Election Basics: Crash Course Government and Politics #36

  • Published on Oct 23, 2015
  • This week Craig is going to give you a broad overview of elections in the United States. So as you may have noticed, there are kind of a lot of people in the U.S, and holding individual issues up to a public vote doesn't seem particularly plausible. So to deal with this complexity, we vote for people, not policies, that represent our best interests. But as you'll see, this process was not thoroughly addressed in the Constitution, so there have been a number of amendments and laws at the state level implemented to create the election system we all know and (maybe) love today.
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Comments • 458

  • Melika K Saadi
    Melika K Saadi 9 days ago

    please do a playlist for UK government and politics! :)

  • Rachel Arnold
    Rachel Arnold 19 days ago

    oh duverger's law... i wish the libertarian party could win some seats in the senate and the house and even the presidency, but that would take votes away from the republican party because libertarians genreally agree more with republicans than democrats

  • Robert Wagner
    Robert Wagner Month ago

    I think to save our country from bad policies being voted in by casual voters we should raise the prerequisites of voting. Instead of having a nonexistent IQ peroxide to vote we should have a minimum IQ requirement of at least in the 90. I also believe that all voters should have a working knowledge of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and their knowledge should be proven by a standardized test.

  • Manoj Kumar Thakur
    Manoj Kumar Thakur Month ago

    सर् अगर कोइ बियक्ति अपना गांव में नही है व दिल्ली , मुम्बई जैसे सहर में है वह अपना वोट कैसे देगा । इस तरह काफ़ी वोट इलेक्शन में नही जा पाता। क्योंकि उसका नाम तो गांव की वोटर लिस्ट में नाम है वह सहर में वोट कैसे देगा । उसके लिए भी कुछ कीजिये जो गांव में नही है सहर में है वह अपना वोट कैसे डाले।

  • Elijah Saucier
    Elijah Saucier 2 months ago

    four hundred and fifty ninth comment!

  • Luis Solano
    Luis Solano 2 months ago

    A question to ask is what are your plans to help the us economy from crashing into a bigger debt, what are your projects, projects either make money or waste money, if they don't have a lick of sense do we have to vote if both parties don't have the qualification? It takes intelligence and science, I have the solution, our technology can increase but our economy will crash worldwide, I should be president because I want to help my country, it won't happen I'm a felon and i'm not age appropriate, i need 7 more years till I hit 35 I'm still in my 20s but I figured the formula on 5 years ago, I knew how to solve the trillion dollar debt years ago I grew from there since I didn't get paid and now i'm on a level where I can see what it is,

  • tom healey
    tom healey 2 months ago

    yh but conspiracies m8 . what abbbaat them

  • ADerpyReality
    ADerpyReality 4 months ago

    They could've had Bernie in 2020. But they were to stubborn because they control the nominations.

  • Stephanie Logan
    Stephanie Logan 4 months ago

    The citizens in the territories need to count. If someone moves out of the country and their votes count, then so should people who reside in territories. They are as American as the rest of us.
    D.C. needs to be included. It shouldn't need to be said.
    The documents that are the basis of our national institutions were meant to be guidelines, I believe. Those guidelines were designed to be not stagnant and inflexible. They were designed to be able to change with the times because time doesn't stand still. No matter how many botox shots you get. Eyebrows won't move, but time keeps going.
    The founders of our nation knew that things will be vastly different in the future. And that the citizens would need to have flexibility in their government, that's why laws are designed the way they are.
    That's what the gun fans are getting wrong. Yes the second amendment gives all of us the right to bear arms (not a flannel shirt with the sleeves torn off) but it was meant to declare that the citizens were being given the right to defend themselves from the ruling party (the English monarchy) at that time (1776), which they had to do because they were being overrun with redcoats busting in their front doors and taking whatever they desired.
    There is no need to defend ourselves from military coups, or hostile invasions (with the exception of these guys: 👾👽👾👽). Nor is there a need for defensive devices that fire 800 rounds per second when you go to get a burrito (unless you order an unusually aggressive burrito, but just arm yourself with a book of matches and air freshener..and easy on the hot sauce next time).
    I keep wanting to know why people need to be armed to feel secure. WTF is so scary? Why all this fear?
    When did Americans become such chickenshits?

  • RB
    RB 5 months ago

    The Electoral College has really screwed up the USA.

