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A Public Process Conducted by Private Parties

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1 A Public Process Conducted by Private Parties
Nominating Presidential Candidates A Public Process Conducted by Private Parties Mr. Kevin Sexton© PS 103 – United State Political Systems Southeast Missouri State University

THE CONSTITUTION AND THE NOMINATION PROCESS The US Constitution states that the President shall be the person that receives a majority of the votes cast in the Electoral College. The US Constitution does not state who the members of the Electoral College get to choose from. In short, the US Constitution does not explain how each party in the United States will select the person that will represent its party in the OFFICIAL PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION process. This is because the US Constitution does not address the idea of POLITICAL PARTIES.

3 Each Party Determines Their Own Nomination Process
(And there are more than two parties in the US) Their Own Nomination Process How Many People Ran For President in 2008? The above candidates are only those candidates that were on the presidential ballot in more than one state. There are many candidates that only make it on a single states presidential ballot. The above data was retrieved from on 12/10/2010.

4 Their Own Nomination Process
Each Party Determines Their Own Nomination Process We will look closely at the process used by the Democratic and Republican parties. BUT RIGHT NOW, we must realize that not all parties follow the same process as the Democratic and Republican Parties here we will look at the OBJECTIONIST PARTY’S nomination process. It is bit of an extreme example, but it does highlight the fact that each party can create its own process, and the person nominated by that process is recognized as that party’s legitimate nominee. The following text came straight from the OBJECTIONIST PARTY’S website: The text to the left was retrieved From on 12/10/2010.

The Presidential Nomination Process Used By The Republican and Democratic Parties. With a few differences, which we will highlight, the Republican and Democratic parties use a very similar method in nominating its presidential candidates. In short, the fight for the Democratic or Republican Presidential Nomination is a fight for their party’s: DELEGATES To their party’s NATIONAL NOMINATING CONVENTION. Win More Than 50% of Your Party’s Delegates And you Win Your Party’s PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION

6 What is a DELEGATE NO! 60,000 people at the AKA National Convention?
A DELEGATE is a person that has been selected to represent a group they belong to at a meeting or convention. 200 AKA Members at SEMO 60,000 AKA members in the Country 300 AKA Chapters in the Country 60,000 people at the AKA National Convention? NO! 2 Members From Each Chapter are Selected as Delegated From Their Chapter 600 DELEGATES at the National Convention?

7 Democratic and Republican Delegates
This tells us how many people will attend the national Convention of each party every four years. But does not tell us where (what state) they will come from. 47 million registered Republicans1 63 Million registered Democrats1 In 2008 they selected 2380 of those 47 million to act as delegates, that would OFFICIALLY select or nominate the person that would run for president for the Republican Party. In 2008 they selected 4418 of those 63 million to act as delegates, that would OFFICIALLY select or nominate the person that would run for president for the Democratic Party. NOTICE HOW THE NUMBER OF DELEGATES CHANGE FROM ELECTION TO ELECTION. 1http:// retrieved on 12/16/2010

8 How Many Delegates From Each State
Each party decides how many delegates come from each state. The primary factor affecting how many delegates a state will get is population. But as the below slides will show you the number of delegates from a state will change from election to election, and the parties will change which states they emphasis from election to election. Notice How The Number Of Delegates Assigned To A State Can Change From Election To Election. Also Notice How The Parties Put More Emphasis On One State Over Another. This Can Be Seen When You Notice That The Proportion Of Democratic Delegates To Republican Delegates Are Not Always Equal From One State To Another.

9 This Map Shows How Many Delegates Each State or Area Was Given To
The 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions

After the parties have “distributed” its delegates to each state, the next step in the nomination process is when each state decides what method they are going to use to decide which candidate will receive the delegates from their state. There are two basic methods used by the states to “distribute” the delegates they have been assigned. Those two methods are: 1) The Primary Election and, 2) The Presidential Caucus. Technically, it is the state legislature of each state that decide which method to use. In many states the real decision is made by the parties in that state. (ie. Some states let each party use a different method) The graph to the right shows you how many states use each of the different methods. Notice that four states use both methods. Which means one party uses the primary election and one party uses the caucus.

