Hold government accountable
Uphold democratic values:
Popular Sovereignty, Majority
Rule, Political Equality
Laws derive indirectly-directly
EVOLUTION OF PRESIDENTIAL
Party leaders choose candidates write platforms
Pre-revolutionary politics through
“smoke filled rooms”
Rectify caucus problems
Voters have indirect role
Choose delegates who choose nominee
…decide party platform
Yet bosses still in control
WI first adopted, 1905
People vote directly for nominee
Two Most Common Types…
~ Open Primary
Crossover voting; Parties take advantage
~ Closed Primary
Registration determines vote
~ Blanket primary
Voters pick one candidate for each
office. No party lines.
~ Runoff primary
No candidate wins a majority. Runoff
between two top vote getters.
Washington State Grange v.
Washington State Republican
Supreme Court ruled Initiative 872
creating nonpartisan blanket primary
NOMINATING CANDIDATES FOR
Most congressional candidates win
nomination by a plurality
Multi-candidate race for party nomination for
Congress, NY’s 23rd CD
Lindsey wins plurality (most votes under 51%)
Some states require majority vote
If no majority, two top vote
getters enter a run-off primary
Who Wants to Be a Candidate?
• Two categories of
American nominating process
generally controlled by
state laws favoring two
Most European nations‟
political parties choose
candidates; primaries are
PICKING A VP RUNNING MATE
Do no harm
Carry home state or other
Prior office experience to
complement nominee —
domestic policy vs. foreign
VP reunites party - from a
Two moderates can
reinforce appeal to
Financing the Campaign
Buckley v. Valeo
1971 act placed limits on how much money
a candidate could spend on campaign.
1976, Supreme Court overruled provision
Political Action Committees
Interest groups raise and give
campaign donations via…
Soft money: unregulated campaign
Labor unions first to establish;
businesses followed suit
Type of PACs Reflect Dominance of Business
in American Politics
PAC Contributions to Congressional
The Top 20 Contributors to Federal Candidates,
Soft Money Raised by Political Parties, 1993–2002
Is Reform Possible?
• Free Media Time
• Public Financing
• Should House members be elected every two
years, or does another term of office make more
• Why do Congressional incumbents generally not
face primary challenges? Who keeps them out?
• Should federal and statewide campaigns be
publicly financed just as presidential campaigns
~ 2 million more young people voted
for president in „08 than „04
Percent of voters under 30: 51%
3rd highest showing of young voters
(22 million) topped only by 1992 and
3rd consecutive election where youth
Black youth vote tremendously high…
more voted in D.C. than older
~ 76% of D.C. voters age 18 to 29
~ 73.4% of voters age 30 and older
YOUTH VOTE and SOCIAL MEDIA
Young Con Anthem
Youth using technology to express views
Mixing Religion and Politics
Critical of both major parties
Issue oriented activists
Social / Fiscal conservatives
Speak for most young people 18 to 24?
Young people with more education more
likely to vote
Higher education influences voting
Some College? -- more likely to vote
than those with only H.S. diplomas
Young women vote more than young men
After „72 election, when men and women
voted in equal numbers:
- Past 30 years gap in pres. elections
- 1992: 51% of women (18-24) voted while
only 46% of men did
-2004: difference widened to 6%
Increasing Youth Vote
• Easier registration
• Weekend voting?
• National holiday?
• More interesting
• More perceived stakes in
• Compulsory voting laws?
• Internet voting?
Should Everyone Vote… especially all
Vote or Die: Stossel in
Thomas Jefferson stated that education of public
was essential to American republic.
Public must have adequate information about
potential public officials before
What might Jefferson say about today’s
campaigns and modern public?
Factors Influencing Who
15th Amendment (1870): Reconstruction
Amendment, lifted voting restrictions
based on race, color or previous
condition of servitude.
Women were not granted right to vote
nationally until ratification of 19th
Amendment in 1920.
However, women were eligible to vote in
some states before this date.
Why People Do Not Vote
• Uninformative media coverage
• Negative campaigning
• Ignorance effect
Effort to improve voter turnout…
National Voter Registration Act of
1993 (Motor Voter) made it easier to
vote and maintain eligible
registration, although its long -term
efficacy has been questioned.