    The "founding fathers" were terrorists(slavers), and they wrote themselves a welfare benefit.
    The Electoral College is nothing but a welfare benefit for terrorists(slavers)....nothing more than "free stuff" for terrorists, AND states which suppress voting. (I wonder which states traditionally attempt to suppress voting.......?)

    The ONLY reason Mr.Trump is prez is the welfare benefit for terrorists, the Electoral College.
    Therefore, Mr. Trump is the world's biggest "welfare queen".

  • Gat Mack
    Gat Mack 5 months ago

    What I wanna know is if politicians are supposed to represent the people

  • Jason Heavner
    Jason Heavner 6 months ago

    Hey Broward County, Florida! Are you watching this!

  • Melinda Thompson
    Melinda Thompson 6 months ago

    The more society. violates their conscious, to step out into areas that are normally forbidden, than they have a disregard for that which is normal

  • Melinda Thompson
    Melinda Thompson 6 months ago

    There's really no one for the younger people to look up too anymore! some lawyers, teachers, polotians, have slept with young women sold into sex trafficking

  • Melinda Thompson
    Melinda Thompson 6 months ago

    take all in consideration voters, who been secretly offering legalizing things that are destroying our nation. brothels, drugs, and that which is against nature. that which has been destroying the structure of our nation. someone was right when they said we need a pooper scooper to clean up the poop! if I gave my child everything they wanted, even if things weren't good for them, it would make them sick! That's what our country is! it needs nurtured back to sanity

  • Isaias Botello
    Isaias Botello 7 months ago

    What is EQV?

  • Zion Nuby
    Zion Nuby 10 months ago

    Can you guys make a podcast with all these videos so I can listen on the go

  • Leif Harmsen
    Leif Harmsen 10 months ago

    AV or a run off doesn't give you a real majority, just a fake majority, because it forces people to vote against themselves in a second or subsequent ballot. One can argue that a run-off system is actually less proportional (less fair to voters) because it's harder to vote strategically, one of the few things you can do under FPTP as a voter to better your chance of having at least some affect. Best of course would be to achieve proportional representation, which requires multi-winner districts so a number of parties/candidates can win in proportion to the votes cast for them with no absurdly unfair advantage to the twin "Demopublican" establishement parties. There's no need for or advantage to strategic voting in a fair (proportional) voting system, because by by definition PR essentially means that every vote counts.

  • Amber Holloway
    Amber Holloway 11 months ago

    I know no one gives a fLiP, but in case u wanna fix it... proportionally is misspelled in the transcript (DON'T HAAAAAATE MEEEE PLS, I'M OUT HERE TAKIN NOTES LMAO)

  • Lee Dong-Wook36 lover 4ever

    I love wook so much...not 2018 tho...😒

  • Lee Dong-Wook36 lover 4ever

    I love trump so much!!

  • Neetu Kumari
    Neetu Kumari Year ago


  • Lucas Odum
    Lucas Odum Year ago

    People in America always talk about the electoral college and how it sucks but we never talk about plurality voting and the alternatives, fptp voting sucks

    • Deborah Lancaster
      Deborah Lancaster 5 months ago

      It's only the losing side that says it sucks. Had Hillary won the Democrats wouldn't be hating on the electoral college but the Republicans would have. The only alternative would be letting California and New York choose our president every single election

  • your mom
    your mom Year ago

    Why theres no representations for disabled people, acne ridden people, ugly people, fat people, and autistic people? Why so many focus on lgbt?

  • Darric P.L.
    Darric P.L. Year ago +1

    God bless the United States of America for having a free and just Representative Republic & God thank Donald J Trump for making America Great again!

    • shedd45
      shedd45 10 months ago

      Make America sane again.

  • Mr. Brendon
    Mr. Brendon Year ago

    "you are gerrymeandered out of here eagle"

  • Mary Ann Angeles
    Mary Ann Angeles Year ago

    I'm not from the US but I understand this clearly

  • Jordan leigh Pritchard

    Minute 6:01 is wrong.
    Massachusetts has been a winner-take-all state since 2010. archive.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/07/16/winner_take_all_bill_is_okd_by_state_senate/
    Nebraska and Maine are not winner-take-all.

