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CNN Student News(暑假版):美国2012大选候选人出炉

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THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Hi, everyone. I'm Carl Azuz. Hope your summer's off to a great start so far. It's about to get a little more awesome, because our latest webcast of CNN Student News starts right now!

First Up: Congress

AZUZ: This week, we're focusing on a story that's in the headlines right now, and it's gonna stay there for the next year-and-a-half! We're talking about the 2012 U.S. elections. What we're gonna do in today's show is talk through some of the basics, kind of like an election 101. And our first subject is the U.S. Congress.

The House of Representatives has 435 members who vote. The number of House members that a state gets is based on the state's population. So some states -- like Delaware, Vermont or Montana, where the populations are smaller -- only have one U.S. Representative. On the other end of that is California. Large population; it has 53 seats, the most in the U.S. House of Representatives. Since House members serve two-year terms, every single one of those 435 seats is up for election in 2012.

Next up, the other half of Congress: the Senate. 100 total seats there; every state gets two. This one works a little differently though, because Senators serve six-year terms. But those terms don't all start and end at the same time. The 100-member Senate is broken up into three groups. A different group comes up for election every two years, so in 2012, 33 Senate seats will be up for grabs.

Voting

AZUZ: All of those elections happen on a state-wide basis. And voters in each state will also cast their ballots for local and regional offices, too. There's one election that every voter will help decide, and that's the one that's gonna get the most attention: the election of the U.S. president.

What's the Word?

TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: What's the Word?

it describes someone who currently holds an elected office

INCUMBENT

That's the word!

Who's Running?

AZUZ: Election Day won't be until November 6th, 2012. But a lot of people are already running for the position, including an incumbent. President Obama wants to spend four more years in the White House. He announced his candidacy back in April to represent the Democratic party in this election.

So far on the Republican side, you have U.S. Representatives Ron Paul, whom you see on your screen right there, and Michele Bachmann. There are also three former governors running: Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty and also Gary Johnson. There's the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; that would be Newt Gingrich. There's a former U.S. Senator, Rick Santorum. And a former business CEO and current talk show host named Herman Cain.

It's also possible the Republican field of candidates will get bigger. Another former governor, Jon Huntsman, is expected to announce his candidacy soon. But over time, and through the campaign process, that field will gradually get smaller until one candidate gets the Republican party's nomination.

Is This Legit?

MATT CHERRY, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Is this legit? U.S. presidential elections can't fall on November 1st. True! According to law, the elections have to be on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November. So November 1st is never a possibility.

Election Calendar

AZUZ: Interesting stuff. In 2012, the election will happen on November 6th. Now, that's the finish line. But there's a lot that's gonna happen on the campaign trail between now and then. Candidates are already facing off in debates. CNN hosted one of those in New Hampshire this month. You're gonna see more of these over the next several months and on into 2012.

Once we get into next year, though, you're also going to hear a lot about primaries and caucuses. This is how voters narrow down that field from a bunch of candidates to eventually just one. Primaries and caucuses each work a little differently, but what they both ultimately do is assign delegates to different candidates.

Some states are winner-take-all: win the primary, you win all of that state's delegates. In other states, you can still earn delegates even if you don't come first in the primary or caucus. The primaries and caucuses start early in the year. Iowa and New Hampshire are the first ones. You'll eventually hear about something called "Super Tuesday." That's the day when a bunch of states all hold their primaries on the same day. Winning those primaries, winning those delegates: That's important, because if you win enough of them, you can secure your party's nomination.

(BEGIN VIDEO)U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: With profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.

SEN. JOHN McCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: Tonight, I have a privilege given to few Americans, the privilege of accepting our party's nomination for president of the United States.

(END VIDEO)

AZUZ: Those were the nominees back in 2008: then Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain. They made those speeches at their party's nominating conventions. These are week-long gatherings that happen after all of the primaries and caucuses have finished. At the conventions, you hear speeches from leaders of the parties. And for each party, one candidate becomes the nominee.

From there, it's into the home stretch: the general election. A candidate isn't facing off against people from his or her own party anymore. Now, the campaign is against the nominee from the other party. And that head-to-head race ends on Election Day when the voters cast their ballots.

Goodbye

AZUZ: So, we've got a long way to go, a lot that's gonna happen along the way. And of course, CNN Student News will be here to cover it all the way up to Election Day in November of 2012. But that's all the coverage we have for now. We hope you'll elect to come back next week for the latest summer edition of CNN Student News. 'Til then, I'm Carl Azuz.

 


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