• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Primary elections in the USA are used to decide the candidates for each political party in the upcoming general election.

Extracts from this document...


Primary Elections Primary elections in the USA are used to decide the candidates for each political party in the upcoming general election. Delegates are chosen from each state to go to the National Convention, where each party officially nominates their candidate, and are required by law to support the winner of the primary at the convention. In the case of Presidential primary elections, campaigning often begins a year or more before the first primary, held in New Hampshire, almost two years before the presidential election. New Hampshire's Primary by tradition is always the first, it is held two weeks after the Iowa caucus, in January of the presidential election year, after Iowa and New Hampshire, primaries and caucuses are held in the other states. The New Hampshire primary has become one of the key events every election year; the candidate who wins the primary has more chance of becoming elected, due to an influx of money and increased support. Until Bill Clinton in 1992 no one who had lost New Hampshire had been elected. ...read more.


The process remained far from democratic, the convention was a scene of intrigue among political bosses, who appointed and otherwise controlled nearly all of the delegates. A few, mostly Western states adopted primary elections in the late 19th century, but the major change came about due to the Democrats humiliation after riots at the convention in Chicago. Anti-war supporters were unhappy with the Democrat candidate for Vice President, Hubert Humphrey, who had not competed in a single primary but controlled enough delegates to win the nomination. Shortly after the riot the Democratic Party appointed a commission to select a new, less controversial method of choosing candidates. The commission settled on the primary election, adopted by the Democratic National Committee in 1968 and the Republican Party in 1972. Although the system of primary elections is considerably more democratic than previously it can still be criticised. For example Primary Elections are seen by some as a waste of precious money that could be put to better use in the General Election. Effectively candidates have to campaign twice in order to become elected, with the added disadvantage of any election being costly, candidates will ...read more.


This has made the system unjust and consequently states have started to compete for earlier primaries in order to have greater influence on the choice of candidate. As a result the majority of the Primaries take place during a short space of time from January to March instead of March to July. The shorter time span of the elections limits the ability of lesser-known candidates to gather resources and gain recognition among voters, especially when a better-known candidate enjoys extensive financial backing. A few reforms have been suggested to improve the imbalance in the current system; one such suggestion includes grouping the states by size into four groups with the smallest primaries first, then the next-smallest, and so on. However this would have meant the bigger states would always have been scheduled for late in election season and it could potentially create high travel costs for the candidates. Another alternative would be a National Primary but as previously stated requiring candidates to campaign in every state simultaneously would only aggravate problem of campaigns being dominated by the candidates who raise the most money. Charlotte - 1 - ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Political Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Political Philosophy essays

  1. Razzledazzle[1]: The Mexican President

    In addition, some might assert admiration for the well- crafted production. All sectors of the party, when necessary were sufficiently mobile and accountable to prevent elite divisions and rupture. Corruption was well ingrained to guarantee continuity and complicity. Ironically, it is possible to describe the presidential narrative in a circular way.

  2. Accounts for the changes in voting behaviour in the last 30 years in UK ...

    The questions as to what can be held accountable for changes in voting behaviour in the last 30 years in UK elections, can be approached with a degree of understanding. Looking back to the mid 1970's there was clearly a change in the way people were voting with the two-party

  1. To what extent do recent elections in the UK and the USA support the ...

    In Britain in 2001 "only 14% described themselves as 'very strong' party supporters." This was from a high point of 40% in the 1960's. (J. Fisher et al., 2003: 163) In 1996 52% of voters "did not identify with either party."

  2. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the system of choosing presidential candidates.

    The caucus system propounds the strength of the Party elite who have an overriding influence as to who is chosen. As Ragsdale observed (1993, p.95), the system tended to be dominated and controlled by party bosses, as "deals were cut in smoke-filled rooms," rather than by ordinary rank-and-file members.

  1. Extent of key political ideas in directly influencing change and development .

    before 1914, it was the First World War which was the real catalyst for the emergence of fascism. Thus, fascism was the most extreme reaction to this post-war political, social and national crisis. It was a movement which was opposed to the "decadence" of existing politics and aimed to create

  2. Analysis of Party Electoral Communications in the 1997 UK General Election.

    Key concepts that relate to this case study include: Politics and Communication - a general exploration of how politics and communication are entwined Mass Media and Politics - how was the mass media used in this campaign? Voting & the electoral system - how the ways people voted contributed to

  1. Was Gorbachev mistaken in trying to carry out economic and political reforms simultaneously?

    The key phrase that encapsulated many of Gorbachev's ideas on political reform was of "people's socialist self - government." (ibid p.69) The iron law of Moscow dictat, totally unresponsive to the needs of the population, would be replaced by sympathetic federal administration which would command legitimate respect and provide initiative.

  2. Russia's Political Party System as an Obstacle to Democratization

    Those changes also shaped the incentives for elite action in ways that have led away from the development of a well-structured party system. Until the party system re-establishes its links with society and the incentives of party elite behavior are shaped by the need to promote societal interests rather than

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work