Politics simulates a simplified version of the presidential election in the United States of America (electoral votes based on the 1930 or 1950 census, depending upon the edition of the game).
The playing board represents a map of the United States showing each state and its capital. The goal in both editions is to win the vote, which occurs when all the states have at least one candidate in it and someone rolls doubles. The player who has the most counties in any given state wins all the electoral votes from that state; in case of a tie, the player who reached the total first wins the state. If one player does not have a majority of electoral votes (269), only the two players with the highest votes continue - the rest are eliminated. It continues until another official vote is taken and a winner is determined.
In the 1935 edition, campaigning is conducted via a mix of dice rolls and speech cards. Players are given money and three speech cards at the beginning of the game, and whenever 7 or 11 is rolled an additional speech card is auctioned. Speech cards give players a small number of counties in specific states, allowing players to more effectively focus their campaigning and make comebacks. On a turn, players roll three dice. The dice (all the same color) are summed, and the total can be used to campaign in each of the 48 states. Small states - those with 3 to 5 electoral votes - take only 1 point to win a county, while larger states require as many as nine points to win a county.
The 1952 edition is significantly simplified. On a player's turn, the player rolls 3 dice (1 colored, 2 white) - the colored dice tells the player which states to be worked in this turn and the white dice tells the player how many "counties" (4-7 in each state) they win.