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Encyclopedia > Primary election

A primary election is an election in which voters in a jurisdiction select candidates for a subsequent election (nominating primary). In other words, primary elections are generally when each political party decides its nominee for the upcoming general election. Primaries are common in the United States, where they trace their origin to the progressive movement. Elsewhere in the world, the nomination of candidates is usually the responsibility of political parties and does not make use of the public apparatus for holding elections. Look up Primary in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about the political process. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... “Political Parties” redirects here. ... A general election is an election in which all or most members of a given political body are up for election. ... Progressive Movement is the term used to refer collectively to several various movements around the world that adhere to progressivism. ...


Other ways that parties may select candidates include caucuses, conventions, and nomination meetings. Historically, Canadian political parties chose their leaders through leadership conventions, although some parties have abandoned this practice in favour of one member, one vote systems. A caucus is most generally defined as being a meeting of supporters or members of a political party or movement. ... In politics, a political convention is a meeting of a political party, typically to select party candidates. ... This article lists political parties in Canada. ... In Canadian politics, a leadership convention is held by a political party when the party needs to choose a leader due to a vacancy or a challenge to the incumbent leader. ... OMOV, an acronym standing for one man, one vote, is a term used to support an overturning of decades of malapportioned legislative districts in the United States. ...

Contents

Types of Primaries

Closed. Voters may vote in a party's primary only if they are registered members of that party. Independents cannot participate. A closed primary is a type of direct primary limited to registered party members, who must declare their party affiliation in order to vote. ...


Semi-closed. As in closed primaries, registered Republicans and Democrats can vote only in their own party's primary. Semi-closed systems, however, allow unaffiliated voters to participate as well. Depending on the state, independents either make their choice of party primary privately, inside the voting booth, or publicly, by registering with either the Republican or Democratic Party on Election Day.


Open. A registered voter may vote in any party primary regardless of his or her own party affiliation. When voters do not pre-register with a party before the primary, it is called a pick-a-party primary because the voter can select which party's primary he wishes to vote in on election day. An Open Primary is a type of direct primary open to voters regardless of their party affiliation. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Primary election. ...


Because of the open nature of this system, a practice known as "raiding" may occur. "Raiding" consists of voters of one party crossing over and voting in the primary of another party. The purpose is usually to vote for the weakest candidate of the opposing party in order to give their own party the advantage in the general election if that weak candidate were to win the nomination.


Semi-open. All voters may vote in any single primary, but must publicly declare which primary they will vote in before entering the voting booth. Typically this declaration is accomplished by requesting a ballot. In many states with semi-open primaries, election officials record each voter's choice of party and provide the parties access to the information.


Blanket. No longer in use, except in Louisiana, where a modified version is used. This system allowed voters to vote for one candidate per office, regardless of which party they were a member of. In United States politics, the blanket primary was a system used for selecting party candidates in a primary election. ...


Run-off. A primary in which the ballot is not restricted to one party and the top two candidates advance to the general election regardless of party affiliation. An example of runoff voting. ...


Some states have mixed systems. In West Virginia, Republican primaries are open to independents, while Democratic primaries were closed. However, as of April 1, 2007, West Virginia's Democratic Party opened its voting to allow "individuals who are not affiliated with any existing recognized party to participate in the election process" [1]. Official language(s) English Capital Charleston Largest city Charleston Area  Ranked 41st  - Total 24,244 sq mi (62,809 km²)  - Width 130 miles (210 km)  - Length 240 miles (385 km)  - % water 0. ... The Republican Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States of America, along with the Democratic Party. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  Politics Portal      Further information: Politics of the United States#Organization of American political parties The Democratic... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  Politics Portal      Further information: Politics of the United States#Organization of American political parties The Democratic...


Non-Partisan Primaries

Primaries can also be used in partisan elections to reduce the set of candidates that go on to the general election (qualifying primary). (In the U.S. many city, county and school board elections are non-partisan.) Generally twice as many candidates pass the primary as can win in the general election, so a single seat election primary would allow the top two primary candidates to participate in the general election following. A political party is a political organization subscribing to a certain ideology or formed around very special issues. ...


