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Presidential candidates--United States; Primaries--United States


With the 1964 national nominating conventions slightly more than a year away, nationwide political attention will once again be focused upon the presidential sweepstakes race. Inasmuch as the party controlling the presidency, the "in-party," almost never discards an incumbent, the president is virtually assured renomination by the Democrats; consequently politicians in both parties and the American voters will be concerned chiefly with the selection of the Republican candidate.

At this juncture it is impossible, of course, to predict flatly how many of the leading Republican contenders will openly toss their hats in the ring. But it is safe to assert now that no matter which candidate formally enters the race early next year, Republican organizations in several states, operating under a time-honored custom, will once again choose favorite son candidates to head their convention delegation. Unlike yesteryear, however, when favorite son candidates were frequently chosen as presidential candidates - and successfully elected - the favorite sons of 1964 and future presidential election years will not achieve the nomination prize. Why?

It will be the purpose of this paper to show that the changing forces in the presidential nominating process - especially the growing influence of the presidential primaries since World War II - have for all practical purposes ruled out the possibility of a favorite son ever again winning the party nomination at the national convention.

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