Primary Elections

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Primary Elections
Overview
• Party Nomination Systems
• Types of Primary Elections
• Campaign Strategy
Party Nomination Systems
• Legislative Caucus
– early 19th century
• Convention
– 1832 Democratic
Party
• Direct Primary
Elections
– early 20th century
Types of Primary
• Closed primaries
– Independents excluded
• Used by 15 states, including New Jersey
• Tashjian vs Republican Party of Connecticut
(1986)
– Independents included
• Used by 13 states
Types of Primary
• Open (used in 15 states)
– Private Choice
• Voters given multiple ballots at poll and select
which party primary they will participate in
• Used in HI, ID, MI, MN, ND, UT, VT, and WI
– Public Choice
• Record is kept of voter’s choice as to which
party election to cast a ballot
Types of Primary
• Run Off
– Used primarily in states with one-party dominant
states
• Require a majority vote in order to win nomination
• If no candidate receives a majority, then top two
candidates, regardless of party affiliation, advance to
general election
– Louisiana “Cajun Primary”
• nonpartisan candidates, with run off
• voters are registered with a part though
Types of Primary
• Blanket/Jungle
– Had been used in AK, CA, WA
• California Democratic Party v Jones
(2001)
Types of Primary
• Voting and Democracy Research
Center of Primary Election Types by
state
• FEC’s tentative Primary Election
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