What's the Difference Between a Caucus and a Primary?

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Caucusgoers at Washington Elementary School in Davenport, Iowa on January 3, 2008.
From and

On Tuesday, Colorado and Minnesota will hold their Republican caucuses, either confirming or casting doubt onto Mitt Romney's lead. But why some states hold caucuses instead of primaries — or in the case of Missouri, use both — in order to determine how many delegates they'll send to a party's national convention is largely a matter of taste.

David Redlawsk is professor of political science at Rutgers University and author of "Why Iowa?: How Caucuses and Sequential Elections Improve the Presidential Nominating Process."

Ingrid Reed is a policy analyst, formerly at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University.