  • Michael Jameson
    Michael Jameson Year ago

    Why are you guys so damned liberal? You are teaching kids to be biased instead of looking at facts.
    There's a saying out there. It goes like this. "Democracy is like two wolves and a sheep deciding what's for dinner" the wolves being the big states, the sheep being the small states. If the electoral college didn't exsist, America would be chaotic.The United States is not a democracy, and never has been! WE ARE A CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC!

    • Robert Jarman
      Robert Jarman Year ago

      The US even originally had the House having direct elections, and many state legislatures and executive officers were too even at the time.
      And there is no reason why the US couldn't be a constitutional democratic republic, where the minority get rights to protect themselves from majorities but except when it would violate fundamental rights of others (protected by courts), the majority rules.
      You can come up with even more ideas, for example putting the power into the hands of democratic cooperatives that only gain the resources and powers that their members want them to, and the sheep who is outvoted can easily leave if they choose.

  • Flor
    Flor 2 years ago


  • Kyle Clare
    Kyle Clare 2 years ago

    The wrong state fell off, Maine, not Massachusetts has districts in the college

  • Zach Douglass
    Zach Douglass 2 years ago +1

    My name is craig and im

      \\ _
       \( •_•) F

  • WeirdWorld
    WeirdWorld 2 years ago +1

    Here' how presidents get elected -$$$

    • Deborah Lancaster
      Deborah Lancaster 5 months ago

      If that were completely true Hillary would be president

  • Shin Evan
    Shin Evan 2 years ago

    I love this guy

  • best boi
    best boi 2 years ago

    7:44 hi dad

  • James Staruk-Peloquin
    James Staruk-Peloquin 2 years ago

    Electoral College Thought Bubble edit: Maine splits their EC vote by House district along with Nebraska, not Massachusetts which awards in winner-take-all as the graphic suggests.

  • Jesus Osegueda
    Jesus Osegueda 2 years ago

    Not 50% + 1, but rather, over 50% !

  • Bas Bomb
    Bas Bomb 2 years ago

    3:58 Funniest political joke I have ever heard. Hands down.

  • TracyG Crouch
    TracyG Crouch 2 years ago +6

    Can we have a separate episode on the purpose of the electoral college and what the framers were thinking when they made it? I'm in an argument about whether or not it was meant as a buffer between direct election and electing an unqualified person.

  • Erica Golle
    Erica Golle 2 years ago +3

    The winner takes all part is flawed. Nebraska and Massachusetts float away from the map. It should be Maine.

  • Annalysa C
    Annalysa C 2 years ago +1

    I love Crash Course....if I had time, I'd watch it for fun. :D

  • sophie nicole
    sophie nicole 2 years ago

    you speak too fast..

    • Pata Fea
      Pata Fea 2 years ago +2

      you listen too slowly. There are subtitles. He does not speak too fast.

    • Mia Williams
      Mia Williams 2 years ago +1

      Which is why its called crash course

  • Doctor Squats
    Doctor Squats 2 years ago +1


    • Pata Fea
      Pata Fea 2 years ago +5

      He was there for 8 years that's the maximum

  • ya yaya
    ya yaya 2 years ago

    talk too fast, even for native english speakers...

  • Laikan
    Laikan 2 years ago

    Trump trump trump trump
    Hillary Hillary Hillary is a liar

  • Garrett Engberg
    Garrett Engberg 2 years ago +1

    The background reminds me of Saul Goodman's office from breaking bad

  • Gloria Gomez
    Gloria Gomez 2 years ago +10

    I am a straight A, 4.0 student yet when when it comes to my govt class...😤 I get so lost😖😖

  • Mike Maliawco
    Mike Maliawco 2 years ago +2

    its maine and Nebraska, not Massachusetts :)

  • S W
    S W 2 years ago

    Is it me or this his shirt look familiar?

  • Vickers Driver
    Vickers Driver 2 years ago

    this video is great!

  • Alexandru Sebastian Constantin Tegus

    At 5:49, the run-off should be between candidates B (28%) and D (37%). C only has 24%, so she should not get to the second election round.

  • M. Julian Goldstein
    M. Julian Goldstein 2 years ago +1

    Who decides by proportion of population how many congressional seats each state gets?

    • yingkouzen
      yingkouzen 2 years ago

      M. Julian Goldstein which happens every 10 years or so

    • Paige Dickson
      Paige Dickson 2 years ago

      M. Julian Goldstein the census

  • Lukas Jamieson
    Lukas Jamieson 2 years ago

    Can you please do Australian politics!?!?!?

