favorite son

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American term for a presidential nominee whose support comes mainly from one state delegation. Usually nominated either as a token gesture of honour, or as a tactical move to keep a delegation's options open for a time, for instance to see whether a bandwagon effect is building behind any other candidates. With the prevalence of primary elections, which have reduced the importance of the nominating convention (see party convention), the number of favorite sons has declined.

The term has been borrowed outside the United States, with the vaguer meaning of ‘local hero’.

Subjects: Politics.

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