Political Primaries: Cheat Sheet
Stuff You Need to Know
- Political primaries were born from the Progressive Era of the early 20th century. It was a means of wrestling control of picking a party's candidate from the elite to the voters.
- Primaries are either closed or open, with independent voters being barred from closed primaries, where the voter must have a party affiliation. In blanket primaries, any voter can vote as he or she pleases.
- In primaries, candidates are awarded delegates, voters who represent larger blocks of voters.
- A candidate can win all party delegates in a state or a proportion of them based on the percentage of the votes won by the candidate in the primary.
- The use of delegates rather than simple votes is one of the big criticisms of political primaries.