Ch 5 state and local government


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Ch 5 state and local government

  1. 1. Chapter 5 Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Campaigns  Political Parties  Interest Groups  Political Campaigns
  2. 2. Political Parties  Political Parties are organizations that nominate candidates to compete in elections to compete in elections, and promote policy ideas. The two major political parties in the nation are the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. Political parties play a major role in the operation of government at many levels.
  3. 3. The Condition of Political Parties The number of people who identify themselves as a member of one of the two major parties is only about 60% of the electorate, while the number of people calling themselves independents is nearly 40%. Ideology -core beliefs about the form and role of the political system. Republicans tend to be more conservative while Democrats are more liberal. Ticket Splitting occurs when citizens vote for candidates of different political parties in a general election.
  4. 4. Party Identification in the United States 1994-2007
  5. 5. Typical State Party Organization
  6. 6. State Party Organization State party organizations differ in their organizational vitality and resources. Republican organizations are generally stronger organizationally than their Democratic counterparts. Factions, or subsets, can develop within political parties. They may be organized around particular political leaders or reflect divisions within a state.
  7. 7. The Two Party System The two-party system has been in existence in the United States for the past century and a half, although third parties do exist and run in elections. A divided government is a situation in which one party controls the governor’s office and the other party controls the legislature. A unified government exists when both the governor’s office and the legislature are controlled by the same party.
  8. 8. Interest Groups Interest groups are organizations of like-minded individuals who desire to influence governmental decisions and actions. Success is determined by whether the group’s preferences are enacted. Many interest groups are active in state government and a large number of them are ideological in nature, meaning that they are focused on a higher good such as clean air.
  9. 9. The Twenty Most Influential Interests in the States
  10. 10. Techniques Used by Interest Groups Interest groups have become effective at organizing networks that exert pressure on legislators. Interest groups try to influence the outcome of elections by supporting candidates who reflect their interests. Lobbying is the process by which groups and individuals attempt to influence policymakers. Grassroots lobbying has seen a recent resurgence in popularity. This form of lobbying has citizens contacting public officials on behalf of shared public policy views.
  11. 11. The Most Popular Techniques Used by Lobbyists
  12. 12. Political Action Committees (PACs) A Political Action Committee (PAC) is an organization that raises and distributes campaign funds to candidates for elective office. PACs are narrowly focused subsets of interest groups, which grew out of long-standing laws that made it illegal for corporations and labor unions to contribute directly to a candidate.
  13. 13. A New Era of Campaigns  Mass Media – candidates rely on direct mail and electronic media to deliver their messages to voters. Paid advertising is essential for reaching the public and can be either generic or negative. Generic Advertising: 1. Sainthood spots 2. Testimonial spots 3. Bumper-sticker policy spots 4. Feel-good spots
  14. 14. Negative Campaigning The level of negative campaigning, especially through advertising, has increased. Negative campaign advertising can be fair, false, and deceptive: A fair ad can highlight true but embarrassing indiscretions on the part of the candidate. A false ad contains untrue statements. A deceptive ad distorts the truth about a candidate.
  15. 15. Campaign Finance The cost of campaigns has risen greatly in recent elections. The spending is not only at the gubernatorial level but at many levels of governmental elections. More money is spent when the outcome of an election is going to be close as uncertainty spurs spending. 527 Groups – these groups spend money to influence the outcome of elections, but they do not contribute directly to candidates. The actions of 527 groups can negatively affect a state’s campaign finance laws.
  16. 16. Campaign Finance Reform All states have some form of campaign-financing reporting procedure to keep control over spending in elections. Although, the Supreme Court ruled in Buckley v. Valeo (1976 ) that governments cannot limit a person’s right to spend money in order to spread his/her views on particular issues and candidates. Therefore, a candidate can spend her own money on her own behalf.
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