How do primary elections and caucuses allow citizens to participate in the selection of governing officials?
Every year is an election year in the United States. Voters participate in local, state, and national elections, selecting representatives who will carry out the will of the people. But how is it determined which candidates appear on the ballot?
Briefly explain the principle of federalism to students if they are not familiar with it. Have students read Article 1 Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution and do a quick write answering the question: How does the process of prescribing how elections are held uphold the principle of federalism?
Have students read Presidential Primaries and Caucuses and then answer the following questions.
- In your own words, what is the difference between primaries and caucuses?
- In your own words, what is the difference between open and closed primaries?
- Why do you think there are multiple unique systems in place in the United States for selecting candidates for a general election?
- Do you believe primaries or caucuses are a better way for people to select candidates that will best represent their interests? Explain your answer.
Think the Vote is a platform where students can exercise civil discourse and express their opinions on current event topics. This week’s question is: Should States Stop Having Closed Primaries? Lead students in a discussion of their answers after they have submitted them on the platform! This week’s contest ends on February 15th.
Caucuses to Conventions
With the Democratic and Republican National Conventions fast approaching, Mary, Gary, and Eryn take a look at the history behind these pivotal electoral systems. From the elitist presidential nominating processes that defined much of the 19th and 20th centuries, to the more inclusive systems of the modern era, the roles of party caucuses, primaries, and conventions have shifted considerably over time. How have today’s elections come to represent the voice of the people?
The Iowa Caucus and Beyond
What’s a Caucus and How Does it Work? The presidential primary season is upon us again, and Americans are re-familiarizing themselves with the candidate selection process. Beginning in the winter of the election year, each state partners with the major political parties to hold a caucus or primary election to determine who will win each party’s nomination.
Primaries and Caucuses
Organized by political parties, a caucus is a meeting of supporters of a specific political party who gather to elect delegates to choose whom they believe should be the candidate in a given election.
America holds more elections than any other democracy. The reason is federalism. Because of decentralization there are more offices for the electorate to fill and thus more elections.