Party primaries and caucuses have historically produced the successful nominees for conventions which served to formally anoint the presidential candidates on the first ballot. But in the event of a competitive primary process, delegates at a convention could have more difficulty in reaching a clear majority of support for any one candidate
. A brokering process then takes place, with multiple ballots a possibility. Had John Kasich and Ted Cruz not dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination, it looked as if the country was headed towards our first brokered convention since 1952. The 2016 Presidential election has brought into question some of the rules and procedures that govern over primaries and conventions. The term “Contested Convention” and “Open Convention” have been mistakenly used to describe what will be a Brokered Convention.
The first question that many have is what exactly are the role of delegates and how do they affect primaries/caucuses and the election as a whole:
• Delegates: Individuals chosen to represent their states at their party conventions prior to a presidential election. The rules for selecting delegates, which are dictated by the parties, vary not only by party, but by state, and sometimes by congressional district. Democrats have 4,765 delegates, of which 714 are super delegates. While Republicans have 2,472 delegates of which 3 from each state are considered “Superdelegates”.
• The definition of a superdelegate varies from party to