Polls and Elections: Two Paradigms of Presidential Nominations



This article uses forecasts of the contested vote in presidential primaries to assess competing hypotheses about political power in presidential nominations. Forecasts are estimated using information from the invisible primary and from the earliest nominating elections as a means of assessing which nominations were largely settled during the invisible primary consistent with Cohen et al. (2008) and which were influenced more by momentum during the primaries as Aldrich (1980) and Bartels (1988) argue. Both patterns exist, which suggests that future research on presidential nominations should focus on why party elites and mass partisans unify more in some years than in other years.