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How Does the Texas Primary Work?

How Does the Texas Primary Work?

They're calling it a "primacaucus" or the "Texas Two-step" and it's not easy to understand just how Texas doles out those coveted Democratic delegates. There's a whole book trying to explain it — but here are the basics:

Texas has a primary first. For 10 days all Texans — regardless of party — are able to cast a secret primary ballot at designated sites within their county — with an additional 12 hours on Tuesday, for those who did not vote early, they will be able to do so at their neighborhood polling place.

Then, 15 minutes after the polls close on Tuesday, anyone who cast a ballot in the Democratic primary will be able go to their polling place — and participate in a caucus known as a precinct convention. Delegates will be awarded separately from each process.

126 delegates will be awarded according to the primary results, and another 67 delegates will be up for grabs in the caucus.

Easy right? Just like falling off a horse.


Join The Conversation
tee0206 tee0206 9 years
Well, I just got back from caucusing, and that was such an unorganized mess. It was interesting, though!
jenintx jenintx 9 years
oh, and i'm not so sure this method favors one candidate over another. while it may seem to benefit obama through the youth vote, only about 1/3 of the 'delegates' are from the caucus vote. and as much as i hate to admit it, living here and all, there are a lot of racist people in texas (i'm an obama supporter, and i've actually heard someone say they wouldn't vote for 'the black man' granted, it was a super old man, but it was said nonetheless). while race hasn't seemed to be a factor in many southern states, texas may be an exception to that rule. i really hope not, but it may...
jenintx jenintx 9 years
i also learned about this b/c someone from the obama camp called my house and informed me about it. i researched it online and have found that if you show up at 7 and sign in with your preferred candidate, you can leave as soon as they call the meeting to order. it definitely is interesting. especially since the county i grew up in and the one i live in now are both 'republican' counties, and i voted democrat...
sofi sofi 9 years
good point khigg.. I really don't see how Hillary will even have a chance in Texas at this point- IMHO
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
I definitely thought the same thing about this being beneficial to Obama, khigg. Not only is his base more enthusiastic, a lot of them seem to be students or not have "regular" 9-to-5 full time jobs, because of no reason other than their youth, so it seems like they would simply be more likely to have the time to go back and vote again.
khigg khigg 9 years
They have been advertising the hell out of this process for the past couple weeks here in TX, sweetly dubbed the "texas two step". As others have said, it is really a pain to have to vote twice, at completely different times of day. The candidates are trying to make it seem like it's a privilege to GET to vote 2x!! Lucky us! It is also being said that this will weigh in Obama's favor since his base is younger and more energetic and will therefore be more likely to vote again in the evening. Who knows? I just wish there was a less complicated process here in TX.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
I don't understand how that's a check or balance. It's just a way for people to vote twice. You can easily vote for the same candidate in the primary and the caucus.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
They have the caucuses just in case you didn't vote "correctly" the first time. Checks and balances, people.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
Honestly, I am not the biggest Hillary fan. But if she does cause a fuss, I don't think I would blame her. And I suspect that the only reason I DO know something about this is because I live in Travis county, a blue county. I can't imagine what it would be like voting in my rural home county. They probably wouldn't even discuss it! Someone might have to admit to being a democrat if they talked about it too much. :)
wackdoodle wackdoodle 9 years
What is that why when George Bush was governor he use to say vote early and often? Cause you Texans get to vote twice.
qbert qbert 9 years
I live in Texas and just found out about the caucus vote. We have have received numerous calls from Obama's camp informing us. Otherwise this would have been the first I had heard of it. I voted early last week and my husband and I plan to go tonight at 7. I really hope we don't have to stay long because we are taking our one year old. No sitter.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
I think a lot of these systems need to be reformed. Texas seems to have the most confusing one, but others are inaccurate/confusing as well. I think a lot of the problems stem from the fact that, in general, these systems were created a long time ago when transportation options were different and when the government didn't have as much trust in the people to choose their own leaders. (Hence the electoral votes system in the general election.) Totally off subject (and I know I'm the one who brought it up), but the problem with changing the electoral vote system in the general election is that the races are usually so close that we would have to recount every single vote and it would take so long that the process wouldn't be complete in time for the inauguration. As more states switch to electronic voting, this problem could be alleviated.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
I think this probably requires reform, but trying to reform it like 3 days before it's going to happen just makes it look like you are trying to minimize your losses. Not a good move on her part. But I agree this whole thing is a little weird.
sofi sofi 9 years
KrisSugar, I hear you. I heard something last week that Hillary would cause some kind of fuss (sorry- didn't pay much attention for the terminology) because of all the confusion if it doesn't go her way. I will have a deja vue of 2000 and FLorida if this gets dragged out. It's not like there wasn't enough time to get the proper information out regarding how to vote. I have a feeling the democrats will be changing a lot for their primary process the next time around- they need an all or nothing or something else (I don't claim to know what would be right but changes should be coming).
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
sofi, Texans don't understand it. and we don't have time to do this. I thought that if i voted in the democratic primary, I wouldn't be able to change my mind later if I did not want to vote for the winning democrat. No one explains these things clearly. now it's too late, and i can't devote one half of my day to this today.
sofi sofi 9 years
so in effect, you have to vote twice, once in the primary and then come back for the caucuse?? I'd like to hear how ten random people on the streets of Texas understand this- don't think they wouuld all get it or willing to go through that. I can only imagine the lines that are going to be forming for the caucus probably starting mid day pr sooner.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 9 years
Interesting and unnecessarily drawn out.
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