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					Selecting a President:

  Primaries & Caucuses
   Presidential Selection
 Stage 1: Caucuses & Primaries
           The Battle for the Party Faithful

 Stage 2: Nominating Conventions
           “Glorified Infomercials?”

 Stage 3: General Election
           The Fight for the Center

 Stage 4: Electoral College
           Power to the People?
             Stage 1: Caucuses

                              Barrack Obama campaigns in Iowa

   Closed meeting of party members in each state
   Delegates select the party’s choice for presidential candidate
   Currently, six states, including Nevada in 2008, offer party
    caucuses selecting presidential nominees.
        Stage 1: Caucuses

            Hilary Clinton (D) and Rudy Guilliani (R) campaigning in Iowa

Questions for Discussion:
1. The Iowa Caucus was on January 3, 2008. Why is
   it so important?
2. Brainstorm pros and cons to the caucus format.
                 Stage 1: Primaries
Presidential Primary Elections - special elections in
which voters select candidates to be the party’s nominee
for president in the general election.

                                               Primary Season -
                                                January - June
                                               Who Decides? - State
                                                party organizations for
                                                the most part decide the
                                                rules for the primaries in
                                                a particular state.

                                               Types of Primaries:
                                                   Closed Primaries
                                                   Open Primaries
   Mitt Romney campaigning in New Hampshire
            Closed Primary
• Voters may vote in a party's primary only if
  they are registered members of that party
             Open Primary
• A registered
  voter may vote
  in any party
  regardless of
  his or her own
Methods of Selecting Presidential Delegates by State
2008 Open & Closed Primaries
Map of 2008 Primary & Caucus Dates
Selecting a President:

Nominating Conventions
   Presidential Selection
 Stage 1: Caucuses & Primaries
           The Battle for the Party Faithful

 Stage 2: Nominating Conventions
           “Glorified Infomercials?”

 Stage 3: General Election
           The Fight for the Center

 Stage 4: Electoral College
           Power to the People?
Presidential Nominating Conventions:
          The Nuts & Bolts

 Barack and Michelle Obama at the 2004 Democratic National Convention
   Nominating Conventions
• An assembly held by
  political parties every
  four years
• Usually held in late
  summer before the
  general election in
• The Democratic and
  Republican parties
  hold nominating
  conventions as do
  third parties [ex:
  Green Party,
  Libertarian Party]
                            George W. and Laura Bush at the
                             2000 Republican Convention
Purposes of Nominating Conventions

          1980 Republican National Convention in Detroit, Michigan

 1. Delegates at the convention adopt a party platform.
 2. Delegates to the convention elect that party’s
    nominees for President and Vice-president.
     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
• Plank - Individual
  topics in a party’s
  platform (ex: abortion,
  war in Iraq)
                             Cartoon satirizing the 1896
                             Democratic Party Platform
        2004 Platform Themes

Democratic Party:          Republican Party:
“Strong at Home,          “A Safer World and
 Respected in the            a More Hopeful
      World”                    America”

How are these themes similar?   Different?
       Who are Delegates?

Delegate - A voting representative to the party
 nominating convention
               Delegate Selection

Proportional System              Winner-take-all
 Primary system used by             System
  the Democratic Party         System used in most
 Candidates are allocated      Republican primaries
  the same percentage of a     The winner of the
  state’s delegates as they     popular vote in that state
  received in popular votes     receives all that state’s
 Pro’s & con’s of the          delegates
  proportional system?         Pro’s & con’s of the
                                winner-take-all system?
    Democratic Party Rules:
      Two Types of Delegates

Pledged Delegates v. Superdelegates
                          Pledged Delegates
 Each state allotted                                                  certain
  number of                                            delegates who
  vote at                                            the party’s
 Pledged delegates are
  chosen at state & local
 Pledged delegates are
  required to cast a vote
  at the convention        Pledged delegates count during the 2008 Democratic primaries

  based on the results
  of the primary or caucus in their state
 Members of the
  Democratic Party
  establishment who
  serve as unpledged
  delegates at the party
 Include members of
  Congress, governors,
  and members of the
 They are free to vote
  for any candidate at
  the convention
                 Brokered Convention
 A situation in which no one candidate in a political party
  has received enough delegates in the primaries and
  caucuses to obtain a majority             Democrats avoided a
                                         brokered convention in 2008
 After the first ballot at the party’s
      convention, nominee decided
      through horse-trading and
      further ballots
 Thomas Dewey (R) in 1948 and
  Adlai Stevenson (D) in 1952 last
  two candidates selected through
      brokered conventions; neither
         won the general election
          Brainstorm potential positive and negative
           consequences of a brokered convention.
               Convention Speeches:
               The Keynote Address

     Senator Barrack Obama gives the   Democrat Zell Miller delivers the
       2004 DNC Keynote Address          2004 RNC Keynote Address

 The speech given at the convention that embodies that
  party’s core message
 Why do you think Democrats chose Barrack Obama and
  Republicans Zell Miller to deliver the 2004 Keynote
               Convention Speeches:
              The Acceptance Address

         1960 presidential candidates John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon deliver their
                    Acceptance Addresses at their party’s national convention

 The speech given at the final day of the convention in which
  the winning candidate formally accepts the party’s
  nomination for president
 The Acceptance Address is always televised by the major
            1992 Democratic National Convention in New York City

Critics say that party nominating conventions
  have become no more than infomercials.
            What do you think?
             1920 Republican Convention

• Today candidates
  secure their party’s
  nomination during
  the primaries
• But in 1920 there
  was no clear
  nominee going
  into the

Schwarzenegger Rocks Republican Convention

        By Patrick Chappatte, The International Herald Tribune 09/21/2004
            2008 -- The Final Three

By Paresh Nath, National Herald, New Delhi, India 3/17/08

By John Trever, The Albuquerque Journal 03/30/2008

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