Why is Kerry the "presumptive" nominee?

I never have understood this part of the elecoral process. I thought that the Democratic Party had determined some time ago that the results of the primaries are binding, and that there is no way that Kerry could not receive the required number of electoral votes at the convention. In fact, I thought that’s why the conventions lacked drama in the last couple of decades - because there were no decisions left up to the delegates. At least on the first ballot. Why are we still calling Kerry the “presumptive” nominee? What will, or will not, be happening at the convention that could call that nomination into question? Thanks, boys and girls. xo C.

I don’t think anything you say is wrong. Nonetheless, he hasn’t been officially nominated since the nominating convention hasn’t happened yet. So he’s not technically the nominee. :wink:

Because he hasn’t been nominated yet. That simple.

definition of presumptive

So, Bush is the presumptive Republican nominee? Funny it’s never said that way.

Yes, you could also refer to both as putative nominees.

He didn’t face any opposition. All the non-Kerry delegates are technically still out there, and will probably[sup]1[/sup] vote for their person at the convention. Also, I believe that at least some of the other candidates are still seeking delegates (Is Kuchinich? I think Sharpton is, despite also pledging to work for Kerry, as an influence thing for platform purposes). So it’s really an only-slightly-archaic nod to the process. A process that was quite different in the Republican’s case this year, as they had an incumbent President and no real opposition.

[sup]1[/sup]: I belive that it’s possible that Kerry could be nominated by acclimation, with the non-Kerry delegates agreeing not to vote for their man in the name of unaniminty, prior to the first ballot. However, I also think that’s quite rare, again as a nod to the process.

It is also possible that between now and the convention that there will be some reason that Kerry will be forced to drop out (some health problem, some embarrassing fact coming out, etc.). At that point it would likely be a wide open convention.

Kerry could also flat out die.

The convention could be canceled because of terrorism.

A meteor could hit the earth.

A million possibilities abound. To paraphrase Jake4, it isn’t real until it happens. That’s why, even if reporters hate the weasel words, their editors absolutely require them.

The late and sadly missed WallyM7 would have probably phrased that slightly differently, though using the same root. :wink:

The same might be said for Bush, yet editors don’t require that he also be pasted with weasel words.

Similar to an as-of-yet unconviced criminal being called an “aledged murderer” even though there were 100 witnesses and a signed confession, no?

Heh. The difference, of course, is that if something were to happen to Kerry which prevented him from accepting the nomination, the Democrats would be “in the situation of having an open convention,” whereas if something happened to prevent Bush from accepting his party’s nomination the Republicans would be “fucked.” :wink:

Are you trying to argue for the rationality and consistency of the journalistic “profession”? :slight_smile:

“Alleged”. It’s called a presumption of innocence, and it’s the reason they can’t execute you or jail you for life without a trial. It’s an entirely different thing to this situation.

I have never seen Bush referred to as a nominee, either – he is the President and he is the incumbent, and there’s nothing “presumptive” about it.

OK, maybe a little presumptive… :smiley:

Hail to the thief!