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Unit3 review

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  • 1. 1 
 Political Parties, Interest Groups, and the Mass Media

  • 2. 2 Roles of Political Parties ■ Political Party – A group that seeks to elect candidates to public office. ! ■ A political party exists as • A label - all the people who associate with the party • An organization - all the people at various levels who work to maintain the strength of the party between elections, help raise money, and organize conventions and functions • A set of leaders - appointed and elected officials at the national, state and local level Copyright © 2013 Cengage
  • 3. 3 Party Systems ■ One Party - only one party exists or has the chance to win the election, membership is not voluntary, represent only a small portion of the population, result of dictatorial government ■ Two Party - may have several parties, but only two compete for power; minor parties have little impact; general consensus among citizens regarding the role of government; enhances stability because both parties want to appeal to most voters
  • 4. 4 Party Systems ■ Multi Party - several major and several minor parties compete in elections, with any of the parties having a good chance of winning; often found in European nations; can promote instability when no clear majority exists and coalitions form
  • 5. 5 What Do Political Parties Do? ■ Recruit Candidates ■ Nominate and Support Candidates ■ Educate the Electorate ■ Organize the Government (Congress majority v minority, appointments)
  • 6. 6 Party Identification and Membership ■ Voluntary, based on identification, and shared views on issues or the roles of government ■ Factors that may influence party identification include: ■ ideology, education, income, occupation, race/ethnicity, gender, religion, family tradition, region of the country, marital status
  • 7. 7 The Two-Party Tradition In America ■ James Madison - Federalist #10 warned of the divisiveness of “factions” ■ George Washington warned against the “baneful effects of the spirit of the party” in his farewell address ■ The conflict between the Federalist and Anti-Federalists over the role of government during ratification of the Constitution resulted in the first two political parties (Jeffersonian-Republicans and Democratic-Republicans)
  • 8. 8 Why Still Two-Party Tradition? ■ Historic Roots - British heritage and Federalist/Anti-Federalist divisions ■ Electoral Systems - One winner per office (single member districts) ■ Election Laws - Vary from state to state which makes it difficult for minor parties to get on the ballot
  • 9. 9 The Rise and the Decline of the Political Party ! ■ The Jeffersonian Republicans (preferred weaker national government) ■ The Jacksonians (a split from the Democratic Republicans - known as the party for the common man) ■ The Civil War and Sectionalism (Republicans dominate by appealing to commercial and antislavery groups) ■ The Era of Reform (New Deal Coalition) Copyright © 2013 Cengage
  • 10. 10 Party Development ■ Electoral Dealignment - large number of voters no longer support a particular candidate, an increase in independents ■ Electoral Realignment - a shift in voting patterns, new coalitions vorming (Examples: 1860, 1932, 1980, even 2008)
  • 11. 11 Figure 9.1 Decline in Party Identification, 1952–2008 Copyright © 2013 Cengage Source: American National Election Studies, Table 2A.1, “Party Identification, 1952–2008.”
  • 12. 12 Third or Minor Parties ■ ideological - based on social, economic, or political beliefs (communist, socialist, libertarian) ■ splinter/personality/factional - split from major party usually because of leader with strong personality; usually disappear when leaders steps aside (TR Bull Moose Progressive, Strom Thurmond States’ Rights, George Wallace American Independent)
  • 13. 13 Third or Minor Parties ■ Single Issue - parties that concentrate on a single public policy matter (Right to Life, Prohibition) ■ Protest - usually rooted in periods of economic discontent (Greenback, Populist)
  • 14. 14 Divided Government ■ One party controls the Presidency and another party controls one or both houses of Congress ■ Creates Gridlock - political stalemate
  • 15. 15 Figure 9.2 Split-Ticket Voting for President/Congress, 1952–2008 Copyright © 2013 Cengage Source: American National Election Studies, Table 9B.2, “Split-Ticket Voting for President/ Congress, 1952–2008.”
