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US Politics – Primaries and Caucuses

2. Primaries and Caucuses

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About this Lecture

Lecture

In this module, we look at the mechanisms of primaries and caucuses in the United States, focusing in particular on: (i) the practice of caucuses and their decline, particularly in 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic; (ii) how caucuses work; (iii) the relative strengths and weaknesses of caucuses; (iv) how primaries work, encompassing both ‘open’ and ‘closed’ primaries; (v) their strengths and weaknesses; (vi) how the different forms of selection can affect not only who participates in the selection process, but also how this can affect the tone of the primary campaigns as well as who ultimately wins the presidential nomination.

Course

In this course, Dr David Andersen (Durham University) explores the system of primaries and caucuses – also known as the presidential nomination process – in the United States. In the first module, we are introduced to the system of presidential elections and given some key historical context. In the second module, we explore primaries and caucuses, outlining with real-world examples the different forms of primary, as well as the history and relative importance of both primaries and caucuses. In the third module, we turn to the question of ‘Theory vs. Practice’ by interrogating the theory underpinning this process – from the ‘Quiet Campaign’ up to six years prior to the primaries, to the eventual choosing of a presidential candidate by party elites, party activists, and ordinary voters. In the fourth module, we explore and critique the unique influence held by two key states in this process: Iowa (IA) and New Hampshire (NH). In the fifth and final module, we draw this all together to think about the full map of the presidential nomination process in the US.

Lecturer

Dr. Andersen studies American politics and government, focusing on political psychology and political behaviour. He received his PhD in 2011 from Rutgers University. He worked at the Eagleton Institute of Politics for two years at the Center on the American Governor before moving to Iowa State University in 2013 as an Assistant Professor of American Government. He joined Durham University in 2019 as an Assistant Professor in United States Politics. His research explores how people learn about politics and then how what they learn influences what they believe and how they act politically. His research has been published in some of the top academic journals, including the American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, and Political Analysis.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Andersen, D. (2021, December 13). US Politics – Primaries and Caucuses - Primaries and Caucuses [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/primaries-and-caucuses/primaries-and-caucuses

MLA style

Andersen, David. "US Politics – Primaries and Caucuses – Primaries and Caucuses." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 13 Dec 2021, https://massolit.io/courses/primaries-and-caucuses/primaries-and-caucuses

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