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  • What's a flip flopper? A swing state?

  • November 3rd, we have a presidential election here in the United States.

  • The incumbent T rump versus the challenger Biden.

  • Today we're going to go over vocabulary relating to the United States election and politics,

  • and talk a little bit about how the process works in America.

  • You'll learn some acronyms, idioms, and terms to help you understand news stories and conversation on this momentous event.

  • As always, if you like this video or you learn something new,

  • please give it a thumbs up and subscribe with notifications, it really helps.

  • I recently posted to Instagramwhat are the vocabulary words   ou want to know around this topic?

  • Thank you so much to those who posted suggestions!

  • To start, let's talk about our two main parties.

  • Now, I don't mean party like 'let's celebrate', like 'woohoo!',

  • a birthday partyor something like that.

  • A party in politics  means a formal group of people who identify broadly with the same political beliefs.

  • Party, with a Flap T. Ra-- Party. Party.

  • When you register to vote, in some states, you can register to be a Republican, a Democrat, or Independent.

  • Register to vote. What does this mean?

  • Not all countries require you to register to vote but in the US, you can't just show up and vote without having first registered.

  • It's a separate process and has to be done days, sometimes even weeks before the election, depending on the state.

  • Once you register, you don't need to register again unless you move,

  • then you'll have to update your voter registration.

  • I registered when I was seventeen so I could be ready to vote

  • the presidential election in 1996 fell on my 18th birthday.

  • 18 is the age at which you can legally vote in the US.

  • Now, if you're a citizen of the US, and you're eligible, I hope you've registered to vote.

  • If you haven't, you may still have time depending on where you live.

  • I will link below to a page that lays it all out by state. And I really encourage everyone,

  • young and old, red and blue, to vote in this election.

  • We might as well take a minute to talk about the word 'vote', that V can be difficult for Spanish speakers. The right position is vvvvvvvv.

  • You want to make sure you can still see some teeth. Vvvvvv. And you should be able to hold that out. Vote.

  • Vote. The two main parties in the US are the Republican party,

  • which is sometimes referred to as the GOP, which stands for Grand Old Party.

  • We always put stress on the last letter of an acronym. GOP.

  • GOP.

  • The color red and the elephant represent this party.

  • The color blue and the donkey represent the Democrats.

  • We do have other parties in the US.

  • And sometimes, candidates will run as an independent.

  • That means not with the party.

  • Independent. Candidate.

  • A candidate is the person running for office.

  • Running is the verb we use when you've declared, you want to hold a political office,

  • you want to be the mayor or the president, you're entering the race as they call it.

  • You're running for president.

  • The word 'candidate' can be pronounced two different ways, it can end in 'it', or 'ate'.

  • Candidate. Candidate.

  • Now, at the beginning of this video, I said Trump was the incumbent.

  • That means he won last time. He currently holds the office.

  • But he has to run for re-election. He has to win a second term. In the US, the office of the president is a 4-year term,

  • and you can run again, to serve a total of two terms or eight years.

  • Sometimes the incumbent wins, and sometimes, not. In that case, the challenger, the person who is not the incumbent, wins.

  • The election is what will happen November third. This period before the election is called the campaign.

  • Sometimes you'll hear the phrase the campaign trail.

  • That means all the trips and visits a candidates will make across the country as they're campaigning.

  • They hold rallies for supporters where they talk about their vision for the future.

  • They probably hope some people who are still undecided will show up so they can convince them to vote for them.

  • You'll also hear the term canvassing. This means people go out, volunteers for the campaign, maybe going door-to-door,

  • that means visiting people's homes, to talk about the issues and the candidates,

  • hoping to convince some of them to vote for a particular candidate.

  • Also during the campaign, there will be debates

  • with the candidates and moderators, that is, the people who will ask the questions

  • and keep track of things like how long someone has been talking, that kind of thing.

  • And in the debates, they answer questions, they defend their positions, and sometimes, argue over whose ideas are better for America.

