Episode 15 – The Presidential Primaries

Illinois delegates at the Democratic National Convention of 1968, react to Senator Abraham Ribicoff’s nominating speech for George McGovern in which he criticized the tactics of the Chicago police against anti-Vietnam war protesters. August 1968. Warren K. Leffler, U.S. News & World Report Magazine.

This week on An Incomplete History, we discuss the development of the primary system in the United States. When and how did the two major political parties decide to hold primaries before their conventions and the subsequent presidential elections? What’s the difference between a primary and a caucus? Why do Iowa and New Hampshire go first? Is the primary system constitutionally mandated? Hilary and Geoff discuss all those things and more this week.