Primary 101

By: Daniel Gotera Email
By: Daniel Gotera Email

GRAYSON COUNTY, Tex. -- Texas' March 4th primary is just five days away, but many voters are unsure of how exactly the system works. This year, in addition to the hotly contested local races, we also have the race for president heating up.

There are 228 delegates up for grabs for the Democratic presidential candidates, and there are 140 for the Republicans. But what does that all mean?

It’s different for both parties, but one group might decide how many delegates go to each candidate in the rival party.

Candidates vying to be the choice as their party’s representative for president of the United States have been campaigning for months, and oddly enough, the Lone Star State might have the final say.

"Texas could decide who the Democratic nominee for president of the United States will be,"

Voters in Grayson County we spoke to are excited to take part.

"I wanted to make sure that nothing would happen Tuesday is your only chance to get your vote in there so I wanted to make sure my vote got in there," Grayson County resident Marina Jarvis says.

"Every vote counts and you want to make sure that you're part of the process and know that you are participating because it doesn't work if you don’t participate." Sherman resident Brian Delano says.

Winning the popular vote state wide doesn't mean they receive all the delegates at the national party convention in august.

"They tend not to produce majorities, so they are out in that but in this primary, in this instance and in this year they actually have the chance to make a very important decision."

Nathan Bigelow is an associate professor of political science at Austin College and says he cannot recall the last time a competitive Democratic campaign for president has been waged in Texas.

The ironic thing is that Republicans might be the ones that decide which way the Democrats go.

"Do they select or do they vote for the person they like the most do they vote for the person that they think John McCain will have the easiest time running against?" Bigelow says.

John McCain has a big lead in the number of delegates over runner-up Mike Huckabee. That is why Bigelow says this year, because Texas has an open primary, Republican voters hold the key to the Democrats future.

"If their focus is more local, then they will still vote on the Republican side if they are interested din the presidential race, I expect a lot of Republicans to vote in the Democratic primary."

Either way, Jarvis says she’s excited about next Tuesday.

"I hope it makes young people and people of all colors excited about the process."

Early voting for the March 4th primary ends Friday. To find out how delegates will be split up once the voting ends, click here.

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