November 30, 2022

5 facts about political party conventions – acton institute powerblog

From Monday July 18 through Thursday July 21, the Republican Party will hold its national convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Then, from July 25 to 28, the Democratic Party will hold its convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Here are five things you need to know about these events:

1. Political party conventions take place every four years and are the highlight of the presidential primary season. For America’s two main political parties, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, the convention has three main goals: formally nominating candidates for president and vice-president, adopting a party platform, and deciding specific rules for each party for internal governance. . Although there is no rule governing the timing of events, the party with the outgoing president tends to hold its convention last.

2. While many different types of people attend conventions, official participants are formally a gathering of “delegates” – members of political parties chosen as representatives. The delegates (collectively called the “delegation”) vote on who should be the party’s candidate. The rules adopted by each party at the 2012 conventions established the formulas for determining the number of delegates and substitutes allocated to each state during the 2016 electoral cycle. For example, this year, at the Republican National Convention, there will be 2,472 delegates and a candidate must win the votes of 1,237 of them – half of the total plus one – to secure the party’s nomination. Another rule passed in 2012, known as Rule 40 (b), requires a candidate to have won a majority of delegates in eight states to be nominated.

3. Each party has two types of delegates, engaged and unengaged (non-binding). Engaged delegates are representatives of political parties in each state and must vote at the convention for a particular candidate, while non-engaged can vote for any candidate. Delegates who are not engaged and who are not selected by the primary or caucus system are sometimes referred to by the unofficial nickname “superdelegates”.

4. In the Democratic Party, current and former Democratic presidents and vice-presidents, each Democratic governor (currently 20 in total) and member of Congress (240 in total) becomes a super-delegate, as do former leaders of the Democratic Party. majority and democratic minorities in the United States. Senate, Former Democratic Presidents and Minority Leaders of the United States House, and Former Chairmen of the Democratic National Committee. In total, Democrats have 704 superdelegates. This group, comprising about 15 percent of the total number of delegates, is a means of controlling the popular vote. The GOP has three types of delegates (At-Large Delegates, Congressional District Delegates, and Republican National Committee Members), but unlike Democrats, these delegates are bound by the same rules as other delegates.

5. During the convention, delegates will also vote on their party’s platform, a document that outlines the statement of principles and policies that the party has decided it will support. While the document does not bind the presidential candidate or any other politician, political scientists have found that over the past 30 years, congressional lawmakers have tended to vote in accordance with their party’s platform: 89 % of the time for Republicans and 79% of the time for Democrats.