The format is such: 1) Announce presidential candidacy and running mate (the assumption is that you have already chosen your sponsors and endorsements; it is common knowledge that campaigning is quite a costly affair, and normally the candidate with the deepest pockets will see the most success (the present election has a prime example in the form of Republican forerunner Donald Trump), 2) Decide which groups/organisations of people you will support (it's impossible to please everyone), 3) Create a plan you will offer to the people if elected, 4) Identify your opponents and their offers/plans/visions for America, 5) dig up all of your opponents' dirty secrets (can be unrelated to the election) that will make people question the moral character of the opposition and/or ability to lead the country, 5) engage in public debates with opponents,every time an opponent publicly castigates you, make sure you are smiling, making sure to keep your composure, and confidently wag a finger or hand as if to coolly dismiss the accusation (it is essential to have a quick rebuttal at the ready; simply saying he/she is wrong will not be sufficient and will subsequently convey your not-so-subtle ignorance), 6) select the locations you will visit to rally for support (be careful to choose one's your campaign will benefit from, and that won't put an unnecessary dent in your wallet), and lastly 7) because verbal abuse isn't enough by itself, make a video segment attacking your opponents' inadequacies to make yourself look better; put the video on the tele.
Of course there is more to it than this, but these are trends I have noticed without putting forth much effort.
What is very amusing to me are the debates between candidates. Reminiscent of kindergarten, full grown men and women strap on their toddler outfits and have a scuffle. "So-and-So's plan is so messed up! Don't trust his empty promises! As a senator so-and-so promised to do such-and-such but didn't!" to which Senator so-and-so then replies saying "Mr. what's-his-name's ignorance is mind-blowing. And just last year he raped three women! Thus he would be a terrible President"; Non-sequitur after non-sequitur, jargon and more jargon, in a vain attempt to give off the appearance of intelligence,
Even more hysterical to me are the third-party candidates running for nomination that people rarely hear about. Many even change their names, or right something ridiculous down at registration. Take this year for instance, when there was a candidate running under the name "deez nuts". A viral video was posted online recently local news channel discussing recent polls in North Carolina mention "Deez nuts" now as 9% of the votes in the state for the republican nominees. That stuff cracks me up.
Personally, I prefer not to vote. Every candidate has his/her share of skeletons in the closest, flaws that would be a detriment in leading a nation; there is no such thing as a perfect leader. Especially in regards to this year's election, I wouldn't be able to forgive myself for being responsible for putting anyone in office. Moreover, my vote is insignificant in deciding anything (to which one might say, "Hey, don't think like that! Imagine if everyone thought that way. Democracy would cease to exist!" to which I would then reply "Imagine if everyone didn't think that way. Oh wait, my bad, they don't.")
Nevertheless, at one point in the near future President Obama will step out of the office and someone else will be there to take up the torch. I'm going to close my eyes, say a prayer, and hope for the best--and stay in the U.K. for as long as humanly possible.