How do the US President's primaries work

After November 3, 2020, it will be clear whether the United States of America will continue to be led by the 45th (current incumbent Donald Trump) or a 46th president. That would be the case if the challenger can win a majority of the electoral votes. Before the actual presidential election, Democrats and Republicans have yet to choose their candidates. At the "Grand Old Party", the Republicans, the candidate will probably be called Trump - so far there has been no serious competition. With the Democrats, however, the race is open.

In the next five months, primaries will be held in all states, in the capital district and in the territories of the USA in order to determine the respective candidates for the parties. We'll explain how Caucuses and Primaries work, which applicants are still promising in the race, and which of these has the best chance of moving into the Oval Office.

This is how the area codes work

In order to be run as a presidential candidate at the party congresses in the summer, candidates must collect enough delegate votes in primary elections in all states. For example, 4,750 delegates are expected at the Democratic Party conference in mid-July. You can get a maximum of 3979 votes from delegates from votes in states.

Whoever gets a majority here in the first ballot, i.e. 1991 delegate votes, is the party's presidential candidate. If no candidate comes up with this number straight away, the 771 super-delegates, mostly party officials and officials, vote in a second ballot. The influence of the individual states depends on the population. California, for example, sends 415 delegates to the Democratic Party conference. North Dakota only 14.

The delegate votes are given to the individual candidates in proportion to their election results. Sometimes this happens at the state level, sometimes in smaller areas, which correspond to the constituencies for the Congress. There is a fifteen percent hurdle. Whoever has less gets nothing.

There are also primaries on the Republican side. Trump still has an opposing candidate, William Weld, former governor of Massachusetts. However, the Republican primaries have been canceled in seven states so far - because of Weld's obvious lack of opportunities. There all delegate votes automatically go to Trump.

Caucus and Primary

The preselection systems differ considerably in some cases. There are a handful of states Caucusesorganized by the parties alone. Here only party members are allowed to vote for their candidates. In Iowa, for example, voters had to gather at certain locations and then cast their votes together. There are usually several rounds: Voters whose candidate fails the 15 percent hurdle can choose another candidate in the next ballot so that their vote is not lost.

As a rule, however, it happens Primaries. These are organized by state authorities. There are closed and open variants. In closed primaries, registered voters from one party may only vote for one candidate from their party. In open primaries, registered voters are allowed to vote for candidates from both parties. In both variants, however, the voters only have one vote.

The turnout is usually quite low. In 2016, just under 29 percent of all eligible voters took part in the primaries. Trump then gave a little more than 14 million votes to become the Republican presidential candidate. That was 44.9 percent of all Republican primary votes.

Why the new Super Tuesday is better than the old one

This year, Super Tuesday was really great. Primary elections were held in 14 states on March 3, plus American Samoa and the overseas Democrats, who were also able to cast their votes. For the first time, California, the most populous US state, was there. California has the largest number of delegates for the Democrats' conference this summer, at 415. Georgia, on the other hand, will no longer vote on Super Tuesday, but only on March 24th.

That has some influence on the dramaturgy of these primaries. After this year's Super Tuesday, 40 percent of all delegate votes will have been awarded, and by mid-March it will be more than 60 percent. But that doesn't have to mean that everything is clear then. After Super Tuesday, however, there is at least a head-to-head race between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden.

With California and without Georgia, Super Tuesday delivered a much more representative picture of the mood of the Democrats in the country than previous primaries. So far, states like Georgia with a high percentage of black residents were overrepresented on Super Tuesday. California makes up for that. The Democrats, who can vote for their favorite candidate on Super Tuesday 2020, are more in line with the population average than before.

The top candidates for the Democrats

The field of applicants for this presidential election was sometimes bigger than ever. In the meantime, over 25 Democrats have applied for their party's candidacy. There are now only three. Davoin alone Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden have realistic prospects of winning the candidacy. Tulsi Gabbard hardly plays a role in the election campaign anymore. Here is an overview of the two top candidates:

The following graphic shows the mean value of the current surveys. Each point represents a candidate's poll score. Only survey institutes that have proven to be reliable in the past are included in the calculation. In addition, the mean value is weighted according to the age of the survey and the number of respondents.

So it is in the Democrats' primary campaign

You can find portraits of all democratic applicants here:

What are the odds against Trump?

While Biden promises a policy in line with Barack Obama's successor, Sanders stands for an explicitly left-wing policy. Viewed nationwide, polls currently show that Biden has the best chances against Trump. But a lot can still change.