Reading Comprehension | The Political Parties and the presidential election in the US

Develop your reading skills. Read the following text about the presidential election in the US and do the comprehension questions


The US political parties

American political system and presidential election

There have usually only been two main political parties in the US. Since the 1860s, two main parties have been the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. It should be noted though that there are other minor parties such as the Libertarian Party, the Green Party, and Constitution Party.

The Democratic Party

The Democratic Party started in 1828 as a pro-slavery party with its Andrew Jackson as the first President in 1829. However, through the economic resurgence after the Great Depression in the 1930s and 1940s, as well as the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, the Democratic party became an advocate of racial equality. The party's philosophy of modern liberalism adopts social and economic equality principles. It aims at setting government intervention and regulation in the economy such as the introduction of social programs, support for labor unions, affordable college tuitions, universal health care, equal opportunity, consumer protection, and environmental protection.

The Republican party

The Republican party, however, started as an anti-slavery party in 1854. Its first President was Abraham Lincoln in 1861. In the Nixon years, there was a shift to appeal to the implicit racial biases of white voters that did not like the civil rights movement of the 1960s. The philosophy of the party focuses on social and economic independence, and a capitalist economic system. It is also known for its anti-abortion efforts, anti-regulatory policy, and reduction of government intervention in the economy as well as being in support of privatized health care.

The election of the president and vice president

The election of the president and the vice president of the United States is an indirect election in which citizens of the United States who are registered to vote in one of the fifty U.S. states or Washington, D.C., cast ballots not directly for those offices, but instead for members of the Electoral College - a group of presidential electors. These electors then cast direct votes, known as electoral votes, for president and vice president. The candidate who receives an absolute majority of electoral votes (at least 270 out of 538, since the Twenty-Third Amendment granted voting rights to citizens of D.C.) is then elected to that office. If no candidate receives an absolute majority of the votes for president, the House of Representatives chooses the most qualifying candidate for the presidency; if no one receives an absolute majority of the votes for vice president, then the Senate elects the vice president.

Source: Wikipedia


  1. There are only two parties in the US.
    a. True
    b. False
  2. The Democratic Party is a proponent of government intervention in the economy.
    a. True
    b. False
  3. American voters cast direct votes to elect the president and the vice president.
    a. True
    b. False

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