How is the Order Determined for the Political Conventions?

Can anyone tell me how the order in which the 2 major party conventions is determined? Does the incumbent party decide or is there some ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ that decides?


The national conventions are scheduled by each party’s National Committee. Since 1936, there has been an “understanding” that the party not holding the presidency will hold the earlier convention.

In olden times, this was based on the theory that the party out of power was more likely to have a contested nomination, which it wanted to settle earlier so as to have more time to rally around the winner and promote party unity. Nowadays, it’s done because . . . well, because we’ve been doing it that way since 1936.