Welcome to our Primary Primers series for the 2020 US Presidential election.
Ahead of the 2020 election, this series, curated by Rob Ledger (Schiller University) and Peter Finn (Kingston University), explores key themes, ideas, concepts, procedures and events that shape, affect and define the US presidential primary process.
How our Primary Primers series has covered the election: COVID-19, inequality, gendered politics and a likely Biden victory
Across more than 50 articles on this blog, the Primary Primers series has documented, firstly, the ins and outs of the Democratic Party primary […]
Primary Primers: While Trump’s impeachment now seems forgotten, it damaged his political capital and reduced his sway in the Republican Party
To say that 2020 has been an eventful year is an understatement. A global pandemic, national uprisings against racial injustice, an economic collapse – […]
US Senators can use the filibuster to delay and block legislation. Lauren C. Bell writes that should Joe Biden win the White House and […]
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many Americans to change the way they vote, from in person to mail balloting. Priscilla Southwell writes that, despite […]
We are in the final stages of another election season. Although Presidential campaign makes up much of the headlines, there are still 435 House […]
Primary Primers: For Republicans, the Trump presidency has always been a marriage of convenience to advance a conservative agenda.
Why do many Republicans tolerate and even support Donald Trump when many of his past actions and current behaviors fly in the face of […]
Primary Primers: After months of downplaying COVID-19 before catching it, Trump is still likely facing electoral defeat.
President Donald Trump immediately ceased campaigning following his COVID-19 diagnosis last week. Peter Finn argues that a quick recovery is unlikely to benefit Trump […]
Primary Primers: Biden and Trump go big for Minnesota – a state which may matter less than they think.
As a Midwestern state with ten electoral votes, Minnesota is often seen as a key battleground in the 2020 presidential election. But, writes Rubrick […]
Primary Primers: While Trump plays on stereotypes about women to attack her, Kamala Harris signals that she will fight for the ‘new’ American family.
What can Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris’ speech at the Democratic National Convention in August tell us about how she will campaign heading into […]
While political pundits often focus on well-known swing states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan, North Carolina is often considered to be a red – […]
Primary Primers: The 2020 Democratic convention showed unusual unity, though ideological divisions remain.
This week the Democratic Party held their online 2020 presidential nominating convention. Peter Finn writes that while history has been made with the nomination […]
Primary Primers: Kamala Harris’ Vice Presidential nomination is a massive step forward for US politics.
Late yesterday, the Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, announced that California Senator Kamala Harris would be his running mate in the November election. Amy […]
Despite close presidential elections in recent years, Ronald Ranta argues that November will likely see former Vice President Joe Biden beat President Donald Trump […]
In recent months, former Vice President Joe Biden has opened up a significant lead over President Trump in the 2020 election race, as voters […]
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major shifts and changes to this election year’s political schedule, among them the Republican National Committee’s decision to shift […]
The 2016 election was marked by the popularity of Donald Trump with voters in Midwestern states like Iowa and Minnesota, which had voted for Barack Obama in 2012. To […]
Primary Primers: Justin Amash’s presidential bid shows that some Republicans’ future may be with the Libertarian Party.
With Republican and Democratic voters rallying around their party’s respective presidential candidates ahead of the November election, the chances of a victory for the Libertarian Party look bleak. […]
Primary Primers: Voters are generally happy to work alongside elites to choose their party’s presidential nominee
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 […]
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 […]
The Democratic Party recently announced that it would be shifting its presidential nominating convention back by more than a month because of concerns over […]
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 […]
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 […]
Primary Primers: Wyoming had made important reforms to its nomination process even before Covid-19 disrupted the presidential primary.
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 […]
Primary Primers: Wisconsin’s election shows that a pivot to absentee ballots is possible at short notice – though not without problems.
Last week Wisconsin held its presidential primary election alongside contests for the state Supreme Court and other local offices. Wendy Scattergood reports on controversies […]
Primary Primers: Wisconsin shows how the Covid-19 pandemic has made holding elections much more difficult.
Wisconsin is set to hold its presidential primary on April 7th, the first to do so following directives for its citizens to stay at […]
Primary Primers: The Covid-19 crisis will disrupt the 2020 presidential election, but it won’t be suspended.
