Election Process


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Election Process

  1. 1. U.S. Presidential Elections
  2. 2. The election process
  3. 3. The Road to the White House <ul><li>“ Testing the waters” - 2 years </li></ul><ul><li>Declaring Candidacy - 1.5 years </li></ul><ul><li>Primaries and Caucuses Feb – June </li></ul><ul><li>(except: Iowa, NH) </li></ul><ul><li>National Conventions – nominations late summer </li></ul><ul><li>Campaigning Sept-Nov </li></ul><ul><li>Debates October </li></ul><ul><li>Election Day Nov – 1 st Tues after first Monday </li></ul><ul><li>Election Confirmation December-Jan </li></ul><ul><li>Inauguration January 20 </li></ul>
  4. 4. “Testing the Waters” <ul><li>Potential candidates try to get a feel for how their chances would be at winning their party’s nomination </li></ul><ul><li>Intra-party competition </li></ul><ul><li>Seeking out: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Large amounts of money </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Broad base of support </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Considerations <ul><li>“Incumbent”- is the person currently holding the office. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Connections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Established </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fewer contenders (sometimes not challenged) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blame or credit for state of affairs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Likely to have support of party </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Considerations <ul><li>Opposition Parties </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Relatively unknown figures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Raise support “from scratch” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Full-blown campaign with many challengers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Huge investment of time and money </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Only one “winner” </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Declaring Candidacy <ul><li>Timing - maximum publicity </li></ul><ul><li>Location – supporters, hype </li></ul><ul><li>Appear elect-able! </li></ul><ul><li>Generate excitement among voters </li></ul>
  8. 8. Who wants to be the Democratic Nominee? <ul><li>Joseph Biden </li></ul><ul><li>Wesley Clark </li></ul><ul><li>Christopher Dodd </li></ul><ul><li>Bill Richardson </li></ul><ul><li>Al Gore????? </li></ul><ul><li>Hillary Clinton </li></ul><ul><li>John Edwards </li></ul><ul><li>Barack Obama </li></ul>
  9. 9. Who wants to be the Republican Nominee? <ul><li>Tommy Thompson </li></ul><ul><li>Jim Gilmore </li></ul><ul><li>Sam Brownback </li></ul><ul><li>Mike Huckabee </li></ul><ul><li>John McCain </li></ul><ul><li>Rudy Guiliani </li></ul><ul><li>George Pataki </li></ul><ul><li>Mitt Romney </li></ul>
  10. 10. Costs <ul><li>“ In January 2007, Federal Election Commission Chairman Michael Toner stated that the 2008 U.S. presidential race will be &quot;the most expensive election in American history.&quot; Toner estimated that the 2008 race will be a &quot;$1 billion election,&quot; and that to be &quot;taken seriously,&quot; a candidate will need to raise at least $100 million by the end of 2007. “ </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Source: http:// www.fec.gov / </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Primaries <ul><li>Primaries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is an election in which a parties votes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Choose some or all of a State party organizations delegates to their party’s national convention </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Express a preference among various contenders for their party’s presidential nomination. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Open Primary <ul><li>A party-nominating election in which any qualified voter can take part. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Closed primary <ul><li>A party nominating election in which only declared party members can vote. </li></ul>
  14. 14. New Hampshire Primary <ul><li>The first place to hold primaries every four years (January 22, 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Since 1940 has held the first presidential primaries. </li></ul><ul><li>“ New Hampshire guards its first-in-the-nation title with a law that sets the date of the primary as the Tuesday of the week before the date on which any other states schedules their primary” (Magruders, 370) </li></ul>
  15. 15. “Super Tuesday” <ul><li>is the day when the most states simultaneously hold their primary elections </li></ul><ul><li>the single day when the most nominating delegates can be won </li></ul><ul><li>In 2004, Super Tuesday was on March 2 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>California, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont (1,150 delegate votes) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2008? Will it be February 5 or March 4?? </li></ul>
  16. 16. Caucuses <ul><li>As a nominating device, a group of like-minded people who meet to select the candidates they will support in an upcoming election. </li></ul><ul><li>Each caucus selects delegates to the next level </li></ul><ul><li>Local </li></ul><ul><li>District </li></ul><ul><li>State </li></ul>
  17. 17. Iowa’s impact <ul><li>“Iowa’s precinct caucuses are the first contest in the presidential nomination processes of both parties and the state thus attracts much attention from prospective candidates” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Source:http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2008/chrniowa08.html </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Primaries - a process
  19. 19. National Conventions <ul><li>Developed through tradition – not part of the constitution or founding fathers’ plan </li></ul><ul><li>Build unity </li></ul><ul><li>Party platform </li></ul><ul><li>Nomination – in recent years, this has already been decided </li></ul><ul><li>Running mate declared </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>About 3 months before Election Day </li></ul><ul><li>Publicity more than actual decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity for direct media exposure </li></ul><ul><li>Build excitement among party members </li></ul>National Conventions cont’d
  21. 21. Democratic National Convention http://dems2004.org/
  22. 22. Speakers http://www.dems2004.org
  23. 23. Convention excitement
  24. 24. DNC Protesters
  25. 25. Republican National Convention
  26. 26. RNC Protesters
  27. 27. 2008 Conventions <ul><li>Democratic National Convention </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Denver, Colorado August 25-28, 2008 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Republican National Convention </li></ul><ul><ul><li>St. Paul, Minnesota September 1-4 </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Candidates chosen… now what? <ul><li>The game of campaigning begins! The goal: score 270 electoral votes!! </li></ul><ul><li>What are electoral votes? </li></ul>270
  29. 29. Campaign “Strategy” <ul><li>Role of media/polls </li></ul><ul><li>Advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Financing a campaign </li></ul><ul><li>Handling of issues – very carefully!! </li></ul><ul><li>“Swing states”/ “Battleground States” </li></ul><ul><li>The great quest to sway public opinion, to attract voters without losing others </li></ul>
  30. 30. The (beloved) Media <ul><li>Networks – ABC, CBS, NBC, FoxNews </li></ul><ul><li>Printed media – Time, Newsweek, New York Times, Washington Post, other publications </li></ul><ul><li>Cable – CNN, MSNBC, C-Span (1 and 2) </li></ul><ul><li>Pollsters – Gallup, independent, private </li></ul><ul><li>Internet – whole new realm of information dispersal </li></ul><ul><li>“ spin” and slant – satirical “news” shows – eg: The Daily Show – where many young Americans get their news </li></ul><ul><li>http://thedailyshow.com </li></ul>
  31. 31. Media: These photos are from the same website – each taken from the candidate’s personal profile. Which do you think this site prefers? Bush-Cheney or Kerry-Edwards? From www.planet.nl/show/
  32. 32. All-important “ Photo ops ”
  33. 34. And by all means, HOLD PEOPLE’S BABIES!
