Which of the following differentiates an interest
group from a political party?
a. A party attempts to influence policy, w...
Do you agree or disagree that political
parties are good for American
democracy?
a. Strongly agree
b. Agree
c. Disagree
d....
Do you think it is a good thing we
only have two major parties in
America?
a. Yes
b. No
Would you ever consider supporting a
third party candidate?
a. YES
b. NO
c. MAYBE
• Political parties are organized groups that
attempt to influence the government by electing
their members to important g...
• Primary Goal – Influence Public Policy
–Secondary Goal – Win Elections
• To get what they want, they have to give us wha...
Compared with political parties in Europe,
parties in the United States have always
seemed:
a. strong
b. centralized
c. we...
• Partisanship is not America’s political problem; instead, our
parties are not strong enough to function effectively.
• S...
• Two-Party System - a political system in which
only two political parties have a realistic
opportunity to compete effect...
How many Party Systems have their been in
American history?
a. 4
b. 12
c. 6
d. 9
Figure 9.1
The Republican Party was formed:
a. as a coalition of anti-slavery forces
b. as a coalition of pro-slavery forces
c. in re...
Party System Dates Competing Parties
1st Party System 1800-1824
Federalists vs. Anti-Federalist
(Democratic-Republicans)
2...
• Realignment – the point in history when a new party
supplants the ruling party, becoming in turn the
dominant political ...
Party Systems
and
Realignments
Have you ever heard of Proportional
Representation?
a. YES
b. NO
The American electoral system is similar to most
other electoral systems…
a. TRUE
b. FALSE
"Overall, which party -- the Democrats or the
Republicans -- do you trust to do a better job in
coping with the main probl...
"Overall, which party -- the Democrats or the Republicans --
do you trust to do a better job in coping with the main
probl...
Democrats
Republicans
In PLURALITY voting, what does it take to be
the winner?
a. 50% + 1
b. 2/3 of the Vote
c. At least 35%
d. 1 more vote than...
• Electoral Laws - Winner-Take-All Voting
– Single-Member Districts – Only 1 winner/seat per
contest
– Plurality – Just 1 ...
Country = 10 Districts Delegates Won
% of Vote (Each District) PR Plurality
Party A 40% 4 10
Party B 30% 3 0
Party C 20% 2...
• Rather than differentiate themselves, there
are clear incentives for candidates to “go to
the middle” because that’s whe...
Obama McCain
"Which of the following statements comes closest to your
view of the way the Democratic Party and Republican Party
have be...
"Which of the following statements comes closest to your
view of the way the Democratic Party and Republican Party
have be...
Would you support a change to a
more proportional form of
elections?
a. Yes
b. NO
03 - Political Parties
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  • There is some agreement among scholars about five different realignments in American history (1800, 1828, 1860, 1896, and 1932).
  • 03 - Political Parties

    1. 1. Which of the following differentiates an interest group from a political party? a. A party attempts to influence policy, whereas an interest group attempts to gain control of government by running candidates for office. b. An interest group is more comprehensive than a party. c. An interest group seeks to influence government on a narrow range of issues, whereas a party attempts to win elections. d. An interest group attempts to appeal broadly to many groups of voters.
    2. 2. Do you agree or disagree that political parties are good for American democracy? a. Strongly agree b. Agree c. Disagree d. Strongly disagree
    3. 3. Do you think it is a good thing we only have two major parties in America? a. Yes b. No
    4. 4. Would you ever consider supporting a third party candidate? a. YES b. NO c. MAYBE
    5. 5. • Political parties are organized groups that attempt to influence the government by electing their members to important government offices, thereby controlling government. • Interest groups, while similar in goals (influencing the government), are very different in terms of characteristics and strategies.
    6. 6. • Primary Goal – Influence Public Policy –Secondary Goal – Win Elections • To get what they want, they have to give us what we want – they have to convince us to elect them. • Political parties are fundamentally connected to voters – their power comes from us delegating our power.
    7. 7. Compared with political parties in Europe, parties in the United States have always seemed: a. strong b. centralized c. weak d. coherent
    8. 8. • Partisanship is not America’s political problem; instead, our parties are not strong enough to function effectively. • STRONG parties promote CHOICE! • Parties are the principle organizations that… – 1. Recruit Candidates for public office (Choice) – 2. Organize and Run Competitive Elections (Choice) – 3. Present Alternative Policies to the Electorate (Choice) – 4. Accept Responsibility for Operating the Gov. – 5. Act as the Organized Opposition to the Party in Power (Choice)
    9. 9. • Two-Party System - a political system in which only two political parties have a realistic opportunity to compete effectively for control • Has dominated American politics. • Has not always been Ds and Rs, but always 2 “nationally competitive” political parties.
