A Citizen 's Guide For Presidential Nominations : The Competition For Leadership

1846 Words 8 Pages
In Wayne Steger’s book, A Citizen’s Guide to Presidential Nominations: The Competition for Leadership, he identifies the important factors of the presidential nomination process, which can then be used to understand the 2016 cycle. His argument states that the crucial period of a campaign is during the invisible primary, which is the year or so preceding the delegate selection process. If party stakeholders are cohesive, (as in the Democratic Party,) the race will be predictable; if they are not, (as in the Republican Party,) the outcome is more of a tossup. The outcome and its predictability also have to do with the size of the candidate pool; more candidates lead to more uncertainty. The Democratic pool is much smaller (and much more predictable) than Republicans’. A candidate’s ability to raise money – both their methods and amount – plays into their chances for getting the nomination. Lastly, media coverage of a campaign also guides the outcome. Specifically, coverage hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign when they tried to inflate the competitiveness of the actual race, while it helped Carly Fiorina after her success during the second debate. Many of the pieces of Steger’s framework are helpful when attempting to understand of the 2016 presidential nomination campaign.
Steger argues that the single most important factor in deciding which candidates win their party’s nomination is who party stakeholders coalesce behind during the invisible primary. The invisible primary “is…

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