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Outlook on 2016: Blockbuster US presidential elections

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

01-06-2016 16:53 BJT

 By Lin Dequan, Researcher of Center for World Affairs Studies,  Xinhua News Agency

The United States holds a presidential election every four years. With the countdown of President Barack Obama's second term coming to an end, 2016 is another election year.


Li Shou'en from CNTV interviewed Lin Dequan, researcher of Center for World Affairs Studies of Xinhua News Agency.

Q: You said the US presidential election is like a Hollywood TV series, why?

A: The US presidential election system is very complicated and time-consuming, which include the nomination of a presidential candidate by a political party, a nationwide campaign, statewide ballots, the electoral college vote, as well as an inauguration.

A presidential candidate must win more than half of electoral college votes (≥270 votes). Each cycle follows another. Is this not a TV series?

The US Presidential campaign season is full of ups and downs, historically speaking. The plot can be attractive, just like a script from a Hollywood TV series.

US presidential elections can win high audience ratings in the country and around the world, since the US is the only super power standing.

For American voters, they care about the new administration's programs and how that would impact their immediate interests.

For other countries, they care most about the domestic and foreign policies of the US President, who can change world and interests of each country.

Is this the basic reason for high audience ratings of the US presidential election?

Q: Are the main actors of the US blockbuster fixed?

A: The US has adopted a multi-party system. According to statistics, there are more than 100 parties in the country, but only the Democrat and Republican Parties can nominate a candidate with a legitimate chance to win the White House.

The multi-party system is actually a two-party system. That is why the election is called a fight between the donkey and the elephant.

The main actors, i.e. the president and vice-president candidates of the Democratic and the Republican, cannot be determined until after national conventions of the two parties that will occur this summer.

For the Democrats, Hillary Clinton had declared to run on April 12, 2015. It's the second time she has campaigned for the White House.

Other candidates seeking the Democrat Party nomination include ex-Governor of Maryland O'Malley and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

On the Republican side, the first candidate to announce was the 44-year-old Senator Ted Cruz from Texas, a conservative candidate.

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, the son of ex-President George Bush and younger brother of ex-President George W. Bush, had declared his intentions to run for the White House on June 15.

43-year-old Cuban-American Senator Marco Rubio of Florida also announced he would run. Other Republican candidates include Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, and real estate mogul Donald Trump.

Q: What are the highlights of the 2016 US presidential election?

A: Just like a TV series, there are different highlights for different people.

For me, the biggest highlights are the fierce "election campaign" in the political, financial and media circles, the debates to evaluate the Democrat Party and Republican Party White House contenders, since the winning party would control the federal government's agenda.

Each US presidential election is full of changes from the micro-level, but remains essentially the same despite changes on the macro-level, since that would maintain benefits for the elite in the country.


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

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