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The events this week in Tampa and next week in Charlotte are the continuation of a long American tradition.
Ever since the mid eighteen hundreds the parties have convened -- head of each presidential election but the roll off the conventions has evolved quite a bit.
Over the years Shepard Smith reports.
So -- conventions are essentially a big.
A pep rally that's carefully scripted for television.
And lots of party officials.
High profile figures from each political party will take the stage and all of the networks will broadcast live a number of speeches that are designed to rally the troops and get people excited about the election.
But it's a far cry from the conventions of generations past.
During which presidential nominations -- won and lost.
For a long time in the national parties seem to many people to be controlled by a very small group of party leaders party leaders and a smoke filled room.
That's the phrase a reporter pointed the 1920.
Republican Convention to describe a late night meeting that resulted in the nomination of Warren G.
It wasn't always a smooth process.
Democrats cast more than 100 ballots over seventeen days before settling on a nominee.
And you cannot imagine such a thing happening today the message it would send to the American people here's a party in disarray prior to Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Candidates didn't even show up to accept their nominations in person.
They considered it too aggressive.
But eventually politicians started campaigning for their party's support.
The rise of primaries horizon television come very close together.
By the mid nineteen hundreds a handful of states allowed voters to have a say in sending delegates to the conventions.
But those delegates didn't hold much sway.
Adlai Stevenson captured the democratic nomination without entering any primaries.
Being a competitor who won almost all of them.
Things changed after the tumultuous 1968 Democratic Convention.
As protesters clashed with police outside the conventional.
-- -- -- -- Inside Hubert Humphrey's challengers who -- the party unfairly shut them out of the delegate selection process.
It prompted dramatic changes after the election between sixty -- 72.
Forms was put in place for the nominating process.
That open it up reduce the power of political party bosses and greatly increase the role of primary can't.
Historians say those changes diminish the importance of the -- Campaigns no longer relies heavily on party fundraising since they have to raise so much cash just to win the nomination.
It's not a smoke filled room anymore it's it's kind of dueling consultant since the last time -- convention started without a clear nominee was 36 years ago.
At the Republican Convention in 1976.
And par par par.
Right when Gerald Ford narrowly defeated Ronald Reagan.
Relying on uncommitted delegates who weren't obligated to vote based on primary results.
Today's conventions aren't nearly as dispensable.
But they're still -- -- did this become nominees.
Serving an important purpose heading into the November elections.
A lot of voters have not paid attention throughout the summer.
And this is one place where -- concentrated -- voters can tune in for a couple of days.
And hear exactly what it is that Mitt Romney stands for and what he wants to do as president and the same -- -- President Obama if they haven't paid close attention for the -- to -- --
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