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banner Tuesday, 22 February, 2000, 18:27 GMT
National convention
Democrat '96 convention
An occasion for rallying the party faithful
The party assembly held every four years at which state delegates from across the country gather to vote on the party's candidate for president and vice president.

National conventions now serve mainly to formalise the will of the majority of voters, expressed during the earlier state primaries and caucuses.

Usually the winner of the greatest number of delegates from the primary and caucus states will receive the party's nomination.

Nonetheless the processes remain in place in case the decision over the party's candidate has to be brokered by the various party leaders. In 1924 a bitterly divided Democratic Party took no less than 103 ballots to decide on their presidential candidate.

Today the event is largely a platform for the prospective candidate to present their choice of vice-presidential running mate and to draw up their policy agenda.

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22 Feb 00 | N-P
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