Primary elections
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Primary elections. Basics. What is a primary? When did states start adopting primaries? Do all states use them today? What are some variations in primary rules among the states?. Variations on primary rules. Role for the formal party organization. A role for state party leaders?.

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Basics
Basics

  • What is a primary?

  • When did states start adopting primaries?

  • Do all states use them today?

  • What are some variations in primary rules among the states?


Variations on primary rules
Variations on primary rules

  • Role for the formal party organization


A role for state party leaders
A role for state party leaders?

  • Pre-primary party organizational endorsements by law

    • CO, ND, CT, NY, RI, UT

  • Pre-primary endorsements by party rule

    • DE, VA, OH, MI, IL, IA, MA, PA, MN

  • Primary only, no party org. endorsements

    • The rest


Variations on primary rules1
Variations on primary rules

  • Role for the formal party organization

  • Voter eligibility


Voter eligibility
Voter eligibility?

  • Completely closed

    • DE, MD, NY, PA, SD, FL, KY, OK, AZ, NV, NM

  • Closed with exceptions

    • CT, ME, MA, NH, NJ, RI, IA, KS, NE, OH, NC, WV, CA, CO, OR, WY

  • Open, with public selection of primary

    • IL, IN, AL, AR, GA, MI, MS, TN, TX, VA

  • Completely open

    • VT, MI, MN, ND, WI, SC, HI, ID, MT, UT, WA

  • Blanket

    • AK?


Variations on primary rules2
Variations on primary rules

  • Role for the formal party organization

  • Voter eligibility

  • Date of the primary



How do primaries affect candidate and party strategy
How do primaries affect candidate and party strategy?

  • Affects who the candidate pays attention to

    • The party elites or the primary voters

    • Moderate or extreme primary voters

  • Affects the candidate’s general election positioning

    • Strong primary stands can hurt in general

    • Late primary dates mean less resources for general


What could the party do to influence a primary election
What could the party do to influence a primary election?

  • Gerrymander

  • Recruit/Discourage

  • Express unified support for one candidate

    • Endorsements

    • Financial contributions


Weak american party organizations
Weak American party organizations

  • No unified set of priorities

  • Party “stands” controlled by the candidates

  • Platform not binding on elected officials

  • No top down control

  • Local organizations controlled by part time volunteers with little training and varied skill


Why so disorganized
Why so disorganized?

  • Election orientation

  • Federalism

  • Separation of Powers

  • Election of party officials

  • Campaign finance laws

  • Primaries


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