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Presidential Election Process Underway

Republican caucuses and primaries have been taking off in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Republican caucuses and primaries have been taking off in Iowa and New Hampshire.
  
Many are on the edge of their seats with the Republican presidential candidate process underway.

The process to determine the next president of the United States has begun.

The Democrats basically have their answer.

"President Obama doesn't have any challenger, there's no challenger in the primary. I mean, there might be people on the ballot, you know, random weird people," says Edwin Taylor, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Missouri Western State University.

The Republicans however, are early in the process.

Many states will use caucuses to determine the candidate.

"So they're held in like living rooms or churches, and essentially, the people from that precinct, from the party, they get together, the candidate spokespeople make little speeches, and then you basically say 'ok now we're going to caucus,' and you go and you line up underneath the candidate you want to support," Taylor says.

Others use primaries.

"They'll have like an open election. In other words, people of say the Republican party or Independents, they go to the polls and vote," says Ken Beck, of the Northwest Missouri Republicans.

And it's the state that determines whether they'll use caucuses or a primary.

"Different states have different rules in how they hold their elections. It's based on the state law and how the state parties are setup within that state so that's where you're going to get your differences," Beck says.

From Iowa to New Hampshire, states take turns determining their winner.

"So the states run the elections, and the states can make the deciding points, but the parties still have some influence over that process," Taylor says.

Here in Missouri, we have both a primary and caucuses. However, the primary holds no significance.

"This primary is basically a straw vote. It's an exercise which you call in futility, because it means nothing, and it's going to cost the state money," says Beck.

With so many candidates this year, Republicans are in for a wild ride.

"Well I think they're excited because there's a lot of candidates out there. It's kind of like you have a great choice out there because you have various Republicans from all walks of life," Beck says.
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