Potential candidates try to get a feel for how their chances would be at winning their party’s nomination
Large amounts of money
Broad base of support
“Incumbent”- is the person currently holding the office.
Fewer contenders (sometimes not challenged)
Blame or credit for state of affairs
Likely to have support of party
Relatively unknown figures
Raise support “from scratch”
Full-blown campaign with many challengers
Huge investment of time and money
Only one “winner”
Timing - maximum publicity
Location – supporters, hype
Generate excitement among voters
Who wants to be the Democratic Nominee?
Who wants to be the Republican Nominee?
“ In January 2007, Federal Election Commission Chairman Michael Toner stated that the 2008 U.S. presidential race will be "the most expensive election in American history." Toner estimated that the 2008 race will be a "$1 billion election," and that to be "taken seriously," a candidate will need to raise at least $100 million by the end of 2007. “
Source: http:// www.fec.gov /
Is an election in which a parties votes
Choose some or all of a State party organizations delegates to their party’s national convention
Express a preference among various contenders for their party’s presidential nomination.
A party-nominating election in which any qualified voter can take part.
A party nominating election in which only declared party members can vote.
New Hampshire Primary
The first place to hold primaries every four years (January 22, 2008)
Since 1940 has held the first presidential primaries.
“ New Hampshire guards its first-in-the-nation title with a law that sets the date of the primary as the Tuesday of the week before the date on which any other states schedules their primary” (Magruders, 370)
is the day when the most states simultaneously hold their primary elections
the single day when the most nominating delegates can be won
In 2004, Super Tuesday was on March 2
California, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont (1,150 delegate votes)
2008? Will it be February 5 or March 4??
As a nominating device, a group of like-minded people who meet to select the candidates they will support in an upcoming election.
Each caucus selects delegates to the next level
“Iowa’s precinct caucuses are the first contest in the presidential nomination processes of both parties and the state thus attracts much attention from prospective candidates”
Developed through tradition – not part of the constitution or founding fathers’ plan
Nomination – in recent years, this has already been decided
Running mate declared
About 3 months before Election Day
Publicity more than actual decisions
Opportunity for direct media exposure
Build excitement among party members
National Conventions cont’d
Democratic National Convention http://dems2004.org/
Republican National Convention
Democratic National Convention
Denver, Colorado August 25-28, 2008
Republican National Convention
St. Paul, Minnesota September 1-4
Candidates chosen… now what?
The game of campaigning begins! The goal: score 270 electoral votes!!
What are electoral votes?
Role of media/polls
Financing a campaign
Handling of issues – very carefully!!
“Swing states”/ “Battleground States”
The great quest to sway public opinion, to attract voters without losing others
The (beloved) Media
Networks – ABC, CBS, NBC, FoxNews
Printed media – Time, Newsweek, New York Times, Washington Post, other publications
Cable – CNN, MSNBC, C-Span (1 and 2)
Pollsters – Gallup, independent, private
Internet – whole new realm of information dispersal
“ spin” and slant – satirical “news” shows – eg: The Daily Show – where many young Americans get their news
Media: These photos are from the same website – each taken from the candidate’s personal profile. Which do you think this site prefers? Bush-Cheney or Kerry-Edwards? From www.planet.nl/show/
All-important “ Photo ops ”
And by all means, HOLD PEOPLE’S BABIES!
Target important voting audiences
Highlight areas of vulnerability in opponent
Negative campaign ads
Highlight strengths of candidate
Where does the money come from?
Matching Funds - yes or no?
Figures from this year and elections past
donations and spending by candidate http:// www.opensecrets.org/presidential/index.asp
The Major Issues
Economy / Jobs
Issues as dividers
Often used to reach out to specific groups of people
Interest groups and campaigns
Negative ads often point out (or create the impression of) weaknesses on issues
Debates are the most issue-focused
“ Winner-take-all” Exceptions: Maine and Nebraska Where would you focus your energy and campaign the hardest?
“Battleground States” Also “swing states” States that are still “undecided” in who is likely to capture their electoral votes. Rather than waste time and money on sealing a larger margin of victory in “guaranteed” states, candidates tend to focus on winning these all-important regions. Source: http://www.time.com/time/election2004/battleground/
1. U. of Miami – Thursday, September 30
Topic: Foreign Policy / Iraq
2. Washington Univ. St. Louis, MO
“ Town Hall” Debate
3. Arizona State U. – Wednesday, October 13
Domestic Policies, Economy
Best site for watching the debates: http://news.yahoo.com/elections/
I am the debate champion But I’m still the likeable, simple all-American guy people identify with
Time zones – polls close in the Eastern time zone hours before they close in the west
Exit polls – informal polls try to predict the election outcome by asking voters who they voted for
Voter turn-out – many factors work together to determine whether an individual voter will actually get out and vote!
Voting method – absentee ballots, plus a variety of voting machines, mean that different voters use slightly different ballots; in 2000 there was great controversy of the “butterfly ballots” in some parts of Florida
Ballot from Florida 2000
Aftermath of elections 2000
Individual states’ electors meet to cast their official votes (the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December)
Separate ballots are cast for president and vice
Votes are certified by each state’s governor and forwarded to the President of the Senate (i.e.: the current vice president)
Maryland’s 2000 electors
Official decision is confirmed
January 6, (unless a Sunday), in a joint session of Congress, certificates are opened and votes tallied
If no candidate for president receives a majority – House
If no vice-presidential candidate receives a majority – Senate
at the Capitol Building
- oath of office
- inaugural address
Inaugural Parade through the streets of Washington, DC Inaugural Balls in Washington.
Oath of Office Ceremony Pictures from www.secretservice.gov/
Inaugural Festivities Parade Arrival at the White House Inaugural Ball
Just in case you think elections are a solemn occasion…
Elections are also a great supplier of material for the creative people in the comedy business!