  • Daiceth Alvarez
    Daiceth Alvarez 2 years ago

    Why the eagle hate?!!

  • Avinash Iyer
    Avinash Iyer 2 years ago +4

    At 6:02, you took off Massachusetts, when it should have been Maine.

  • Bill Palmer
    Bill Palmer 2 years ago +4

    Its easy. The Democratic Party is now the Socialist PArty.

    • Stephanie Logan
      Stephanie Logan 4 months ago

      I think John Adams was correct: there shouldn't be political parties. That would eventually lead to widespread divisiveness. Well, 'eventually' is here, it took just 243 years to get here, but it is here.
      And it is spreading like a case of electoral herpes.

    • Ben Dykstra
      Ben Dykstra 2 years ago +2

      The Democratic party has grown more and more right during the last couple of years. Obama is pretty much a centrist when it comes to American politics and Hillary Clinton is to the right of him on some issues. Conversely the Republican party has moved way to the right.

    • Smooooth
      Smooooth 2 years ago +2

      No not at all. You don't know what socialist means if you think that. And don't say it's because Bernie sanders because 1: He's a "social democrat" not a straight up socialist, and 2: The democratic establishment is really trying to hold him back and a lot of democrats don't want him. I don't know what you're talking about.

  • Mutex50
    Mutex50 3 years ago +1

    I'm happy someone else besides CGP Gray is talking about the problem with pluraltiy. We should be trying to implement approval voting.

  • Tom B-H
    Tom B-H 3 years ago +2

    6:37 My homie Bernie

  • Riley Poole
    Riley Poole 3 years ago

    Find Bernie at 6:37

  • Keerthana Sharma
    Keerthana Sharma 3 years ago

    Why haven't you made a video on presidential elections?

  • Rebecca Jinfen
    Rebecca Jinfen 3 years ago


  • Goldmeteora
    Goldmeteora 3 years ago


  • Lildrummerboy714
    Lildrummerboy714 3 years ago

    7:43 That man should have been our President

  • 3Sparkles
    3Sparkles 3 years ago

    please make a video on the electoral college!!!!!!!!

  • Casey C
    Casey C 3 years ago

    Our elections are screwy.

  • Jake Taylor
    Jake Taylor 3 years ago

    6:07 HAHAHAA It's Nebraska and Maine, not Nebraska and Massachusetts.

  • yarrn88
    yarrn88 3 years ago

    Okay, so how am I supposed to hold accountable a politician that ruined the country by his stupid policy? Say recently Tony Blair accepted a blame on creating ISIS by invading Iraq. Okay, what's next? Accepting the blame is not good enough in a proper system he should have been on a trial and possible end up in jail. Even "competitive elections" theory can't solve that case, coz degenerates will compete with other degenerates, because they no they are not really held accountable for their fuck ups.

  • Will T
    Will T 3 years ago

    WAIT! I noticed something that is incorrect! Massachusetts does have a winner-take-all system for the electoral college, but, Maine does not. You switched this on the map. Maine and Nebraska are the two states that do not have winner-take-all for the electoral college. Easy mix up, Maine was once a part of Massachusetts after all! Sorry if this has already been addressed!

  • pete275
    pete275 3 years ago

    No explanation on the electoral college? That's pretty much the most obscure part of politics, nobody know who they are and what they actually do.

  • Christopher Rodriguez
    Christopher Rodriguez 3 years ago

    hey Craig can talk about the judicial elections. and how people can vote for their district judge. and how they work?

  • Lawrence Muntjac
    Lawrence Muntjac 3 years ago


  • Jeremyah Streams'n'stuff

    He looks so important with that mig

  • Howard Luther Gilson IV

    FYI, In the graphic that shows which states are "winner take all", you have Nebraska and Massachusetts cut out, but it's Nebraska and Maine that can split up their electoral votes.

  • Phonzo Cisne
    Phonzo Cisne 3 years ago +1

    I will probably die before I see a more accurate and effective voting system like AV, STV, and MMP . First past the vote has way too many flaws to be put in a single comment.

    • Smooooth
      Smooooth 2 years ago

      And it's not just the US where it's a problem, I've heard it's also in the UK and Canada and they hate it.

