Election 2016

Primary vs. Caucus: What's the Difference?

What is the difference between a primary election and a caucus?

By Kirk Bailey | Source: Dummies.com


A primary is a state-level election where party members vote to choose a candidate affiliated with their political party. Party candidates selected in a primary then run against each other in a general election. Thirty-four U.S. states conduct primary elections.


A caucus is a local meeting where registered members of a political party in a city, town or county gather to vote for their preferred party candidate and conduct other party business. Caucuses typically are used in combination with a state convention to elect delegates to the national nominating convention for presidential elections.

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