Presidential Nominations

I.    Pre-1972 Methods

    A.   Conventions as Party Organization Tool

    B.    Events at the 1968 Democratic Convention

II.     Past Reforms (Summary)

    A.    McGovern-Fraser Commission (1968)

        2.    The Mikulski Commission (1972)

        3.    The Winograd Commission (1976)

        4.    The Hunt Commission (1980)

        5.    Primary Scheduling:  Possible Future Reforms

III.    Obtaining the Nomination:  (Primary Filing Deadlines)

    A.    Types of Presidential Primaries

    B.    Strategic Considerations

        1.    Getting Delegates

        2.    Frontloading:  Problems and Reform Proposals

        3.    Super Tuesday   

        4.    Fund Raising & Regulations (A Brief History)      

               a.   The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 and Subsequent Modifications

            b.    McCain-Feingold

            c.   Buckley v. Valeo (1976)

            d.   Basic Information

               e.   Public Funding

            f.    Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2009)

    C.    Preconvention Activities

        1.     Increasing Visibility

        2.     Broadening Issue Expertise

        3.     Courting Special Interests

        4.     Courting Media

        5.     Building Organizational Structures

        6.     Acquiring Resources

        7.     Running in Primaries

    D.    Nominating Conventions (Democratic; Republican)

        1.     Functions

            a.     Nominate Candidates

            b.     Establish Party Rules

            c.     Adopt Party Platform (Democrat; Republican)

            d.     Unify and Energize Party Faithful

            e.     Launch Fall Campaign

        2.     Delegates

            a.     Selections

            b.     Characteristics

            c.     Superdelegates

        3.     Types

            a.     Consensual

            b.     Semi-Consensual

            c.     Contentious

IV.    Criticisms of Present Method

    A.    Handicaps and Advantages Certain Types of Candidates

    B.    Excessive Focus on Personality

    C.    Frontloading

    D.    Weakened Role of Party Leaders

    E.    Marginalizes Conventions

    F.    Excessively Lengthy Campaign

V.    Possible Reforms 

    A.  Pre-Primary Conventions

        1.    Goal

        2.    Mechanics

    C.    The Delaware Plan

Key Web Sites

The Green Papers

Basic Primary Guide

            Campaign Finance Institute

            Open Secrets