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Primaries and Caucuses Breakdown

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The electoral process the political parties use nominate a candidate for a presidential election is usually called "the primaries," but there are two different systems that states use: caucus and primary.


Primaries
Primaries, on the other hand, are run by the state government and are done by secret ballot at a polling place, a lot like the general election.


Caucuses
Caucuses themselves are local party precinct meetings where registered Republicans and Democrats gather, discuss the candidates and vote for their candidate of choice for their party's nomination

The Republican's caucus voting system in Iowa is relatively straightforward: You come in, you vote, typically through secret ballot, and the percentages of the group supporting each candidate decides what delegates.

The Democrat's caucus is a more complex system -- in fact, it's one of the most complex pieces of the entire presidential election. In a typical caucus, registered Democrats gather at the precinct meeting places, supporters for each candidate have a chance to make their case, and then the participants gather into groups supporting particular candidates (undecided voters also cluster into a group.)

In order for a particular group to be viable, they must have a certain percentage of all the caucus participants. So participants will try to convince their neighbors to join their group. If they don't get enough people, the group disbands, and its members go to another group.The percentage cut-off is determined by the number of delegates assigned to the precinct:
  • If the precinct has only one delegate, the group with the most people wins the delegate vote, and that's it.
  • If the precinct has only two delegates, each group needs 25 percent to be viable.
  • If the precinct has only three delegates, each group needs one-sixth of the caucus participants.
  • If the precinct has four or more delegates, each group needs at least 15 percent of the caucus participants.

    Once the groups are settled, the next order of business is to figure out how many of that precinct's delegates each group (and by extension, each candidate) should win using the formula below:
    (Number of people in the group * number of delegates)/ number of caucus participants.)


    State Breakdown
    Below is the breakdown of which states and territories hold Primaries for their delegate allocation, as well as which use the Caucus system.

    Primaries
    Alabama
    Alaska
    Arizona
    Arkansas
    California
    Connecticut
    DC
    Delaware
    Democrats Abroad
    Florida
    Georgia
    Illinois
    Indiana
    Kentucky
    Louisiana
    Maryland
    Massachusetts
    Michigan
    Mississippi
    Missouri
    Montana
    New Hampshire
    New Jersey
    New Mexico
    New York
    North Carolina
    Ohio
    Oklahoma
    Oregon
    Pennsylvania
    Puerto Rico
    Rhode Island
    South Carolina
    South Dakota
    Tennessee
    Texas
    Utah
    Vermont
    Virginia
    West Virginia
    Wisconsin
    Caucuses
    American Samoa
    Colorado
    Guam
    Hawaii
    Idaho
    Iowa
    Kansas
    Maine
    Minnesota
    Nebraska
    Nevada
    North Dakota
    Northern Marianas
    Virgin Islands
    Washington
    Wyoming




























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