- Favorite son
A favorite son (or a favorite daughter) is a political term that can refer to two different types of
*A politician whose electoral appeal derives from his or her regional appeal, rather than his or her political views. For example, in the
United States, presidential candidates usually win the support of their home states fairly easily.
*A member of a
political partywho is favored by the party leadership to assume a prominent role; for example: Paul Martinwhile Jean Chrétienwas Prime Minister, in Canada; Gordon Brownwhile Tony Blairwas Prime Minister, in United Kingdom.
In U.S. politics, nominating favorite sons was also used as a technique to send uncommitted delegations to a national convention of the Democratic or Republican Party. A popular or well-known governor or senator would be nominated, but was not a serious candidate. At some point during the convention, the favorite son would withdraw, freeing his delegates to support another candidate. The technique allowed senior leaders from the state to negotiate with candidates for preferential treatment.
The technique was widely used in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. Since the days of "open conventions" were largely replaced in the 1960s with nationwide campaigns by candidates and binding
primary elections, the Favorite Son technique of winning delegates' votes has fallen out of use.
Section 1 of
Article Two of the United States Constitutionrequires an elector to the Electoral Collegeto vote for a president and a vice president, at least one of whom must be from a different state than the elector. This requirement was added to prevent electors from voting for their favorite sons in presidential elections.
List of major-party United States presidential candidates who lost their home state
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