|January 3, 2012 to June 5, 2012|
|Nominee||Howard Dean||Hillary Clinton||Janet Napolitano|
|Home state||Vermont||New York||Arizona|
|States carried||41 + D.C.||7||2|
| Results of the 2012 Democratic Party primaries and caucuses|
Blue denotes a state won by Howard Dean.
Yellow denotes a state won by Hillary Clinton.
Orange denotes a state won by Janet Napolitano.
To Be Determined
The 2012 Democratic presidential primaries and caucuses is the selection process by which voters of the Democratic Party will choose its nominee for President of the United States in the 2012 U.S. presidential election. There are 2,778 delegates, and a candidate must accumulate 1,390 delegate votes to win. The primary elections and caucuses will culminate in the 2012 Democratic National Convention held from September 3 through September 6, in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The primary contest began with a fairly wide field, and was the first presidential primary affected by a Supreme Court ruling that allowed unlimited fundraising for candidates through super PACs. Two candidates who ran in 2008, Senator Hillary Clinton of New York and former Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, and one candidate who ran in 2004, former governor and former DNC chairman Howard Dean of Vermont, also ran in 2012.
Dean took an early lead in polls with the support of much of the Democratic establishment, performing strongly in most polls and leading the field in fund-raising. However, his lead over the Democratic field has been precarious, due to the entry of Hillary Clinton, Mark Warner and Janet Napolitano. The field would split between anti-war candidates that wanted to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan (Dean and Kucinich) and those in favour of continued presence (Clinton, Warner and Napolitano).
|Candidate||Most recent office held|
at the end of the primaries
|Former U.S. Governor,|
Surpassed by estimation
the 2,778 delegate votes
needed for a majority,
April 12, 2012.
April 10, 2012.
April 12, 2012. Named VP candidate,
August 21, 2012.
March 9, 2012.
May 14, 2012.
February 8, 2012.
June 22, 2012.
March 2, 2012.
March 26, 2012.
January 12, 2012.
May 7, 2012.
February 28, 2012.
February 30, 2012.
January 10, 2012.
March 21, 2012.
The beginning (2011)
Media speculation began almost immediately after the results of the 2008 presidential elections became known. In the 2010 midterm elections, the Democrats suffered a defeat in the House of Representatives while keeping the majority in the Senate. Early polls taken before anyone had announced a candidacy had shown Senator Hillary Clinton and Former Chairman of the Democratic Party Howard Dean as the most popular potential Democratic candidates. Nevertheless, the media speculated on several other candidates, including Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate in the 2008 election; former U.S. Senator Tom Daschle and Chairman of the Democratic Party Tim Kain.
Howard Dean was the first to formally announce his candidacy for the presidency, on April 23, 2011. This run would be his second attempt at the presidency. While having supported the troop surge in Afghanistan in 2009, he had by 2011 returned to his non-interventionist roots from his 2004 presidential campaign and challenged McCain on his refusal to put an arbitrary date of withdrawal from Afghanistan and his military operations in Yemen.
On May 21, 2011, Hillary Clinton joined the race on a platform similar to the one she ran on in 2008.
Early states (January to March)
|%||Can show a plurality of delegates|
- The numbers for delegates, states, and districts won in these tables include results from local conventions held in states which did not allocate their delegates at the precinct caucuses or primary election. These conventions were generally held on dates later than the table indicates.
Super Tuesday (March 6)
March to April
|Early states results|
|States won||3||8 + D.C. + DA|
|Mar. 13|| Alabama|
|Mar. 20|| Illinois|
|Mar. 24|| Louisiana|
|Apr. 3|| District of Columbia|
|Apr. 5–10|| Democrats Abroad Democrats Abroad|
|Apr. 12|| Connecticut|
| New York|
| Rhode Island|
On April 8, Dean rolled out about forty superdelegate endorsements. Those endorsements, combined with the projected number of pledged delegates Dean would win in the Pennsylvania primary, put him well over the "magic number" of 2,778 early in the evening. All major news organizations had announced that Dean had clinched the Democratic nomination and Dean claimed the status of presumptive nominee in a speech in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Clinton conceded the nomination later that evening, saying that the party now should focus on defeating McCain. On April 10, Clinton endorsed Dean.