Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  

What's the difference between a caucus and a primary?

Zachery Oakes, Managing Editor of Raiderview, the award-winning student-run newspaper of Lindsey Wilson College, submitted this story by staff-member Cody Maggard about the differences in a caucus and a primary election.
Note: For a list of local area polling places with street numbers and addresses see CM: Adair, Casey, Cumberland, Green, Metcalfe, Russell and Taylor Counties, with street numbers and addresses. For a list of caucus locations state wide, go to Where do I Caucus? at the, the Republican Party of Kentucky website

By Cody Maggard, Staff Writer,

With 2016 now upon us, the race for President of the United States becomes a focal point across the nation.

The Republican caucus will still take place even though Rand Paul has dropped out of the race for President of the United States, and now has the opportunity to be a factor in the ultimate decision of who is nominated, since it will be in March instead of May.

Given the two party system in America, this is the time where Republicans and Democrats debate about who will ultimately win the nomination and represent their respective parties in November's general election. To narrow these candidates down, a series of elections take place across the country in each state, usually called primaries, or caucuses.

Each state (along with the District of Columbia and select U.S. territories) has a version of the initial election that takes place throughout the year, starting with the Iowa caucus in February and ending with the District of Columbia primary on June 14.

Normally, the primary for Kentucky takes place in May, but for the first time in the history of the Commonwealth, Kentucky will be holding a caucus on March 5 to decide which Republican candidate(s) receive state delegates at the Republican National Convention held in July.

With a closed primary, the system previously used in Kentucky, voters, based on which political party they were registered with, would simply go to a designated polling area and cast their votes. However, with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul making the decision to run for both President and re-election to to the Senate, state law would prevent him from appearing on two different ballots.

For that reason, GOP leaders in Kentucky decided to have a caucus that would allow candidates to be chosen earlier. During the caucus process, voters will have a chance to ask questions and listen to representatives from the candidates before ultimately casting their votes. The caucus setting allows for voters to interact with candidate representatives, and is an opportunity for those undecided to ask questions about the candidates.

Kentucky's caucus is only for the Republican Party, meaning that only those who are registered with the party by December 31, 2015 can take part. 17 year-olds who will be 18 at the time of the general election in November are also permitted to participate? . The March 5 caucus will operate mostly like a normal primary, with voters going to their designated polling location and casting ballots. However, according to the Republican Party of Kentucky (RPK), those voting sites could be different for the caucus, and voters will need to check their voting location on the website.

The Republican Caucus location for Adair County will be Adair County High School, 526 Indian Drive, 2016 and polls are open from 10amCT until 4pm(CT).

This story was posted on 2016-03-03 05:43:02

To sponsor news and features on ColumbiaMagazine, please use our contact form.


Quick Links to Popular Features content is available as an RSS/XML feed for your RSS reader or other news aggregator.
Use the following link:

Contact us: Columbia Magazine and are published by D'Zine, Ltd., PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270-250-2730 Fax: 270-751-0401

Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia! Magazine and D'Zine, Ltd. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.