11 How Does A Primary Election Work
A PRIMARY ELECTION works very simply. An individual goes to his/her polling location an requests the ballot of one of the parties holding a primary in his/her state. He/she takes the ballot into a private booth, fills out the ballot and places the completed ballot into the ballot box. This process is almost exactly what most people think of when we think of VOTING. The simplicity of this process makes it the prominent method used in the Presidential Primary process. In the 2008 Presidential Election 37 of the 51 state/District, or 72%, primary contests were conducted in this way. There are three (3) major types of primaries used in the United States, with the major difference being how are TRULY INDEPENDENT voters treated. The three (3) major types of primaries are: Closed Open Modified-Open

12 Closed Primary Voters of a state can register
as a member of a particular Party (i.e. Republican or Democrat), or Not affiliated with any party. If they choose a party to be a Member of, that is the only Party’s primary that they can Vote in. If they choose not to be Affiliated with any party they Are not able to vote at all. This method prevents CROSS-OVER voting. This Method leaves TRULY INDEPENDENT voters out of The NOMINATION PROCESS

13 Open Primary When voters register in an OPEN STATE PRIMARY,
like the State of Missouri you are NOT required to claim a party. As you can see from the form to the left there is no place on the application that asks for a party choice or affiliation. Since it is not known if you are TRULY INDEPENDENT, those that are TRULY INDEPENDENT are not prevented from voting in the primary. In an OPEN PRIMARY STATE each voter is asked which party ballot that they want. This allows Democrats to “cross-over” and vote in the Republican primary, and vise versa. This system also allows the TRULY INDEPENDENT to take part in the PRIMARY PROCESS.

14 Modified-Open Primary Engaging in “cross-over” voting.
Voters of a state can register as a member of a particular party (i.e. Republican or Democrat), or not affiliated with any party. If they choose a party to be a member of, that is the only party’s primary that they can vote in. If they choose not to be affiliated with any party they are asked which party‘s ballot they would like. They can vote in any party’s primary This method allows all voters to vote, even if they are not registered with a party. It allows the TRULY INDEPENDENT to vote, while also prevent Demorcats and Republicans from Engaging in “cross-over” voting.

15 Presidential Caucuses
The word “CAUCUS” simply means a political meeting. A presidential caucus is the method of assigning delegates to candidates based on a series of meetings. Usually, the precinct meeting, county meeting and the state meeting. Is the second method (primary being the first) used to distribute delegates in a state. As previous slides have shown this is an uncommon way of distributing delegates. It is used so infrequently because it is time consuming and difficult, as the below linked videos should demonstrate. For those reasons, it tends to be dominated by citizens that are highly partisan and tends to favor more partisan candidates. To further understand how the caucus process works I have provided you with links to several externally produced videos relating to this topic. You will find those links below: Why Tuesday – Attempts to show how the Caucus System works in Iowa theREALnews – Attempts to show the complexity of the Caucus system in Iowa theREALnews – Attempts to show the complexity of the Caucus system in Texas

16 Major differences between the republican and democratic processes
The Republican Party tends to identify its party nominee much sooner than the Democratic Party. That is for one basic reason: The Republican Party ,in most states use the “winner-take-all” method of assigning convention delegatesand the Democratic Party uses the “proportional” method of assigning convention delegates. For Example: The state of Missouri had 88 Democratic delegates in and the Republicans had 58 delegates . In the Missouri Presidential Primary Elections held Tuesday February 5, 2008: Barack Obama received 49% of the Democratic vote Hillary Clinton received 47% of the Democratic vote At the Democratic National Convention each candidate got about the same number of delegates (36 each) with the other 12 going to John Edwards who finished third. John McCain received 32% of the Republican vote Mike Huckabee received 31% of the Republican Vote Mitt Romney received 29% of the Republican vote At the Republican National Convention John McCain received 58 or all of the delegates.

17 National Presidential Nominating Conventions
In every presidential election since 1832 the two major parties have used the National Nominating Convention as the “official” method used to nominate their party’s presidential candidate. It is this convention that the delegates selected from each state attend to cast their state’s vote for whom they believe should be the nominee of their party. Every four years each party chooses a city to host the convention. Follow this link for a complete of host cities for all of the major party conventions since 1832. The “real purpose” of the national convention has changed over the years. Originally, it was where the delegates came to debate and argue their way to selecting their party’s nominee. Many times there were numerous votes taken before the party could agree on their party’s nominee. Today, the national convention has become the time when the party “officially” announces their nominee. This is because the fifty-state nominating contests (primary or caucus) has already determined which candidate will have a majority of the delegate votes before the convention is held. The convention is also used as a time to work together to develop the PARTY PLATFORM.

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