  • A candidate might get accused of being a flip-flopper, and no, that has nothing to do with the shoe,

  • it means you've changed your position on something, you've changed your mind on something, to appeal to voters.

  • For example, let's say you were in favor of tax breaks, then later you said you were not in favor, your opponent, the other candidate,

  • might call you a flip-flopper. Now, I myself have sometimes wondered why this is a bad thing?

  • I've changed my mind before, and as you grow and experience and research something, learn more about it, it seems natural to me and okay

  • that your views might change or evolve. But this is generally a negative term. A flip flopper.

  • During the campaigns there are lots of polls. There are reports, ahead of time, of samples of voters.

  • A pollster might call someone and say, “I'm an official pollster, who do you plan on voting for in the election?

  • Polls shows how a candidate is doing and can predict who will win. They can show that there's a really close race, and it's hard to tell who's winning,

  • or, they may show that there is a clear front-runner. This term, again, relating to running and racing.

  • The front-runner is the person who seems to be in the lead, who the polls implied will win. The frontrunner.

  • How are we doing in the polls? You can see over time how well a candidate is polling.

  • But, we learned in the 2016 election that polls might be less reliable than we think.

  • They often showed Hillary Clinton easily winning, and, of course, she didn't.

  • Polls also refer to the places where you vote. “Heading to the pollsmeans going to vote.

  • We also use the phrase 'cast your ballot'. This just means vote. Going to the polling station, which is often a school in the US,

  • waiting in line, going into the voting booth, using the voting machine, and casting your ballot.

  • After you've cast your vote, and you're leaving, someone might ask you how you voted.

  • This is called an exit poll, and it's used to get an understanding of what will likely happen before all the votes are counted.

  • The word 'electorate' refers to everyone who is eligible to vote. For example, children under 18 are not part of the electorate.

  • But, when it comes to voting, not everyone in the electorate will vote.

  • Some choose not to, some want to but can't make it, for example, they have to be at work, or they're needed by their family and they can't get away.

  • So when we talk about how many people voted, that's called voter turnout.

  • Did a lot of the electorate vote in this election? That's high voter turnout. Or maybe not many votedthat's low voter turnout.

  • Some states have something called early voting, where some of the polling stations are open weeks in advance of the election

  • and you can go cast your ballot early; you don't have to wait until election day, in this case, November 3rd.

  • Now, something new is happening this year with the coronavirus.

  • I live in Pennsylvania and before this year, I could not vote by mail

  • unless I was out of state, and that was called an absentee ballot.

  • You could only vote by absentee ballot if you could show you couldn't be present at the polls to vote in-person.

  • So you would fill it out, turn in the absentee ballot before the election.

  • But because of the virus, and wanting to avoid contact between people as much as possible, we now have the option for a mail-in ballot.

  • So you can vote by mail-in ballot even if you could potentially go vote in person.

  • Now, if you show up at the poll to vote on election day, and there is a question about your eligibility,

  • maybe something's not right with your voter registration, or something like that, then you'll fill out a provisional ballot,

  • and that just means that vote will only get counted if they can confirm you are allowed to vote.

  • On November 3rd, we'll have what's called the general election.

  • Whoever wins this race will be president. This is different from the primary election, where we voted to choose who would run for each party.

  • For example, Biden won the democratic primary in 2020.

  • And some states have something called a caucus instead of a primary election. So instead of voting and casting a ballot,

  • you go to a big room and you stand somewhere. You stand in the Biden area, or the Warren area,

  • that's to show that that's the candidate you choose. A caucus.

  • After the primary elections, there is a convention held by each party to officially nominate the winner.

  • Each state sends delegates, these are people chosen to vote according to how the people of their state voted.

  • So if Biden won the primary in a particular state, that state's delegates would vote for Biden at the convention.

  • The Democrats have one called the Democratic National Convention, also called the DNC,

  • and the Republicans have the Republican National Convention, more commonly referred to as the RNC.

