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  • 1. Types of Elections
    • Two phases of elections:
    • Getting nominated
    • Getting elected
  • 2. A Quick Review of Requirements - Executive:
    • President
      • Natural-born citizen
      • 35 years old
      • Resident of United States for 14 years
    • Vice-President
      • Natural-born citizen
      • 35 years old
      • Not a resident of the same state as the presidential candidate
  • 3. A Quick Review of Requirements – Legislative:
    • Senator
      • U.S. citizen for 9 years
      • 30 years old
      • Resident of the state from which elected
    • Representative
      • U.S. citizen for 7 years
      • 25 years old
      • Resident of the state from which elected
  • 4. Presidential v. Congressional Campaigns
    • Differences:
      • More voter participation in presidential election
        • candidates work harder, spend more $$
      • Presidential races more competitive than house races
      • Members of Congress can do things for their constituents the President never can
        • Grants, contracts, bridges, canals, highways built, etc
      • Members of Congress can distance themselves from Washington (in theory)
        • “ Washington is a mess!” I’ll change it!
    • Overall effect: Congressional elections now independent of presidential elections
  • 5. Running For President
    • Get mentioned
    • Set time to run
    • Raise money (lots and lots!!! PACs help!)
    • Organize a staff and volunteers
    • Create strategies and themes
  • 6. Running for Congress
    • Best way to get elected to Congress – BE AN INCUMBENT!
      • Since 1962 over 90% of incumbents won reelection!
    • Failing that, hope that one of the two enduring problems characterizing congressional election politics works out in your favor (but unlikely, since you’re not in Congress to finagle the boundaries)
      • Malapportionment : districts have different populations. Less populated district votes “weight more” than more populous district votes.
      • Gerrymandering : boundaries are drawn to favor one party over another, resulting in odd-shaped districts.
  • 7. How Does Gerrymandering Work?
    • Before
    After
  • 8.  
  • 9.  
  • 10. Problems Associated with House Elections…
    • Establishing the total size of the House
    • Allocating seats in the House among the states
    • Determining the size of congressional districts within states
    • Determining the shape of those districts
    States Decide Congress Decides
  • 11. A Quick Review of Types of Elections:
    • Primary : an election held to choose candidates for office (can be open or closed)
    • Caucus : Meeting of party members to select delegates backing one or another primary candidate
    • General Election : an election held to choose which candidate will hold office
  • 12. Winning the Primary
    • Must gather voter signatures to appear on the ballot for a primary election
    • Win party nomination by winning the primary election – parties have limited influence over these outcomes
    • Run in the general election – incumbents almost always win; sophomore surge due to use of office to run a strong personal campaign
    • Personalized campaigns offer members independence from party in Congress
      • “ franked” mail, trips home, media
  • 13. Staying in Office
    • How members get elected has two consequences
    • - Legislators are closely tied to local concerns
    • - Party leaders have little influence in the Congress because they can’t influence electoral outcomes or who gets nominated
    • Affects how policy is made: the members gear his/her officer to help individual constituents while committees secure pork for the district
    • Members must decide how much to be delegates (do what district wants) versus trustees (use their independent judgment )
  • 14. Primary v. General Campaigns
    • What works in primaries probably won’t work in the general election, and vice versa
      • Different voters, workers, and media attention in different elections
    • Candidates in primaries tend to be most liberal or most conservative
    • Then, have to balance
      • Can’t be too conservative or liberal that you won’t get voted, but not so much you alienate voters!
  • 15. Campaign Issues
    • Two kinds:
      • Position issues
        • An issue about which the public is divided and rival candidates or political parties adopt different policy positions.
        • Throughout history: Slavery, Civil Rights, Social Security,
      • Valence issues
        • An issue about which the public is united and rival candidates adopt similar positions in hopes that each will be thought to best represent those widely shared beliefs
        • Examples: honesty in government, strong economy, etc
    “ Clothespin Votes”
  • 16. Campaign Strategies
    • Television “spots” (paid advertisements)
    • Visuals (news broadcasts)
    • Debates (risky!!)
    • Direct mailings
    • Internet campaigns
    • Hire a consultant (or 20) to deal with this for you!
    Devise campaign strategy, chooses campaign theme, oversees advertising, chooses colors and portraits used, etc. Candidates pay high fees $$$$$$