    10. 10. How many Party Systems have their been in American history? a. 4 b. 12 c. 6 d. 9
    11. 11. Figure 9.1
    12. 12. The Republican Party was formed: a. as a coalition of anti-slavery forces b. as a coalition of pro-slavery forces c. in response to Thomas Jefferson’s call for states rights d. after suffering persecution under the Alien and Sedition Acts
    13. 13. Party System Dates Competing Parties 1st Party System 1800-1824 Federalists vs. Anti-Federalist (Democratic-Republicans) 2nd Party System 1828-1854 Democrats vs. Whigs 3rd Party System 1860-1896 Republicans vs. Democrats 4th Party System 1896-1932 Republicans vs. Democrats 5th Party System 1932-1968 Republican vs. Democrats 6th Party System 1968 ? Republicans vs. Democrats 7th Party System 2000? Republicans vs. Democrats
    14. 14. • Realignment – the point in history when a new party supplants the ruling party, becoming in turn the dominant political force. • Dealignment – a trend or process whereby a large portion of the electorate abandons its previous partisan affiliation, without developing a new one to replace it. • Divided Government - the condition in American government wherein the presidency is controlled by one party while the opposing party controls one or both congressional houses.
    15. 15. Party Systems and Realignments
    16. 16. Have you ever heard of Proportional Representation? a. YES b. NO
    17. 17. The American electoral system is similar to most other electoral systems… a. TRUE b. FALSE
    18. 18. "Overall, which party -- the Democrats or the Republicans -- do you trust to do a better job in coping with the main problems the nation faces over the next few years?" Options rotated a. Democrats b. Republicans c. Both d. Neither
    19. 19. "Overall, which party -- the Democrats or the Republicans -- do you trust to do a better job in coping with the main problems the nation faces over the next few years?" Options rotated Democrats Republicans Both (vol.) Neither (vol.) Unsure % % % % % 4/22-25/10 46 32 2 18 3 2/4-8/10 43 37 2 17 2 11/12-15/09 47 31 2 17 3 9/10-12/09 48 28 3 19 2 2/19-22/09 56 30 3 9 3 12/11-14/08 56 23 3 15 3 5/8-11/08 53 32 2 10 2
    20. 20. Democrats Republicans
    21. 21. In PLURALITY voting, what does it take to be the winner? a. 50% + 1 b. 2/3 of the Vote c. At least 35% d. 1 more vote than anyone else
    22. 22. • Electoral Laws - Winner-Take-All Voting – Single-Member Districts – Only 1 winner/seat per contest – Plurality – Just 1 more vote than anybody else. • The rules we have affect who wins, and therefore, who participates in the political process. Our system offers NO REWARDS for 2nd, 3rd, 4th...
    23. 23. Country = 10 Districts Delegates Won % of Vote (Each District) PR Plurality Party A 40% 4 10 Party B 30% 3 0 Party C 20% 2 0 Party D 10% 1 0
    24. 24. • Rather than differentiate themselves, there are clear incentives for candidates to “go to the middle” because that’s where the voters are. • Electoral competition drives parties together… • So, the reason candidates appear to be so centrist is because they are both competing for “Bob’s” vote in order to win.
    25. 25. Obama McCain
    26. 26. "Which of the following statements comes closest to your view of the way the Democratic Party and Republican Party have been dealing with the country's problems? You are angry at both parties. You are only angry at the Republicans. You are only angry at the Democrats. You are not angry at either party." a. Angry at Both Parties b. Only Angry at the Republicans c. Only Angry at the Democrats d. Not Angry at Either Party
    27. 27. "Which of the following statements comes closest to your view of the way the Democratic Party and Republican Party have been dealing with the country's problems? You are angry at both parties. You are only angry at the Republicans. You are only angry at the Democrats. You are not angry at either party." Angry at Both Parties Only Angry at the Republicans Only Angry at the Democrats Not Angry at Either Party % % % % 1/22-24/10 48 9 11 32
    28. 28. Would you support a change to a more proportional form of elections? a. Yes b. NO

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