USA President Joe Biden's visit to Ireland is happening this week and you will see loads about it across RTÉ, but how did he get the big job?

The system to pick the President of the USA is different from ours, so we are going to help you understand it here.

For starters, watch the video from up top where the whole process is explained.

An election for President of the United States happens every four years on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.The next presidential election will be 5 November 2024.

The whole system is very different to what we have in Ireland and you will hear a lot about the Electoral College.

Under the US system a state's electoral college votes, which are apportioned by population, are given to the candidate that wins that state.

California has the most electors with 55, but some lowly populated states like Alaska only have three.
So, if a candidate won the vote in California, they would be awarded all of the state's 55 electoral college votes.

The candidate who receives a majority of the 538 electoral votes available, or 270, wins the Presidency.

The US presidential election process follows a typical cycle as explains:

  • Spring of the year before an election – Candidates announce their intentions to run.
  • Summer of the year before an election through spring of the election year – Primary and caucus debates take place. (these terms are explained in the video above)
  • January to June of election year – States and parties hold primaries and caucuses.
  • July to early September – Parties hold nominating conventions to choose their candidates.
  • September and October – Candidates participate in presidential debates.
  • Early November – Election Day
  • December – Electors cast their votes in the Electoral College.
  • Early January of the next calendar year – Congress counts the electoral votes.
  • January 20 – Inauguration Day

Click here to read more about President Biden's visit on RTÉ.ie