Great Decisions Discussion Series: The US Elections

The 2020 United States presidential election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 3, 2020. It will be the 59th quadrennial presidential election. Voters will select presidential electors who in turn will vote on December 14, 2020, to either elect a new president and vice president or reelect the incumbents Donald Trump and Mike Pence respectively. The series of presidential primary elections and caucuses were held from February to August 2020. This nominating process is an indirect election, where voters cast ballots selecting a slate of delegates to a political party’s nominating convention, who then, in turn, elect their party’s nominees for president and vice president.

Donald Trump, the 45th and incumbent president, secured the Republican nomination without any serious opposition alongside incumbent vice president Mike Pence. Former Vice President Joe Biden secured the Democratic nomination in a competitive primary which featured the largest field of presidential candidates for any political party in the modern era of American politics. On August 11, 2020, Biden announced that his running mate would be Senator Kamala Harris, making her the first African American and South Asian American vice presidential running mate on a major party ticket. Jo Jorgensen secured the Libertarian nomination alongside running mate Spike Cohen, while Howie Hawkins secured the Green Party nomination alongside running mate Angela Nicole Walker.

Biden and Trump are respectively the oldest and second-oldest major party presumptive presidential nominees in U.S. history;[b] and if either of them is elected and inaugurated, they will become the oldest serving president.[c] The winner of the 2020 presidential election is scheduled to be inaugurated on January 20, 2021.