Election Day 2008

Obama McCainToday is Election Day in the United States.  Normally, the first Tuesday of November is an election day every year for different political offices (positions) at the state and local level.  Every four years, however, we have a national election for president.  This year, you probably know, the two main candidates are Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain.  Obama is leading (is in first place) in the polls (opinion surveys about how people will vote) and is considered a favorite to win (someone who is expected to win).

Although the election of the president is the most important part of today’s election, there are also many other elections taking place.  All 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives are being elected today, and about one-third of the 100 U.S. Senators.  In addition, there are many state and local elections, including votes on certain specific political issues or laws (called propositions) that people will decide directly.

Who will win?  We’ll find out by tomorrow morning, unless the vote is very close.  However, it is important to note that the U.S. presidential election is determined by a somewhat complicated system and is not just the candidate who gets the most votes nationally, although usually this is what happens.  If you want more information on how we elect the president, listen to our English Cafe #118 where I explain it in more detail.


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12 Responses to Election Day 2008

  1. Masakazu Takano says:

    As a English learner, I’ve been listening and watching so many podcasts and radio broadcasts and I’ve enjoyed understanding how the US President election goes.
    And the day has come finally !
    I took 3-day off to cover the result of the vote.
    I am now watching TV and checking every related website.
    I am not a US citizen so I can’t vote but am extremely thrilled doing this !
    Having read the blog Jeff wrote, I checked some website and found out that there are also votes on propositions.
    In many state, it seems that’s on same sex marriage and abortion.
    In my home country Japan, that is not a popular issue right now, but I think I have to recognize what is going on in the US.
    Well, I think I can’t sleep next 24 hours to watch the election results goes.

  2. J.L.Fazzito says:

    The U.S. presidential election is really complicated. Here in Brazil the candidate must have 51% of the valid votes to win. If he didn’t get it there is a second turn with two candidates who have had the biggest number of votes (we always have more than 2 candidates). In this time who have more valid votes will win. We use “electronic ballot boxes” that looks like a computer with a screen and a keyboard. You press the candidate number and in the screen appears the name and the photo of the candidate. Then your press the key “confirm”. Five hours after vote finishing you know the winner. It’s a safe and fast gadget.

  3. Yuriy says:

    For whom you (Jeff)voted and why? If it not a secret.

  4. Ghasem says:

    We all hope that Obama win this important presidential election in the US. The world is tired of the Invasive and unrespectful behavior of Bush administration, and I belive that McCain and Bush are the two sides of the same coin.
    They see the world as black or white. They say that the poeple in the world are with them or agaist them. They don’t understand that the majority of people in the world have a third opinion.
    Many polls around the world show that more than 95% of tha people in other counties, especially Europe contries, support Obama. This is because Obama has promiesd that he would replace war with diplomacy and confrontation with dialogue. I belive that the world would be safer with the leaders like Obama. Hope so. let’s see.

  5. emiliano says:

    Sure I will be all night awake listening and watching the news at the radio or on the screen, also looking for news in the web, as I am now
    very concern with your elections.
    Here in my country every newspaper, every radio speaker, and I think millions of spaniards are more concern that ever. May be because
    we dislike Bush so much, or about the big crisis, or may be because it is just the first time an african/american person have the chance of being elected president. Also, first time a woman is selected to be vicepresidente on the other side.
    This night has to be amazing to me, and of couse I WANT OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT, despite I think McCain looks as a good candidate also.
    He McCain has a lot of experience and it seems an outsider of the republicant party, but we need a change, everybody need a change and Obama has all the options.
    I am crossing my fingers……………tomorrow we will know. God bless all us, your country, and everybody and everycountry on this world.

  6. Jose Antonio says:

    Personally, I find today is a great day for the American people.
    I hope the new president will be a good person and a good election for the whole planet; he would have to deal with very difficult problems like economical depression and the Irak issue.
    Congratulations everybody and hopefully there wouldn’t any problems with the accounting. (like 8 years ago…).

  7. Fernando says:

    I only hope the next president to be good for your economic, the whole world need this good action. my country can´t fall in the hole because this nation. Good luck for all american people.

  8. Sergio Pinheiro Rodrigues says:

    I really don t understand how the USA keeps adopting such an old of fashion sistem of voting. In Brazil we use an eletronic machine which allows gto know the election result few hours after the end of voting. The USA, in contrast, stil uses the old paper ballot, what seems unbelievled at the tecnologic age.

  9. Christophe Kidor says:

    I really don’t understand too. Where is the credibility of the election in the US when you think about the controversy of the election of Bush.
    too much opacity and little secure votes, I mean : low safety procedures

  10. Xavier says:

    Congratulations for your new president. I think he’ll give back to the USA their supremacy. Long live USA !! (and France)

  11. elcomandant says:

    Congratulations Mr. Obama. You was elected a few hours ago from Americans people.

    I’m not American so I don’t know how you are, (I know about you only a little by the news) but I’m sure you have a great responsibility to lead the first country in the world and by extension your actions will affect the whole of the planet too.

    I’m glad that one not white person be who run the course this important mission. I hope Barack Obama doesn’t disappoint their electors. Surely he won’t do it.

    All the people are really expecting a change of the politic of Bush. Obama is younger, and if us believe that he has said, o rather, if he carries out it, I think that will be very convenient. However, whether the change is radical or not, whether it’s for better or worse, the time will say to us.

    Anyway, I think, we should give Mr. Obama an vote of confidence.

    All the best for all the world.


  12. emiliano says:

    The people of America have spoken and they have spoken clearly, these words from Mr. McCain has been said by a good politician and also a good candidate for president. From my part I am very
    happy with the election and I think it is an historical change that pleased me just a lot.
    Yesterday I was asleep till 5,30 a.m. just till the moment McCain’s speech alson being happy with the posibility of understanding it so well. Thank you Lucy/Jeff it is great for me to understand him
    without translation.

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