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  • 1. Electoral Politics
  • 2. Voters and elections  Impacts of being a rational actor – We pay attention to information that matters most for our daily life – Most people don’t think political information is in that category – Voters have low levels of information
  • 3. How we vote--  Heuristics or Cognitive Shortcuts– rather than getting full information we use and indicator that can approximate our preferences. – Party – Follow opinion of someone we trust – Gender  Split- Ticket Voting– vote for different parties in different races. – Strategic reasons– don’t want government getting too powerful (not a lot of evidence to support this theory) – Sincere voting– responding to differences between contests and applying different criteria. I.E., We want different things from a congressperson, a president, a judge, and a county commissioner.
  • 4.  Impacts on elections – Partisanship as a cognitive shortcut (or heuristic)  Always vote a particular party – Issues as a cognitive shortcut (or heuristic)  Vote for the person who has the same opinion as me on issue X.  Common heuristic issues include abortion, gay rights, and taxes. – Candidate characteristics  The tall guy always wins  Trust  Charismatic and photogenic candidates
  • 5. How we vote--  Heuristics or Cognitive Shortcuts – Party – Personality? What about Split Ticket Voting?  Prospective Voting– what kind of politician will the candidate be? – Political Issues – Other reasons  Retrospective Voting– how good a job did the politician do last term? Is my life better or worse?
  • 6. Gerrymandering  a controversial form of redistricting in which electoral district or constituency boundaries are manipulated for an electoral advantage. – Incumbency – Race
  • 7. Notice how crazy district #12 looks!
  • 8. Rep. Mike McIntyre
  • 9. Rep. Larry Kissell
  • 10. Legal History  Wesberry v. Sanders (1964) – Districts must be relatively equal in population. – Districts must be contiguous – Districts must be compact  Davis v. Bandemer (1985) – Drawing districts based on party is OK.  Thornburg v. Ginges (1986) – Cannot draw lines to unfairly dilute minority representation. – Race cannot be the ONLY factor in drawing majority- minority districts.
  • 11. Gerrymandering  a controversial form of redistricting in which electoral district or constituency boundaries are manipulated for an electoral advantage. – Incumbency – Race – Partisanship  The Drama part I  The Drama part II  Oral Arguments  Court’s Decision Click the underlined words to hear the NPR stories on the Texas redistricting story!
  • 12. Political Implications Packing and Cracking Cracking– Breaking up one group so that they don’t have a chance of winning a majority Packing– Concentrating a group in one district to dilute their impact across districts. Note: Demographically the district is evenly split. But after cracking and packing, representation is not competitive.
  • 13. Incumbent Advantages-  Name Recognition  Ties to elites, fundraising  Allow for retrospective voting  Electability  Pork Barrel  Case Work  Political power/ Seniority in committees The Big Dig
  • 14. Political Implications
  • 15. Raising money  Individual Donors – Rise of the internet means individual donors continue to matter tremendously!  Parties – National – State  PACs – Types – Bundling
  • 16. 527 Issue Campaigns  Cannot engage in direct electioneering  Limits on how close to the election ads can run  Are independent and not controlled by the candidate.
  • 17. Tapping in to how we vote in the modern age-- Commercials  Presidential  A brief history of attack ads.