  • 16. 16 The National Party Structure Today ■ National convention ■ National committee ■ Congressional campaign committee ■ National chairperson ■ State and Local Organizations ■ determined by state law Copyright © 2013 Cengage
  • 17. 17 Participation and Voting ■ Forms of Political Participation ■ voting ■ discuss / attend meetings ■ form interest group or PAC ■ contact public official ■ campaign for candidate or party ■ contribute money for candidate or party ■ run for office ■ protest government decisions Copyright © 2013 Cengage
  • 18. 18 Expansion of Suffrage ■ Suffrage is the right to vote ■ Left to States ■ Over time restrictions have been reduced and authority has transferred from states to the federal government
  • 19. 19 Expansion of Suffrage ■ 1800 - eliminate religion, property, literacy ■ 1870 - 15th Amendment (race) ■ 1920 - 19th Amendment (gender) ■ 1965 - Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act (grandfather clause, white primary, literacy test) ■ 1961 - 23rd Amendment (Washington DC)
  • 20. 20 Expansion of Suffrage ■ 1964 - 24th Amendment (poll tax) ■ 1966 - Harper v Virginia State Board of Elections (poll tax unconstitutional) ■ 1971 - 26th Amendment (age lowered to 18)
  • 21. 21 Issue or Policy Voting ■ Brought about by the Progressive Movement of the early 20th Century ■ Direct Primary - citizens nominate candidates ■ Recall - special elections initiated by petition to allow citizens to remove an official from office ■ Referendum - citizens vote directly on issues (propositions) ■ Initiative - voters petition to propose issues
  • 22. 22 Two Kinds Of Campaign Issues
 ! ▪ Position Issues • The rival candidates have opposing views and the issue divides the voters. ! ▪ Valence Issues • The candidates are similar on an important issue and examine whether a candidate fully supports their view. Copyright © 2013 Cengage
  • 23. 23 What Decides the Election? ■ Party ■ Issues, Especially the Economy • Prospective voting - how might a candidate vote (campaign promises) • Retrospective voting - looking at a candidates record (past) ■ The Campaign ■ Finding a Winning Coalition Copyright © 2013 Cengage
  • 24. 24 Low Voter Turnout - Reasons ■ Increase Number of Voters ■ Failure of Parties to Mobilize ■ No Perceived Differences (candidate or party) ■ Mistrust of Government ■ Apathy ■ Satisfaction ■ Lack of Political Efficacy (people do not believe they can make a difference) ■ Registration Process (Motor Voter Law - National Voter Registration Act of 1995)
  • 25. 25 Who Votes - Factors That Affect ■ Education - higher more likely to vote ■ Occupation/Income - white collar more likely, blue collar less likely ■ Age - older more likely ■ Race - minorities less likely ■ Gender - women more likely today ■ Religion - active more likely ■ Marital Status - married more likely ■ Union Member - vote regularly
  • 26. 26 Types of Elections ■ Primary - nominating elections ■ closed - only registered party members ■ open - voters may vote to choose candidates from either party ■ runoff - when no clear majority the top two candidates compete ■ General - voters choose from among all candidates nominated by political parties
  • 27. 27 Presidential Versus Congressional Campaigns Presidential Race ■ More Competitive • Winner usually gets less than 55% of the vote ■ Larger Voter Turnout ■ Must Rely On The Mass Media To Reach Voters ■ Incumbent Presidents Are Often Held Responsible For Whatever Has Gone Wrong Congressional Race ■ Less Competitive • Winner usually gets over 60 % of the vote ■ Smaller Voter Turnout ■ Closer Contact With The District’s Voters ■ Even Incumbent Congressmen Can “Run Against Washington” Copyright © 2013 Cengage
  • 28. 28 Presidential Elections ■ Exploration ■ Announcement ■ Primaries (nominating election to decide who will represent the party in the general election) and Caucuses (meeting to select delegates who will nominate candidates to political office) ■ Nominating Conventions ■ Campaign and General Election ■ Electoral College (538 electors)
  • 29. 29 Congressional Elections ■ Problems ■ Malapportionment (flawed distribution of representatives based on state population) ■ Gerrymandering (drawing of Congressional Districts to favor one party or group over another) ■ Winning The Primary ■ Staying In Office Copyright © 2013 Cengage
  • 30. 30Copyright © 2013 Cengage
  • 31. 31 The Rise of Interest Groups ■ An interest group is any organization that seeks to influence public policy. ■ The conditions that lead to the rise of interest groups are • Broad economic developments • Government policy • Leadership exercised • Increased governmental activities Copyright © 2013 Cengage
  • 32. 32 Functions of Interest Groups ■ Raise Awareness / Stimulate Interest ■ Represent Members (serve as a link between members and government) ■ Provide Information (date and testimony useful to public policy) ■ Channel Political Participation (enable citizens to work toward a common goal)
  • 33. 33 Types of Interest Groups ■ Economic ■ AFL-CIO, Teamsters ■ Causes ■ specific - ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), NRA (National Rifle Association) ■ welfare - AARP (American Association of Retired Persons), NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) ■ religion ■ Public Interest - MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), League of Women Voters
  • 34. 34 Strategies of Interest Groups ■ Influence Elections ■ PAC - Political Action Committees (organized to contribue money to candidates) ■ Lobbying - attempting to influence policymakers (supply data and use staff to convince policymakers) ■ Litigation - take an issue to court if they are unsuccessful in gaining the support of Congress ■ Going Public - appeal to the public
  • 35. 35Copyright © 2013 Cengage
  • 36. 36 Regulating Interest Groups ■ 1946 – Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act ■ 1995 – Congress unanimously passed lobbying bill • Tightened registration and disclosure requirements • Broadened definition of a lobbyist • Did not cover grass roots organizations Copyright © 2013 Cengage
  • 37. 37 Regulating Interest Groups ■ 2007 – New regulations took effect • No gifts of any value from registered lobbyists or firms that employ lobbyists • No reimbursements for travel costs from registered lobbyist or firms that employ lobbyists • No reimbursement for travel costs, no matter the source, if the trip is in any part organized or requested by a registered lobbyist or firm that employs lobbyists Copyright © 2013 Cengage
  • 38. 38 Mass Media ■ All forms of communication that transmit information to the general public. ■ Newspapers ■ Magazines ■ Radio ■ Television ■ Internet ! ■ Bias in the Media (reporters tend to be liberal, owners/editors/publisher tend to be conservative)
  • 39. 39 Roles of Media ■ Inform the public ■ Shaping public opinion ■ Providing a link between citizens and government ■ Serving as a watchdog (investigates and examines) ■ Agenda Setting (influence topics for discussion)