US Elections: Understanding Caucuses vs Primaries

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News Team

The Iowa caucuses are a political tradition in the United States that mark the beginning of the Republican Party primaries for the presidential elections. Despite facing judicial charges, former President Donald Trump is the clear favorite. Republican voters in Iowa are being called to elect their preferred candidate amidst a historic cold wave that has impacted the state.

Polls place Trump with a clear advantage over the rest of the applicants, with the big question being who will come second. This position will be disputed by Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida, and Nikki Haley, former governor of South Carolina and former US ambassador to the UN during the Trump administration.

Caucuses are assemblies organized by the political parties themselves and take place in different spaces, such as schools, churches, and community centers. Only those affiliated with the organizing political space can participate, and voting methods vary according to the state in question.

In these assemblies, members of each party meet to discuss and choose which delegates will support each candidate at their national conventions. Depending on the state, the percentage of votes cast determines the number of delegates, or the candidate with the most votes wins all the delegates from the state in question.

Compared to primaries, caucuses are a more participatory process, as voters have the opportunity to talk to each other about the candidates and try to influence the final opinion. Currently, the states that elect their candidates through caucuses are Iowa, Nevada, North Dakota, and Wyoming.

The Iowa caucuses have become a political tradition because the American media devotes much attention to the activities of the candidates in that state and then to their performance on voting night. Primary elections, on the other hand, are secret votes that take place in polling stations and, depending on the state, people can vote for their favorite candidate, regardless of their party affiliation.

In general, the results are known faster than in caucuses and, according to experts, they are easier to organize and manage. In this type of election, people can also cast their vote by mail. Overall, the Iowa caucuses mark the beginning of an important political process in the United States, setting the stage for the upcoming presidential elections.

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