Republican National Convention
The Republican National Convention is the presidential nominating convention of the Republican Party of the United States. Convened by the
Republican National Committee, the stated purpose of the convocation is to nominate an official candidate in an upcoming U.S. presidential election, and to adopt the party platformand rules for the election cycle.
Democratic National Convention, it signifies the end of a presidential primary season and the start of campaigning for a general election. In recent years, the nominee has been known well before the convention, leading many to oppose the convention as a mere public relationsevent and coronation.
Historically, the convention was the final determinant of the nomination, and often contentious as various factions of party insiders maneuvered to advance their candidates. Since the almost universal adoption of the
primary electionfor selecting delegates in the last quarter of the 20th century, however, the convention's significance has diminished. The national party focuses on the convention as a unity point to bring together a party platform and state parties.
The Republican Party receives nearly $15 million from the
Federal Election Committeeto hold its national convention. On November 9, 2007, the Republican National Committee published its Call for the 2008 Republican National Conventionwhich directed that the national convention be convened in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota on September 1, 2008 for a period of time to continue so long as may be necessary to nominate a presidential and vice presidential candidate.
The size of delegations to the Republican National Convention are determined by Rule 13 of the party’s national rules, which as of 2008 indicate the following:citation|title=Rules of the Republican Party|url=http://www.gop.com//images/legal/2008_RULES_Adopted.pdf|year=2008]
# Ten delegates at large from each of the fifty states.
# The national committeeman, the national committeewoman and the chairman of the state Republican Party of each state,
American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
# Three district delegates for each member of the
United States House of Representativesfrom each state, sixteen from D.C., twenty from Puerto Rico, and six each from American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
# From each state having cast at least a majority of its Electoral College votes for the Republican nominee in the preceding presidential election four and one-half delegates at large plus a number of the delegates at large equal to 60 percent of the number of electoral votes of that state, rounding any fraction upwards.
#one additional delegate at large to each state for any and each of the following public officials who is a member of the Republican Party elected in the year of the last preceding presidential election or at any subsequent election held prior to January 1 of the year in which the next national convention is held:
##at least half of the state's representatives in the
United States House of Representatives
##a majority of members of any chamber of the state legislature, if also presided over by a Republican
##a majority of members of all chambers of the state legislature, if also presided over by a Republican
##any and each Republican United States Senator elected by such state in the six-year period prior to January 1 of the year in which the next national convention is held.
##one additional delegate to each state per Republican it elected to the
United States Senatein the six-year period prior to January 1 of the year in which the next national convention is held
##in addition, if the District of Columbia shall have cast its electoral votes, or a majority thereof, for the Republican nominee for President of the United States in the last preceding presidential election: four and one half delegates at large plus the number of delegates at large equal to thirty percent (30%) of the 16 delegates at large allotted to the District of Columbia, rounding any fraction upward.
One alternate delegate is also awarded for each regular delegate except for members of the Republican National Committee.
The composition of the individual state and territory delegations is determined by the bylaws of their respective state and territory parties. Since 1972, almost all have appointed delegates by primary election results, although some, notably
Iowa, use caucuses, and others combine the primary with caucuses or with delegates elected at a state convention.
In the past, competing factions of a state party sometimes drew up separate lists of delegates, each claiming to be the official one. One of the first agenda items at a convention is therefore "credentialing", whereby the Credentials Committee determines which group is recognized as the official delegation.
The first Republican National Convention was held at Lafayette Hall in
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvaniaon February 22–February 23, 1856. At this convention, the Republican Party was formally organized on a national basis, and the first Republican National Committeewas elected. The first Republican National Convention to nominate a presidential candidate convened from June 17–-June 19, 1856 at the Musical Fund Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The 1860 convention nominated the first successful GOP presidential candidate,
Abraham Lincolnof Illinois. The 1864 event, with the American Civil Warraging, was branded as the "National Union Convention" as it included Democrats who remained loyal to the Union and nominated Democrat Andrew Johnsonof Tennesseefor Vice President.
The 1912 Republican convention saw the business-oriented faction supporting
William Howard Taftturn back a challenge from former president Theodore Roosevelt, who boasted broader popular support and even won a primary in Taft's home state of Ohio. Roosevelt would run on the Progressive Party ticket, handing the election to Democrat Woodrow Wilson.
The 1940 convention was the first national convention of any party broadcast on live
television. It was carried by an early version of the NBC Television Network, and consisted of flagship W2XBS (now WNBC) in New York City, W3XE (now KYW-TV) in Philadelphiaand W2XB (now WRGB) in Schenectady/Albany.
The growing importance of primaries became evident at the
1964 Republican National Conventionin San Francisco, California, where ArizonaSenator Barry Goldwaterwon the nomination, easily turning away Governor William Scrantonand others more favorable to the party establishment.
CaliforniaGovernor Ronald Reagannearly toppled incumbent President Gerald Fordat the 1976 convention in Kansas City by securing a large bloc of votes in the North Carolina primary. It is the last convention of either major party where the outcome of the nomination battle was in doubt. Pat Buchanandelivered a speech enthusiastically endorsing the conservative side of the culture warin American society at the 1992 Republican National Conventionin Houston, Texas. It was widely criticized for supposedly alienating liberal and centrist voters who might otherwise have voted for the moderate nominee, George H. W. Bush. Division in the party was evident too at the 1996 convention, at which more moderate party members such as California governor Pete Wilsonand MassachusettsGovernor William Weldunsuccessfully sought to remove the Human Life Amendmentplank from the party platform.
2004 Republican National Convention, the first-ever Republican convention in New York City, posed unprecedented security challenges due to its location at Madison Square Gardenin the heart of Manhattandirectly over Pennsylvania Station.
Rights of protesters
Political advocates outside of the major parties have complained that both the Democratic and Republican conventions have violated their First Amendment rights to demonstrate, protest and advocate their ideas. [ [http://www.commondreams.org/view/2008/09/04 Why We Were Falsely Arrested,] by Amy Goodman, TruthDig.com, September 4, 2008] Both conventions have restricted protesters to demonstrating in "
free speech zones" of fenced-in areas, sometimes surrounded by barbed wire, and not accessable to the delegates. Civil rights lawyers have complained that police indiscriminately arrest demonstrators and charge them with crimes even though they are not breaking the law. In New York 2004, police arrested people and testified under oath that the arrestees had been committing violent acts. Videotapes by bystanders and the New York City police themselves later contradicted that testimony, and showed that at least some arrestees had not been violent. [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/12/nyregion/12video.html Videos Challenge Accounts of Convention Unrest] , By JIM DWYER, New York Times, April 12, 2005] The City has settled lawsuits for false arrest. In 2008, St. Paul required the RNC to buy liability insurance to cover the police for legal fees and judgments arising from legal complaints by protesters. [ [http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2008/09/04 Taxpayers Off The Hook For GOP Convention Lawsuits;] Critics say the agreement has only encouraged police to use aggressive tactics knowing they won't have to pay damages. by Ryan J. Foley, Associated Press, September 4, 2008]
List of Republican National Conventions
* Republican Party
Democratic National Convention
* [http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/platforms.php The American Presidency Project] , contains the text of the national platforms that were adopted by the conventions (1856–2008)
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