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Elections and Campaigns


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Published in: News & Politics

Elections and Campaigns

  1. 1. Elections and Campaigns Election: a procedure for choosing officers or making binding decisions concerning policy by the vote of those formally qualified to participate
  2. 2. How to Get Elected <ul><li>Two steps to winning seat of President or Congressman </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Get nominated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Make your name heard </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Win election </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fundraise and find the time </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Campaign with a staff and win majority vote </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Congressional vs. Presidential Elections <ul><li>Less competitive </li></ul><ul><li>Less people vote </li></ul><ul><li>Voter turnout lower during off-years </li></ul><ul><li>No term limit </li></ul><ul><li>Takes credit for good things </li></ul><ul><li>High % reelected </li></ul><ul><li>More people vote </li></ul><ul><li>More competitive </li></ul><ul><li>Two term limit </li></ul><ul><li>President gets blamed for everything wrong that happens in America </li></ul><ul><li>Campaign costs more </li></ul>
  4. 4. Running for Congress <ul><li>Winner take all/ single member districts </li></ul><ul><li>Factors affecting outcomes of elections: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Incumbency- the greatest influence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>90% of congressmen; 80% of senators </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of competitiveness = “permanent Congress” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Type of Election </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coattail effect </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Party Affiliation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Campaign Consultants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Running for Congress <ul><li>Advantages of incumbents </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Franking privilege </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff in place </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Safe districts- gerrymandered </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Committee service in district </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Name recognition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Casework </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pork barrel projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>$ advantage discourages opposition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MONEY </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Running for Congress <ul><li>Type of Elections: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Incumbent campaigns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weak Challenger </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong Challenger </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open seat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>House campaign </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Senate Campaign </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Midterm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Which campaigns are most competitive? Least competitive? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Path to the Presidency <ul><li>NOMINATION </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Local Caucuses ---- District convention--- State convention----- national convention (Iowa) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Primaries (increased use over the last 30 yrs): </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Beauty contest (voters vote and state party select delegates for convention) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Voters vote directly for delegates </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>NEW HAMPSHIRE </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Frontloaded primary schedule </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Super Tuesday” Southern regional primary </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Path to the Presidency <ul><li>CONVENTION </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Select nominee (but winner is already known) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Select VP nominee (chosen by president; rubber stamped by convention) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Choice is usually meant to “ balance the ticket” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Development of party platform (problem for Republicans in 1992) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unify party by end of convention </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. PROS and CONS of Nomination System <ul><li>PROS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Highly participatory (caucuses, primaries) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Representative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weeds out weaker candidates </li></ul></ul><ul><li>CONS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Low turnout </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Too lengthy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Too much emphasis on media game </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Front-loading </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Primary voters differ from general election voters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Delegates: more ideological, more activist, more educated and more affluent </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Money Matters <ul><li>Federal law restricts amount an individual can give you to $2,000. </li></ul><ul><li>Political-action committee can give $5,000 (primary and general) </li></ul><ul><li>To be eligible for federal matching grants to pay for your primary campaign, you must first raise at least $5,000 in each of 20 states. </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Campaign Committee <ul><li>Includes: fund-raisers, lawyers, accountants, press secretary, travel scheduler, advertising specialist, direct-mail company, pollsters, advisors, volunteers from each state </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteers educate candidate about their state </li></ul><ul><li>Advisors write candidate “position papers” about things they should know about </li></ul>
