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Chapter 9 . It’s Party Time!!!!!!!! Political Parties. What is a political party? . An organized group that seeks to Win elections Hold public office Operate the government Determine public policy. Parties exist to:. Label candidates (Party ID) Helpful for voters, shorthand… Govern

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chapter 9

Chapter 9

It’s Party Time!!!!!!!!

Political Parties

what is a political party
What is a political party?
  • An organized group that seeks to
    • Win elections
    • Hold public office
    • Operate the government
    • Determine public policy
parties exist to
Parties exist to:
  • Label candidates (Party ID)
    • Helpful for voters, shorthand…
  • Govern
    • Congressional rules and organization are based on the 2 party system
    • Critique party in power
  • Organize election process
    • Recruit candidates, mobilize voters, info on issues…
what else do they do
What else do they do?
  • Serve as a linkage institution that connects citizens to government
why do we have a two party system
Why do we have a two party system?

1. Congressional and local elections

    • Winner take all , plurality (as opposed to proportional: win 20% of votes get 20% of the seats)
    • single member district (1 candidate per office)

2. Electoral College

  • Names of Democratic and Republican candidates are automatically placed on ballots
  • 3rd party candidates must obtain a certain # of signatures to get on the ballot
one multiparty systems
One / Multiparty systems
  • One party: a single party exercises total control over whole government
    • China , Iran
  • Multiparty: a number of parties compete for offices
    • Parties are often based on a few issues , illustrating widely differing views on policy
      • France , Italy, Israel
benefits of political parties
Benefits of political parties
  • Offer clear choices to voters
    • No need to gather volumes of information on tons of candidates
  • Eases transition of officials after elections
weakening of parties party de alignment
Weakening of parties (Party De-alignment)
  • Less people identify with single party
    • More split ticket voting
      • Dem for Pres / Rep for Congress
      • More identify as independent (about 38%)
  • Organization
    • Parties no longer run the general elections, less local influence
      • Prior to progressive era parties organized election, printed ballots, provided incentive for voters to turn out (28 gallons of rum)
parties in us vs parties in europe
Parties in US vs. Parties in Europe

US: weaker parties

Europe: stronger parties

National government has much more power

Less regulation on parties

People vote more for party than for individual

  • Federal system: decentralizes party
  • Regulated by federal and state laws
  • Candidates picked through primaries, not selected by party leaders
  • President and Congress elected separately
  • Presidential appointees
history of political parties reading due tomorrow 1 3 13
History of political parties Reading: Due Tomorrow (1/3/13)
  • Create a chart for each party system with the following information: (there are 6)
    • Dominant party of the time
    • Core beliefs of each party
    • Voting coalitions for each side
      • Any particular regions? Groups of people?
    • What caused the change in party systems to occur?
history of the 2 party system
History of the 2 party system
  • Why have there been changes in political parties?
    • New issues emerge causing new voter coalitions to be formed :known as Realigning / critical elections
    • 2 types:
      • 1 – parties disappear
        • Federalist / Whigs
      • 2- coalitions of voters switch party loyalty
        • 1896, 1932, 1968
1 st party system federalists vs democratic republicans 1796 1816 dr s dominate
1st party system: Federalists vs. Democratic Republicans 1796-1816 (DR’s dominate)
  • Starts at the Federal Level: Loose political parties form in Congress to help pass legislation
  • Federalists = strong Fed gov’t, close relationship with Brits
    • New England, commercial interests
    • Starts diminishing in power after election of 1800, fades away after War of 1812
  • Democratic Republicans = loose coalition organized against Feds
    • South, agrarian interests
    • Created to defeat Adams in 1796 (he wins)
    • The sole ruling party from 1816-1824: Era of Good Feelings
      • Really party is dividing

2nd party system emerges because Federalists disappear!!!!!

2 nd party system democrats and whigs 1828 1860 dem s dominate
2nd Party system: Democrats and Whigs 1828-1860 (Dem’s dominate)
  • Democratic Republicans split to form the Dems and Whigs
    • Dems: South and West, farmers
    • Whigs: North, business interests… loose association of groups opposed to Jackson
      • Breaks apart due to divisions over slavery
  • Parties controlled at local level (rather than national level)
    • Nominating conventions, patronage
    • Political participation increases dramatically
      • Universal white male suffrage

3rd party system emerges because Whigs disappear

3 rd party system democrats and republicans 1860 1896
3rd party system: Democrats and Republicans 1860-1896
  • 1856: Republicans emerge as a 3rd party to challenge Kansas Nebraska Act of 1854 (slavery allowed in new territories)
      • Only 3rd party to become a major party
    • Attracted anti-slavery dems and Whigs
      • Anti-slavery
      • Free market (as opposed to slave labor)
      • Expansion of railroad
      • High tariff

Republicans dominate presidency and Senate, Dems often control the House

3 rd party system democrats and republicans 1860 18961
3rd party system: Democrats and Republicans 1860-1896
  • During this era Dems continue to appeal to Southern, agrarian interests, also appeal to urban workers, immigrants, and Catholics…
  • Election of 1896: WJ Bryan, dem nominee adopts populist platform and alienate many Northern Dems
    • Nativist ideas alienate immigrants
    • Protestant ideology alienates Catholics
    • Free silver alienates urban workers

Realigning because coalition of voters switch party

Dems loose key coalitions of voters and realize they can’t just appeal to farmers (as they tried to in 1896)!!!

