Elections, Nominations & Voting Revised

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Elections, Nominations & Voting Revised

  1. 1. Nominations and Campaigns
  2. 2. The Nomination Game <ul><li>Deciding to Run </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Other countries have short campaigns- generally less than 2 months. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. campaigns (especially for President) can last 18 months or more. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Nomination: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The official endorsement of a candidate for office by a political party. Requires momentum , money, and media attention. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Campaign Strategy: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The master plan candidates lay out to guide their electoral campaign. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. The Nomination Game <ul><li>Competing for Delegates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Caucus Road </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Caucus: Meetings of party leaders. Used to selected delegate. – Iowa is first. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Primary Road </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Primary: Elections in which voters choose the nominee or delegates pledged to the nominee. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Most states use one of the forms of a primary and New Hampshire is the first. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. The Nomination Game <ul><li>Competing for Delegates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluating the Primary and Caucus System </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Disproportionate attention to the early ones, especially Iowa & New Hampshire – causes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>frontloading where states move primaries to earlier </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Money plays too big a role. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Too many primaries & primary season lasts too long - Super Tuesday(s) / regional primaries </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The system gives too much power to the media. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>( Thomas Patterson) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. The Nomination Game The Perception of Iowa and New Hampshire
  6. 6. The Nomination Game <ul><li>The Convention </li></ul><ul><li> - Delegates selection dependant on primaries / </li></ul><ul><li>Democrats reserve slots for superdelegates who </li></ul><ul><li>are elected party officials </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are still important to the party to get organized and motivated. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Party platform: Statement of its goals and policies and general beliefs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Official nominations and candidate speeches – place for “rising stars” in the party to be recognized </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Convention
  8. 8. The Campaign Game <ul><li>The Campaign Trail </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Campaign Team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>campaign manager & finance manager </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>fund-raiser & counsel </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>media & campaign consultants (pollsters, etc) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>research staff, policy advisors </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>press secretary </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Campaign Strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>TV Debates </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Geographic campaigning – where to travel </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Campaign appearances / media coverage </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Money and Campaigning <ul><li>The Maze of Campaign Finance Reforms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>FEC: Created by FECA law in 1974 to administer campaign finance laws for federal elections. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Public financing of presidential elections </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Limited spending & required disclosure </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Limited contributions to campaigns </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Soft Money </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Contributions (with no limits) used for party-building expenses or generic party advertising </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Further limited contributions to campaigns </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Banned soft money </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Money and Campaigning <ul><li>The Proliferation of PACs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definition : Created by FECA law in 1974 these are the financial arm of interest groups, unions & corporations which allow them to donate money to campaigns. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 3900 PACs donating over $212 million </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Donate to candidates who support their issue, regardless of party affiliation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The money follows the power – higher donations to those currently in power or to get candidates who will promote their cause into power </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Elections and Voting Behavior
  12. 12. How American Elections Work <ul><li>Three types of elections : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Select party nominees ( primary) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Select officeholders (general election) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Select options on specific policies ( referendum/initiative) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Referendum: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>State voters approve or disapprove proposed legislation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often used for constitutional amendments. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Initiative: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Requires a specific number of signatures to be valid. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Voters in some states propose legislation to be voted on. (California uses this often) </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Whether to Vote: A Citizen’s First Choice <ul><li>Deciding Whether to Vote </li></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. typically has low voter turnouts (40%). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Political Efficacy : The belief that one’s political participation really matters. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Registering To Vote </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Voter Registration : Methods vary by state but are usually in advance of the election day. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Motor Voter Act : Requires states to permit people to register to vote when the apply for their driver’s license. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Whether to Vote: A Citizen’s First Choice <ul><li>Who Votes? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Education : More education = more likely to vote. Most important factor . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Age : Older = more likely to go vote. (AARP) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Race : Caucasian = more likely to go vote. BUT, other ethnicities are higher with comparable education. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gender : Female = more likely to go vote. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marital Status : Married = more likely to go vote. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobility : Don’t move = more likely to go vote. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Union Membership : Union member = more likely to go vote. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. How Americans Vote: Explaining Citizen's Decisions <ul><li>Party Identification </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rise of candidate-centered politics has changed this view. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Still #1 reason why people vote the way they do </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Candidate Evaluations </li></ul><ul><li>- Candidates want a good visual image – so do the voters! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most important dimensions are integrity, reliability and competence. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personality & charisma still play a role. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. How Americans Vote: Explaining Citizen's Decisions <ul><li>Policy Voting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Basing vote choice on issue preferences. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must know where the candidates stand on issues and see differences between candidates. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And voters may like different candidates on different issues- which may lead to ticket-splitting </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. The Last Battle: The Electoral College <ul><li>How it works today: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Each state has as many votes as it does Representatives and Senators. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Winner of popular vote typically gets ALL the Electoral College votes. (w inner-take-all) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Electors meet in December, votes are reported by the vice president in January. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If no candidate gets 270 votes (a majority), the House of Representatives votes for president, with each state getting ONE vote. </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Presidential Election Patterns <ul><li>Party Realignment - shifts in party coalition groups that remain in effect for several years and include both branches ( rare) </li></ul><ul><li>Critical Elections – voters become polarized over an issue and may shift parties (abortion) </li></ul><ul><li>Dealignment – unstable period with weak party affiliations and ticket-splitting </li></ul>
  19. 19. Understanding Elections and Voting Behavior <ul><li>Congressional Elections </li></ul><ul><li> - Incumbency advantage – 90% re-elect </li></ul><ul><li>* name recognition * constituent work </li></ul><ul><li>*staff * franking privileges </li></ul><ul><li>*committee work * press coverage </li></ul><ul><li> - House = constant campaigning for re </li></ul><ul><li>election </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Senate = more costly but only every 6 yrs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- “Coat tail” effect in Presidential election years helps those of the winners party </li></ul></ul>

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