The 1968 election and the birth of the contemporary presidential nomination process

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Publication Type honors thesis
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Political Science
Faculty Mentor Matthew J. Burbank
Creator Burt, Zachary
Title The 1968 election and the birth of the contemporary presidential nomination process
Year graduated 2012
Date 2012-05
Description The 1968 election was a landmark election in American political history. In the summer of 1968, Vice President Hubert Humphrey was nominated by the Democratic Party. This nomination was controversial, and the Democrats' summer convention was chaotic and infamous. Humphrey gained the nomination due to his strong ties to the political establishment of the Democratic Party. He was selected by party bosses and insiders, rather than by the rank and file. Unlike his main competitors, Eugene McCarthy and Robert F. Kennedy, Humphrey did not contest a single primary. However, Humphrey's selection was not that unusual. For over a century, the Democratic and Republican parties had been selecting their nominees at national political conventions. Nonetheless, many people thought it was time for change, as the events at the 1968 Democratic National Convention illustrated. In the wake of the convention, and Humphrey's defeat in the general election that fall, the Democratic Party began reforming its presidential nomination process. Into the 1980s, several reform commissions were established. The most notable commission was the McGovern-Fraser Commission. The Republicans reformed their process as well, but the Democrats moved towards reform first, as well as made the most extensive reforms. The 1968 election and the subsequent reforms brought about, although inadvertently, the contemporary primary-centered presidential nomination process. This thesis examines the 1968 election and why that nomination and the reforms that followed are so instrumental to the modern primary process.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Democratic National Convention - 1968
Language eng
Rights Management (c) Zachary Burt
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 232,313 bytes
Identifier etd3/id/1868
Permissions Reference URL
ARK ark:/87278/s6hx1tfm
Setname ir_htoa
Date Created 2012-09-26
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 195556
Reference URL