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U6 The Presidency

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  1. U6 The Presidency ADDITIONAL SLIDES

  2. Running for President President v. Congressional elections • Pres. race is more competitive than Congress; winning margins are narrower • term limits cut incumbency advantage • White House—more partisan changes than Congress • fewer people vote in midterm elections • candidates must appeal to more partisan/activist voters • Congressional incumbents can serve their constituents, take credit for federal aid, use direct communication (where Pres. relies on mass media) • Cong. candidates can campaign against Washington (“I’m an outsider!”); Pres. is held accountable • Cong. candidate suffers when his/her party’s econ. policies fail

  3. So, let’s run for President! • Getting noticed by “the Great Mentioner” (reporters, trips, speeches; be a governor of a large state) • Money (individual/PAC limitations--$1000-5000) • candidates must raise $5000 in 20 states to qualify for federal matching grants for primaries • Issues • Position issues: candidates have opposing views, voters are divided (party realignment may result if issue is big enough—1860-slavery) • 2000: social security, defense, school choice • 2004: stem-cell research, national security, flight suits/Purple Hearts • valence issues: candidate supports the public, widely-held view (strong economy, low crime) • increasingly important, as TV pushes popular symbols, admired images) The New “Chattering Classes?” The Great Mentioner?

  4. Hey! I’m Running! Look at Me! • advertising (helps lesser-known candidates—Carter, 1976) • news coverage (‘visuals”) low cost, credibility with voters (maybe) • debates • usually good only for challenger • risk “slips of the tongue” • forces reliance on stock (“stump”) speeches, selling yourself rather than ideas Ronnie drinks Walter’s milkshake

  5. What Decides Elections? • party identification--but why, then don’t Democrats always win? • Dem’s less “wedded” to party than Reps • GOP does better on Independents • GOP has higher turnout • Issues, esp. economy • Prospective voting • voting based on “forward-looking;” who will handle the major issues best? (requires info. about issues; common among activists) • Retrospective voting • judge the incumbent’s record and vote • have things gotten better or worse? Now vote (as in 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004) • usually helps incumbent, unless economy is worse