At stake in this election:
- The office of President of United States
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: President George W. BUSH *
- Head of Government: President George W. BUSH **
- Assembly: United States has a bicameral United States Congress consisting of the Senate with 100 seats and the House of Representatives with 435 seats.
* The President is elected indirectly by the Electoral College. Each state receives a number of Electoral College votes equal to its two Senators plus the number of seats it has in the House of Representatives, which is based on its population. Washington D.C. receives three electoral votes. Electoral College members pledge their votes to a particular candidate prior to the election and are thus empowered to cast their votes if their candidate wins a plurality in their state. In essence, when individual voters cast a vote for a presidential candiate, they are actually "electing" that candidate's pledged electoral college candidates to the electoral college. A candidate must receive a majority of electoral votes (at least 270) to be elected president.
** The president is both the chief of state and head of government.
Description of electoral system:
- The President is elected by an electoral college to serve a 4-year term.
- In the Senate 100 members are elected by plurality vote in single-member constituencies to serve 6-year terms*. In the House of Representatives 435 members are elected by plurality vote in single-member constituencies to serve 2-year terms.
* *One-third of Senate seats are up for elections every two years.
Main Candidates in the Presidential race:
- Barack OBAMA
- Party: The Democratic Party (DEM)
- John MCCAIN
- Party: The Republican Party (REP)
- Bob BARR
- Party: Libertarian Party (PL)
- Chuck BALDWIN
- Party: Constitution Party (CP)
- Cynthia MCKINNEY
- Party: Green Party
- Ralph NADER
- Independent(s): N/A
Last Presidential election:
- The last Presidential Election took place on November 2, 2004. In that election, incumbent President George W. Bush (Rep.) won 50.89% of the popular vote and 286 electoral college votes to beat his opponent, Senator John F. Kerry (Dem.), who won 48.14% of the popular vote and 252 electoral college votes.
Population and number of registered voters:
- Population: 303,824,640 (July 2008 est.)
- Registered Voters: 186,983,927 (November 2008 est.)
· Female Population: 153,723,121 (2008)
· Is United States a signatory to CEDAW: Yes (17 July 1980)
· Has United States ratified CEDAW: No
· Gender Quota: No
· Female candidates in this election: Yes
· Number of Female Parliamentarians: 4 (Senate); 75 (House) following the 2008 elections
· Human Development Index Position: 8 (2014)
· Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Categorization: N/A
· Is United States a signatory to CRPD: Yes (30 July 2009)
· Has United States ratified CRPD: No
· Population with a disability: 45,573,696 (est.)