Attending the national conventions as a delegate is a big commitment—both of time and money—but in this day and age, knowing who the candidate will be, why do they make the trip?
While the official selection of the party’s presidential candidate makes the headlines during the national party conventions, more than 8,000 delegates from across the nation play a large part in shaping the future of their parties.
There is some work to be done when they first arrive, voting on party platforms and rules. Neither the Republicans nor Democrats had an easy time with that vote.
For the Republicans, the debate centered on a power grab from party leaders, while Democrats were up in arms over a politically incorrect platform.
In the end, conservatives and liberals left their gatherings inspired to succeed.
"We go back to our home areas and we bring the enthusiasm from here and we get the votes," Democratic delegate Lenora Sorola-Eohlman from Houston said.
"I leave here excited for the future," Republican delegate Don Zimmerman said.
The Republican National Convention was held in Tampa, Fla. last week. This week, the Democrats gathered in Charlotte, N.C. for their national convention.
President Barack Obama is expected to accept his official nomination from the Democratic Party Thursday night.