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Nominations and Campaigns

Nominations and Campaigns

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Nominations and Campaigns

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  1. Nominations and Campaigns Chapter 9

  2. The Nomination Game • Nomination: • The official endorsement of a candidate for office by a political party. Generally, success requires momentum, money, and media attention. • Campaign Strategy: • The master plan candidates lay out to guide their electoral campaign.

  3. The Nomination Game • Deciding to Run • Campaigns are physically and emotionally taxing. • Other countries have short campaigns - generally less than 2 months. • U.S. campaigns (especially for President) can last 18 months or more.

  4. The Nomination Game • Competing for Delegates • The Caucus Road • Caucus: Meetings of state party leaders. Used to selected delegates. • Now organized like a pyramid from local precincts to the state’s convention. • Not used by many states. • Iowa’s is first and considered the most important.

  5. The Nomination Game • Competing for Delegates • The Primary Road • Primary: Elections in which voters choose the nominee or delegates pledged to the nominee. • Started by turn of the century reformers. • Most states use one of the forms of a primary. • Frontloading is the tendency of states to hold primaries early- New Hampshire is first. • Generally primaries serve as elimination contests.

  6. McGovern-Fraser Commission • McGovern-Fraser Commission led to selection of delegates through primary elections • After the 1968 Democratic National Convention • Had the responsibility to make the convention delegates more representative of the people, women, minorities, young people • Superdelegates: Democratic leaders (governors, congressmen, party leaders) who automatically get a delegate slot. To add some peer review of the delegates choice.

  7. The Nomination Game • Competing for Delegates • Evaluating the Primary and Caucus System • Disproportionate attention to the early ones. • Prominent politicians find it difficult to make time to run. • Money plays too big a role. • Participation in primaries and caucuses is low and unrepresentative. 5% caucus 20% primary • The system gives too much power to the media.

  8. The Nomination Game • The Inflated Importance of Iowa and New Hampshire (Figure 9.1)

  9. The Nomination Game • The Convention Send-off • Once provided great drama, but now they are a basic formality - which means less TV time. • Are still important to the party to get organized and motivated. • Party platform: Statement of its goals and policies and general beliefs. • Official nominations and candidate speeches.

  10. The Vice President • Chosen by roll call vote on the last day • Custom dictates that delegates simply vote whom ever the presidential nominee recommends. • Often announced way before the convention to balance the ticket.

  11. The Nomination Game • The Declining Coverage of Conventions on Network TV (Figure 9.2)

  12. The Campaign Game • The High-Tech Media Campaign • Direct mail used to generate support and money for the candidate • Get media attention through ad budget and “free” coverage • • Emphasis on “marketing” a candidate • News focuses on strategies and events, not on policies

  13. The Campaign Game • Organizing the Campaign • Get a campaign manager • Get a fund-raiser & counsel • Hire media and campaign consultants • Assemble staff / plan the logistics • Get research staff, policy advisors & pollsters • Get a good press secretary • Establish a web site • • hppt://

  14. Money and Campaigning • The Maze of Campaign Finance Reforms • Federal Election Campaign Act (1974) • Created the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to administer campaign finance laws for federal elections • Created the Presidential Election Campaign Fund $3 check-off • • Provided partial public financing for presidential primaries • Matching funds: $5000 in 20 states -- Contributions of up to $250 are matched for candidates who meet conditions, such as limiting spending. Many are now choosing to forgo matching funds so they do not have to limit campaign expenditures. • Congressional Candidates receive no federal monies • Provided full public financing for major party candidates in the general election • 2008 spending limits $84 million per major candidate • Required full disclosure and limited contributions approx. $2000 • Buckley v. Valeo struck down the limits on a person spending his own money.


