Ross Perot also ran as an independent (1992). He built on Anderson’s work, and with a decent amount of his own money, added to the court challenges to contest rules making it difficult for a third party to be on the ballot.
- There are “superdelegates” and delegates selected at the primary polls or caucuses. Superdelegates, as mentioned, are party notables (governor, members of congress and senators, some party bosses, etc.) They have an automatic accreditation to the convention, at least in the Democratic party. On CNN you will see frequent mention of Hillary’s massive delegate count lead due to these “superdelegates” because a lot of the party insiders have already said they intend to vote for her. However, they are free to change their mind.
Regular delegates are people nominated by the candidate’s organization - helpers, friends etc. - to be “delegates” to the convention. Each candidate in the primary puts forth a list of nominated delegates, and the delegateships(?) are awarded based on the proportion of the vote that candidate gets. (Some states have a winner-take-all system). Some states (most? all?) explicitly require these delegates to vote for whom they committed to and were selected (“elected”) to vote for - at least on the first ballot.
“Delegates”? “Delegates to the party’s national convention”?
The losers of a nomination fight can compete in an election outside their party - however, it’s not a great tactic. First, a lot of the ground organization, particularly in a large state or nation-wide are members of the party. Parties help with a lot of the process of electioneering, from organizing events to grass roots “getting out the vote” to simple things like distributing signs and pamphlets. You better be pretty popular to drag those volunteers away from the official party candidate. Plus, crossing the party can be the kiss of death politically. Cross the party, why would they support you next time.
there were a few people who have done so. IIRC, some congress or senate candidate last election barely lost his nomination to a Tea Party surge and ran as an independent against that TP guy. Usually a situation like this splits the vote, so the other guy gets in.
But generally, the losers in the nomination fight are expected to at very least not obstruct the winning nominee in the election against the other party’s candidate. Often, in presidential contests, they will campaign for the candidate - after all, politics is all about schmoozing and by helping the party’s candidate they build brownie points if that loser wants to try again next election…
Also, Bernie Sanders is right - a lot of politics is financed by rich people who donate the massive sums needed to fight a successful campaign. It’s not bribery, but it is a for of “doing a favour” and of course to ensure your lobby efforts later are listened to. A person who donates to a candidate that is crossing his own 0party may find that the favours are fewer and the opportunities to bend ears fewer. So the money is less available too. Whereas money donated to a party’s candidate is appreciated by the whole organization.