My name is Rose, and I want to become president. I am a natural born citizen, I am over the age of 35, and I have lived in the US for more than 14 years. This qualifies me for the presidency. In addition, I am also a well known statesperson, a good public speaker, and I have a law degree. These things aren't necessary, but they increase my chances.
First, I need to win the primaries. The primary elections select a candidate from each party to be up for the presidency. Usually, if the current president can run for a second term, they will be chosen. Lucky for me, the president just finished his second term.
People from each state vote for the candidate they want for their party. These elections can either be closed, meaning only members of the party can vote, or open, meaning anyone can vote. This system elects delegates who are bound to the candidate the people voted for. The candidate that wins half the delegates becomes the candidate for his or her party.
I won! This means I now have to defeat the presidential candidate that the other party elected. Now, the people vote again, this time between the candidates that each party has selected.
The really important states in this are the swing states, states who swing from one party to the next. Winning in these states tips in scales in my favor. Once again, the people are electing delegates who vote for them, called the electoral college. Each state has a certain amount of electoral college votes, depending on their population.
I won! I am now president of the United States. I hope my election for my second term goes this way too!