Fall 2019

The 2020 Primaries and Caucuses

Group Photo of The 2020 Primaries and Caucuses Presentation with Policy Research Internship cohort
Group Photo of The 2020 Primaries and Caucuses Presentation with Policy Research Internship cohort

This fall 2019 semester, our POSC 395 Policy Research Internship students researched the 2020 primaries and caucuses. They presented their extensive research and policy suggestions to Center Director, Bob Shrum, a long time Democratic political consultant and strategist. Alongside their research, the students presented a robust report with information on each state’s specific primary and caucus.

“The students in POSC 395, in cooperation with the Center for the Political Future, did a remarkable job of compiling a one-stop shop survey of all the Democratic primaries and caucuses and of the Democratic convention rules. If you want to know anything from how delegates are allocated in a specific state to how a brokered convention might work, this is the place to look. We hope it proves to be a useful tool for all those who are interested in the 2020 Democratic campaign,” said Center Director Bob Shrum.

Sumaya Hussaini said this about her experience working on the project this semester, “By conducting original fieldwork and interviewing electoral experts, I gained detail-oriented research skills and became an effective collaborator with my team. This project taught me that transparent, accessible, and inclusive primary and caucus procedures should be federally implemented to put power back in the hands of voters. Presenting a policy proposal and receiving feedback from a panel of experts was an invaluable experience that prepared me for future policy research opportunities.”

Project: The 2020 Primaries and Caucuses: A Solution for the Future

USC Students: Elizabeth Dassow, Max Ellis, Sumaya Hussaini, Molly Sulzer, Cecilia Pou, and Caroline Doggett

Research Question: What are the current practices for the Democratic primary and caucus elections and how can they be improved?

Policy Recommendations:

The policy recommendations aim to provide wider accessibility for voters and encourage greater voter participation.

  1. Declare Election Day as a federal holiday
  2. Open primary system
  3. Same day voter registration
  4. No excuse absentee voting
  5. Early voting processes
  6. Automatic voter registration
  7. Abolish superdelegates
  8. Reform the delegate allocation process

Read the group’s full research presentation on the 2020 Primaries and Caucuses.

Browse the report on state’s primaries and caucuses for the Democratic National Primary 2020 – to be released soon.