  12. 12. Strategy <ul><li>Tone </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Positive—build yourself up </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Negative—denunciate the opponent </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Theme —Carter- “trust”, Reagan- “competence” </li></ul><ul><li>Timing —unknown candidates campaign early </li></ul><ul><li>Target —who is most likely to change their vote? </li></ul><ul><li>Coalition Building </li></ul><ul><li>Mobilize the Base - Defense of Marriage in 2004 </li></ul>
  13. 13. Major Political Issues Budget and Taxes --- Welfare --- Business and Regulation --- Technology ---Culture and Values ---Environment --- Crime --- Justice --- Economy --- Defense and International Affairs --- Health --- Education --- Food and Farming --- Energy --- Transportation
  14. 15. Elections Affect Policies <ul><li>1860- Civil War and slavery abolition </li></ul><ul><li>1896- urban growth, business prosperity, high tariffs </li></ul><ul><li>1932- The New Deal </li></ul><ul><li>1964- Medicare and Medicaid, other social reforms </li></ul><ul><li>1980- Large tax cuts spending reductions </li></ul><ul><li>1982- Resistance to further tax spending </li></ul><ul><li>1992- Health Care reform </li></ul>
  15. 16. Campaign Issues <ul><li>Rival parties or candidates reach out for the support of the electorate by taking different positions on a single issue or policy. Usually complete opposites. </li></ul><ul><li>A party may be linked in the public’s mind with a universally approved condition of good times or the universally disapproved condition of bad times. </li></ul><ul><li>Disaster or success in the election may turn on each contender’s ability to weaken these perceptual bonds or “valences” </li></ul>Position Issue Valence Issue
  16. 17. Examples: <ul><li>1992 Clinton Campaign: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Known as the, “General Election Campaign” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Called for the candidate to depict himself as the, “Agent of change” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Example of both the position and valence issues at work. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Clinton was depicted as a power hungry radical by republicans to the American people. This valence was reversed by him, and redirected to Bush. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Clinton applied other valences, or blame towards Bush for a variety of issues, which lost Bush the support of the electorate. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 18. Election Outcomes Two Kinds Of Realignment -When a major party is so badly defeated it disappears and a new party takes its place -Two existing parties continue but voters shift in support from one to the other Realigning periods are times in history that created a sharp shift in the popular coalition of both parties.
  18. 20. ELECTORAL COLLEGE <ul><li>Why do we have it? </li></ul><ul><li>Allotment of electoral votes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Votes = # of members of congress for a state </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimum is 3 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Amendment #23 = DC gets 3 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>538 total votes - 270 needed to win </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CA has highest total (55) </li></ul></ul>
  19. 21. ELECTORAL COLLEGE <ul><li>Electors selection: Each party selects a “slate” of electors prior to the election (typical party loyalists) </li></ul><ul><li>Winning Votes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Candidate with most popular votes (only need a plurality) wins all of that states votes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Campaigns concentrate in large, competitive states (swing states) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Electors meet in state capitals in Dec. to cast votes </li></ul></ul>
  20. 22. ELECTORAL COLLEGE <ul><li>Winning the election </li></ul><ul><ul><li>270 votes needed to win </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If no candidate wins majority (what Founders had intended): </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>House selects Prez from top 3 finishers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Each state has one vote </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1800 and 1824 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Senate selects VP from top two candidates </li></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 23. ELECTORAL COLLEGE <ul><li>Criticisms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>President can be elected by plurality rather than a majority of popular votes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Faithless electors: no Fed. Law requires them to vote the way they are supposed to </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Small States proportionately overrepresented (Wyoming has one vote per 166,000; CA has 1 vote per 600, 000) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Small states ridiculously overrepresented if election goes to House </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inhibits development of third party (Perot’s 19% of popular vote = 0 electoral votes) </li></ul></ul>
