AUTHOR'S NOTE: I wish to thank Nicol C. Rae, professor of political science at Florida International University; Jamie L. Carson, assistant professor of political science at the University of Georgia; and the anonymous reviewers for their comments, advice, and encouragement.
Two Parties, Two Types of Nominees, Two Paths to Winning a Presidential Nomination, 1972-2004
Version of Record online: 11 APR 2007
Presidential Studies Quarterly
Volume 37, Issue 2, pages 203–227, June 2007
How to Cite
BERGGREN, D. J. (2007), Two Parties, Two Types of Nominees, Two Paths to Winning a Presidential Nomination, 1972-2004. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 37: 203–227. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-5705.2007.02594.x
- Issue online: 11 APR 2007
- Version of Record online: 11 APR 2007
Contrary to findings that show the contemporary nomination process, regardless of party, favoring early frontrunners, this article shows that the eventual Democratic nominee is typically different from and often travels a different path to victory than the eventual Republican nominee. Since 1972, the eventual Democratic winners began as relatively unknown candidates with single-digit support who emerge as the frontrunner late in the process, sometimes just before the voting begins in Iowa and New Hampshire and sometimes just after the first votes are cast. John Kerry is only the latest Democratic example. In contrast, Republican winners have been national figures and have consistently been the early favorites a year before any votes were cast or large sums of money raised. To date, the accuracy of partyless models is driven largely by Republican successes. These models may be better at predicting Republican nominees than predicting Democratic nominees.