The president of the United States is an elected official. Presidential candidates are formally nominated by delegates to party political conventions. These delegates have been chosen by voting in party primaries and caucuses in the year leading up to the national conventions, and the final vote has become a formality. Once the major candidates are chosen by the respective parties, they customarily campaign and publicly debate each other.
The president is actually elected by members of the electoral college. The electors that make up the college are chosen by popular election in each state, with states having a number of electors equal to their representatives and senators in Congress. In almost every state, the candidate who wins a simple majority receives all of the electoral votes for that state. The presidential candidate who receives a majority of the electoral vote wins the presidency. If no candidate wins a majority, then the House of Representatives is charged with choosing the president.