The National Party Conventions

HideShow resource information
View mindmap
  • The National Party Conventions
    • When
      • Republicans held theirs in Florida on August 27th - 30th 2012
      • Democrats held theirs in North Caroline on September 4th - 6th 2012
        • 5,556 delegates were at the Democratic one
    • What are they for?
      • Choosing the presidential candidate
        • Traditionally party members and activists from all over the USA would gather here and vote in a roll call state by state
      • Choosing the vice presidential candidate (lost function)
        • The VP candidate is chosen by the main Presidential candidate and is announced before the Convention even meets
          • In 2012 Mitt Romney announced Paul Ryan as his running mate 16 days before the Convention met (the earliest ever)
      • Deciding the party platform
        • This document is drawn up by the "Platform Committee"
          • They usually take soundings from party members eg the Democrats consulted approximately 30,000 members in 2012
        • They are often forgotten about after the convention is over
        • Bland and general statements eg in the 2012 Republican Platform they mentioned the word "opportunity" 21 times without really defining what they meant
    • Modern or informal role of conventions
      • Putting on a show of party unity
        • In 2008 there had been a bitter battle between Obama and Clinton for the Democratic nomination so at the convention the Clintons made a big show of backing Obama
        • In 1992 George Bush Snr. and his rival Pat Buchanan carried on their rivalry at the Republican convention and failed to unite the party and Bush went on to lose the election
      • Energising the party members
        • Booking memorable speakers can be party politicians or celebrities who endorse the party
          • The Democrats always use Bill Clinton as a 'keynote' speaker because of his ability to enthuse the party and create an impact
          • In 2012 the Democrats used clebrities like Dave Grohl and James Taylor
        • In 2012 in the Republican convention the actor Clint Eastwood gave an embarrassing speech and Romney's own speech was wooden and unispiring
      • Appealing to the ordinary voters and gaining 'bounce'
        • The climax of the convention is the final acceptance speech by the chosen candidates
          • In 2012 Obama saw a 3% increase in his opinion poll ratings as a result of his speech
          • In 2012 Romney's poor performance had no affect at all and may have even made his opinion poll ratings drop
        • The conventions are so close together which means people can compare the candidates and their parties and this can have a lasting impact
          • In 2012 the Democrats were supposed to hold their convention in a 72,000 seater Stadium outdoors but changed to a 20,000 indoor arena because of bad weather but some people believe that they actually did this because they couldn't fill the 72,000 seats and didn't want to look bad to the voters
        • The evidence shows that less people are watching the conventions and they are having less of an impact on those that do
          • Only 43% said that Obama's speech was good or excellent
          • The number of people watching the Democratic convention fell from 60% in 2008 to 55% in 2012


No comments have yet been made

Similar Government & Politics resources:

See all Government & Politics resources »See all USA voter behaviour resources »