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My understanding is that it's sort of like a football game with sixteen teams in each conference for a total of 32.

The Super Bowl is sort of of like the race for the presidency in which the two teams, one from each conference, try to play each other out to win.

In politics, my understanding is that people start to submit campaigns or start on-line platforms, and it's usually people who have lots of leadership and have a high reputation in their community.

Let's say that there are 20 people total, ten democrats and ten republicans. They start campaigning almost four years before the next election.

What I don't really understand, though, is how they narrow this group of 20 people down to two by the time the general election rolls around. I've heard about caucuses and primary elections, but I still don't know how this helps in narrowing down the list of candidates. Who gets to nominate them and actually take part in them?

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    delegates. look in to the party conventions. – dandavis Feb 2 at 4:28
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    That would require a very long answer. You'll be better off looking up an on-line US civics course. – user30014 Feb 2 at 16:55
  • This might have been better asked on English language & Usage – Mawg says reinstate Monica Mar 11 at 12:49
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What analogy best explains the narrowing down of presidential candidates for a general election?

The analogy I find most often used is "separate the wheat from the chaff"; for which the term winnow is used rather than the expression.

Literally, winnow (1a(1)) means "to remove (something, such as chaff) by a current of air".

Figuratively, in the political sense,, winnow (2c) means "NARROW, REDUCE", as in "winnowed the field to four contenders".

A Google search for "winnow" "democratic" shows "About 147,000 results". At least, in the first few search pages, the term "winnow" appears in the title, in the sense of narrowing the field of candidates by various means.


What I don't really understand, though, is how they narrow this group of 20 people down to two by the time the general election rolls around. I've heard about caucuses and primary elections, but I still don't know how this helps in narrowing down the list of candidates. Who gets to nominate them and actually take part in them?

The initial "winnowing" (or narrowing) of the field is done through general lack of support for the individual candidates' campaigns. This lack of support is revealed through polling and campaign contributions. The lack of support may result from poor debate performance or "messaging"; that is, fewer people like what the candidate has to say.

During the "primaries" (See: United States presidential primary), the field is narrowed further by voters in the respective parties. It is during the "primaries" (or state caucuses) that delegates are selected to attend the nominating conventions for the respective political parties. Some state delegates are "pledged" to a particular candidate.

"Each party determines how many delegates it allocates to each state. Along with those "pledged" delegates chosen during the primaries and caucuses, state delegations to both the Democratic and Republican conventions also include "unpledged" delegates who have a vote."

Finally, at the United States presidential nominating convention, the field is narrowed to the two candidates representing the Democratic and Republican parties in the general election.

Generally, use of "presidential campaign nominating convention" refers to the two major parties' quadrennial events: the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. Some minor parties also select their nominees by convention, including the Green Party, the Socialist Party USA, the Libertarian Party, the Constitution Party, and the Reform Party USA.

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It's like a broken garbage truck rumbling down the road towards Election. Since the truck is broken, all the lightweight trash gets jumbled around, and then flies off the back to be strewn in the wake of garbage truck, until, finally, at the end, only the most heavyweight of the garbage remains.

In the meantime, it stinks like hell and makes a mess of every place it visits, but no one wants to bother with cleaning up the mess, or fixing the garbage truck before its next scheduled trip.

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The very obvious one is a professional wrestling elimination match. The Elimination Chamber is one such.

An Elimination Chamber match is a match which takes place in a large, circular steel cage that surrounds the entire ring. The chamber contains four clear, plexiglass pods which hold four of the six wrestlers in the match. A pod opens every five minutes to let another wrestler into the match. A wrestler can be eliminated from the match by either pinfall or submission. The wrestler that either gets a pinfall or submission of the last two remaining competitors is the winner. The match was created by Triple H and was introduced by Eric Bischoff in November 2002.

The Youtube channel Vernaculis has done two of these. These are whimsy rather than serious commentary. But I find them amusing. In V's matches, a wrestler is eliminated by being tossed out of the ring. Then a new contestant enters from the outside of the arena, which gives opportunity for strutting and playing to the audience.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qimnDH6ZG8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdXbKOIsJpY

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  • Heh heh. I have a new hobby. I want to increase my net score on politics SE, while never having a net up-vote on any answer. So far, it's working fairly well. – puppetsock Feb 5 at 15:59
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Anyone can be a (presidential, senate, house, etc) candidate. The choice of who is the Republican or the Democrat candidate is up to those parties to decide. In the case of presidential races, both of those parties choose to run some form of national election.

Consider the Olympics: lots of 100m runners want to be their countries' 100m runner at the Olympics. Each country has a national 100m competition, and the winner gets to be the representative of that country in the Olympic race.

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