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Political Influences. Political Parties Interest Groups The Media. Political Parties. Role of parties: Party in the electorate – people who associate themselves with one of the two major parties Party in government – appointed, elected officials at all levels of the government

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political influences
Political Influences
  • Political Parties
  • Interest Groups
  • The Media
political parties
Political Parties
  • Role of parties:
    • Party in the electorate – people who associate themselves with one of the two major parties
    • Party in government – appointed, elected officials at all levels of the government
    • Party in organization – maintain strength of the party between elections, raise money and organize the conventions
party systems
Party Systems
  • One party system
    • Membership might not be voluntary
    • By law – dictatorships; by circumstance – Solid South
  • Two party system
    • Minor parties with little effect
    • General consensus on principles and values
    • Single member district promotes
    • Win the largest number of voters
  • Multiparty system
    • 4 to 20 different parties
    • Instability possible due to the rise of coalitions and compromise
    • Proportional representation
    • Meaningful choices
what do parties do
What do parties do?
  • Recruit candidates -
    • Who is interested in running – especially if the incumbent is not running (find the best)
  • Nominate and support candidates for office
    • Raise money and run the campaign
  • Educate the electorate
    • Information, and encourage voters to be involved
  • Organize the government
    • Majority v. minority party, political appointments
party identification and membership
Party Identification and membership
  • Voluntary
  • More and more as INDEPENDENTS (not a third party – dealignment)
  • Why?
    • Ideology
    • Education
    • Income
    • Occupation
    • Race
    • Gender
    • Religion
    • Family tradition
    • Region of the country
    • Marital status
why two parties in the us
Why two parties in the US?
  • Historical roots
    • Federalist v, Anti Federalist
    • British Roots
  • Electoral system
    • Single member districts – one winner per office (not proportional)
  • Election laws
    • How to get on the ballot – difficult for third party candidates
party development in the us
Party Development in the US
  • 1789-1800
    • Hamilton (strong national government) v. Jefferson (states’ rights)
  • 1800-1860 – Democratic domination
    • Democratic Republicans until 1824, then a split with Andrew Jackson
    • Democrats – party of the common man
  • 1860-1932
    • Republican Domination – Grand Old Party (GOP)
  • 1932-1968
    • Return of the Democrats – economic issues – New Deal Coalition formed (Blacks, City dwellers, blue collar, Catholics, Jews, and women)
  • 1968-present – Divided Government
    • Gridlock could take place?
divided government
Divided Government
  • Electoral Dealignment -
    • People not registering with a party
    • Independents
  • Electoral Realignment –
    • New coalitions formed
    • 1860 and 1932 examples
    • 1980 might be (Reagan)
types of third parties
Types of Third parties
  • Ideological
    • Particular set of social, political or economic beliefs
    • Communists, Socialists, Libertarians
  • Splinter/Personality/Factional
    • Split away from major party
    • Strom Thurmond’s States’ Rights; T. Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Progressive
  • Single Issue
    • Single public matter
    • Free Soil, Right to Life and Prohibition
  • Protest
    • Economic problems
    • Greenback and Populist party
structure of parties
Structure of parties
  • National Convention
    • Select nominee for president and vice president, more of a rubber stamp today due to primaries and caucuses “frontloading”
  • National Committee
    • Works between
  • National Chairperson
  • Congressional Campaign Committee
  • State and Local Organization
    • State law regulates
    • Better organized and better funded today
    • No patronage
    • Dependent on national party due to soft money being filtered to them
  • Remember – very decentralized, no chain of command
the future for parties
The future for parties?
  • Third party challengers?
    • Spoiler role- take votes away
  • Loss of support by party loyalists?
    • More independents
  • Increase in split ticket voting
  • Lack of perceived differences between the parties
    • Are they different?
  • Party reforms
    • Greater diversity and openness – conflict within the party
  • Methods of campaigning
    • More independent for candidates - no reliance on parties – direct contact with the voters
interest groups
Interest Groups
  • Federalist 10 – Madison warned against “factions” but stated that the separation of powers would moderate their effect
functions of interest groups
Functions of Interest Groups
  • Raise awareness of public affairs
  • Stimulate interest in public affairs
  • “linkage” between government and their membership
  • Information to the government – data and testimony
  • Political participation
types of interest groups
Types of Interest Groups:
  • Economics
    • Most interest groups
    • Labor – AFL-CIO and Teamsters
    • Business – Chamber of Commerce, NAM
    • Professional groups – AMA, NEA, ABA
    • Agricultural Groups – Grange and National Farmers Union
  • Groups that promote causes
    • Specific causes: ACLU and NRA
    • Welfare of groups: AARP, NAACP, VFW
    • Religion based: National Council of Churches
  • Public Interest Groups
    • Common Cause, League of Women Voters, MADD
strategies of interest groups
Strategies of Interest Groups
  • Influencing Elections
    • PACs – contribute money
  • Lobbying
    • Information, data to officials
    • Direct – personal contacts
    • Grassroots – members send messages
    • Coalition lobbying – common goals join together
  • Litigation
    • Amicus Curaie briefs filed
  • Going Public
    • Attention to an issue – gain support through mass mailings
legalities
Legalities
  • PACs – developed in the 1970s – case of Buckley deals with 1st amendment and right to spend money
  • Regulation
    • 1946 - first attempt – register
    • 1995: lobbying disclosure act – who is being “lobbied?”
trends in news coverage

Trends in News Coverage

The role of the media

television
Television
  • News coverage has been reduced to “Sound bites” of 30-45 seconds
  • 24 hours a day coverage
  • “Real time” coverage
  • Ideological agendas with the news – CNN Crossfire, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Glenn Beck Program, The O’Reilly Factor
  • News from Late Night shows – Daily Show
consequences
Consequences
  • Superficial coverage – no in depth coverage
  • Credibility of reporters due to “liberal” or “conservative” bias
  • “Fake news” that becomes “Real news”
  • More choices available to the American public
talk radio
Talk Radio
  • 9/10 Americans listen to radio, especially in the cars
  • Radio personalities: Howard Stern, Al Franken
  • NPR as legitimate news radio
newspapers
Newspapers
  • 33% of Americans read the newspaper on a daily basis
  • Rise of National Papers – Wall St. Journal, USA Today, Washington Post
  • Intense advertising competition
  • 60% of cities have competing newspapers
internet
Internet
  • Major source of news and information
  • 37% of Americans receive their news information at least once a week
  • Younger, male, better educated and affluent - news audience statistics
roles of the media
Roles of the media
  • Inform the public
  • Shape public opinion
  • “linkage” between citizens and government
  • Watchdog that investigates wrong doings
  • Agenda setting – which topics will be national political issues
government regulations
Government Regulations
  • Technical regulations
    • FCC in charge of regulating
  • Structural regulations
    • Ownership and organization – Telecommunications Act broadened competition
  • Content regulations
    • First amendment protections, but lawsuits do occur
media and the president
Media and the President
  • News release – prepared text
  • News Briefing – announcements and daily questioning (press secretary)
  • News conference – questioning of high level officials
  • Leaks – anonymous information released
  • On the record – quoted by name
  • Off the record – cannot be printed
  • On background – no official associated with the information
  • On deep background – print what the official said, but not connection to anyone
media and congress
Media and Congress
  • C-SPAN and C-SPAN II – some of the happenings are broadcast