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Political Parties. AP Ch 9. Objectives. 1. Define and compare to Europe 2. Trace development of 2 party system through 4 major periods 3. Describe the structure and differences of the 2 major parties 4. Investigate 3rd or minor political parties. Definition (2).

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  • 1. Define and compare to Europe

  • 2. Trace development of 2 party system through 4 major periods

  • 3. Describe the structure and differences of the 2 major parties

  • 4. Investigate 3rd or minor political parties

Definition 2
Definition (2)

  • A. Group of people who seek to control govt by holding public office

  • B. Group of people, joined together by common principles, in order to affect certain policies

  • Difference?

  • Where do the US parties fit?

Election oriented v issue oriented
Election Oriented v. Issue Oriented

  • US parties are motivated by elections

  • Europeans have much “stronger” parties

  • Much more “centralized” than US and better at mobilizing voters

Notes history take notes to use on history quiz
Notes/ History Take Notes to use on history quiz

  • 4 major periods of party domination and Realignments pg. 201-206

5 major functions
5 Major Functions

  • 1. Nominating Candidates

  • Makes them different than other political groups

  • 2. Informing and Activating Supporters

  • “Spin and Spark”

  • 3. Bonding Agent Function

  • Screening candidates

Functions cont
Functions (cont.)

  • 4. Governing

  • In many ways US is govt by party

  • Partisanship (strong support of the party and its issues) links branches, organizes elections

  • 5. Watchdog Function

  • Party out of power criticizes party in power plays the role of “loyal opposition”

Party realignments
Party Realignments

  • AKA critical periods

  • A sharp, lasting shift occurs in the popular coalition supporting one or both parties

  • Issues change, and so do the people who vote

There have been 5 realignments
There have been 5 Realignments

  • 1. 1800

  • 2. 1828

  • 3. 1860

  • 4. 1896

  • 5. 1932

2 types of realignments
2 types of Realignments

  • 1. When one major party is badly defeated and a new party emerges

  • (1800, 1860)

  • 2. When major parties stay, but the voters switch to the other party (1896, 1932)

1 ideological
1. Ideological

  • Comprehensive view of American political system

  • Long lasting

  • Not concerned with election

  • Marxist

  • Libertarian

2 splinter
2. Splinter

  • Bull Moose

  • Dixiecrats

3 single issue
3. Single Issue

  • Free Soil

  • Know Nothings

  • Right to Life

4 economic protest
4. Economic Protest

  • Usually find a real or imagined enemy

  • Greenbacks, Populists

Major party decline
Major Party Decline

  • The # of People who strongly id w/ party is declining

  • Split ticket voting is increased (unheard of in 1800’s)

  • “Office bloc” ballot replaced the party-column ballot

National party structure today
National Party Structure Today

  • 2 Party system is still strong

  • NOT arranged like a big corporation

  • Both Parties have a national convention that meets every 4 years

  • Both have a national committee

Congressional campaign committee
Congressional Campaign Committee

  • Help candidates win election (in congress) $$

  • National Chairman handles day to day activities

Republicans organize
Republicans Organize

  • Recruiting in the 70’s

  • Elaborate fundraising

  • Structured

  • Bureaucratized

Democrats disorganized
Democrats Disorganized

  • Fragmented their power and influence to allow for more diversity

  • Factionalized

Republicans use technology
Republicans use technology

  • Computerized mailing lists of donors

  • RNC used the $ to run a national consulting firm

  • Democrats copied

  • Increased the importance of “soft money”- $ given to the party, not direct to candidates

Internet funds
Internet Funds

  • 2004 Primaries, Howard Dean raised $30 million, by donations of under $100

  • (and screamed about it)

  • Obama? Billion?

