I went to my first caucus this spring and it was very enlightening. I am of the belief that our candidates are being chosen by the "fringe" people in each party.There were plenty of good citizens there being good Americans, but the majority and definitely the loudest were people who I would consider to hold extreme viewpoints. And then there is the whole "super-delegate" thing that I don't even want to go into.

My state (Washington) has caucuses and an open primary election. People want to get rid of the latter, because the choice has been made already and it seems like a waste of money. I'd rather get rid of the former. I like the way the caucuses get people involved and talking, but I think it's a lousy way to choose a candidate.

What channels should I go through to see if others agree with me and is this something that could be put to a vote with a referendum?

  • 2
    Any primary system except the classic smoke-filled room favors fringe candidates. About the only system that selects centrist candidates is for the party bosses to decide who to run based on their ability to win the general election.
    – Mark
    Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 0:19

2 Answers 2


Typically, the rules and regulations on primaries are left up the corresponding State and National parties. Recently, at the Democratic National Convention rules committee a measure was passed to form a "Unity Commission" to study caucuses and how they're ran.

There's an excellent rundown specific to your state here: http://www.bustle.com/articles/163025-why-does-washington-state-have-a-caucus-and-primary-this-states-democratic-process-is-really-frustrating

  • Just one minor afterthought. The caucusing process happens on one day in Washington (and probably other places, too). Many working people (usually myself included) can't participate. This may be part of the reason that the caucuses only had about a third of the vote that the primary did in Washington. I love Bernie, but Hillary should have gotten our delegates. Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 16:11

Changing the way a state holds primary/caucuses requires a lot of moving parts. All states have caucuses to select delegates to the national convention, while some states also have primaries to bind those delegates. (In the other states, those delegates are bound to vote for who they supported during the caucus. Although they are sometimes allowed to choose at the time of the convention.)

So to be clear, a state wouldn't take away the caucus system. Rather it would require delegates chosen through the caucus system to match the outcome of a primary. This might sound strange, and it is. The "binding" of delegates by state primaries may, in fact, be unconstitutional. But every four years the parties play along this way in any case.

The parties also have the ability to step in and stop primaries from counting. This happened in Missouri, Colorado, Minnesota and several other states for Republicans in 2012.

The other big problem in many states is the cost of primaries. Of course, in Washington, this isn't an issue because it already holds a primary.

In short, moving to a system where the primary is the only vote that counts would require a groundswell both within a party and in the state legislature that would pass a law requiring the primary to bind delegates, while the party plays along.

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