The 2012 election cycle will mark the 100th anniversary of the nation’s landmark effort to open up the once very tightly-controlled party nomination process. The first presidential primary – held on March 19, 1912 – took place in North Dakota with Wisconsin U.S. Senator Robert La Follette winning the GOP contest. Eleven other states would subsequently hold Republican presidential primaries in 1912: Wisconsin (also won by La Follette), Massachusetts (won by eventual nominee William Howard Taft), and California, Illinois, Maryland, Nebraska, Oregon, South Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey (all won by Teddy Roosevelt).

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