Presidential Primaries: The Race is On!

Presented by The Dirksen Congressional Center


1. How do primary elections differ from regular elections?


2. When are primary elections held?


3. Select the correct answer to complete the sentence. Primary elections...

   A Began in 1901.

   B Are held in all states.

   C Were started by party bosses.

   D Give voters a say in nominating presidential candidates

   E A and D

   F A,B, and D

4. Name two reasons why primary victories are important to candidates.


5. Which state holds the first presidential primary election?

   A New Hampshire

   B District of Columbia

   C Rhode Island

   D Virginia

6. Presidential primaries in California, Texas, and New York are considered most important because they have the smallest population, resulting in the least delegates.



7. When Jimmy Carter, a one-term governor from Georgia, first entered the presidential race, many people asked, "Jimmy who?" Do you think he would have had a chance to be elected president had he not won the New Hampshire primary in February 1976? Explain your answer.


8. Why do you think many states have moved their presidential primaries to early March?


9. Research how states that don't have presidential primaries decide who they will support at the nominating conventions. How does your state select delegate? Write a short essay about this on a separate sheet of paper.


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