Party Stakeholders—the Insider Game
The reforms of the early 1970s moved the formal selection of presidential nominees from the national conventions to the caucuses and primaries held in states during the first six months of the election year. The proliferation of primaries and reformed caucuses expanded the ability of party activists and party identifiers to participate in the selection of presidential nominees. 1 In this sense, the reforms democratized the presidential nomination process by putting the formal selection of presidential nominees in the hands of the active portion of the mass memberships of the political parties. The reforms, however, did not remove party stakeholders from the process. Stakeholders try to influence the selection of nominees before the mass membership of the party has a chance to vote.