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, […]
Primary Primers: In this election, the Democrats are facing an uphill battle to reclaim patriotism for the left
Patriotism and what it means to be an ‘American’ is often seen as the domain of the Republican rather than the Democratic Party. In […]
While Ohio has historically been considered to be a swing state, in the 2016 election, The Buckeye State went against the national trend and […]
Bernie Sanders came out of the Nevada Democratic caucuses with more than 46 percent of pledged delegates, putting the Vermont Senator in a strong […]
Next Tuesday voters across 14 states will go to the polls to select their preferred nominee to take on President Trump in the fall. […]
Primary Primers: After contests in the mostly white states of Iowa and New Hampshire, Democratic candidates now face real tests in Nevada and South Carolina.
Since the 1970s, the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary have been first in the nation to select their presidential nominees. Laura Smith […]
Primary Primers: The organizers of the Nevada caucuses look to avoid an Iowa repeat in a more diverse, battleground state.
Following several days of early voting, on Saturday February 22nd, Democratic Party members will caucus in Nevada to choose their preferred presidential nominee. Ahead […]
The Sunshine State has always been considered one of the most important swing states in US presidential elections, famously deciding the 2000 election result […]
Of the eleven contenders in the Democratic 2020 presidential primary, three are women. Amy Tatum looks at the uphill battle women face to be […]
Primary Primers: The meltdown of the 2020 Iowa Caucuses shows just how difficult election administration can be.
Last week, the 2020 Iowa Democratic Caucus suffered a ‘meltdown’ as difficulties with a new app for reporting the results led to long delays […]
Instead of enabling a candidate to declare victory and gain momentum ahead of the presidential primary contests to follow, the 2020 Iowa Democratic Caucus […]
The Iowa Caucus usually marks the beginning of a presidential election season, and often sets the tone for the rest of the race. This […]
The 2020 Democratic primary contest has not yet begun, and yet several contenders have already experienced what some commentators have called a ‘surge’, where […]
With only days to go before the Iowa caucuses begin the 2020 US presidential election season, Phillip Davies gives an outsider’s view of the […]
While China has been a consistent target of President Trump’s ire since he became president, discussions about the US’ relationship with the country have […]
In just over two months’ time, voters in Iowa will caucus to decide their preferred candidates for the 2020 presidential nomination. Andrew D. Green […]
On March 3rd, 2020, 14 states will hold primary elections to determine their preferred presidential candidates. Barbara Norrander writes that these contests – which […]
Though still a relatively small group, Libertarians have had a growing political presence in the US in recent decades. Olivier Lewis and Jeffrey Michels […]
Many in and outside of the US consider Georgia to be a solidly conservative state, but that is increasingly no longer the case, writes […]
Primary Primers: The Electoral College is a complex institution that may be making contemporary political conflicts worse
In US presidential elections, the winner is determined not by who wins the most votes nationwide, but by who wins a majority in the […]
Primary Primers: The line between presidential politics and popular culture is becoming increasingly blurred
While popular culture has never been far from politics, the campaign and election of Barack Obama in 2008 was the beginning of a new […]
Since 2001, the US has been engaged in a global campaign of counterterrorism operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Tom Watts writes that if […]
Primary Primers: The US primary-style contest for the next UK Prime Minister is the worst of both worlds
As the United States gears up for its next presidential race next year, the United Kingdom is also in the throes of a contest […]
Like the US, until recently Italian politics had virtually never seen a city mayor elevated to its highest office. That all changed with the […]
Primary Primers: Why a little bit of populism may be a good thing for the Democrats’ 2020 candidates
In the 2016 presidential race, Donald Trump’s populism helped to elevate him to the White House. Now, with the Democratic presidential primaries fast approaching, […]
Primary Primers: Why Joe Biden’s polling lead for the Democratic nomination may be more tenuous than many believe
As we head into the first round of debates between the candidates for the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination, former Vice President Joe Biden […]
Primary Primers: Three reasons why foreign policy negotiations during the 2020 campaign season are a bad idea
As both campaign and as presidential rhetoric, Donald Trump has boasted of his deal making prowess. However, like for all other presidents before him, […]
The Golden State is the most populated in the US, has the largest GDP, and importantly, is likely to have the most primary delegates […]
Primary Primers: Many of the candidates in the 2020 Democratic primary want to re-write America’s foreign policy
Since the early 1990s, US foreign policy has largely centered on promoting and preserving – often via military interventions – the rules-based order of […]
In the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election, all 50 states will hold either primaries or caucuses to select the presidential nominees for the […]
The 2020 Iowa Caucuses are now less than a year away – our ‘Primary Primers’ series will be your guide to what to expect.
With barely a pause for breath following the 2018 midterm elections, the 2020 primary election race is now unfolding. Rob Ledger and Peter Finn […]
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