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A favorite son (or a favorite daughter) is a political term.

  • At the quadrennial American national political party conventions, a state delegation sometimes nominates and votes for a candidate from the state, or less often from the state's region, who is not a viable candidate. The technique allows state leaders to negotiate with leading candidates in exchange for the delegation's support.[1] The technique was widely used in the 19th and early 20th centuries.[2] Since nationwide campaigns by candidates and binding primary elections have replaced brokered conventions, the technique has fallen out of use,[3][4] as party rule changes in the early 1970s required candidates to have nominations from more than one state.[5]
  • A politician whose electoral appeal derives from her or his native state, rather than her or his political views is called a "favorite son."[6][7] For example, in the United States, a presidential candidate will usually win the support of her or his home state(s).[8]
  • Especially in parliamentary systems, a "favorite son" is a party member to whom the party leadership is likely to assign a prominent role, for example, Paul Martin while Jean Chrétien was the Prime Minister of Canada, or Gordon Brown while Tony Blair was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "How 'Favorite Son' Politics Works". The Pittsburgh Press. January 12, 1928 – via Google News Archive Search. 
  2. ^ "How Term 'Favorite Son' Got Started in Politics". The Free Lance-Star. January 30, 1960 – via Google News Archive Search. 
  3. ^ "No Demo Favorite Sons". The Deseret News. September 20, 1971 – via Google News Archive Search. 
  4. ^ Shafer, Byron E. (1988). Bifurcated Politics: Evolution and Reform in the National Party Convention. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674072565. 
  5. ^ Tarr, Dave; Benenson, Bob (22 October 2013). Elections A to Z. CQ Press – via Google Books. 
  6. ^ "Favorite Son Idea is Devised to Put State in Strong Position at Convention". Ocala Star-Banner. July 3, 1960 – via Google News Archive Search. 
  7. ^ "Smathers Gets Favorite Son Candidate Nod". Ocala Star-Banner. May 29, 1968 – via Google News Archive Search. 
  8. ^ "Favorite Son Groups Will be Numerous at 1940 Convention of Democrats". The Day (New London). August 4, 1939 – via Google News Archive Search. 


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