  16. 1970s WATERGATE • Annenberg Syndrome • Hoffa and the Unions • Corporate Donations • Untraceable Donations

  17. Campaign Finance Act of 1974 Resolutions Or Loopholes

  18. CFRA PERSONAL DONATIONS +All donations over $100 must be documented with name, address and occupation of donor +All donations over $100.00 must be reported to a Federal Elections Commission +No CASH donations over $100.00

  19. PERSONAL DONATIONS • +Personal donations are limited to $1,000 per candidate per election.

  20. CFRA CANDIDATES MONEY +Candidates have a limit placed on their own personal money.

  21. CFRA PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN FUND +The federal government will pay the entire cost of a candidates election (up to the legal limit). The candidate may NOT use other donated money once the federal funds are accepted

  22. CFRA PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION FUND +Matching funds in presidential election primaries. Candidates can get a federal match for donations of $250 or less. The candidate must $5,000 in each of 20 states from donations of $250 or less.

  23. CFRA POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEES +Unions and others may create PACs to donate. Donations are limited to $5,000 or less per candidate per election per year. PACs formed by unions or associations may not use dues but may create a separate donation system.


  25. Buckley v. Valeo A candidates personal money is not subject to regulation. Using it in the candidates campaign is an act of free speech.

  26. PAC proliferation Example: NEA $5,000 UEA $5,000 FEA $5,000 Each separate district $5,000 Any one can form a PAC

  27. INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES Private persons can use unlimited money to finance election campaigns. They can not work with, for or in union with a candidate. They must be truly independent.

  28. SOFT MONEY +No limit on money given to political parties +Money from person to party to candidate is untraceable

  29. ABUSES • Doles doggies • Clintons kids • Soft Money and the Lincoln Bedroom • Others?

  30. MC CAIN – FEINGOLD +Personal Contributions over $100.00 No change +Personal Contributions raised to $2000.00 +PACs no change +Unions and Corporations can not donate to parties (Soft money) +Soft money is banned

  31. continued • Parties may use donated money to +get out the vote +conduct issue campaigns +VOTE FOR the party campaigns

  32. more • Independent expenditures still unlimited but may not run with in 60 days of a general election and 30 days of a primary

  33. Soft Money • Funds obtained by political parties that are spent on party activities, such as get-out-the vote drives, but not on behalf of a specific candidate. Money that could be spent by the party for generic advertising and no limits on contributions. • Campaign Finance Reform Act 2002 (McCain/Feingold) • Banned soft money and increased individual contributions to $2000 • Corporations, labor unions, trade associations and non profit organizations can not use their own money to refer to a clearly identified federal candidate in any advertisement during the 60 days prior to a general election. • 527 organizations • Organizations that under section 527 of the IRS code, raise and spend money to advance political causes – they can spend money on politics so long as they do not coordinate with a candidate or lobby directly for that person. No restrictions on amounts. • • In 2004 these groups spent $424 million.

  34. Political Action Committee PAC • A PAC is formed when a business association or some other interest group decides to contribute to candidates they believe will support their goals – they must register with the FEC • Must have at least fifty members (all who enroll voluntarily) • And must not give more than $5,000 to any one candidate nor more than 15,000 to a political party.

  35. Money and Campaigning • The Proliferation of PACs • Political Action Committees (PACs): created by law in 1974 to allow corporations, labor unions and other interest groups to donate money to campaigns; PACs are registered with and monitored by the FEC. • As of 2006 there were 4,217 PACs. • PACs contributed over $288.6 million to congressional candidates in 2004. • PACs donate to candidates who support their issue. • PACs do not “buy” candidates, but give to candidates who support them in the first place. • PACs are buying access

  36. Money and Campaigning

  37. Money and Campaigning • Are Campaigns Too Expensive? • Americans spend about $2 billion every four years in local state and national elections. • Fund raising takes up lots of time. • The closer the race, the more money is needed. • Incumbents do worse when they spend more money because they need it when they face tough challengers. • The doctrine of sufficiency suggests that candidates need just “enough” money to win.

  38. The Impact of Campaigns • Campaigns have three effects on voters: • Reinforcement, Activation, Conversion • Mostly, they only reinforce & activate • Selective perception: pay attention to things we agree with. • Party identification still has an affect • Incumbents start with a substantial advantage

  39. Understanding Nominations and Campaigns • Are Nominations and Campaigns Too Democratic? • Campaigns are open to almost everyone • But they consume much time and money • Campaigns promote individualism in American politics • Do Big Campaigns Lead to an Increased Scope of Government? • Candidates make numerous promises, especially to state and local interests. • Hard for politicians to promise to make government cuts.