The nomination process begins at Primaries and Caucuses, in which party members meet to vote on their Presidential Candidates. Primaries are used to vote for the best candidate, while Caucuses allow party members to discuss and then vote.
At the National Convention, parties formally nominate their Presidential candidate, along with their vice-presidential running mate. Parties also build party platforms and lay out their goals and values for the future.
You should vote for me because...
Presidential candidates then campaign around the country to try to swing voters one way or the other. Candidates spend millions or billions of dollars to appeal to the public through speeches, TV or radio ads, billboards, rallies, etc.
On the first Tuesday in November every four years, the General Election Day takes place, and the people of America vote for their favored Presidential Candidate. This day ends the presidential campaign.
The Electoral College votes will then determine who takes the presidency. The votes depend on the votes of the people in each state. For example, if the Democratic candidate receives the popular vote in a state, then that state's electoral college votes all take the side of the Democratic candidate. The Electoral College has as many electors as the state has senator and representatives of Congress.
The elected President and Vice President are then inaugurated in January.