The presidential primaries are a phenomenon of the American presidential election system. Every 4 years, in a series of 35–40 primary elections in the states, the presidential nominees are selected. In these primaries, the voters are choosing delegates who are committed to the candidates and who will vote in the national party conventions during the summer. As one of the party's candidates moves into the lead and gains more and more delegates, the other candidates typically are “winnowed” from the race, withdrawing because of lack of support. In 2004, for example, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts had won enough of the primaries by early March to have enough delegates to secure the Democratic nomination. He was officially chosen as the party's nominee at the Democratic ...

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