Political Science ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 8-7-1950


The study is divided into twelve chapters. Chapter one is the introduction. In Chapter two a brief background of American nominating machinery used prior to the advent of the direct primary is discussed. Chapter three is concerned with the direct primary, especially with the most valid criticisms of it. Chapter four deals with the primary plan that was advocated by former Governor Charles Evans Hughes of New York. Chapter five is concerned with the unofficial, tacit agreements that political organizations arrive at in regard to a party slate. This chapter points out that even under the direct primary the party organization is likely to agree on a slate of candidates prior to the primary. Chapter six deals with the so-called Richard's primary that South Dakota used in years past. A full chapter is devoted to the Richard's law because it was an unusual and elaborate attempt to achieve party responsibility through a closely regulated pre-primary system. Chapter seven discusses the pre-primary provisions formerly employed in Minnesota and Massachusetts. Chapter eight is the study of the pre-primary laws now in operation. The Colorado, Nebraska, Utah, and Rhode Island laws are considered separately since they differ in certain vital respects. Seeming advantages and disadvantages of the particular laws are briefly considered. Chapter nine is concerned only with the New Mexico method of nomination. The point of concentration is the pre-primary statute enacted by the 1949 session of the New Mexico Legislature. The political battling surrounding the law is presented, as well as details of the actual statute. In Chapter ten an attempt is made to present the major arguments in favor of a plan utilizing the endorsing convention. Chapter eleven presents some of the most typical and valid objections to a system that employs an endorsing convention prior to the primary. Chapter twelve is the conclusion. In this closing chapter the writer states the position that he takes after studying the pros and cons and the pre-primary endorsing system.

Degree Name

Political Science

Level of Degree


Department Name

Political Science

First Committee Member (Chair)

Charles Burnet Judah

Second Committee Member

Howard Johnstone McMurray

Third Committee Member

Frederick Clarence Irion




Pre-Primaries, United States, Richard's Primary, Direct Primary, Primary Conventions

Document Type