GCC professor will talk presidential primaries in lecture Tuesday

Staff Reports Posted 8 February 2016 at 12:00 am

Derek Maxfield will explain caucuses, open and closed primaries

BATAVIA – What is the difference between a caucus and a primary? Why is it important? How long will it take for each party to choose its nominee?

For answers to these questions and more, join GCC Associate Professor Derek Maxfield at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 9 – the day of the New Hampshire Primary – for a presentation on the presidential nominating process.  The presentation will be at the GCC Batavia campus in the Conable Technology Building.

Maxfield has worked on a presidential campaign before. About 30 years ago he served on the staff for Sen. Paul Simon as he sought the Democratic nomination. Maxfield said the experience was exhausting and exhilarating.

He returned to New Hampshire on Jan. 29 to see a campaign rally in person for Donald Trump. Maxfield said Trump clearly has a following with more than 1,500 people at the event in Nashua. (Maxfield predicts Trump will win on Tuesday.)

Maxfield will discuss how different states choose delegates. Iowa held the first caucus last week and New Hampshire has an open primary tomorrow, where non-affiliated voters can cast a ballot during the primary. Other states like New York have closed primaries where only Republican and Democratic can vote in their respective primaries. (New York’s primary is scheduled for April 19.)

Maxfield also will discuss how candidates accumulate delegates. New York has 291 Democratic delegates and 95 Republican delegates up for grabs.

Maxfield said it is proving to be an exciting race thus far. It is possible no candidate will have all the needed delegates to secure the nomination in time for the convention. He will discuss a brokered convention, and also the possibility of Donald Trump going outside the party if he doesn’t have enough delegates and still pursues the presidency.