The LAGOP has made this presidential election complicated, once again. Before this election, Louisiana allocated half of its delegates in a primary and half of its delegates in a caucus. The caucus used to be a pretty decent fundraiser for the LAGOP.
However, that was changed starting this year because the convention floor fights that resulted from the caucus in particular sometimes got ugly. In 2012, Rick Santorum won the Louisiana primary while at the same time Ron Paul won the Louisiana caucus. The Paul supporters were very aggressive and organized compared to their rivals and were able to exploit the caucus. The Paul delegates then had a floor fight with the LAGOP over rules and were essentially stripped of their delegates and “uncommitted” delegates were sent instead. It was a farce.
So the state party kept the caucus, but bound all of Louisiana’s delegates in the primary. People keep messaging me and asking me the difference between the two.
Here are the differences:
Tuesday night is the Louisiana caucus. You can find your caucus site here, which is not your regular polling station. The Louisiana caucus is where LAGOP voters decide who is the delegates for each candidate in each Congressional district. You’re allowed to pick one candidate and you may vote for up to 6 people in your CD. Who the actual delegates are for each candidate will be decided at the LAGOP convention on March 12 in Baton Rouge. Presidential candidates will not win a single delegate on Tuesday night.
Saturday is the Louisiana primary. You vote at your regular polling station for your preferred presidential candidate. This is the election that actually counts. All of Louisiana’s delegates will be allocated on Saturday night.
For the rules on how delegates are allocated in the Louisiana primary, see here.
All the Louisiana caucus decides are who the delegates representing each candidate are. The Louisiana primary will decide how many pledged delegates each presidential candidate will get for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.