Primaries and Caucuses

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  • Primaries and Caucuses
    • When primaries are held
    • Different types of primaries
      • Closed
        • Only Republicans can vote in the Republican primaries and the same for Democrats
      • Open
        • In 2012 in Wisconsin this led to 11% of the people that voted for the Republican party were actually Democrats
      • Modified
        • In 2012 10 states held these
      • Proportional
        • This is how it is done in most states
      • Winner takes all
        • Only 8 of these contests in 2012 for Republicans eg Arizona
    • Presidential party caucuses
      • 12 states used a caucus in the 2012 Republican contest such as Iowa
    • Most important states to win
      • Winning early contests
        • In 2007 the favourite for the Democratic normination was Clinton but Obama's victory in Iowa shot him into the limelight and helped him to win
        • In 2008 McCain got 13% in the Iowa caucus but still went on to win the nomination and similarly in 2012 Mitt Romney did badly but went onto win the nomination
      • Winning the big states
        • Big states like California and Texas have more delegates and so focus can be given to these states rather than some smaller states that come earlier
      • Winning in as many states as possible
        • In the 2008 race for the Republican nomination Mike Huckabee was in 5th place in the opinion polls but then went on to win in 7 states and this made him look like the front runner
      • Is front loading now dead?
        • Although the rule cahnges in 2012 reduced the effectivness of front loading it can still give a candidate a big advantage when winning the early states
    • Primaries and the incumbent party
      • Ideological differences
        • In the Republican party there is a deep division between the moderate conservatives like Romney and the right wing radicals in groups like the 'Tea Party'"
      • Personal rivalry
        • In 1980 Jimmy Carter had not been successful in his first term and Edward Kennedy decided to run against him
      • Gain public attention for a cause or issue
        • In 2012 Obama faced a challenge from 15 other people in the primaries but only 4 of them stood against him in more than one state
          • Keith Judd stood against Obama in West Virginia and got 40% of the vote even though he was serving a prison sentence and he was protesting against his conviction and picked up anti Obama votes
  • Individual primaries
    • When primaries are held
    • In 2012 the first 3 primaries were all held on separate days to maximise the impact of the result


Former Member

Thanks so much! Your resources are really helpful!

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