Congress for Kids Print this Page
  Search


Citizenship Quizzes Independence Constitution Legislative Branch Executive Branch Judicial Branch Elections
  Elections

Introduction Election Day Voting Election of the President Candidates Political Parties Primary Election National Conventions National Conventions - An Inside View Candidates at the Convention The Campaign Polling Places The Electoral College The Electoral Map The Inauguration

 




Books & Reading

Books & Reading





Primary Election Political Parties Election Day Voting Election of the President Candidates National Conventions National Conventions - An Inside View Candidates at the Convention The Campaign Polling Places The Electoral College The Electoral Map The Inauguration

National Conventions - An Inside View

National Conventions - An Inside View

All the delegates gather in a huge hall to choose the party’s candidate for President at the national convention. Each of the fifty states has sent a group of people called a "delegation" to represent its voters. Smaller states may have only a few delegates, while states with large populations have many delegates. The names of all the candidates are placed in nomination to be considered by the entire convention during the roll call of the states. As a state is called, the delegates cast their votes for the candidates who are most popular in their states.

One candidate can be declared the winner if the candidate has a majority of votes after just one ballot or roll-call vote. If no one has a clear majority, there must be another call of the roll. Balloting continues until there is a winner. It took the Democrats fourteen days and over one hundred ballots to select a candidate in 1924. The candidate with the most votes wins and becomes the party’s choice for President of the United States.

Show What You Know

 


In 1948, CBS first televised both party conventions. Since there were fewer than half a million TV sets in the United States at that time, coverage was limited to the Northeast region.

Surf with Uncle Sam
Surf with Uncle Sam


Word Spy
Word Spy


Projects You Can Do

Why do Democratic National Convention planners see music as a kind of audio plank in the party platform? What types of music is played? Why do they use a diverse range of music? Why might it be important for the Democratic planners to know the political affiliation of the artists whose songs are used?

Name a few songs that you think could bring tears to someone's eyes or cause someone to jump up and applaud. Which emotions are aroused by the musical selections chosen? Do you think that the types of music selected for the convention are a statement of how inclusive the party is of different ethnic backgrounds and cultures? Why or why not? Do you think that the ages and backgrounds of U.S. voters are included in these selections? Which selections or types of music would you add or remove?

Research Democratic and Republican Web sites to get ideas about the parties' political platforms. Find out the focus of the parties' platforms.

Find the lyrics to a song performed live at a past Democratic or Republican convention. Rewrite the song to reflect either the Democratic or Republican political positions at that time.

The Dirksen Congressional CenterCopyright 2008