When a qualifying primary is applied to a partisan election, it becomes what is generally known as a Louisiana primary: typically, if no candidate wins a majority in the primary, the two candidates receiving the highest pluralities, regardless of party affiliation, go on to a general election that is in effect a run-off. This often has the effect of eliminating minor parties from the general election and frequently the general election becomes a single-party election. Unlike a plurality voting system, a run-off system meets the Condorcet loser criterion in that the candidate that ultimately wins would not have been beaten in a two way race with any of the other candidates. A majority is a subset of a group that is more than half of the entire group. ... A plurality, relative majority or simple majority is the largest share of something, which may or may not be considered a majority, i. ... A general election is an election in which all or most members of a given political body are up for election. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      Third parties in the United States are political parties other than the two... Given a vote where voters rank options in order of preference, a Condorcet loser is an option that loses all of its pairwise comparisons. ...


Because many Vegetas were disappointed over the loss of their blanket primary, which the Washington State Grange helped institute in 1935, the Grange filed Initiative 872 in 2004 to establish a "Louisiana" primary for partisan races, thereby allowing voters to once again cross party lines in the primary election. Supporters claimed it would bring back voter choice; opponents said it would exclude third parties and independents from general election ballots, would result in Democrat or Republican-only races in certain districts, and would in fact reduce voter choice. The initiative was put to a public vote in November 2004 and passed. On July 15, 2005, the initiative was found unconstitutional by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. [2] The Supreme Court will hear the Grange's appeal of the case in October. Open primaries have also been placed to the voters in California (as Proposition 62), but failed after heavy advertising from the established political parties bringing up the specter of the Louisiana primary and of the 2002 French presidential election. Grange Hall in Maine, circa 1910 The Grange in the United States, officially called the Order of the Patrons of Husbandry, is a fraternal organization for American farmers that encouraged farm families to band together for their common economic and political good. ... 1935 (MCMXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar). ... initiative, see Initiative (disambiguation). ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      Third parties in the United States are political parties other than the two... is the 196th day of the year (197th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The United States District Court for the Western District of Washington is the Federal district court whose jurisdiction is comprised of the following counties: Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Thurston, Wahkiakum, and Whatcom. ... Proposition 62 is a proposition in the state of California on the November 2, 2004 ballot. ... The 2002 French presidential election consisted of a first round election on 21 April 2002, and a runoff election between the top two candidates (Jacques Chirac and Jean-Marie Le Pen) on 5 May 2002. ...


In elections using voting systems where strategic nomination is a concern, primaries can be very important in preventing "clone" candidates that split their constituency's vote because of their similarities. Primaries allow political parties to select and unite behind one candidate. A voting system is a means of choosing between a number of options, based on the input of a number of voters. ... Strategic nomination is the manipulation of an election through its candidate set (compare this to tactical voting, where the manipulation comes from the voters). ...


Presidential Primaries

In the United States, New Hampshire has drawn international attention every four years because it holds the first U.S. presidential primary election and often (although not always) gives a candidate the momentum to win the nomination. Official language(s) English Capital Concord Largest city Manchester Area  Ranked 46th  - Total 9,350 sq mi (24,217 km²)  - Width 68 miles (110 km)  - Length 190 miles (305 km)  - % water 4. ... The series of U.S. presidential primaries is one of the first steps in the process of electing a President of the United States. ...


A criticism of the current Presidential primary election schedule is that it gives undue weight to the few states with early primaries, as those states often build momentum for leading candidates and rule out trailing candidates long before the rest of the country has had a chance to weigh in, leaving the last states with virtually no actual input on the process.


The Democratic National Committee (DNC) proposed a new schedule and a new rule set for the 2008 Presidential primary elections. Among the changes: the primary election cycle would start nearly a year earlier than in previous cycles, states from the West and the South would be included in the earlier part of the schedule, and candidates who run in primary elections not held in accordance with the DNC's proposed schedule (as the DNC does not have any direct control over each state's official election schedules) would be penalized by being stripped of delegates won in offending states. The New York Times called the move, "the biggest shift in the way Democrats have nominated their presidential candidates in 30 years." [3] Former Vermont Governor Dr. Howard Dean is the current Chairman of the DNC. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is the principal campaign and fund-raising organization affiliated with the United States Democratic Party. ...


Of note regarding the DNC's proposed 2008 Presidential primary election schedule is that it contrasts with the Republican National Committee's (RNC) rules regarding Presidential primary elections. "No presidential primary, caucus, convention, or other meeting may be held for the purpose of voting for a presidential candidate and/or selecting delegates or alternate delegates to the national convention, prior to the first Tuesday of February in the year in which the national convention is held." [4] The Republican National Committee (RNC) provides national leadership for the Republican Party of the United States. ...


