The two major parties use the caucus-convention process to choose national convention delegates and to develop platform issues for their respective state conventions. At the national convention, the parties select their nominees for President and Vice President and finalize the national party platform.
The state Democratic Party has always allocated Washington delegates to its national convention based on the results of the caucuses. The state Republican Party has allocated half of its Washington delegates to their national convention based on the caucus results and half based on the presidential primary results.
In the absence of a presidential primary in 2012, the two major parties will use the caucus-convention process to choose their national convention delegates and to work on platform issues for their respective state conventions.
Why won’t Washington hold a presidential primary in 2012?
Due to the election’s high cost of about $10 million, and the fact that parties typically allocate delegates based on the results of the caucuses, the Secretary of State’s Office, the governor, and the legislature decided in 2011 to suspend the 2012 presidential primary. This year, the process for allocating state delegates to the national convention will be conducted entirely according to party caucuses. The presidential primary will resume in 2016.
What about the regular 2012 primary?
The regular “Top 2” primary that narrows the number of candidates for state and local offices will take place on August 7, 2012. Only the presidential primary scheduled for winter 2012 is cancelled. The presidential primary would have had only presidential candidates on the ballot.
What role does King County Elections play in the caucuses?
KC Election does not play a role in party caucuses. The parties organize the caucuses and will announce the details, rules, schedules, and locations.