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Abstract

The presidential nomination process could be substantially improved through a few minor tweaks that would reduce unnecessary uncertainty, bolster its democratic underpinnings, and improve the connections among its various components. First, certain fundamental rules governing national conventions should be determined well in advance of the presidential nominating process, before any primaries or caucuses are held or delegates selected, and not be subject to change or suspension at the convention itself. Second, parties should enhance the democratic moorings of their national conventions by requiring presidential candidates to win a greater number of presidential preference votes to be placed into nomination. Third, state parties should tie the various components of the presidential nomination process more closely together by adopting a blend of the Democratic and Republican Parties’ current approaches. When a candidate is allotted national convention delegates based on the results of a presidential preference vote, the candidate should have a voice in selecting those delegates, and those delegates in turn should be bound to vote for that candidate, at least during the first round of voting at the national convention.

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