POLYAS Election Glossary

We provide explanations and background information on elections, voting rights and digital democracy

Brokered Convention

The term "brokered convention" is used to describe a specific scenario occuring at conventions where political parties in the US nominate their presidential candidate. After the first round of voting has taken place, and no single candidate has won a majority of delegates in the primaries and caucuses, the convention becomes "brokered". Now political deals, re-votes and delegate vote-trading take place in order to achieve a majority for one candidate.

History of brokered conventions

Brokered conventions were the norm before presidential primaries were established. Since primaries are part of the nomination process, conventions are rarely brokered these days. The last brokered convention nominee for the Democrats was Adlai Stevenson in 1952, and the most recent brokered convention nominee for the Republicans was Thomas Dewey in 1948.

See also: Presidential election, democratic party, republican party

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