Primary Systems State-by-state

As primary systems used in the states change over time, a good state-by-state listing of primary types is often hard to find. States that currently have open primaries include Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.


For information about a particular state's primary, the best source of up-to-date information is often the official website of the state in question. For example, California lists detailed information about its current "modified closed" (i.e. semi-closed) system on the California state website. [5] Similarly, information on the Arizona semi-closed primary system can be found on the Arizona state website. [6]


Importance of Primary Classifications

While it is clear that the Closed/Semi-Closed/Semi-Open/Open classification commonly used by scholars studying primary systems does not fully explain the highly nuanced differences seen from state to state, they are still very useful and have real-world implications for the electorate, election officials, and the candidates themselves.


As far as the electorate is concerned, the extent of participation allowed to weak partisans and independents depends almost solely on which of the aforementioned categories best describes their state's primary system. Clearly, open and semi-open systems favor this type of voter, since they can choose which primary they vote in on a yearly basis under these models. In closed primary systems, true independents are, for all practical purposes, shut out of the process.


This classification further affects the relationship between primary elections and election commissioners and officials. The more open the system, the greater the chance of raiding, or voters voting in the other party's primary in hopes of getting a weaker opponent chosen to run against a strong candidate in the general election. Raiding has proven stressful to the relationships between political parties, who feel cheated by the system, and election officials, who try to make the system run as smoothly as possible.


Perhaps the most dramatic effect this classification system has on the primary process is its influence on the candidates themselves. Whether a system is open or closed dictates the way candidates run their campaigns. In a closed system, from the time a candidate qualifies to the day of the primary, he must cater to strong partisans, who tend to lean to the extreme ends of the ideological spectrum. In the general election, on the other hand, the candidate must move more towards the center in hopes of capturing a plurality.


Primaries worldwide

The series of Presidential primary elections and caucuses is one of the first steps in the long, complex process of electing the President of the United States of America. ... The 2008 Democratic primaries will be the selection process by which the Democrats choose their candidates in the 2008 election for President and Vice President of the United States through a series of primaries and caucuses culminating in the 2008 Democratic National Convention, to be held from Monday, August 25... // The 2008 Republican primaries will be the selection process by which the Republicans elect delegates who will then elect the GOP candidate in the 2008 election for President and Vice President of the United States. ... The mechanism of primary elections was quite unseen in Italy before the 2005 regional elections, for which the left-wing alliance The Union delegate its potential electors to decide about the candidates as President of the Regions of Apulia and Calabria. ... The United New Democratic Party (Hangul: 대통합민주신당) is a political party of South Korea. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ...

References

  • Bibby, John, and Holbrook, Thomas. 2004. Politics in the American States: A Comparative Analysis, 8th Edition. Ed. Virginia Gray and Russell L. Hanson. Washington D.C.: CQ Press, p. 62-100.
  • Brereton Charles. First in the Nation: New Hampshire and the Premier Presidential Primary. Portsmouth, NH: Peter E. Randall Publishers, 1987.
  • Hershey, Majorie. Political Parties in America, 12th Edition. New York: Pearson Longman, 2007. p.157-73.
  • Kendall, Kathleen E. Communication in the Presidential Primaries: Candidates and the Media, 1912-2000 (2000)
  • Palmer, Niall A. The New Hampshire Primary and the American Electoral Process (1997)
  • Scala, Dante J. Stormy Weather: The New Hampshire Primary and Presidential Politics (2003)
  • Ware, Alan. The American Direct Primary: Party Institutionalization and Transformation in the North (2002), the invention of primaries around 1900

See also

  • This entry is related to, but not included in the elections and voting series. Other related articles can be found at the Politics Portal.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Primary election - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1205 words)
Primaries are common in the United States, but are generally rare elsewhere in the world.
Primary challenges generate an excitement in primary elections that is typically absent.
When a qualifying primary is applied to a partisan election, it becomes what is generally known as a Louisiana primary: typically, if no candidate wins a majority in the primary, the two candidates receiving the highest pluralities, regardless of party affiliation, go on to a general election that is in effect a run-off.
Primary election - Electowiki (542 words)
A primary election is one in which a political party selects a candidate for a later election by all registered voters in that jurisdiction (nominating primary).
This "blanket primary" was struck down by the United States Supreme Court as violating the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of assembly.
In elections using voting systems where strategic nomination is a concern, primaries can be very important in preventing "clone" candidates that split their constituency's vote because of their similarities.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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