2 Presidential Selection Stage 1: Caucuses & Primaries The Battle for the Party FaithfulStage 2: Nominating Conventions “Glorified Infomercials?”Stage 3: General ElectionThe Fight for the CenterStage 4: Electoral CollegePower to the People?
3 Presidential Nominating Conventions: The Nuts & Bolts Barack and Michelle Obama at the 2004 Democratic National Convention
4 Nominating Conventions An assembly held by political parties every four yearsUsually held in late summer before the general election in NovemberThe Democratic and Republican parties hold nominating conventions as do third parties [ex: Green Party, Libertarian Party]George W. and Laura Bush at the Republican Convention
5 Purposes of Nominating Conventions 1980 Republican National Convention in Detroit, MichiganDelegates at the convention adopt a party platform.Delegates to the convention elect that party’s nominees for President and Vice-president.
6 What’s a Party Platform? Party Platform - a statement of principles and objectives a political party and a candidate supports in order to win the general election.Plank - Individual topics in a party’s platform (ex: abortion, war in Iraq)Cartoon satirizing the 1896 Democratic Party Platform
7 2004 Platform Themes Democratic Party: “Strong at Home, Respected in the World”Republican Party:“A Safer World and a More Hopeful America”How are these themes similar?Different?
8 Who are Delegates?Delegate - A voting representative to the party nominating convention
9 Winner-take-all System Delegate SelectionProportional SystemPrimary system used by the Democratic PartyCandidates are allocated the same percentage of a state’s delegates as they received in popular votesPro’s & con’s of the proportional system?Winner-take-all SystemSystem used in most Republican primariesThe winner of the popular vote in that state receives all that state’s delegatesPro’s & con’s of the winner-take-all system?
10 Democratic Party Rules: Two Types of Delegates Pledged Delegates v. Superdelegates
11 Pledged delegates count during the 2008 Democratic primaries Each state allotted certain number of delegates who vote at the party’s conventionPledged delegates are chosen at state & local levelPledged delegates are required to cast a vote at the convention based on the results of the primary or caucus in their statePledged delegates count during the 2008 Democratic primaries
12 SuperdelegatesMembers of the Democratic Party establishment who serve as unpledged delegates at the party conventionInclude members of Congress, governors, and members of the D.N.C.They are free to vote for any candidate at the convention
13 Democrats avoided a brokered convention in 2008 A situation in which no one candidate in a political party has received enough delegates in the primaries and caucuses to obtain a majorityAfter the first ballot at the party’s convention, nominee decided through horse-trading and further ballotsThomas Dewey (R) in 1948 and Adlai Stevenson (D) in 1952 last two candidates selected through brokered conventions; neither won the general electionDemocrats avoided a brokered convention in 2008Brainstorm potential positive and negative consequences of a brokered convention.
14 Convention Speeches: The Keynote Address Senator Barrack Obama gives the DNC Keynote AddressDemocrat Zell Miller delivers the RNC Keynote AddressThe speech given at the convention that embodies that party’s core messageWhy do you think Democrats choose Barrack Obama and Republicans Zell Miller to deliver the 2004 Keynote Addresses?
15 Convention Speeches: The Acceptance Address 1960 presidential candidates John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon deliver their Acceptance Addresses at their party’s national conventionThe speech given at the final day of the convention in which the winning candidate formally accepts the party’s nomination for presidentThe Acceptance Address is always televised by the major networks
16 1992 Democratic National Convention in New York City Critics say that party nominating conventions have become no more than infomercials.What do you think?
17 1920 Republican Convention Today candidates secure their party’s nomination during the primariesBut in 1920 there was no clear nominee going into the Republican Convention
18 Schwarzenegger Rocks Republican Convention By Patrick Chappatte, The International Herald Tribune 09/21/2004
19 The Final ThreeBy Paresh Nath, National Herald, New Delhi, India 3/17/08
20 SuperdelegatesBy John Trever, The Albuquerque Journal 03/30/2008