The 2016 presidential election cycle has been filled with speculation about what could happen at the Republican and Democratic party conventions this summer, given the highly contested nature of both primaries.
There is lengthy research literature on the role that the party nominating conventions typically play in the election cycle, and while each cycle is different, there are some historical patterns that are worth considering.
For example, the phenomenon of the post-convention “bump” or “bounce” has received attention both in the scholarly literature and by data journalists, although it is worth noting that the effect is not always reliable.
The Pew Research Center offers a concise look at brokered conventions over time, as well as how candidates fare as convention balloting takes place during contested conventions.
Scholars and commentators have been weighing in on the potential dynamics.
For example: Princeton’s Julian Zelizer has pointed to the 1976 GOP Convention as a useful precedent to consider, while Elaine Kamarck of the Brookings Institution has spelled out some hypothetical scenarios for 2016.
For a deep dive into the history and relevant political science, see Before the Convention, by Duke’s John Aldrich, as well as Kamarck’s Party Politics.
The following are other papers and reports that journalists might find useful as they think about, plan for and cover the conventions: