Benefits of Primaries and Caucuses

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Benefits of Primaries and Caucuses by Mind Map: Benefits of Primaries and Caucuses

1. Encourages participation early in the electoral process.

1.1. Without primaries, voters would be forced to wait until November to take part. With primaries, they are active from January.

2. Allows a wider range of candidates to stand, giving more choice to voters

2.1. Without a primary system, Barack Obama would never have been President. His mobilisation on the public opinion in 2008 inspired many Americans to ensure the first ever black President. On the Republican side, the Tea Party have forced strong conservatives like Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Mike Lee and Marco Rubio into contention. The establishment would not choose these candidates, preferring the likes of John McCain, Chris Christie and Jeb Bush.

3. Opens up the system to the public, reducing elitist influence of party bosses

3.1. In the past, candidates were chosen at the convention in a process closed to the public. Now everything is blown wide open. Newt Gingrich was exposed by the media as having accepted $1.2 million from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, reducing his popularity. A similar money scandal hit Democrat John Edwards in 2008. Neither candidate secured the popularity needed to win the nomination

4. Open Primaries encourage voters from both sides to participate even if one party has an incumbent president and is not holding a primary.

4.1. The open primary in Michigan 2012 showed that many Democrats participated in the 2012 GOP primary, encouraged by Rick Santorum to exercise their democratic rights.

5. Caucuses are a traditional form of civic engagement that encourage public discussion and reward participation. Increases education and participation of the electorate.

5.1. The grassroots campaigns of Rick Santorum and Ron Paul showed for a 1st and 3rd place finish showed that the money of Romney could be countered by mobilising people power on the ground.

6. Requires candidates to appeal to a wide range of people giving more attention to a wider range of policy.

6.1. Successful candidates must appeal to voters in rural states like Iowa, urban states like New York, industrial states like Ohio and Michigan as well as liberal and conservative states like California and Texas. Wide appeal is needed to secure the nomination which is more pluralistic.