  22. 24. ELECTORAL COLLEGE <ul><li>Alternatives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct election: every person’s vote counts as much as every other person’s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>District system: candidate who wins congressional district wins the district’s electoral vote </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proportional system: candidate gets same percentage of electoral votes as popular votes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep electoral votes but abolish electors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Electoral vote “bump” to popular vote winner </li></ul></ul>
  23. 25. Special Elections in History 1800 Jeffersonian Republicans defeat Federalists 1828 Rise of Jacksonian Democracy 1860 Whig Party collapsed and Republicans take over 1888 Cleveland beats Harrison in electoral vote but Harrison won in the electoral college vote, 233-168 1896 Republican William McKinley defeated Democratic William Jennings Bryan 1912 Bull Moose Party causes split in vote and power turns to Democrats 1932 Democrats take office under FDR 1948 Dewey was unexpectedly defeated by Truman 2000 Bush defeated Gore by gaining the deciding state of Florida giving him 271 Electoral votes and Gore-268
  24. 26. Primary and General Elections <ul><li>1.General Election </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose-win office </li></ul><ul><li>2.Primary Election </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose-win nomination </li></ul><ul><li>A. Closed primary </li></ul><ul><li>B. Open primary </li></ul><ul><li>C. Blanket primary </li></ul><ul><li>D. Presidential primary </li></ul><ul><li>1. Delegate selection only </li></ul><ul><li>2. Delegate selection with advisory presidential preference </li></ul><ul><li>3. Binding presidential preference </li></ul><ul><li>Television, Debates, and Direct Mail </li></ul><ul><li>1.Television- </li></ul><ul><li>Spots: paid advertisements </li></ul><ul><li>Visuals: public appearances that make it on the nightly news </li></ul><ul><li>2.Debates- </li></ul><ul><li>Not beneficial to incumbents and well-known candidates </li></ul><ul><li>Risky </li></ul><ul><li>3.Direct Mail- </li></ul><ul><li>Specific voter appeal </li></ul><ul><li>Solicit campaign contributions </li></ul>
  25. 27. Types of Voting <ul><li>Prospective voting is voting for the candidate that we feel will deal with our personal problems the best- activists with lots of info vote this way </li></ul><ul><li>Retrospective voting is voting the party in office if the party has been dealing with their problems well, and against if they have not </li></ul><ul><li>a good example of retrospective voting is shown when incumbents in congress are not reelected </li></ul>
  26. 28. How Money is Important <ul><li>Sources </li></ul><ul><li>Presidential: private donors (Political Action Committees or PACs etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Congressional: private donors only (PACs) </li></ul><ul><li>What Candidates Want </li></ul><ul><li>Money from small individual givers where money is matched from federal government </li></ul><ul><li>Four Questions must be asked: </li></ul><ul><li>Where does campaign money come from? </li></ul><ul><li>What rules govern how it is raised and spent? </li></ul><ul><li>What has been he effect of campaign finance reform? </li></ul><ul><li>What does campaign spending buy? </li></ul>
  27. 29. New Federal Campaign Reform Law (1974) <ul><li>What It Was: </li></ul><ul><li>-created a six person Federal Election Commission (FEC) to enforce a new, tough set of restrictions on political spending and a system of public financing of Presidential election campaigns </li></ul>It’s Intent: -to get political funding out in the open in order to minimize lawful happenings Effects of Reform: -PACs raise money => vast increase in money spent by special interests -Shift of control from parties to candidates => weakening power of parties -Advantage to wealthy challengers -Advantage to candidates with ideological appeal => disregards other important issues -Penalization for late comers in election Loopholes in Reform: -parties able to solicit unlimited funds from individuals, unions etc. if spent on other than individual candidates (tends to help candidates of that party, called “soft money” or unreported) -Small contributions bundled together -Individual politicians can raise $ earmarking it for voter registration rather than advertising
  28. 30. Money Matters <ul><li>McCain-Feingold (2002) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bans soft $ contribution to national parties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limits soft money donations to state parties to $10,000 (limit use to voter reg. And GOTV) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual donations = $2000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No change on PAC contributions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unions and Corps banned from soft $ to parties </li></ul></ul>
  29. 31. Money Matters <ul><li>Analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No subsidies for congressional campaigns = incumbent advantage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No spending limits on Congressional camp. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No limits on individual expenditures ($ spent on behalf of candidate, not coordinated) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Growth or 527s tax exempt groups who can spend $ on voter mobilization and issue advocacy ads (Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and </li></ul></ul>
  30. 32. Money Matters <ul><li>Analysis Continued </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Minor parties are shut out (unless they received 5% of popular vote in previous prez election) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weakens parties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased reliance on PACs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Campaigns are more expensive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PAC $ goes to incumbents = further incumbent advantage </li></ul></ul>