how do presidential primaries work

United States presidential primary - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


** United States presidential primary **

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For the upcoming presidential primaries, see Democratic Party presidential
primaries, 2016 and Republican Party presidential primaries, 2016.

The series of *presidential primary elections and caucuses* held in each
U.S. state and territory is part of the nominating process of United States
presidential elections. This process was never included in the United
States Constitution, and thus was created over time by the political
parties. Some states only hold primary elections, some only hold caucuses,
and others use a combination of both. These primaries and caucuses are
staggered between January and June before the general election in November.
The primary elections are run by state and local governments, while
caucuses are private events that are directly run by the political parties
themselves. A state's primary election or caucus usually is an indirect
election: instead of voters directly selecting a particular person running
for President, it determines how many delegates each party's national
convention will receive from their respective state. These delegates then
in turn select their party's presidential nominee.

Each party determines how many delegates are allocated to each state. Along
with those delegates chosen during the primaries and caucuses, state
delegations to both the Democratic and Republican conventions also include
"unpledged" delegates, usually current and former elected officeholders and
party leaders, who can vote for whomever they want.

This system of presidential primaries and caucuses is somewhat
controversial because of its staggered nature. The major advantage is that
candidates can concentrate their resources in each area of the country one
at a time instead of campaigning in every state simultaneously. However,
those states which traditionally hold their primaries and caucuses in the
latter half of


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