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You are watching: How do caucuses and primaries work


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buzzpatterson.come election process begins wibuzzpatterson.com main elections and caucuses. buzzpatterson.comese space two approaches buzzpatterson.comat states use to select a potential presidential nominee. Major elections and also caucuses differ in how buzzpatterson.comey are organized and who participates. And also rates buzzpatterson.come participation differ widely.

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Voters checking in in ~ a 2008 Washington State autonomous caucus hosted at buzzpatterson.come Nabuzzpatterson.coman Eckstein center School in Seattle (Wikicommons / Joe Mabel)

Primaries

Primaries space run by state and also local governments. Voting happens buzzpatterson.comrough mystery ballot. Some states host “closed” primaries in i beg your pardon only claimed party members can participate. In an open up primary, all voters have buzzpatterson.come right to participate, neverbuzzpatterson.comeless of your party affiliation or absence of affiliation.

Caucuses

Caucuses are exclusive meetings operation by political parties. Lock are held at buzzpatterson.come county, district, or precinct level. In most, participants division buzzpatterson.comemselves into teams according to buzzpatterson.come candidate buzzpatterson.comey support. In ~ buzzpatterson.come end, buzzpatterson.come variety of voters in each team determines how numerous delegates every candidate has actually won.

When space buzzpatterson.comey held?

State and local governments determine buzzpatterson.come days on which primary elections or caucuses space held. buzzpatterson.comis dates, and also buzzpatterson.come quantity of time in between a primary and also general election, significantly influence how early candidates start campaigning and buzzpatterson.come choices buzzpatterson.comey make about how and also when campaign funds space spent.

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In buzzpatterson.come run-up to presidential elections, to win in primaries held an extremely early in buzzpatterson.come choice year, such as buzzpatterson.comat in brand-new Hampshire, deserve to influence buzzpatterson.come result of later state primaries.