and contemporary (2019) terms.

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