Developing a theory:
The first step in a qualitative research paper is developing a theory. The American elections of 2016 greatly influence this research. This has been one of the most controversial elections in history. The Republican Party front-runner is a party outsider who has taken over the party and receives a nomination to run in the general election. This paper will try to investigate whether the rules of a contested convention established in the 1700s apply in today’s political environment. This is because there has been talk of the party holding a contested convention with an aim of selecting a party flag bearer different from the controversial figure.
Selection of a party nominee is a process that takes place on the local level with caucuses and elections (Vote Smart, 2016). Party delegates from different states are elected and are duty bound to vote for the candidate they initially indicated. However, if no candidate is unable to reach the required threshold of votes to be nominated outright, a contested convention can then take place. This involves a series of votes where delegates are freed from their duty to vote for the initial candidate indicated and can change their choice on the particular individual to vote for (Vote Smart, 2016).
The second step in the research will be to formulate a question. The question for this research will be whether the contested convention rules established in the 1700s are applicable in the modern American democratic space. The Republican Party presidential nomination is a contested convention. This is because it is unlikely that any candidate will reach the threshold 1237 delegates required for an outright nomination (The Guardian, 2016). Despite this, the front-runner for the party sees this as a way of denying him the party’s presidential flag bearer position. This is primarily because he is a party outsider. Before this election, he supported democratic candidates and his views on some important matters are controversial. The Republican Party is therefore fearful that he vying for the presidency against a strong Democratic Party rival will not bode well for the party (The Guardian, 2016). His popularity and front running status are seen as an invasion of the party. The Republican Party therefore wants to use a contested convention in order to oust this controversial figure and elect a candidate that they think represents the views of the party better. The contested convention laws were introduced in the 18th century and the party intends to use them to its advantage.
The third step in qualitative research is the design of the research method. The method of research that will be used for this study is phenomenology. This is a form of empirical research where observation is very important. The main reason for this is that data and knowledge to answer the research question is gained by means of direct and indirect observation. The notes taken from the observations will require quantitative analysis in order to answer empirical questions. Data collected should be relevant in describing the empirical question of the study.
Design of the study
The researcher is Ms. Jennifer Adrih
The purpose of this study was to get understanding on the principles of qualitative research as well as be able to have a presentation for the end of semester evaluation for the same class.
Phenomenology method provides an appropriate methodology to investigate the relationships and views of people on the matter at hand. Information was obtained from going through press publications, political archives as well as the views of Americans concerning a contested convention.
The fourth step of qualitative research is data collection. The researcher will collect data for this study by taking notes from secondary sources of data mainly. These will be press publications talking about the contested conventions as well as archives from actual contested conventions that have taken place. The researcher will also examine the thinking behind the contested convention laws of the 18th century. Finally, the study will record the contemporary views of Americans about the issue.
The fifth step in qualitative research will be data analysis. The data analysis for this study will try to establish empirical relationships between the data rather than relying on an already existing theory. Data analysis will therefore be purely observational. The question for this research is whether the laws regarding contested conventions are applicable in today’s contemporary world. This study will therefore try to get confirmatory data to try to answer this question. The data will confirm whether the law is applicable today or whether it is not applicable. Because the study will rely on a number of data sources, the results may not be exact but mere approximations.
Interpretation of results
The sixth step in qualitative research will be the interpretation of results. The researcher collects data and analyzes the data in previous steps. However, this is still raw data. The process of interpreting results is what gives rise to new information. This is a very important part of the qualitative study as it allows obtaining new information from the research. The analysis of data in the previous step will either confirm or reject the research question. This will have an implication of the results of the study. For example, the data analysis might determine that the contested convention laws are still applicable in today’s modern society.
Publishing the results
The seventh and final step of qualitative analysis is publishing the results of the study. The results of the study require presentation in an organized manner to make them easy to understand.
This motivation behind the study resulted out after Donald Trump announced that he would be vying for the American presidency on a Republican Party ticket. Initially, his announcement was not taken seriously. This is because he was seen as an outsider in the party. In previous years, he was a known supporter to the Democratic Party. This would also not be the first time that he would be vying for the American presidency. He had tried to run as an independent candidate in the 1980s and that bid had not been very successful. Another reason why his bid might not be considered serious was that he had made his career as a flamboyant businessperson who liked the limelight. Many people therefore initially believed that his vying was a publicity stunt.
However after a few months, his bid increased traction. A number of factors contributed to him gaining popularity very quickly. The first reason was that he was considered a Washington outsider. Many people had voted for Washington insiders for a long time and they believed that they did not give them the best services. Washington insiders are politicians in the senate, congress, or state governors. The fact that Trump was viewed as a Washington outsider endeared him to many voters. The voters were tired of voting for politicians and Trump was seen as an alternative who could deliver better to the American people. The second reason why Trump gained popularity so quickly was that he is a very wealthy businessperson. Many politicians get campaign funding from groups that demand legislation in their favor. Furthermore, the fact that Trump had his own money meant that groups could not sway him to make legislations in their favor.
After Trump’s campaign gained traction, Republican Party insiders began to view him as a threat to the party. Many of his views were different from traditional party views. The Republican Party had a number of candidates who it preferred over Trump. When the party realized that its preferred candidates would lose out to Trump on a popular vote, it began working towards limiting the number of votes Trump got. This was done in order to ensure that he does not reach the minimum number of 1237 delegates required for outright nomination. This would make it possible to have a contested convention where delegates would be free to choose their candidate of choice for the party.
The contested election laws appear to go against the democratic society that is America. Although popular vote indicates one way, the party still has room to select the candidate of its choice with a contested convention therefore disregarding the popular vote. However, the rules establishing contested conventions are present in the American law and have not been repealed. This makes them applicable now, as they were applicable in the 18th century.
The Guardian (2016) Contested convention: what happens if Trump fails to win enough delegates? Retrieved 28/4/2016 from http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/mar/17/contested-convention-donald-trump-delegates-republican-party-nomination
Vote Smart (2016) Government 101: United States Presidential Primary. Retrieved 28/4/2016 from https://votesmart.org/education/presidential-primary#.VyG3WUcni4A