What kinds of primaries are held?Each state holds its own brand of primary election. Most states feature normal elections where voters go to the polls and select their favorite party candidate. This is the traditional primary election. Other states hold caucus elections. These community-style elections consist of precinct-level gatherings where partisan votes take time to debate the merits of each prospective nominee before casting their ‘vote’ for their favorite. At the end of the night, the votes – which can be nothing more than a name on a piece of paper – are counted and tabulated.
|Tuesday, Mar 1||Alabama
|Tuesday, Mar 8||Mississippi|
|Tuesday, Mar 15||Illinois
(except US House)
|Tuesday, Mar 22||Arkansas|
|Tuesday, Mar 29||Mississippi|
|Apr 1-3||North Dakota Convention|
|Tuesday, Apr 5||Wisconsin Primary||Wisconsin Primary|
|Saturday, Apr 9||Wyoming Caucus|
|Tuesday, Apr 19||New York Primary||New York Primary|
|Tuesday, Apr 26||Connecticut Primary
Rhode Island Primary
Rhode Island Primary
|Tuesday, Apr 12||Alabama|
|Tuesday, Apr 26||Maryland
What are delegates and how are they allocated?Delegates can be thought of as representatives. They represent the vote results of primary and caucus elections. Typically, these super voters make their way to their party’s national convention and cast their vote as it has been, with very few exceptions, pre-determined. Selection of these delegates varies greatly from state to state and party to party. The most common are listed below.
- Winner-take-all primary: The candidate who earns the most primary or caucus votes claims in the entire allotment of party delegates from the state.
- Winner-take-most primary: The candidate who earns the most primary or caucus votes claims a disproportionate number of delegates.
- Proportional primary: Delegates are awarded to proportionally to each candidate who eclipses a vote threshold .
- Caucus/Convention: Lower-tier delegates are selected based on caucus votes. These delegates, in turn, select national convention delegates through county, district, and finally, state-level conventions.