2020 Primary Primers

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    Primary Primers: Voters are generally happy to work alongside elites to choose their party’s presidential nominee

Primary Primers: Voters are generally happy to work alongside elites to choose their party’s presidential nominee

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Since 1984, party elites, both elected and DNC members, have played a role in selecting the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee. While recent years have seen calls to move away from a system that includes those who some accuse of being unelected elites, in new research, Zachary Albert and Raymond La Raja find that voters are actually happy with a […]

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    Primary Primers: Why Justin Amash could be a game-changer without a chance

Primary Primers: Why Justin Amash could be a game-changer without a chance

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Late last month, former Republican Representative Justin Amash announced that he was exploring a presidential bid for the Libertarian Party. Jeffrey Michels and Olivier Lewis write that if Amash is able to gain the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination, then he could find himself the kingmaker if he is able to win over Republican voters who dislike Donald Trump. Whether he […]

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    Primary Primers: Why rescheduling the Democratic National Convention is likely to benefit Trump 

Primary Primers: Why rescheduling the Democratic National Convention is likely to benefit Trump 

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The Democratic Party recently announced that it would be shifting its presidential nominating convention back by more than a month because of concerns over COVID-19. James D. King writes that party reforms of the last 50 years mean that national conventions have become an advertisement for a pre-determined candidate rather than a venue to decide on the nominee. He comments that […]

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    Primary Primers: Why Minnesota is – and isn’t – a swing state 

Primary Primers: Why Minnesota is – and isn’t – a swing state 

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In the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump very nearly won in Minnesota, only missing out by 45,000 votes in the state. Rubrick Biegon takes a close look at whether Minnesota should now be considered to be a swing state. He writes that despite Trump’s recent appeals there, the North Star State’s progressive history and present may make a victory for him very difficult this fall.

This article is part of our Primary Primers series […]

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    Primary Primers: Why Texas won’t be turning blue this year 

Primary Primers: Why Texas won’t be turning blue this year 

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As the second most populated state, Texas is a significant electoral prize in presidential contests. Robert Ledger, Madison Imiola and Peter Finn write that changing demographics mean that Democrats are becoming more hopeful about winning the Lone Star State, but other factors such as primary turnout and the COVID-19 pandemic point to an uphill battle this year.

This article is part of our Primary Primers series curated by […]

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    Primary Primers: Wyoming had made important reforms to its nomination process even before Covid-19 disrupted the presidential primary.

Primary Primers: Wyoming had made important reforms to its nomination process even before Covid-19 disrupted the presidential primary.

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With its small population meaning that it has a relatively low number of delegates on offer for presidential nomination candidates, Wyoming’s caucus typically garners little attention. But this year’s vote, is significant, writes James D. King, as the state’s Democrats have moved to a hybrid primary-caucus model as well as extending the submission deadline for ballots due to the […]

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    Primary Primers: Wisconsin’s election shows that a pivot to absentee ballots is possible at short notice – though not without problems.

Primary Primers: Wisconsin’s election shows that a pivot to absentee ballots is possible at short notice – though not without problems.

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Last week Wisconsin held its presidential primary election alongside contests for the state Supreme Court and other local offices. Wendy Scattergood reports on controversies and lawsuits in the lead up to the vote as well as the difficulties posed by a rise in the use of absentee ballots in a social distancing election. 

This article is part of our […]

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    Primary Primers: Wisconsin shows how the Covid-19 pandemic has made holding elections much more difficult.

Primary Primers: Wisconsin shows how the Covid-19 pandemic has made holding elections much more difficult.

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Wisconsin is set to hold its presidential primary on April 7th, the first to do so following directives for its citizens to stay at home during the Covid-19 outbreak. Ahead of the primary, Wendy Scattergood writes on the electoral challenges that now face the state, from the impending shortage of poll workers and ballots, court challenges over a purge […]

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    Primary Primers: The Covid-19 crisis will disrupt the 2020 presidential election, but it won’t be suspended.

Primary Primers: The Covid-19 crisis will disrupt the 2020 presidential election, but it won’t be suspended.

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The Covid-19 crisis is causing global disruption, with the US far from immune. Peter Finn and Robert Ledger sketch out how the crisis is, and could, affect the ongoing primary process and the presidential election in November. 

This article is part of our Primary Primers series curated by Rob Ledger (Frankfurt Goethe University) and Peter Finn (Kingston University). Ahead […]

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    Primary Primers: In this election, the Democrats are facing an uphill battle to reclaim patriotism for the left

Primary Primers: In this election, the Democrats are facing an uphill battle to reclaim patriotism for the left

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Patriotism and what it means to be an ‘American’ is often seen as the domain of the Republican rather than the Democratic Party. In challenging Donald Trump for the presidency this year, the Democrats are faced with the challenge of offering a unifying national identity in the face of the Republicans’ nationalism, writes Kristin Hanson. The Democratic candidates have […]

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