The Imperfect Primary: Oddities, Biases, and Strengths of U.S. Presidential Nomination Politics

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 7/6/2010
  • Publisher: Routledge
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Many people complain about the complex system used to nominate presidents. The system is hardly rational because it was never carefully planned. Because of the dissatisfaction over the idiosyncrasies of the current system, periodic calls arise to reform the presidential nomination process. But how are we to make sense of the myriad complexities in the system as well as in the calls for change?In The Imperfect Primary , political scientist Barbara Norrander explores how presidential candidates are nominated, discusses past and current proposals for reform, and examines the possibility for more practical, incremental changes to the electoral rules. Norrander reminds us to be careful what we wish for'”reforming the presidential nomination process is as complex as the current system. Through the modeling of empirical research to demonstrate how questions of biases can be systematically addressed, students can better see the advantages, disadvantages, and potential for unintended consequences in a whole host of reform proposals.

Table of Contents

List of Figuresp. vii
List of Tablesp. viii
Prefacep. ix
Happenstance and Reformsp. 1
A Short History of Presidential Nominationsp. 6
Two Early Views: Nomination by Political Elitesp. 8
The Party Convention Erasp. 11
The Origins of Presidential Primariesp. 13
A Mixed System: Conventions and Primaries, 1948-1960p. 15
Moving to a Primary-Dominated Systemp. 16
The Primary-Dominated Era: 1972 and Forwardp. 22
Presidential Nomination Politics at the Dawn of the 21st Centuryp. 25
Recent Nomination Contestsp. 26
The Candidatesp. 31
The (Not So) Invisible Primaryp. 35
The Two-Tiered Nomination Processp. 45
Changing Technology, Changing Campaign Strategiesp. 54
Third-Party Nominationsp. 56
Nomination Controversiesp. 57
Is this a Fair Way to Select a Presidential Nominee?p. 59
General Criticisms of Primary-Centered Nominationsp. 61
Who Should Votep. 65
Are Caucuses Fair?p. 69
Concerns over Convention Delegate Selectionp. 71
Superdelegatesp. 78
Winning Votes Versus Winning Pledged Delegatesp. 81
The Accidental Calendar, Part 1: Iowa and New Hampshire Come Firstp. 88
The Accidential Calendar, Part 2: The Perils of Front-Loadingp. 91
A Hodgepodge of Rules and Proceduresp. 92
Alternative Methods for Nominating Presidentsp. 94
Regional Primary Plansp. 95
Grouping States by Population Size: The Delaware Planp. 98
Other Variants of Grouped Primariesp. 100
One-Day National Primaryp. 103
Alternative Mechanisms for Counting the Votes in a National Primaryp. 105
Convention-Centered Plansp. 110
Pathways to Reformp. 112
Rescuing the Matching Funds Systemp. 115
Predicting the Consequences of Reformp. 117
Oddities, Biases, and Strengths of U.S. Presidential Nomination Politicsp. 119
Oddities in U.S. Presidential Nomination Politicsp. 120
Biases in U.S. Presidential Nomination Politicsp. 122
Strengths of U.S. Presidential Nomination Politicsp. 125
Nominating Presidents in a System with Oddities, Biases, and Strengthsp. 127
Notesp. 129
Bibliographyp. 141
Indexp. 150
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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