U.S. Presidential Primaries and the Caucus-Convention System: A Sourcebook

By James W. Davis | Go to book overview

race in the 1952 Republican primaries was undoubtedly a major reason for the rekindled voter interest, as it was for the sudden, marked resurgence in presidential primary legislation.

When Minnesota, Indiana, and Montana all approved new presidential primary laws for a second time, it appeared that the old Progressive demand for more direct voter participation in presidential nominations might be catching on again. In the spring of 1953, the Nevada legislature also passed a presidential primary law patterned after the California statute. But it was repealed in 1955 without ever having been put to a test. 17 The repeal of the Minnesota and Montana presidential primary laws in 1959 signaled a halt to the movement for another decade. In 1965, the Maryland state legislature also repealed its presidential preference primary law, which had been in effect since 1912. 18 Few tears were shed by the political leadership of either party in the Free State when it was repealed, for those leaders had long wanted to be able to send uninstructed or favorite son delegations to their national convention.

The presidential primary tide, however, shifted again after the divisive 1968 Democratic National Convention. This recent era, often termed "the postreform period," is covered in the next chapter.


NOTES
1.
Neal R. Peirce and Lawrence D. Longley, The People's President: The Electoral College in American History and the Direct Vote Alternative, rev. ed. ( New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1981), p. 35.
3.
Eugene H. Roseboom, A History of Presidential Elections ( New York: Macmillan, 1957), p. 106.
4.
V. O. Key Jr., Politics, Parties, and Pressure Groups, 5th ed. ( New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1964), p. 373.
5.
Though the following chronicle may not be typical of boss control during this period, the late Professor E. M. Sait relates the following story about the delegate list of the Cook County ( Chicago, Illinois) convention of 1896, as originally reported by R. M. Easley:

Among the 723 delegates, 17 had been tried for homicide, 46 had served terms in the penitentiary for homicide or other felonies, 84 were identified by detectives as having criminal records. Considerably over a third of the delegates were saloon-keepers; two kept houses of ill-fame; several kept gambling resorts.

Howard R. Penniman, Sait's American Parties and Elections, 5th ed. ( New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1952), p. 283. There were also eleven former pugilists and fifteen former policemen, some with backgrounds similar to those of the other convention delegates described above. Ibid.

6.
Charles E. Merriam and Louise Overacker, Primary Elections ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1928).

-18-

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U.S. Presidential Primaries and the Caucus-Convention System: A Sourcebook
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Preface ix
  • Notes xii
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • 1 - Presidential Nominations-- American Style 1
  • Introduction 8
  • 2 - History of Presidential Nominations (1789-1968) 9
  • Notes 18
  • 3 - Party Reform 20
  • Notes 32
  • 4 - Presidential Primaries in the Postreform Era (1972-1996) 34
  • Notes 44
  • 5 - The Caucus-Convention System 45
  • Notes 57
  • 6 - National Convention Delegate Selection Before and After Mcgovern-Fraser Reforms 59
  • Notes 66
  • 7 - Who Are the Delegates? 67
  • Notes 81
  • 8 - Nominating Strategies 83
  • Summary 98
  • Notes 99
  • 9 - Nominating Finance 101
  • Notes 122
  • 10 - Supreme Court Decisions and Presidential Nominations 125
  • Notes 132
  • 11 - Primaries, Caucuses, and the Mass Media 134
  • Notes 144
  • 12 - Primary Debates 146
  • Notes 155
  • 13 - Polls and Primaries 157
  • Notes 170
  • 14 - Voter Participation in Primaries and Caucuses 172
  • Notes 192
  • 15 - Proposed National Primary 195
  • Notes 205
  • 16 - Regional Primaries 206
  • Notes 213
  • 17 - National Preprimary Convention Plan and Other Recent Reform Proposals 215
  • Notes 221
  • 18 - National Nominating Conventions 223
  • Notes 251
  • 19 - Presidential Nominations: The Perot Model 254
  • Notes 261
  • Appendixes 263
  • Glossary 269
  • Selected Bibliography 275
  • Index 283
  • About the Author 295
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