  • They name the nominee, and then the real campaigning starts for the general election.

  • During this time, candidates choose running mates. That is, who will be the vice president?

  • You'll hear the word 'ticket' used here. Ticket means, one vote, but more than one office.

  • That is, with one vote, you're voting for the president and vice president.

  • You don't vote for a vice president separately. So the ticket is whoever is running for president and vice president together.

  • Now there's something funky about the general election for the Presidency in the US.

  • We have something called the Electoral College. This has nothing to do with college or university.

  • Basically, each state has a number of votes. That number is determined by the population of the state.

  • For example, Florida has a population of 2.48 million people, gets 29 votes in the electoral college.

  • Idaho, by contrast, has a population of 1.79 million people and 4 votes in the electoral college.

  • State by state, whichever candidate wins for that state gets all the votes for that state in the electoral college.

  • This is called 'winner take all'. Let's say in Florida 10 million people vote.

  • If 5,000,001 people vote for Trump and 4,999,999 vote for Biden,

  • Trump will get all 29 votes for the electoral college. Winner take all.

  • Only two states, Maine and Nebraska, will split their votes according to how the people in the state voted.

  • Now, some states are very reliably red, or republican, and others blue.

  • Those are 'safe states'. For example, the southern states are generally safe for republicans, they will win there.

  • California is generally safe for democratic presidential nominees, they generally win there.

  • But there are some states that can go either way. How will they vote in this election?

  • Will they re-elect Trump? Will the elect Biden? These are called battleground states or swing states,

  • and it's really important to win them because, remember, winner takes all.

  • Whoever wins that state, no matter how many people voted for the other guy, will get all the votes for the electoral college.

  • So in the final weeks leading up to the election, there will be a lot of campaigning in those states, those battleground or swing states.

  • And when all the votes come in, and all the electoral college votes are distributed, the winner is declared.

  • And because of the electoral college, the winner might not be the person who got the most votes. That's called the popular vote.

  • And in 2016, Hillary Clinton got almost 3 million more votes than Trump. But because of how they were distributed across the US and by state,

  • because of the electoral college, Trump won the election.

  • The same thing actually happened in 2000. Al Gore got about 500,000 more votes and won the popular vote.

  • But because of how they were distributed by state, and because of the electoral college, Bush won the election and was president for 8 years.

  • This election will be very interesting to follow because the number of mail-in votes will be higher than in years past,

  • and likely a winner will not be declared on the night of November 3rd.

  • Instead there will be a lot of waiting as all those votes are counted, maybe recounted.

  • The winner may win by a narrow victory, or it might be a landslide.

  • A landslide means win by a lot, and that D will be dropped since it comes after an N before a consonant. Landslide.

  • I have one last term to go over today and that's the verb to concede and the noun, a concession speech.

  • Whoever loses the election will concede when he has determined it was fair, all the votes were counted, and he lost.

  • He says, you win. And he'll give a concession speech, where he'll thank his supporters, everyone who worked for him,

  • and volunteered, and voted.

  • To see an example of what a concession speech is like, I'll link to Hillary Clinton's concession speech from 2016.

  • I'm very excited to vote in this election, I've decided to vote in person here in Philadelphia.

  • And no, I won't be sharing on social media who I vote for, but I just hope everyone out there who is eligible does make a plan to vote.

  • Know where your polling station is, or if you're going to vote by mail, know the deadlines. Send it off way in advance.

  • Check with your friends and family, make sure everyone you know has a plan to vote.

  • If you're new to Rachel's English, I make videos on the English language every Tuesday, primarily to help non-native speakers of American English

  • feel more comfortable and confident speaking English.

  • I also have a bunch of courses in my online school, Rachel's English Academy,

  • where you can train to take your English communication skills to the next level, check it out, at Rachel's English Academy.com.

  • That's it, thanks so much for using Rachel's English.

What's a flip flopper? A swing state?

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English Vocabulary: Election Vocabulary! All The Vocabulary You Need For Election Season!

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