The US Elections Explained: The Nomination Process

constitutionally speaking the US

Constitution says very little about the

process of nominating a candidate what

it does set out are some qualifications

and credentials for who's eligible to be

president but it says absolutely nothing

whatsoever by way of the process that

two big parties would go about choosing

their ultimate candidates that they put

forward because it's a political process

it's become a bit politicized in

American history so the nominating

process is comprised of two types of

nominating events there are primaries

and there are caucuses primaries are set

up for the most part to look very

similar to what you experience in a

general election in order to participate

some states require that you be a member

of the party some states allow

independents to choose a ballot caucuses

are a tiered set of essentially what our

community meetings you're getting

together with people in your local

precincts and you're socially not

privately not not secretly talking about

who you're standing for who you're

supporting as a candidate so you

literally walk into a room and you end

up in groups of individuals scattered

across the room saying I support this

person I support this person which is in

many ways the more deliberative and fun

side of democracy but at the same time

there's a lot of pressure that comes

from that

there's a certain burden that comes from

participating in the nominating

procedures in terms of participating in

a primary you have to show up at a

polling place you have to wait in line

you have to fill out a form it takes

time out of your day

similarly speaking the caucus presents

the same challenge if not a greater one

caucuses because of what they are

experientially can take up to a couple

of hours sometimes a whole day and so

the idea is the investment and the

purchase really attracts folks who are

much more invested in candidates in the

field or in their party politics it

attracts voters who are a little bit

higher educated in terms of age it

brings in a little bit of an older age

group and it brings in folks who quite

frankly have the time and resources to

go out and vote and so the question is

do you get more extreme candidates as a

result and it's a valid criticism of the

process overall

through the primary and caucus going

process individuals are participating in

these nominating events to choose

delegates that will end up at a National

Party convention and when these National

Party conventions or how old these

delegates show up and whether its formal

or not after we've found out who's sort

of attained the most votes during the

process they cast their ballots and and

these delegations show up for one of the

candidates in you end up with a nominee

so on on the convention front things of

things have changed in an older America

of a hundred years ago contentions were

high at conventions these were big

brawls for who we nominate how we make

decisions who's for who what and why and

so the the sort of party battles and

infighting that used to happen in the

late 18-hundreds early 1900s have

disappeared a little bit from the

discourse and part of the pressure

that's been put on the process itself in

terms of primaries and caucuses has

actually brought down the importance of

conventions and increase the importance

of each of the events leading up to

those conventions it's highly unlikely

to see a brokered convention in other

words one that takes multiple ballots to

choose a nominee conventions are more of

a coronation ceremony now than they have

been in a long time it's a ceremony

that's really celebrating and presenting

a candidate who's going to be the

nominee for a party to the more general

public it's a chance to kick off a

general election campaign and say hey

here's who we're putting out in front of

the general public

answer I would have a job offer from

every campaign ah now I don't and and

part of it is times change

candidates change in the electric

changes and you might have a good sense

of what's happening with two of them but

it's very rare that you know what's

happening with all three at the same

time there's always a big push on early

States and so the idea there is where

all the media buzz is that's where you

want to be that being said there's a lot

of momentum to be had down the line

these early states while they're

important from a media perception basis

and while they inform future voters they

are also not the most representative

sample populations so for example Super

Tuesday in a conglomerate of states

being held on the same day you're going

to get a much more geographically

representative racially representative

socio-economic ly representative cohort

of voters there's something to be won by

playing to a broader America but also

something certainly to be won by doing

retail politics in New Hampshire and

shaking hands and diners and kissing

babies on the streets the big takeaways

in thinking critically not necessarily

positively or negatively but critically

about the whole nominating process is

again in a historical trend it's become

a lot more open a lot more transparent

and a lot more democratic so despite the

complexity despite how difficult it is

to get your hands and head around you

know 50 different states running you

know two different party systems and

having different rules in every instance

it's less politicized than it could be

and the idea there is the transmission

mechanism that's actually bringing

people into the fold

yes it might not be the perfect

representation of a General Electric but

we're not doing that