The 1996 California presidential primary was held on March 26, ten weeks earlier in the electoral calendar than California's June 1992 primary. New York's 1996 primary was held on March 7, a month earlier than the state's 1992 primary. These "great leaps forward" exemplify an important trend in the presidential nomination process: the increasing concentration of primaries and caucuses at earlier points in the nomination schedule. While just twelve percent of the delegates to the 1968 national nominating conventions were chosen before the beginning of April that year, in 1996 fully seventy-seven percent of the delegates had been chosen by the same point in the electoral calendar.

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