Here’s what I have to say about this: There’s a big push by the Bernie Bros to get Democrats to abandon closed primaries (primaries in which, to select the Democratic nominee you have to be registered as a Democrat; I know, shocking) and to adopt caucuses, as opposed to primaries, wherever possible. Both are bad ideas.
First, closed primaries. I live in a very blue area. Our county commissioners, etc. should be very progressive and the Democrats here would gladly vote for a very progressive slate. But we have open primaries. The Republicans who live here (a distinct minority of overall voters but a larger percentage of those who vote in primaries and that’s a story for another day) show up and vote in the open primary for the most conservative candidate. Then, in the general election, the person selected in the Democratic primary wins, getting more votes than the much more conservative Republican candidate. The result is that we are never able to pull the Overton Window to the left. What should be a very progressive county winds up just being pretty middle of the road.
Second, caucuses. There are various kinds of caucuses, but the kind being advocated are one night affairs where voters show up, people stand up and talk about why you should vote for their candidate, there’s a vote, then there can be more talking, more voting, etc., etc., etc. As opposed to the situation where you can maybe vote early or, at the worst, you show up at your polling place, stand in line, vote, and go home. So guess who is centered in a caucus? Well, we know that in groups, men talk more than women, interrupt women more, and are given more credence than women. We know that single mothers, for example, who have to beg time off work, get a sitter, spend an entire evening at the caucus, and listen to a lot of speeches often skip caucuses. We know that people of color have similar problems. We know that people with disabilities may have more trouble participating in a caucus than in a simple primary.
So I want closed primaries and I want primaries over caucuses.
Picture found here.