Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science


Every four years the competitive battle for the presidency begins with the candidates traipsing all over the country trying to win the required amount of national convention delegates to gain their parties' presidential nomination. Today the nominating process consists of two methods for obtaining the needed delegates to be nominated, the caucus/convention method and the primary election method. The presidential primary is now clearly the dominant method. In 1916 there were only 20 presidential primaries, but in 1980 there were 36. Approximately three-fourths of the total delegates to both parties' national conventions are controlled by the primaries. Candidates invest most of their time and most of their money in the primary states.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Political Science and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright Dennis K. Parrott April, 1981