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Video transcript

both of the major parties and we're talking about the United States here hold their national convention during the summer before the actual general election so the Republicans will hold their Republican National National Convention and the Democrats will hold their Democratic National Convention and it's there that they officially choose their candidates that will run against each other in the general election in the general election and a national convention for one of the parties will look something like this this is the Democratic National Convention in 2008 you have all of the demo the delay gets over here and everyone's all excited and they start to cheerlead for their party and for their candidate the Republican National Convention looks very similar and although there's a lot of energy here there actually isn't a lot of suspense going into the convention we usually know already who the candidates for each of the parties are going to be and that's because each of the states have their own selection process for picking a candidate and as those selection processes as we get the results from we know how many delegates they're going to send to the convention and who they are going to or whom they are going to vote for but there's two ways that they can select those candidates or those those delegates at for the National Convention they could either run a caucus they could run a caucus caucus Oracle caucus let me spell that right they could either run a caucus or they could run a primary they could have a primary and I'll start with primary because that's a little bit more intuitive it's kind of like just a election that is based on party four who do you for whom do you want to be your nominee at coming out of the national convention so for any given state they'll have both a Democratic primary and a Republican primary and on the Democratic primary let's say candidate a gets forty percent of the vote on that on that election candidate B gets thirty percent of the vote unless a candidate C gets another thirty percent of the vote what will happen is is that states delegates on the Democratic side so let's say that that state just for convenience let's say that they have 10 delegates 10 delegates on the Democratic side that means that these delegates will go on to the National Convention and represent the different candidates proportionally so out of these 10 delegates 40% or 4 will represent candidate a 3 will represent candidate B and 3 will represent candidate C when they go to the National Convention on the Republican side it's a little bit more nuanced you could have similar results a gets 40% B gets 30% and C gets let me do a different letter so these aren't the same candidates so let me let me do candidates D E and F so you could have candidate D kind of did e kind of did F and let's say let me just do the percentage is slightly different for fun so let's see if 45% over here let's say you have 25% over here that gets us analyst say you have candidate F with 30% over here on the Republican side it depends from state to state some states will do it similar to the Democrats where the delegates represent the candidates in proportion to the votes they have while some other states have it winner-take-all and so for example in a winner-take-all in a winner-take-all state candidate D would get all 10 delegates so the reason why states do that is it's a stronger incentive for candidate to show up to that state if they feel like they're in the running because if you think if they throw enough money and marketing in that state that's a big deal to take all of the votes on the other hand if you're a smaller candidate and you don't think you can take it all it might be a disincentive for you to actually even show up at that state and you might want to focus on the states where you can actually get some delegates so that's all a primary is it's really as kind of you could view it as an election this held separately on the Democratic side separately on the Republican side and those are used by the state's parties to decide who which delegates go to the national party and whom those delegates are going to vote for a caucus the point is the same thing to figure out who who are your delegates that are going to go to the National Convention and whom are they going to vote for but the process is a little bit different in a caucus you essentially have people get together in these events these caucuses in different precincts and the most famous of these are the Iowa caucuses so in small precincts you'll have groups of fifty to a hundred people get together and they have and the different parties have different ways of doing going about it but they have a way they have processes in place where people try to kind of market for different candidates they they campaign for different candidates and sometimes they'll have a cut-off that if one of the candidates that one of the precincts don't get at least 15 percent of the vote then though the people who supported that candidate then will have to give their their support to another candidate so they make sure that all of the delegates represent at least a certain threshold of voters but there's different processes in place but the bottom line is is once they at each of these precincts they'll select delegates and then those delegates will then go on to the County conventions and then those delegates at the County conventions now these are representing more people will then pick delegates to the district conventions and then at the district conventions they'll pick candidates on to the state conventions and at the state conventions they'll pick the final candidates that go on to the national convention now the two most famous caucuses or primaries are the the Iowa caucus which takes place in Iowa and you have the New Hampshire primary you have the New Hampshire primary which of course takes place in New Hampshire and they're important not because they pick so many delegates that those delegates are gonna tip the balance necessarily these are both small states they don't have that many delegates compared to California or Texas or Florida but what's important about both of them is that they happen very very very early on in the primary season and because they happen early on in the primary season the candidates that come off with the lead here it's easier for them to raise money because other people say oh I want to give money my money to a winner you know I don't want to give money in candidate who's gonna just you know blow it and and lose the money and lose and lose the election regardless so it gives you that it also is a big signal for who's a front-runner because there tends to be dynamic for whoever comes in in wins or comes maybe second place in the Iowa knew I awoke aqus or New Hampshire primary that those are the people that everyone should pay attention to they get more fundraising it's kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy more people all of a sudden take a more serious look at them now the Iowa caucus just to be clear the primaries all happen in on one day and you get one you have the polling results when people exit the polls and then you also get the final results pretty quickly this caucus process actually takes over takes place over many many months five months in the case of the Iowa caucus and the results the thing that the press focuses on is not this final not this final result of who are the actual delegates that go to the National Convention the thing that the press focuses on are the precinct the precinct conventions where people get together because coming out of those precinct conventions the state parties get the information on how many candidates each delegate one going into now the County conventions and this this is the indicator that the press and the media and everyone else likes to use to see who's a front-runner in that specific party's primary and the reason why the Iowa caucus in particular gets so much importance is because it is the first caucus these results come out before anything else the New Hampshire primary this is the first time that you have the direct voting for candidates so you're getting I guess you're getting a more direct number you're not having it distorted or maybe cleaned up depending on how you view it by all of the different processes that might take place within the precinct conventions