Sun. Mar 3rd, 2024

Caucus and primaries: instructions for the presidential race

Open in full screen mode

Caucuses take place in community locations where supporters of one candidate try to convince supporters of other candidates to join them.

  • Frédéric Arnould (View profile)Frédéric Arnould

It's Monday that the first electoral meeting of the presidential year in Iowa will kick off.

Traditionally, this rural state, located in the heart of the United States, is the first to vote during the marathons organized by the two main parties to nominate their candidates for the presidential election. However, this year, only Republicans will vote on January 15 since Democrats have changed their election schedule so that Iowa is no longer the first state to decide.

Even if the Democratic primaries and caucuses are only taking place for form since Joe Biden is running for the White House, this process must be respected.

The electoral process of nominating a presidential candidate generally relies on what are called primaries, but there is another system used by some states: caucuses.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">The history of caucuses in American politics dates back to the 18th century. Originally, they were only frequented by party leaders. From 1796 to 1824, the caucuses that chose presidential candidates were composed of members of Congress.

LoadingThe impact of 100 days of war between Israel and Hamas, in figures and maps

ELSE ON INFO: The impact of 100 days of war between Israel and Hamas, in figures and maps

In the 1820s, presidential candidate Andrew Jackson and other reformers participated in an effort to allow more people to participate in the process of nominating presidential candidates as part of a movement broader system that would give rise to the modern caucus system.

Unlike primaries, where residents vote in a secret ballot, a caucus is a local gathering held in a gymnasium, theater or other community venue where voters openly discuss which candidate they will support.

Open in full screen mode

Voting in caucuses is done by show of hands.

The caucus format favors candidates who have organized supporters, because a small group of dedicated volunteers can exert considerable influence in this open setting. Only members present at the meeting and registered with the political party can participate. Sometimes, party authorities do not allow external voters to register as new members during or just before the caucus (they are then called “closed”).

The voting that takes place during these local meetings is done by show of hands or by groups. We manually count the number of supporters of each candidate.

This is how things are happening not only in Iowa but also in Alaska, Colorado , Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota and Wyoming.

Primaries were first used in a presidential election on March 19, 1912 in North Dakota. In total, 13 presidential primaries were held that year.

It was Oregon that established this model ballot in 1910, but he did not use it until two years later, in May 1912, after North Dakota.

A primary is very similar to a conventional election, that is to say that, generally, those entitled to vote do so by secret ballot.

This type of voting is seen as fairer and more democratic, so in the early 20th century, states began to adopt it.

Open in mode full screen

Voting in the primaries has particularities depending on the state.

Who can vote there? Some states only allow registered party members to vote; others allow parties to register on the same day; still others are completely open to all state residents.

This sometimes gives rise to special situations.

Voters from one party can move from one party to another and vote in the primaries of other parties, which allows a party to contribute to the selection of the candidate of the party. x27;opposition. The theory is that members of one party vote for the weaker candidate of the other to give themselves an advantage in the general election.

The first state to kick off the primary season is New Hampshire on January 23.

Each state has a certain number of delegates who represent it at each party's national convention. The Republican Party convention will be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from July 15 to 18, while the Democratic convention will take place from August 19 to 22 in Chicago, Illinois.

Delegates from each state are “assigned” to one of the presidential candidates and the candidate with the greatest number of delegates wins the nomination.

Some states award all of their delegates to the winner of the respective state's caucus or primary. Others allocate to each candidate a number of delegates proportional to the percentage of votes he obtained.

Open in full screen mode

It is during party conventions that presidential candidates are officially nominated. Hillary Clinton was at the Democratic National Convention on July 28, 2016, in Philadelphia.

In fact, we should know the name of the candidate chosen by a majority of delegates after a good part of the caucuses and primaries, next spring, notably during Super Tuesday on March 5, when 16 states will reveal the results of the caucuses and primaries. This will be the case in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Texas, Tennessee and Virginia, among others. These results generally give a good idea of ​​what happens next.

However, we must wait for the inauguration of the conventions for the start of the final fight between the two candidates. The Republican Party convention will take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in July, while the Democratic convention will take place in Chicago, Illinois, in August.

  • Frédéric Arnould (View profile)Frédéric ArnouldFollow

By admin

Related Post