By Robert A. Vella
With Bernie Sanders’ victory in West Virginia last night, here’s how the Democratic Party presidential race looks today with respect to the types of primary elections used. Although the rules in each state vary greatly (see: 2016 Presidential Primaries, Caucuses, and Conventions – Chronologically), I’ve separated them into three general categories:
- Open primaries – which, in one way or another, allow non-partisan voters or all voters to participate in the election.
- Closed primaries – which are restricted to registered Democrats only.
- Caucuses – which may be “open” or “closed,” but which require voters to attend specific meeting sites.
The map clearly shows that Hillary Clinton has performed best in closed primary states, while Bernie Sanders has performed better in open primary and caucus states where either the electorate was larger or where voter enthusiasm was greater: