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Elections and Voting

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  1. Elections and Voting

  2. Section 1: Election Campaigns • A. Functions of Elections • 1. Symbolic Reassurance: Consent is given through elections • 2. Allows us to pick gov’t. • 3. Allows retrospective/negative voting: get rid of poor leaders/issues. • 4. Protect against Official Abuse: Forces politicians to have contact w/ people.

  3. B. Financing Election Campaigns • 1. Before 1970’s relied on contributions from wealthy individuals/groups (dependency): Federal Election Campaign Acts (1971, 74, 76) changed this: • a. Ceiling on campaign contributions • 1) Business organizations and labor unions prohibited from making direct contributions (led to PACs) • 2) Individuals limited to $2500/candidate/election ($45600 total) • 3) Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission: Ended Indirect Limits

  4. b. Political Action Committees • 1. Individuals may contribution $5000 to PACs • 2.PACs limited to no more than $5000 to candidate/election • c. Ceiling on Campaign Spending • 1.Funding for (subsidies) of Pres. Candidates: In 2008=$84.1million • 2.3rd party qualifies if receives 5% of vote from last or current election.

  5. 3. Delete • 4. No limit on personal spending by groups/individuals (Perot) • 5. No limit on indirect, independent spending by groups/individuals (soft $) • d. Disclosure • 1. Candidates, PACs, parties must keep records of contributions and report to the FEC all contributions over $100.

  6. Sec.2: Factors that influence voting • A. Long-term sociological and psychological factors influence the way people vote: • 1. Parents • 2. Place of Residence • 3. Regions of country they reside in • 4. Religion • 5. Race • 6. Age • 7. Income • 8. Education • 9. Occupation • 10. Gender

  7. Bloc-voting tendencies: people who posses similar characteristics tend to vote the same way. • Cross Pressured voter: person caught in conflicting elements in their life.

  8. B. Long-term factors, ppl i.d. w/ one party over the other in election after election. Party ID is #1 long-term factor that influences Am. Voting. • 1.Traditional Democratic Voting groups • a) Non-whites • b) Lower income • c) Lower education • d) Blue Collar • e) Jews/Catholics • f) NE, MW, W.Coast • g) Unions, teachers, environmentalists

  9. 2. Traditional Republican Voting Groups • a) Whites • b) College educated • c) Protestants • d) Higher income • e) South, West (non-coast) • f) Big Business, Professionals • C. Voting Patterns • Normal Vote: if all voted by party ID, each election would be 55%D and 45%R

  10. Strong Dem: Always vote, Always Dem. • Weak Dem, Independents: • Unsteady as to how and when vote, swayed by short-term, more likely to switch to other party, influenced by cand. Personality than deep seated love of party. • Weak Rep: Always Vote, Always Rep. • Strong Rep: Always vote, Always Rep.

  11. Pres. Elections generate more short-term than other, thus more defection by weak dem. • Off-year elec.: less short-term forces, lower voter turnout, weak dems and indep. Stay home. • Off Year: three most imp. Party ID, incumbency, Name recogn. • Straight-Ticket: All same party. • Split-Ticket: Vote for some of each party, Wk. Dem. And Indep. More likely.

  12. Bush and Dukakis

  13. 1992: Clinton (D) v. Bush (R) v. Perot (Ind) • 1) Clinton’s image – youth, charisma, appeal to female vote. • 2) Quayle hurt REP. • 3) ECONOMY • 4) Perot got 19% of popular vote, hurt both parties.

  14. Clinton and Perot