    • Phonzo Cisne
      Phonzo Cisne 3 years ago

      Alternative vote.

  • Matthew Strout
    Matthew Strout 3 years ago

    Dear crash course, please learn stuff before you teach about it Nebraska and Maine are the to states that are not winner take all not Nebraska and Massachusetts.
    From high school student

  • mxfng
    mxfng 3 years ago

    What about the electoral college?

  • Heather Schurr
    Heather Schurr 3 years ago

    Your nation graphic for the winner-take-all system is incorrect. Nebraska and MAINE are the states that do not have winner-take-all, not Nebraska and Massachusetts.

  • ariel
    ariel 3 years ago

    why is he holding that empty mug..

  • aXios
    aXios 3 years ago

    Electoral reform idea #12312451414
    2 candidates- Whoever gets the most wins.
    2 or more candidates- have several rounds of elections, each round knock the least popular candidate out until 1 remains

    • Smooooth
      Smooooth 2 years ago

      If we used the former, we wouldn't have gotten Bush twice, which would have been cool

  • Harold Lautner
    Harold Lautner 3 years ago

    Mr. Latham if you're reading this please never make us watch this again

  • Owen Perkins
    Owen Perkins 3 years ago

    The people want more choices. We need fair elections and fair debates.

  • Owen Perkins
    Owen Perkins 3 years ago

    You're wrong about the two-party system.

  • angelcollina
    angelcollina 3 years ago

    Watching all of +CGPGrey 's election videos has prepared me for this issue. I knew all about First Past the Post and why voting for a third party in this system ends up helping the other side. You should totally check them out!

  • Spicy Boi the Disappointment

    0:24 ha I don't breath air

  • Jim Goltz
    Jim Goltz 3 years ago

    Duverger's Law assumes a simple left/right, liberal/conservative spectrum. I suspect the reality is closer to that depicted in the Pournelle chart (see Wikipedia).

  • Sevvy
    Sevvy 3 years ago

    Can you please make a course on sociology?

  • Felix Camacho
    Felix Camacho 3 years ago

    There should be an International Politics series explaining Geopolitical issues as well as the internal politics of other major countries.

  • me28952
    me28952 3 years ago

    Its Maine that is not winner takes all not Massachusetts

  • frencheneesz
    frencheneesz 3 years ago

    What a great episode! Lots of excellent analysis and the tips of the hat to later episodes makes this feel like a small piece of a larger puzzle, rather than a topic viewed in isolation

  • Joe Uong
    Joe Uong 3 years ago

    The runoff should have been B and D, not C and D.

  • Dulliest
    Dulliest 3 years ago

    I know I should be asking political questions, but what is the purpose of the coffee mug in this video?

  • Ahmed Dilshad
    Ahmed Dilshad 3 years ago

    for fuck sake stop uploading videos about science, just close the channel, our teacher is opening your videos every fuckin single day, and we want some fuckin time to rest so please go and fuck the channel

  • Matthew Banks
    Matthew Banks 3 years ago

    I like how we think we are one of the freest nations yet our elections and say in our leaders is so screwed up..

  • M. Chen
    M. Chen 3 years ago


  • Nicole C
    Nicole C 3 years ago

    Eagles lmao

  • Jainil Shah
    Jainil Shah 3 years ago

    Crash course Calculus PLEASE!

  • LastofAvari
    LastofAvari 3 years ago

    I'm not asking why do you have one of the most mediocre election systems in the more or less democratic world, because you already had covered that in your videos. Instead of all that I ask - for how much longer you'll have that? (Especially presidential elections).

  • Adam Borison
    Adam Borison 3 years ago +2

    *PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE* Stop ignoring the bilateral political spectrum. It makes everything so much better.

  • killerfrenchy
    killerfrenchy 3 years ago +6

    5:50 B and D should have moved on to the run-off, not C and D.

    • TheFireflyGrave
      TheFireflyGrave 3 years ago

      +killerfrenchy Heh, I thought I was hallucinating and didn't go back to check until I saw your comment.

  • Hailee Martin
    Hailee Martin 3 years ago

    It is Maine NOT Massachusetts. My US I history students wish to see it corrected.
    Thank you,
    Hailee Martin

    • Elijah Saucier
      Elijah Saucier 2 months ago

      oi, idiot, don't sign your comments, we can see your username. you mean to make us believe you're a teacher? ha, funny