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Study Notes

Unit 3 Essay Examples: "The National Nominating Convention is now just a formality. Discuss"

AQA, Edexcel, OCR

Last updated 22 Mar 2021

This Study Note contains the key terms that you would need to include if you chose to answer this question, along with 10 great examples that you could use to support your arguments.

So, before having a go at answering the question, make sure you can explain what each of the following terms means:

  • National Nominating Convention
  • Primaries
  • Caucus
  • Democratic
  • Republican
  • National Committees
  • Presidential Election
  • Delegates
  • Super Delegates
  • Swing States
  • McGovern-Fraser Reforms
  • Smoked-filled rooms
  • Momentum
  • Balanced Ticket
  • Party Platform
  • Bounce in the polls

Contemporary examples

National nominating conventions are just a formality

  1. Conventions showcase the final candidates to the nation such as in 2008 when Obama and Biden were announced or 2012 when Romney and Ryan were announced.
  2. Candidates hope that well run convention will lead to a poll bounce. Obama bounced 3 points after the 2012 Convention.
  3. Parties also announce their platform, as the Democrats did in 2012 titled ‘Moving America Forward

National nominating conventions are not just a formality

  1. Conventions have informal roles such as healing a divided party after a primary campaign. Obama and Clinton in 2008 faced a bitter campaign but healed the party with a successful convention in 2008
  2. The conventions attempt to persuade swing voters and often locate in swing states. The Republicans went to Florida in 2012 and the Democrats to North Carolina.
  3. Conventions mark the start of the General Election and the end of the primary seasons. Once this happens the campaign can begin

Historical examples

National nominating conventions are just a formality

  1. Bill Clinton witnessed the largest post-convention bounce in 1992 with a rise of 30% in the polls. Bush on the other hand experienced a weaker bounce.
  2. In 1980 the Republican Party adopted their platform after the nomination of Reagan and Bush titled “A New Beginning’ Historical examples supporting the view that National nominating conventions are not just a formality

National nominating conventions are not just a formality

  1. The Republicans had their 1980 convention in Michigan which was a key swing state then, and it voted for the winner in 1980, 84, 88, 92, and 96.
  2. The 1992 Republican convention was a bitter campaign battle with fiery rhetoric coming from Pat Buchanan.

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