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How are the Republican candidates chosen for each presidential election?

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Quick Answer

The Republican Party selects its presidential candidate by means of delegates chosen in individual states through caucuses and primary elections. Unlike the Democratic Party, which uses a proportional method of choosing delegates, the Republican Party lets individual states choose delegates via either the proportional method or winner-take-all method.

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Full Answer

Most states use primary elections to choose delegates for a particular candidate. A primary election works in a similar manner to a general election in that registered voters visit voting booths and choose their party candidate via secret ballot.

Some places operate primary elections as closed primaries. In a closed primary, registered voters may only vote for a candidate affiliated with their own party. Open primaries, on the other hand, allow voters to vote in whatever party election they wish, although they can only vote once. In such a case, a registered Democrat can vote in a Republican primary for a Republican candidate.

The caucus system is less common. In such a system, the focus is on supporting particular delegates rather than directly voting for the candidate, although delegates are usually chosen based on which candidate they favor. Sometimes delegates do not commit to a candidate until the party's national convention in the summer.

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