Primary election

primaryprimariesopen primaryprimary electionspreliminary electionclosed primaryDemocratic primariesopen primariesdirect primaryclosed primaries
Primary elections or often just primaries, are the process by which voters can indicate their preference for their party's candidate, or a candidate in general, in an upcoming general election, local election, or by-election, with the goal of narrowing the field of candidates.wikipedia
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Nonpartisan blanket primary

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A nonpartisan blanket primary is a primary election in which all candidates for the same elected office, regardless of respective political party, run against each other at once, instead of being segregated by political party.

Blanket primary

blanket primariesblanketprimaries
The blanket primary is a system used for selecting political party candidates in a primary election in the United States.

New Hampshire primary

New HampshireNew Hampshire Democratic primarypresidential primary
In the United States, Iowa and New Hampshire have drawn attention every four years because they hold the first caucus and primary election, respectively, and often give a candidate the momentum to win their party's nomination.
The New Hampshire primary is the first in a series of nationwide party primary elections and the second party contest (the first being the Iowa Caucuses) held in the United States every four years as part of the process of choosing the delegates to the Democratic and Republican national conventions which choose the party nominees for the presidential elections to be held the subsequent November.

Progressivism in the United States

progressiveProgressivismprogressives
The origins of primary elections can be traced to the progressive movement in the United States, which aimed to take the power of candidate nomination from party leaders to the people.
In Wisconsin, La Follette pushed through an open primary system that stripped party bosses of the power to pick party candidates.

Iowa caucuses

Iowa caucusIowacaucus
In the United States, Iowa and New Hampshire have drawn attention every four years because they hold the first caucus and primary election, respectively, and often give a candidate the momentum to win their party's nomination.
Unlike primary elections in most other U.S. states where registered voters go to polling places to cast ballots, Iowans instead gather at local caucus meetings to discuss and vote on the candidates.

2010 California Proposition 14

Proposition 14California Proposition 14 (2010)Proposition 14 (2010)
It consolidated all primary elections for a particular office into an election with one ballot that would be identical to all voters, regardless of their party preferences.

Party raiding

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However, tactical voting is sometimes a concern in non-partisan primaries as members of the opposite party can vote for the weaker candidate in order to face an easier general election.
Party raiding describes a tactic in American politics where members of one party vote in another party's primary election in an effort to either nominate a weaker candidate or prolong divided support between two or more contenders for that party's nomination (especially for president).

Tactical voting

strategic votingvote tacticallystrategically
However, tactical voting is sometimes a concern in non-partisan primaries as members of the opposite party can vote for the weaker candidate in order to face an easier general election.
At that time, the Republican primaries were open primaries in which anyone could vote regardless of their own party affiliation.

2011 French Socialist Party presidential primary

2011 Socialist Party presidential primaryFrench Socialist Party presidential primary, 20112011 primary election
The 2011 French Socialist Party presidential primary was the first open primary (primaires citoyennes) of the French Socialist Party and Radical Party of the Left for selecting their candidate for the 2012 presidential election.

2006 Italian general election

2006 general election20062006 election
A more politically significant primary was held on 16 October 2005, when The Union asked its voters to decide the candidate for Prime Minister in the 2006 general election: 4,300,000 voters showed up and Romano Prodi won hands down.
Prodi's candidacy was confirmed by a national primary election, held on 16 October 2005.

Electoral system

multi-membervoting systemvoting systems
In elections using electoral systems where strategic nomination is a concern, primaries can be very important in preventing "clone" candidates that split their constituency's vote because of their similarities.
Primary elections are a feature of some electoral systems, either as a formal part of the electoral system or informally by choice of individual political parties as a method of selecting candidates, as is the case in Italy.

2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries

Democratic Party (United States) presidential primaries, 20082008 Democratic presidential primaries2008 Democratic presidential primary
The presidential primaries actually consisted of both primary elections and caucuses, depending upon what the individual state chose.

Crossover voting

crossing overcrossover registrationcrossover votes
In primary elections in the United States, crossover voting refers to a behavior in which voters cast ballots for a party with which they are not traditionally affiliated.

Committeemen and committeewomen

committeemanCommitteewomancommitteemen
In California, under Proposition 14 (Top Two Candidates Open Primary Act), a voter-approved referendum, in all races except for that for U.S. president and county central committee offices, all candidates running in a primary election regardless of party will appear on a single primary election ballot and voters may vote for any candidate, with the top two vote-getters overall moving on to the general election regardless of party.
Committeemen are typically chosen by voters in a primary election at the local level, such as a ward or township.

Independent Party of Oregon

IndependentIndependent PartyIndependent Oregon
The election was held by the Independent Party of Oregon in July, 2010.
The IPO became the first political party in the United States to conduct a binding statewide Primary Election entirely over the internet.

Democratic Party (Italy)

Democratic PartyPDDemocratic
Two years later, on 14 October 2007, voters of the Democratic Party were called to choose the party leader among a list of six, their representatives to the Constituent Assembly and the local leaders.
On 14 October 2007, Veltroni was elected leader with about 75% of the national votes in an open primary attended by over three million voters.

United States

AmericanU.S.USA
The origins of primary elections can be traced to the progressive movement in the United States, which aimed to take the power of candidate nomination from party leaders to the people.
For elective offices at most levels, state-administered primary elections choose the major party nominees for subsequent general elections.

The Greens (France)

The GreensLes VertsGreens
Alain Lipietz was first selected to represent the Greens in the 2002 presidential elections but his public outings proved awkward and he was soon replaced by Noël Mamère who had initially lost the primary elections.

Third party (United States)

third partythird-partythird parties
This often has the effect of eliminating minor parties from the general election, and frequently the general election becomes a single-party election.
In the United States, if an interest group is at odds with its traditional party, it has the option of running sympathetic candidates in primaries.

Romano Prodi

ProdiPrime Minister ProdiProdi & C.
A more politically significant primary was held on 16 October 2005, when The Union asked its voters to decide the candidate for Prime Minister in the 2006 general election: 4,300,000 voters showed up and Romano Prodi won hands down.
Having no party of his own, in order to officially state his candidacy for the 2006 general election, Prodi came up with the idea of an apposite primary election, the first of such kind to be ever introduced in Europe and seen by its creator (Prodi himself) as a democratic move to bring the public and its opinion closer to the Italian politics.

The Union (Italy)

The UnionL'UnioneUnion
A more politically significant primary was held on 16 October 2005, when The Union asked its voters to decide the candidate for Prime Minister in the 2006 general election: 4,300,000 voters showed up and Romano Prodi won hands down. In that occasion the centre-left The Union coalition held open primaries in order to select candidates for President of Apulia and Calabria.
As of 2005, the coalition was assumed to be led by Prodi, however he called for a primary election in order to gain an official leadership.

2012 French presidential election

20122012 presidential electionpresidential election
Until 2012, none of the six Presidents elected through direct election faced a competitive internal election.
The 2011 French Socialist Party presidential primary was the first open primary (primaires citoyennes), jointly held by the French Socialist Party and Radical Party of the Left for selecting their candidate for the 2012 presidential election.

The People of Freedom

PdLPeople of FreedomPopolo della Libertà
The centre-right (see House of Freedoms, The People of Freedom, centre-right coalition and Forza Italia) has never held a primary at the national level, but held some experiments at the very local level.
In a written press release, the PdL leader also hinted that the party would select his successor through an open primary on 16 December.