2020 US Election Blog Series: Edition 3

14 May 2020
2020 US Election Blog Series: Edition 3
Key terms

Traditional primary – is a state-wide process of candidate selection, with voters casting secret ballots for their preferred candidates. Unlike a caucus, voters simply arrive at one of many polling booths, and vote in secret.

Semi-closed primary - also known as a hybrid primary, is a type of primary election in which previously unaffiliated voters may participate in the partisan primary of their choice. Voters who are already affiliated with a political party can vote only in that party's primary.

Closed primary - A type of direct primary limited to registered party members, who must declare their party affiliation in order to vote. The closed primary serves to encourage party unity and prevent members of other parties from infiltrating and voting to nominate weak candidates.

Delegates - A delegate is a person selected to represent a group of people in some political assembly of the United States.  Prior to a United States presidential election, the major political parties select delegates from the various state parties for a presidential nominating convention, often by either primary elections or party caucuses.
 

It is difficult to deny the implications COVID-19 has had on the 2020 US Election. In-person voting opportunities have been changed to postal methods, and campaigns are likely to be heavily impacted if traditional large-scale rallies cannot go ahead.

Many primaries have been postponed to a later date although presumptive candidates have already been assumed to be President Donald Trump representing the Republican Party, and Joe Biden for the Democratic Party.
   
Below is an overview of how the election is set to unfold at the time of publication

May

May 8–9: Wyoming Republican State Convention         
The Convention was held virtually with the following results: May 12: Nebraska
  • Democratic primary: The Nebraska primary is a semi-closed primary. The state awards 29 delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention, of which 25 are pledged delegates allocated on the basis of the results of the primary.
  • Nebraska Republican primary‚ÄčThis primary held on the same day will see 36 pledged national convention delegates up for grabs.
May 19: Oregon
  • Democratic primaries: The Oregon primary is a closed primary. The state awards 74 delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention, of which 61 are pledged delegates allocated on the basis of the results of the primary. While the Georgia and Kentucky primaries were to take place on the same day, they have now been rescheduled due to COVID-19.
  • Republican primary, This primary determines which candidate will earn the right to run as the party's nominee in the state's secretary of state election held on the same day as the general election in November. 
May 22: Hawaii          
  • Mail-in voting ends in the Hawaii Democratic primary.  This primary was to be held in person on 4 April; but was altered to postal voting due to COVID-19.

May 30: Virgin Islands         
  • Voting ends in the U.S. Virgin Islands Republican caucuses. The U.S. Virgin Islands does not cast electoral votes for president of the United States. It does, however, hold primary nominating events, otherwise known as caucuses.
 June

June 2: Primaries          
  • Primaries for both the Republican and Democratic Party will be held on this day, due to the   impacts of COVID-19 causing rescheduling. Many are comparing its potential impact to that of 'Super Tuesday'.
  • Democratic primaries – will be held in DelawareDistrict of ColumbiaIndianaMarylandMontanaNew MexicoPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth Dakota
  • Republican primaries: - will be held in Delaware, Indiana, Montana, Maryland, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota
June 6U.S. Virgin Islands Democratic caucuses                                                                         
  • This date is yet to be confirmed. The Virgin Islands do not vote in the presidential election as it is a territory, and not a state.  It is a closed caucus, with the territory awarding 11 delegates, of           which 6 are pledged delegates allocated on the basis of the results of the caucuses.  

June 7: Puerto Rico
  • This date is yet to be confirmed for the Puerto Rico Republican primary. 
  • Puerto Rico does not vote it the presidential election as it is a territory, and not a state. As US citizens, Puerto Rico residents can vote as part of the US primaries. The Puerto Rico primary is an open primary, with the territory awarding 59 delegates, of which 51 are pledged delegates allocated on the basis of results of the primary. The primary was originally scheduled for a March date, but postponed due to COVID-19.

June 9: West Virginia
  • West Virginia Democratic primary: Originally scheduled for 12 May, and postponed due to COVID-19, the West Virginia primary is a semi-closed primary, with the state awarding 30 delegates, of which 24 are pledged delegates allocated on the basis of the results of the primary.
  • West Virginia Republican primary: Originally scheduled for 12 May, this primary will see 34 delegates up for grabs. 
  • Georgia primary: Originally scheduled for 19 May, the primaries for both the Democratic and Republican parties will be held on this day. 

June 23: Kentucky
  • Kentucky Democratic primary: Previously scheduled for 19 May, this primary is closed, and candidates must meet a threshold of 15 percent at the congressional district or statewide level in order to be considered viable.  The 54 pledged delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention will be allocated proportionally on the basis of the results of the primary. Of the 54 pledged delegates, between 3 and 8 are allocated to each of the state's 6 congressional districts and another 6 are allocated to party leaders and elected officials (PLEO delegates), in addition to 10 at-large pledged delegates. 
  • Kentucky Republican primary: Originally scheduled for 19 May, but postponed due to COVID-19, this primary will determine which Kentucky candidate runs in the State’s general election on 3 November 2020.
July
  • July 7: New Jersey
  • New Jersey Democratic primary: Originally scheduled for 2 June, this primary forms part of the Democratic Party’s primaries for the US presidential election. This one will be semi-closed, with the state awarding 128 delegates, of which 107 are pledged delegates allocated on the basis of the results of the primary.
  • New Jersey Republican primary: Forming part of the Republican Party’s primaries for the US presidential election, this primary will see 49 delegates available to the successful candidate.

July 9–12: Green National Convention July 11: Louisiana
  • Louisiana Democratic Primary: Forming part of the Party’s primaries for the US presidential election, this is a closed primary, with the state awarding 61 delegates, of which 54 are pledged delegates allocated on the basis of the results of the primary.
  • Louisiana Republican primary This primary has been rescheduled twice due to COVID-19.  It was to initially be held in April, then June.  It will be closed, and 46 delegates will be allocated. 
Coming up
17-20 August              Democratic National Convention (Milwaukee)
24-27 August               Republican National Convention (Charlotte)
29 September             Presidential debate (South Bend, Ind)
7 October                    Vice Presidential debate (Salt Lake City, Utah)
15 October                  Presidential debate (Ann Arbor, Mich)
22 October                  Presidential debate (Nashville, Tenn)
3 November                Election Day
 
Be sure to visit our 2020 US Election  website for regular updates, as well as blogs and commentary from our sister centre, the United States Studies Centre.

Reference: Ballotpedia.org
                    Latimes.com (for future dates)
 

Authors

Tammy Wayne-Elliot
Tammy Wayne-Elliot
Senior Media and PR Advisor
Tammy Wayne-Elliot is the Senior PR and Media Advisor for the Perth USAsia Centre. She is responsible for public relations, media liaison and marketing and oversees the Centre's external profile.
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