Electionary

August 3, 2020
HILL STREET STUDIOS/GETTY IMAGES

You’ll be hearing a lot of these election words and terms during the next few months. Find out what they mean.

campaign: a competition for public office; organized actions that a candidate takes in the effort to win an election

candidate: a person who seeks office

caucus: an early statewide meeting where members of a political party select delegates to support their favorite candidates

convention: a big gathering at which delegates from a political party pick the candidates for president and vice president

delegate: a person given the power or authority to act for others; a representative

electoral college: a group of 538 people that represents voters in every state and casts votes for the election of the president and vice president

front-runner: a candidate who is in the lead

general election: the nationwide presidential election, in which just one candidate from each party competes

nominee: a person chosen by a political party to be a candidate

political party: an organized group of voters with similar ideas and goals for a country and its government; the two main parties in the U.S. are the Republican Party and the Democratic Party

polls: surveys of specific groups; places where people vote

platform: the officially declared policies of a politician, party, or group

primary: an early, statewide election in which voters choose their favorite candidates

superdelegate: a prominent party member, such as a current or former elected official or a party leader, who can choose whichever candidate he or she prefers, regardless of the outcomes of primary elections or caucuses

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