Campaigns and Elections …with an emphasis on the presidential election…
Election Vocabulary • Primary: A meeting of the voters of a political party in an election district for nominating candidates for office and choosing delegates for a convention. • Primary: In a primary election, a political party has an election to pick candidates who will represent the party in a later election between it and other parties or individuals. In the presidential primary, people vote for delegates who promise to support one candidate when the party members meet in a convention. • Presidential Primary: A primary used to pick delegates to the presidential nominating conventions of the major parties. • Caucus (sounds like KAW-kuhs): A caucus is a meeting of members of a political group to name candidates or decide on goals. The word goes back to Boston in the 1770s. There was a club called the Caucus Club, where Americans met to discuss ideas, including planning the revolution. It now means a meeting of members of a political group to name candidates or decide on goals. In presidential caucuses, people of a political party meet to pick delegates to a party convention. TO MAKE IT MORE CONFUSING, IT IS ALSO: Meetings of party members within a legislative body to select leaders and determine strategy (e.g. The Congressional Black Caucus) • MORE ABOUT THESE LATER!
Election Vocabulary • Super Tuesday. It’s the Tuesday when presidential primary elections are held in several states with a lot of voters. The term Super Tuesday began to be used often in 1984, when nine states had caucuses or primary elections on one Tuesday in March. That represented one-fourth of the delegates candidates would need to get their party’s nomination for president. The term became more common in 1988, when more southern states switched their elections to the second Tuesday in March.
Even MORE Election Vocabulary • Register to vote: The fundamental purpose of a voter-registration system is to restrict access to the voting booth — to ensure that only those people entitled to vote in a given jurisdiction can do so, and that they each vote only once. • TOO MUCH INFORMATION: http://www.american.edu/spa/cdem/upload/2-Fischer_Coleman-Voter_Registration_Systems-AU.pdf • Horse race: A way of depicting a political race to convey who's winning. Rather than focus on candidate issues, pundits will sometimes emphasize poll numbers, for example, and describe a campaign as they would a sporting event. Critics say stressing polling stats, however, diminishes the importance of policy platforms. • Retail politics: The old fashioned campaign technique of shaking hands and kissing babies. http://rhetorica.net/archives/1027.html
Election Vocabulary • Debate: Face-to-face discussion of candidates' views on issues. • Incumbent: A person currently in office. • Platform: A public statement of the principles, objectives, and policy of a political party, especially as put forth by the representatives of the party in a convention to nominate candidates for an election. • Plank: This is one section of the platform. For example, you can have a plank on health that’s part of the overall platform.
There is a lot of Election Vocabulary! • Poll: A sampling or collection of opinions on a subject usually through a survey. TO MAKE IT MORE CONFUSING, IT IS ALSO: The place where voters cast their ballots. It’s often in your school gym, city hall, or a library. • Pollster: A person whose occupation is the taking of public-opinion polls.
Election Vocabulary • National Conventions: A meeting held every four years by each of the major political parties to nominate a presidential candidate. • General election: A regularly scheduled local, state, or national election in which voters elect officeholders.
Election Vocabulary • Electoral College: A body of electors chosen by the voters in each state to elect the President and Vice President of the U.S. The number of electors in each state is equal to its number of representatives in both houses of the U.S. Congress.
Presidential Election Process • Primary / Caucus • Convention • General Election • Electoral College • Inauguration
Presidential Election • Primary • Each party is trying to select its nominee • There are a usually a whole bunch from each party (unless there is an incumbent running) • This happens in different states on different dates • Summer Convention makes the final decision • Convention • The delegates officially choose their nominee and decide on a platform • General • Each party has one nominee running • Campaign heats up after Labor Day • November 6, 2012 ELECTION DAY ! • Can you vote? • Electoral College (Dec. 15) • Inauguration (Jan. 20)
Primary – Too Much Information… • Early twentieth century • Movement to give more power to citizens. • Primary election developed from this reform movement. • Registered voters participate in choosing the party's nominee by voting. • Two types of primaries, • Closed • -- a registered voter may vote only in the election for the party with which that voter is affiliated. For example a voter registered as Democratic can vote only in the Democratic primary and a Republican can vote only in the Republican primary. • Open • -- a registered voter can vote in either primary regardless of party membership. The voter cannot, however, participate in more than one primary.
Caucus – Too Much Information… • Original method for selecting candidates • Decreased in number since the primary was introduced in the early 1900's. • In states that hold caucuses, a political party announces the date, time, and location of the meeting. • Generally any voter registered with the party may attend. • Delegates are chosen to represent the state's interests at the national party convention. • Prospective delegates are identified as favorable to a specific candidate or uncommitted. • After discussion and debate an informal vote is taken to determine which delegates should be chosen.
Controversy about Iowa and New Hampshire being first: • Should Iowa be the first caucus? • Should New Hampshire be the first primary? • Should “retail politics” win the day? • Should other states that are more representative be first? • Higher population • Bigger cities • Diverse states
Iowa Results Edition January 3, 2008 and beyond…
Mr. Bretzmann Goes to Iowa • In 2008, I was an official academic observer at the Democrats’ caucuses in Grinnell, IA. The GOP had its caucuses on the same day, but I chose not to observe them because they conduct theirs more like a primary. The Iowa Democrats have a unique process of counting votes in public, doing math to determine who is viable, and then voting again. The following slides give you a lot of information and visuals of the process that occurs. It’s probably too much information, but wow it is interesting! Learn on… • p.s. If you end the slideshow, you can see my notes underneath some of the slides.
The Process: 2012 The Democrats have their nominee. The GOP had to select theirs…
Romney 2012 Timeline: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2007/11/14/us/politics/20071114_ROMNEY_TIMELINE.html
Leaders, Staff etc. http://www.p2012.org/candidates/romneyorg
How Mitt Romney Came to Be the GOP Nominee http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/jan-june12/mittromney_05-29.html