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2016 Distilled

Who Really Chooses the Nominees?

Feb 02, 2016 | 9 videos
Video by The Atlantic

The nominating process for candidates is not as straightforward as it seems. Regardless of what percentage of the vote candidates receive, they only officially become their party’s nominee after an often-overlooked group of party representatives have had their say: the delegates.

“If you walk into a ballot booth to cast your vote [in a primary], you’re not really voting for the candidate you back.” says The Atlantic’s senior politics editor Yoni Appelbaum, “You’re voting for a delegate to go to a convention and vote for that candidate.” Despite their influence on the nomination process, the role of these delegates can be confusing. The Atlantic’s Caty Green looks to clear things up.

Do you have a question about the election and how it all works? Ask us here.

Authors: Daniel Lombroso, Greyson Korhonen, Catherine Green

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About This Series

Videos covering Election 2016 from The Atlantic's politics and policy team