One of the main functions of political parties is to nominate candidates. In the presidential arena, this calls for a convention that formally nominates the candidates from the party. A basic concept that is echoed in the United States political realm is that the political party is less important today than a century ago. Let’s not let this diminish the role political parties play, they remain significant. The nomination is the most important process in running for president. The first step to being nominated to be president for a party is getting on the ballot. Each party selects their own candidate. They both begin with a state-by-state process to determine who will be the best candidate for their party. Most states use primaries which are votes where individuals can select who they wish from a ballot. Some states choose their nominee through party caucuses where party members meet in a group and pick. Both parties use delegates to complete the nomination process. Delegates actually choose the candidate. Other than these basic similarities, the actual process used by the two major political parties to select their candidate is very different. When states vote in primaries or meet in caucuses, they are not selecting the nominee so much as selecting how the delegates at each national convention will vote. Delegates are selected from each state to meet at the respective party conventions. A delegate is simply defined as a loyal party worker. The number of delegates from each state is determined using a complex formula. The formula’s are different for each party. More interesting than the number of delegates, is how the delegates are selected. As a result of efforts of groups like the Hunt Commission, the democratic party has worked hard over the past 30 years to reform the delegate selection process through specific rules for delegate selection. The result has been the creation of the superdelegate which consists of elected officials or party leaders who are automatically granted delegate seats on their merit rather than being selected by a popular vote or caucus. Superdelegates account for about 14% of delegates. The blaring truth about the democratic reform process is that it hasn’t been effective with the republican party winning seven of the ten presidential elections between 1968 and 2004. Regardless of the selection of delegates, one constant remains, those that are elected or appointed as delegates are strong party loyalists and are more likely to hold strong ideological beliefs.