The End Game in Post-Reform Presidential Nominations



Candidate attrition is a central dynamic element of the post-reform presidential nomination process. Candidates withdraw from the contest as their resources dwindle or as they fall significantly behind the front runner in voter support. This article tests six measures of delegate strength to judge at what stage in the campaign the front runner's lead is sufficient to conclude that the nomination race is over. Since 1988, candidates in both parties have quickly left the race once the front runner has established such a lead.