Top 'riddles' of US presidential polls solved

Ever wondered why the mascot of the Democrats is a donkey? Why Republicans are linked to the colour red? And what happens if the US presidential elections end in a tie?

If you have been baffled why the presidential elections in the US are always held in November, and always on Tuesdays, the answer might lie in the weather, harvests, worship and the constitution.

Back when voters travelled to the polls by horse, Tuesday was an ideal day because it allowed people to worship on Sunday, ride to their county seat on Monday and vote on Tuesday — all before market day, Wednesday, CNN reported.

The month of November also fit nicely between harvest time and brutal winter weather, which can be especially bad for those trudging along by horse and buggy.

Under the American constitution, election is to be held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November every four years.

Experts have also answered why donkey is the mascot for the Democratic Party.

In 1828, Democrat Andrew Jackson’s critics called him a “jackass” because of his populist views and his slogan, “Let the people rule”.

Mr. Jackson decided to run with it — even using images of a donkey in his campaign ads. Later, cartoonist Thomas Nast also used a donkey to depict the Democratic Party.

Another mystery solved is why Democratic states are “blue” and why Republican states are “red”.

There are logical reasons to use red and blue — both are colours in the American flag, and they look sharp on infographics because they’re on opposite ends of the colour spectrum.

But the seemingly arbitrary colour assignments have actually flip-flopped over the years. In 1980, states won by Republican Ronald Reagan were coloured blue; Democrat Jimmy Carter’s states were coloured red.

The report also explained what would happen if candidates tie in electoral votes.

It’s possible that incumbent US President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney snag the exact same number of electoral votes.

In that case, the 12th Amendment says the House of Representatives gets to pick the President. And since analysts expect Republicans to maintain control of the House, Mr. Romney would likely win the presidency, the report said.

In the same scenario, the Senate would get to choose the vice-president. And because Democrats are expected to keep control of that chamber, Senators could select incumbent Vice-President Joe Biden to form a split administration.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 7:54:06 AM |

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