Good Question: Republican And Democratic National Conventions

By: Jeff Herndon Email
By: Jeff Herndon Email

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Democratic National Convention wrapped up its three-day run in Charlotte, North Carolina tonight. Last week, the Republican National Convention was in the media spotlight.

Coverage of the conventions has spawned several questions. I decided to answer a few tonight on Good Question.

It’s an election year, and that means national conventions.

I had a few viewers ask why we even have conventions in the first place. One says it seems like a giant waste of time and money. To some, it may appear that way. To others, the conventions are a crucial piece of political tradition and history.

It may look like a giant pep-rally, and that is one of the reasons for the conventions – to unify and energize the party. But it also serves as the formal nomination of each party’s presidential nominee.

When did all of the convention craze begin? The Democratic National Convention dates back to 1832 and has been held every four years since. The Republican party kicked off its convention in 1856.

Of course, the early conventions looked nothing like what you witnessed on television this week – HD cameras, teleprompters, slow motion replay. Today’s conventions are more television friendly and highly produced. But as the years pass, the purpose of the conventions are unchanged – to rally the party and formally nominate a presidential candidate.

If you have a good question, send it to me at or find me on Twitter at I’ll answer your good question every Thursday on KAKE News at 10.

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