POLI 360 Lecture 12: POLI 360 - Lecture 12
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Department
POLI - Political Science
Course Code
POLI 360
Professor
Darmofal

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POLI 360 – Lecture 12  How Parties Choose Candidates o The move towards primary nominations of candidates was a Progressive Era reform to reduce party bosses’ and other party elites’ influences. o All states now use primaries to decide nominees for at least some statewide offices. o Primaries are the only way to choose party nominations in 38 states.  Types of Primaries o Closed Primary  This primary requires a stable record of the voter’s party affiliation before one can vote in a primary.  One can only vote in the primary with which he/she is affiliated.  These primaries are used in 28 states.  There are two types of closed primaries:  Fully-Closed Primaries: voters must register with a party prior to Election Day in order to vote in the party’s primary. These primaries indicate strong party organizations.  Semi-Closed Primaries: Voters still must state a party affiliation and can only vote in the primary of the parties they are affiliated with, respectively. Voters can change their affiliation, however, at the polls. o Open Primary  This primary allows people to vote in either party’s primary without announcing a party affiliation.  21 states use this type of primary, including South Carolina.  There are two types of open primaries:  Semi-open Primaries: Voters can ask for either party’s ballot at the polls, but pollsters keep no standing records of the voters’ party choices.  Fully Open Primaries: Voters receive consolidated ballots (with both parties’ primaries on it), or voters receive ballots for every party and the people choose the party primary they want to vote in in private. People, however, can only vote in one party’s primary. o Blanket Primary  This primary allows voters to vote in more than one party’s primary.  Citizens receive a ballot that lists the primary candidates for each party in each office; this allows voters to pick a Democrat for one office and a Republican for another office.  This primary was used in California, an anti-partisan state, but it was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court because the parties have no control. o Top Two Primary  This primary was created by California in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on blanket primaries.  All candidates appear on the same ballot. The top two vote-receivers, regardless of party affiliation, continue on to the general election. o Unified/Unitary Primary  Used in Louisiana since 1975, all candidates are listed on the same ballot, regardless of party affiliation.  If a candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, then that candidate
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