Presidential Primaries

Multiple-Choice Questions.

To assess your knowledge and skills in government and politics answer these sample multiple-choice questions. Here two quantitative analysis questions. The correct answers will appear below the questions.



1. In a ______ primary, voters can decide as late as election day which party’s primary they wish to participate in.

(A) blanket

(B) open

(C) closed

(D) runoff


2. Throughout the 1970s, the general thrust of the Democratic rules commissions considering delegate selection was to

(A) create a more unified national organization.

(B) weaken the influence of party leaders and enlarge the role of the rank and file.

(C) decrease intra-party competition for the delegate seats.

(D) decrease the size of the delegations to strengthen the voice of party elites.


3. The term “superdelegate” refers to

(A) official delegates attending the Democrat party convention who are not required to pledge themselves in advance to a presidential candidate.

(B) the delegates at the Republican convention who end up voting for the winning nominee

(C) electors from swing states

(D) those attending the long caucus meetings in Iowa


California Presidential Primary Election Results, 2016

(Top Five Vote-Getters)

Democrats Votes Percent Republican Total Votes Percent
Clinton 2,745,302 53.1 Donald Trump 1,665,135 74.8
Sanders 2,381,722 46 John Kasich 252,544 11.3
Wilson   12,014 0.2 Ted Cruz 211,576 9.5
Steinberg 10,880 0.2 Ben Carson 82,259 3.7
De La Fuente 8,453 0.2 Jim Gilmore 15,691 0.7

Source: California Secretary of State, 2016

4.  Using your knowledge of presidential primary politics, and the data in this table, which statement reflects how delegates to the 2016 Democratic Convention were allocated in the State of California? 

(A) Due to winner-take-all rules, Hillary Clinton received all of California’s delegates 

(B) Since neither candidate earned a super-majority of votes, each candidate received half of the delegates

(C) Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders received delegate allocation in proportion to the vote the earned in the California primary

(D) Party bosses will use the data from the California primary to determine delegate allocation. 


And the answers are . . .
B, B, A, and C
Did these questions seem easy or difficult? Why?


Photo/Image: “Bernie Sanders” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0