  34. 35. Campaign ads <ul><li>Target important voting audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Highlight areas of vulnerability in opponent </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Negative campaign ads </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Highlight strengths of candidate </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  35. 36. Campaign Finance <ul><li>Where does the money come from? </li></ul><ul><li>Matching Funds - yes or no? </li></ul><ul><li>Figures from this year and elections past </li></ul>donations and spending by candidate http:// www.opensecrets.org/presidential/index.asp
  36. 37. The Major Issues <ul><li>Foreign Policy </li></ul><ul><li>Economy / Jobs </li></ul><ul><li>Health Care </li></ul>
  37. 38. Issues as dividers <ul><li>Often used to reach out to specific groups of people </li></ul><ul><li>Interest groups and campaigns </li></ul><ul><li>Negative ads often point out (or create the impression of) weaknesses on issues </li></ul><ul><li>Debates are the most issue-focused </li></ul>
  38. 39. “ Winner-take-all” Exceptions: Maine and Nebraska Where would you focus your energy and campaign the hardest?
  39. 40. “Battleground States” Also “swing states” States that are still “undecided” in who is likely to capture their electoral votes. Rather than waste time and money on sealing a larger margin of victory in “guaranteed” states, candidates tend to focus on winning these all-important regions. Source: http://www.time.com/time/election2004/battleground/
  40. 41. The Debates <ul><li>1. U. of Miami – Thursday, September 30 </li></ul><ul><li>Topic: Foreign Policy / Iraq </li></ul><ul><li>2. Washington Univ. St. Louis, MO </li></ul><ul><li>“ Town Hall” Debate </li></ul><ul><li>3. Arizona State U. – Wednesday, October 13 </li></ul><ul><li>Domestic Policies, Economy </li></ul>Best site for watching the debates: http://news.yahoo.com/elections/
  41. 42. I am the debate champion But I’m still the likeable, simple all-American guy people identify with
  42. 43. Election Day…
  43. 44. Election Day <ul><li>Time zones – polls close in the Eastern time zone hours before they close in the west </li></ul><ul><li>Exit polls – informal polls try to predict the election outcome by asking voters who they voted for </li></ul><ul><li>Voter turn-out – many factors work together to determine whether an individual voter will actually get out and vote! </li></ul><ul><li>Voting method – absentee ballots, plus a variety of voting machines, mean that different voters use slightly different ballots; in 2000 there was great controversy of the “butterfly ballots” in some parts of Florida </li></ul>
  44. 45. Ballot from Florida 2000
  45. 46. Aftermath of elections 2000
  46. 47. …and beyond <ul><li>Individual states’ electors meet to cast their official votes (the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December) </li></ul><ul><li>Separate ballots are cast for president and vice </li></ul><ul><li>Votes are certified by each state’s governor and forwarded to the President of the Senate (i.e.: the current vice president) </li></ul>Maryland’s 2000 electors
  47. 48. Official decision is confirmed <ul><li>January 6, (unless a Sunday), in a joint session of Congress, certificates are opened and votes tallied </li></ul><ul><li>If no candidate for president receives a majority – House </li></ul><ul><li>If no vice-presidential candidate receives a majority – Senate </li></ul>
  48. 49. Inauguration Day <ul><li>January 20 </li></ul><ul><li>Inauguration Ceremony </li></ul><ul><li>at the Capitol Building </li></ul><ul><li>- oath of office </li></ul><ul><li>- inaugural address </li></ul>Inaugural Parade through the streets of Washington, DC Inaugural Balls in Washington.
  49. 50. Oath of Office Ceremony Pictures from www.secretservice.gov/
  50. 51. Inaugural Festivities Parade Arrival at the White House Inaugural Ball
  51. 52. Just in case you think elections are a solemn occasion… <ul><li>Elections are also a great supplier of material for the creative people in the comedy business! </li></ul>