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Campaigns & Elections

Election CampaignAn organized effort to persuade voters to choose one candidate over others vying for the same office.
Primary ElectionAn election conducted within a party to choose that party's candidate for an office..
Closed PrimaryA primary in which only members of that party may participate.
Open PrimaryA primary available to any voter.
Modified Closed PrimaryWhen individual state parties are allowed to let independents vote (or not).
Modified Open PrimaryA primary in which independents are entitled to vote.
Presidential PrimaryAn election to choose delegates, who then convene to choose the presidential candidate.
Caucus (Convention)A closed meeting of members of a political party to decide policy and candidates for office.
Front-LoadingA state practice of moving primaries and caucuses to earlier in the year to gain attention.
General ElectionConstitutionally defined as a national election on every even-numbered year's 2nd Tuesday of November.
Straight TicketVoting for a single party's candidates for all offices.
Split TicketVoting for more than one party's candidates for various offices.
First-Past-the-Post ElectionWinner-take-all elections in single-member districts.
Open ElectionAn election lacking an incumbent.
Federal Election
Commission (FEC)
An independent federal agency monitoring interstate and international communications.