Elections

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Elections

  1. 1. Types of Elections <ul><li>Two phases of elections: </li></ul><ul><li>Getting nominated </li></ul><ul><li>Getting elected </li></ul>
  2. 2. A Quick Review of Requirements - Executive: <ul><li>President </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Natural-born citizen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>35 years old </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resident of United States for 14 years </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Vice-President </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Natural-born citizen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>35 years old </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not a resident of the same state as the presidential candidate </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. A Quick Review of Requirements – Legislative: <ul><li>Senator </li></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. citizen for 9 years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>30 years old </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resident of the state from which elected </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Representative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. citizen for 7 years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>25 years old </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resident of the state from which elected </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Presidential v. Congressional Campaigns <ul><li>Differences: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More voter participation in presidential election </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>candidates work harder, spend more $$ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Presidential races more competitive than house races </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Members of Congress can do things for their constituents the President never can </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Grants, contracts, bridges, canals, highways built, etc </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Members of Congress can distance themselves from Washington (in theory) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Washington is a mess!” I’ll change it! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Overall effect: Congressional elections now independent of presidential elections </li></ul>
  5. 5. Running For President <ul><li>Get mentioned </li></ul><ul><li>Set time to run </li></ul><ul><li>Raise money (lots and lots!!! PACs help!) </li></ul><ul><li>Organize a staff and volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Create strategies and themes </li></ul>
  6. 6. Running for Congress <ul><li>Best way to get elected to Congress – BE AN INCUMBENT! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Since 1962 over 90% of incumbents won reelection! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Failing that, hope that one of the two enduring problems characterizing congressional election politics works out in your favor (but unlikely, since you’re not in Congress to finagle the boundaries) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Malapportionment : districts have different populations. Less populated district votes “weight more” than more populous district votes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gerrymandering : boundaries are drawn to favor one party over another, resulting in odd-shaped districts. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. How Does Gerrymandering Work? <ul><li>Before </li></ul>After
  8. 10. Problems Associated with House Elections… <ul><li>Establishing the total size of the House </li></ul><ul><li>Allocating seats in the House among the states </li></ul><ul><li>Determining the size of congressional districts within states </li></ul><ul><li>Determining the shape of those districts </li></ul>States Decide Congress Decides
  9. 11. A Quick Review of Types of Elections: <ul><li>Primary : an election held to choose candidates for office (can be open or closed) </li></ul><ul><li>Caucus : Meeting of party members to select delegates backing one or another primary candidate </li></ul><ul><li>General Election : an election held to choose which candidate will hold office </li></ul>
  10. 12. Winning the Primary <ul><li>Must gather voter signatures to appear on the ballot for a primary election </li></ul><ul><li>Win party nomination by winning the primary election – parties have limited influence over these outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Run in the general election – incumbents almost always win; sophomore surge due to use of office to run a strong personal campaign </li></ul><ul><li>Personalized campaigns offer members independence from party in Congress </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ franked” mail, trips home, media </li></ul></ul>
  11. 13. Staying in Office <ul><li>How members get elected has two consequences </li></ul><ul><li>- Legislators are closely tied to local concerns </li></ul><ul><li>- Party leaders have little influence in the Congress because they can’t influence electoral outcomes or who gets nominated </li></ul><ul><li>Affects how policy is made: the members gear his/her officer to help individual constituents while committees secure pork for the district </li></ul><ul><li>Members must decide how much to be delegates (do what district wants) versus trustees (use their independent judgment ) </li></ul>
  12. 14. Primary v. General Campaigns <ul><li>What works in primaries probably won’t work in the general election, and vice versa </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Different voters, workers, and media attention in different elections </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Candidates in primaries tend to be most liberal or most conservative </li></ul><ul><li>Then, have to balance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can’t be too conservative or liberal that you won’t get voted, but not so much you alienate voters! </li></ul></ul>
  13. 15. Campaign Issues <ul><li>Two kinds: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Position issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>An issue about which the public is divided and rival candidates or political parties adopt different policy positions. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Throughout history: Slavery, Civil Rights, Social Security, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Valence issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>An issue about which the public is united and rival candidates adopt similar positions in hopes that each will be thought to best represent those widely shared beliefs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Examples: honesty in government, strong economy, etc </li></ul></ul></ul>“ Clothespin Votes”
  14. 16. Campaign Strategies <ul><li>Television “spots” (paid advertisements) </li></ul><ul><li>Visuals (news broadcasts) </li></ul><ul><li>Debates (risky!!) </li></ul><ul><li>Direct mailings </li></ul><ul><li>Internet campaigns </li></ul><ul><li>Hire a consultant (or 20) to deal with this for you! </li></ul>Devise campaign strategy, chooses campaign theme, oversees advertising, chooses colors and portraits used, etc. Candidates pay high fees $$$$$$

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