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  #1  
Old 02-11-2008, 01:03 PM
Omega Glory Omega Glory is online now
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What are the pros and cons of primaries vs. caucuses?

I'm not sure if this belongs in GQ, but there must be factual reasons why different states choose one system over the other.
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  #2  
Old 02-11-2008, 01:13 PM
Freddy the Pig Freddy the Pig is offline
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In general, smaller states with more dispersed populations tend to favor caucuses. There are exceptions, but you see them mostly in farm states and the Rocky Mountains.

Keep in mind that the state legislature has to make the determination as to whether to schedule a presidential primary, and for more dispersed states, this is more of an expense relative to the state budget. Then, too, a primary (unless it's very early) in a more spread-out state will attract less money and fewer candidate visits, so there is less of an upside.
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Old 02-11-2008, 04:20 PM
Omega Glory Omega Glory is online now
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Thanks, Freddy.
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  #4  
Old 02-11-2008, 09:36 PM
Do Not Taunt Do Not Taunt is online now
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Caucuses bring a community together to discuss the issues and the candidates and, in theory anyway, result in a more informed voting population.

Primaries, on the other hand, are more inclusive. You can't participate in a caucus if you're out-of-town or busy when they're held, or if you are plain incapable of attending.
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Old 02-11-2008, 09:54 PM
The Flying Dutchman The Flying Dutchman is offline
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Caucuses are fertile ground for able activists who gain unfair advantage for their personal agenda by applying social pressures to prey on undecided or weak individuals.
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:12 PM
Do Not Taunt Do Not Taunt is online now
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Since this is GQ, not GD, I'd point out that, yes, the discussion aspect of a caucus might benefit a candidate whose supporters are more vocal and/or convincing. But this is in contrast to a primary where the same "undecided or weak individuals" would likely be swayed by tv commercials, poorly thought-out endorsements, or push polls. I'm not sure that's better.
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  #7  
Old 02-12-2008, 11:36 PM
Omega Glory Omega Glory is online now
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Thanks for the different perspectives.
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