Geographical support
Geographical support

  • Dems have moved support from the south to the North and West

  • Repubs have moved support from the East to the South and Southwest

  • Result: Dems move left and Repubs move right

National conventions
National Conventions

  • National Committee selects time and place

  • Sets the number of delegates and how they are to be chosen

  • Can influence what candidate is selected

Apportioning delegates news article
Apportioning Delegates (News article)

  • Extremely complex

  • Dems give extra votes to large states

  • Repubs give extra votes to loyal states

Reforms add to the middle class split
Reforms add to the Middle Class split

  • Repubs traditional conservative MC

  • Dems- new liberal MC

2 party system why
2 Party System- Why?

  • Scholars disagree

  • 2 Possible Explanations:

  • 1. Election system/ laws

  • 2. Public Opinion

Review organization of parties
Review organization of parties

  • Late 60’s early 70’s

Stucture of parties
Stucture of Parties

  • Dems- more factional

  • Repubs- more bureaucratic

2 party system pretty rare
2 Party System Pretty Rare

  • Only about 15 countries have it

How to gauge strength of parties
How to gauge strength of parties

  • How many ID

  • Organization

  • Recruiting

  • Election of leaders of all branches

Party as label
Party as LABEL

  • Most of the time, it comes down to the label function- (key to understanding party’s function)

Differences between us parties and others
Differences between US parties and others

  • Federalism effect- more decentralized

  • US has primaries (most states)- not party leaders who nominate

  • Culture- US parties have less influence in our lives limited to voting

  • Pres appointment power is limited

  • Pres and congress do not run together

Political labels and categories
Political Labels and Categories

  • How people view policy regarding the economy

  • How people view policy on civil rights and race relations

  • How people view public and political conduct

1 pure liberals
1. Pure Liberals

  • Liberal on both econ and personal conduct

  • Want govt to reduce inequality

  • Regulate business, tax rich

  • Cure economic causes of crime

  • Pro- choice, rights of the accused

  • Broad First Amendment Rights

Traits of pure liberals more likely to be
Traits of Pure LiberalsMore likely to be:

  • Younger

  • College educated

  • Non- religious

Pure conservative
Pure Conservative

  • Conservative on both econ and personal conduct

  • Want to cut welfare

  • Allow free markets to regulate itself

  • Keep taxes low

  • ‘lock up” criminals

  • Stop anti- social conduct

Traits more likely to be
Traits: More likely to be:

  • Older

  • Higher incomes

  • White

  • Midwestern


  • Conservative on economic issues

  • Liberal on social issues

  • Want small weak govt that has little or no control over any aspect of our lives

Traits more likely to be1
Traits: More likely to be..

  • Young

  • College educated

  • White

  • Higher incomes

  • No religion

  • Live in west


  • Liberal on econ matters

  • Conservative on social issues

  • Want govt to reduce econ inequality and control big business

  • Regulate personal conduct

  • Lock up criminals

  • Permit school prayer

Traits more likely to be2
Traits: More likely to be..

  • Older

  • Poorly educated

  • Low income

  • Religious

  • Live in South or Midwest

Ch 9 test
Ch 9 Test

  • Read all ch 9 except 201-204

70 dem reforms
70’ Dem reforms

  • Weaken party leaders influence

  • Increase rank and file power

  • Republicans out perform Dems in everything but diversity

Delegate selection
Delegate selection

  • Changing rules has made the Dems more liberal and Repubs more conservative

Review 1980 s hunt commission
Review 1980’s (Hunt Commission)

  • goal was to increase the influence of party leaders in the pres. Selection process

  • Increased Superdelegates (elected officials and party leaders who are not required to pledge themselves in advance)


  • Local levels of parties have been dying out

  • Political machines no longer exist (strong around turn of century)

  • Pol machines characterized by patronage, trading votes for favors, corruption, not ideology

State and local parties
State and Local parties

  • The Machine

  • -high degree of leadership

  • -

  • Personal Following

  • Solidary Group (social)

  • Sponsored Party (Detroit)


  • Remember- Repubs have been more successful, but Dems are catching up

  • Both parties re-doubled their soft money fundraising

History general
History- General

  • Party system experience broad changes (1932,1968) with parties rising and declining over the years

  • New Deal coalition and the break in 1968