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On the Road to the White House: Information Resources on Presidential Nomination. John Hernandez Politics & U.S. Documents Librarian February 25, 2004. On the Show This Morning…. Background on Presidential Nomination Information Resources (Current & Historical)

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on the road to the white house information resources on presidential nomination

On the Road to the White House:Information Resources on Presidential Nomination

John Hernandez

Politics & U.S. Documents Librarian

February 25, 2004

on the show this morning
On the Show This Morning…
  • Background on Presidential Nomination
  • Information Resources (Current & Historical)
    • Primary Debates & Campaign Advertising
    • Primaries & Caucuses
    • Party Platforms & Conventions
    • Public Opinion
  • Third Parties
eligibility to run for president
Eligibility to Run for President
  • Article II, Section 1
    • Natural-born citizen
    • At least 35 years of age
    • U.S. resident for at least 14 years
  • 22nd Amendment
    • No one may serve more than two full terms
  • No official requirement of previous elective office or military service
pre nomination phase
Pre-Nomination Phase
  • Raise money
  • Test the waters via exploratory committees
  • Formally name campaign committees
  • File with the Federal Election Commission http://www.fec.gov/
  • Publicly announce candidacy
campaign advertising
Campaign Advertising
  • Positive public image of candidate
  • Negative image of opposition
  • Sources for ads & public statements
    • Running for President: The Candidates and Their Images, 1789-1992
    • Candidate statements via Project Vote Smart http://www.vote-smart.org/
    • Campaign announcements & ads via C-SPAN http://www.c-span.org/vote2004/profiles.asphttp://www.c-span.org/vote2004/campads.asp
primary debates
Primary Debates
  • Held between candidates of the same party
  • Initial fight for popularity
  • Opportunity to set campaign rhetoric, issues and agenda
  • First debate held 1948 in Oregon between NY Gov. Thomas Dewey & former MN Gov. Harold Stassen
sources of debates
Sources of Debates
  • Newspaper coverage
    • Proquest Historical Newspapers
    • LexisNexis
    • NewsBank
  • Videos
    • Vanderbilt University Television News Archive http://tvnews.vanderbilt.edu/
    • C-SPAN Archives http://www.c-spanarchives.org/
history of the primary caucus
History of the Primary/Caucus
  • Congressional caucuses were the traditional method of selecting nominees until 1824
  • Multi-tiered nominating caucus-conventions began in the 1830s to reflect popular will
  • Primaries began about 1910 in state elections
    • Pressure from Progressives
    • Applied to national elections as of 1948
  • U.S. Presidential Primaries and the Caucus-Convention System: A Sourcebook
primary vs caucus
Election to nominate party candidates for the general election

Voters elect delegates to national convention

Voting can be closed (only registered party members) or open (non-registered)

Meeting of party members or leaders to select nominees

Delegates to national convention are chosen

Often used with state convention

Support for a candidate registered by public declaration

Primary vs. Caucus
delegate scorecard
Delegate Scorecard
  • Number of delegates & assignments defined by national parties
  • As candidates drop out, delegates are redistributed
  • Unpledged delegates are aligned as the process continues
iowa new hampshire
Iowa & New Hampshire
  • First in the nation
    • Iowa Caucus/New Hampshire Primary
  • Front-loading
    • Six-week period between February & March
  • Winners here often take the convention
super tuesday
Super Tuesday
  • Began with Southern Legislative Conference 1988
  • Provides over half of the needed delegates
  • This year is March 2, 2004
    • CA (370), NY (236) & OH (140)
    • MA (93), GA (86), MN (72) & MD (69)
    • CT (49), RI (21), & VT (15)
primary caucus results
Primary & Caucus Results
  • Official state tallies
    • State Departments of State
    • Federal Election Commission
  • Unofficial compiled sources
    • America at the Polls, 1920-2000
    • America Votes (1956-present)
    • United States Presidential Primary Elections, 1968-1996
    • CNN.com American Votes 2004 http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/
national party conventions
National Party Conventions
  • National party platform is finalized and announced
  • Delegates tallied to determine the party’s nominees
  • Nominees for President and Vice President are announced
  • Acceptance speeches are made
  • Race for the general election begins
party platforms
Party Platforms
  • Statement of the party’s agenda and positions
  • Comprised of “planks” or specific issue statements
  • Platform sources
    • Official proceedings of party conventions
    • National Party Platforms, 1840-1976
      • 1980 supplement
    • National Party Conventions, 1831-1992
    • The American Presidency Project http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/
public opinion polls
Public Opinion Polls
  • Began in earnest circa 1972
  • Used to project winners & losers
    • “Horse race” coverage
  • Largely consist of exit polls & surveys
  • Conducted by major news networks, papers & pollsters
    • ABC, CBS, CNN, New York Times, L.A. Times
    • Gallup, Zogby, Harris, Roper
public opinion sources
Public Opinion Sources
  • Opinion poll indexes/databases
    • Polling the Nations
    • iPoll Databank
    • American Public Opinion Index
  • News sources
  • NES Guide to Public Opinion & Electoral Behavior
    • Evaluation of Presidential Candidates http://www.umich.edu/~nes/nesguide/gd-index.htm#7
third parties
Third Parties
  • Often not reported due to relative size, influence, and non-mainstream focus
  • Spoilers may get better coverage (i.e. Green Party)
  • Generally necessary to research the parties individually
  • Third Party Presidential Nominating Conventions, Proceedings, Records, Etc.
    • Microfilm good for historical coverage of select third parties
    • PUL does not own, Penn State & NYPL do.
tune in next time when john says
Tune in Next Time When John Says…

Don’t blame me, I voted for the other guy!

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