Definition and meaning of primary election: A primary election is a type of election that determines which candidates will be put forward to represent a political party in a general election. It is a key component of the two-party system, wherein the two major parties in the United States, the Democratic and Republican parties, select candidates to stand in the general election. Primary elections are used to narrow down the field of candidates and allow for a more focused and efficient election process. In most cases, primary elections are open to all registered voters, regardless of their party affiliation. However, some states have closed primary elections, which means that only registered members of a particular party can vote in the primary. As the two-party system has come to dominate American politics, primary elections have become an important part of the electoral process. Primary elections can often determine the outcome of a general election. Reformers have argued that primary elections can be used to open up the political process and increase competition. Open primaries, which allow independent candidates to participate, can give a greater voice to those outside the two-party system. Additionally, by reducing the influence of political parties in the selection of candidates, primary elections can help to create a more representative and competitive electoral system.