Nominations & Conventions

Past Practices

Reform after 1988: “Super Tuesday” and Front-Loading
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Michael Dukakis on the emergence of Super Tuesday in 1988.
Susan Brophy on Super Tuesday.

After Ronald Reagan’s landslide victory over Walter Mondale in 1984, once again Democrats sought to improve their ability to win the presidency.  They created a primary election vote across the South, designed to help nominate a southern candidate.  Party leaders worried that “liberal” candidates from the Northeast and Midwest could not win the Presidency. It took place on the second Tuesday in March, known as “Super Tuesday.”  Ironically, in the first election with Super Tuesday, a candidate from the northeast, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, secured the nomination.