Coffee Break: 10 Expressions About… The U.S. Elections

US Elections_White House

Whether you’re on your coffee break at the office, talking with friends or reading the newspaper, we encounter situations every day where topic-specific vocabulary is used. And when you don’t know the language, it can be really difficult to participate in the conversation! When the topic switches to recent news, it gets even more complicated…

From politics and sporting events to fashion and technology, this blog series will help you understand and convey ideas about a wide range of recent events using the right vocabulary.

Next week, on July 18 and July 25, the Republicans and Democrats will choose their respective party’s nominees for President and Vice President of the United States during their national conventions. To help you navigate the deep (and often confusing!) waters of political conversations, we have a list of 10 words and expressions that you might come across in the upcoming weeks:

1.    poll (noun): collection of opinions on a subject, in politics usually the percentage of favorable opinion towards a candidate
Ex: Polls have found Hillary Clinton leading Bernie Sanders in California.

2.    partisan (noun): supporters of a political party or candidate
Ex: More than 3,500 partisans attended the debate.

3.    front runner (noun): the candidate that is leading the election race
Ex: Donald Trump is now officially the Republican front runner.

4.    to run neck and neck (phrase): to be very close or equal, especially in a race, contest, or election
Ex: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are running neck and neck in the 2016 election.

5.    landslide (noun): a large victory in an election
Ex: In 1920, Warren Harding had the largest landslide victory in U.S. presidential election history.

6.    in full swing (phrase): when the campaign is at its highest level of activity
Ex: The presidential campaign is now in full swing in the United States.

7.    term of office (phrase): the time for which a political candidate is elected
Ex: In the U.S., a single term of office of the President is four years.

8.    POTUS (abbreviation): informal name for the President of the United States
Ex: Obama has been POTUS for eight years now.

9.    endorsement (noun): publicly declaring one’s support of a candidate for elected office
Ex: President Barack Obama has officially endorsed Hillary Clinton as the Democratic Party presidential nominee.

10. GOP (abbreviation): Grand Old Party or Republican Party
Ex: The GOP leadership announced its candidate this afternoon.

Now if your colleagues decide to have a debate on whether the next POTUS will win by a landslide victory or if the candidates will run neck and neck in the polls, you’ll know what they’re talking about!