4 th party system democrats and republicans 1896 1932 reps dominate
4th party system : Democrats and Republicans 1896-1932 (Reps dominate)
  • Republicans win presidency 7 of 9 elections, control Congress in 15 of 18 elections
  • Start of solid red/ blue divide (although Republicans dominate North and Democrats dominate the South)
  • Many election reforms introduced during period ( starts to diminish the power of local parties)
    • Primary / caucus
    • Direct election of Senators
    • Civil Service
4 th party system democrats and republicans 1896 1932 reps dominate1
4th party system : Democrats and Republicans 1896-1932 (Reps dominate)
  • 1901-1912: Progressive Republicans prevail
    • The popularity of progressivism influence the national and local agendas of both parties causing them to espouse similar ideology
  • 1912-1920 (Dems win presidency 2x’s, control Congress 1913-1917)
    • Republican party splits
      • Progressive republicans: low tariff, regulation of business, progressive income tax, support of the worker…
      • Conservative “traditional” republicans: high taxes, little gov regulation, support industry…
  • 1920-1932: Conservatives emerge
    • Reps: high tariff, low taxes, little regulation of business
4 th party system democrats and republicans 1896 1932 reps dominate2
4th party system : Democrats and Republicans 1896-1932 (Reps dominate)
  • Election of 1928: Catholics and immigrants start to move back to the Democratic Party due to the nomination of Al Smith (wet, Catholic)
  • Great Depression hits 1929
    • Continues through Hoovers term, getting worse!!!!!
  • FDR wins election of 1932: New Deal coalition emerges
    • Catholics, immigrants, Jews, African Americans , Urban workers,
      • Dems also keep Southern Whites
5 th party system democrats and republican 1932 1968 dems dominate
5th Party System: Democrats and Republican 1932-1968 (Dems dominate)
  • Dems: keep New Deal coalition
  • Reps: struggle to offer an alternative, many programs very popular (majoritarian / Social Security) ; division within their party
    • Liberal republicans = supported bigger gov’t and New Deal ideology but felt republicans could administer programs more efficiently (dominant in Northeast)
    • conservative republicans = wanted to dismantle much of the New Deal legislation as well as
      • Lower taxes, less gov’t regulation of business, less federal control
5 th party system democrats and republican 1932 1968 dems dominate1
5th Party System: Democrats and Republican 1932-1968 (Dems dominate)
  • Dems coalition breaking by the 1960s
    • Civil rights legislation ( alienates S. Dems as early as the late 1940s, alienates working class Northern Dems by 1960s)
    • Johnson’s Great Society ( blue collar / white collar divide)
    • Vietnam War (alienates young dems and upper class intellectuals)
6 th party system divided government 1968 present
6th Party System: Divided Government 1968-Present
  • What causes it to emerge: Disintegration of the New Deal coalition leaves the door open for Republicans to re-emerge
  • Characteristics of this era:
    • Congress and the Presidency often controlled by different parties
    • Red/ Blue states switch: Why? (2 reasons)
      • 1. Nixon and the “Southern Strategy”: 1968 &72
        • Race becomes more important than class
          • For the first half of the 20th century, white protestant southern voters were more liberal on every issue than white protestant northern voters, with one exception: race.
          • Class was more important than race for decades because of poverty. With growing affluence in the 1960s, however, race began to be more important than class.
6 th party system divided government 1968 present1
6th Party System: Divided Government 1968-Present
  • 2. Reagan (1980) brings religious conservatives solidly into the Republican party
    • Concentrated more heavily in the South
    • By the election of 1980 the South becomes solidly republican
6 th party system divided government 1968 present2
6th Party System: Divided Government 1968-Present
  • Democrats continued to appeal to union members, upper class intellectuals, racial minorities, and progressives (abortion, gay rights, environmentalism, feminism)
    • Women move in larger numbers into the Democratic party during this era
  • Republicans appeal to Southern, rural, white, protestant, wealthier individuals
6 th party system divided government 1968 present3
6th Party System: Divided Government 1968-Present
  • During this time period each party has become more ideologically distinct
    • Why?
      • Less party identification by voters (de-alignment)
        • Those who continue to identify are less moderate
      • Nominating process
        • Must appeal to liberal / conservative activists to secure parties nomination
      • Activist within parties discourage compromise
        • If you work across the aisle you’re a “sell out”

Pros: clear alternatives are evident for voters

Cons: inaction

party system review
Party system review
  • 1. What is the only 3rd party to become a majority party?

4. What 3 groups of voters did Democrats alienate during the election of 1896, starting the 4th party era?

awesome graph depicting history of parties
AWESOME graph depicting history of parties
3 rd minor partie s
3rd / minor parties
  • Types:
    • Ideological: radically different view on government
      • Communist Party
      • Libertarian Party
      • Green Party
    • Single-issue parties
      • Prohibition Party
    • Factional / Splinter Parties: break off from existing party
      • Bull Moose Progressives (1912)
      • Dixicrats (1948)
      • American Independent Party (1968)
    • Economic-protest parties: usually form during economically depressed periods
      • Populists (1892)
what purpose do 3 rd minor parties serve
What purpose do 3rd / minor parties serve?
  • Often influence platform of major party, and then die out
    • 1896: Dems/ Populists
    • 1968 & 1972: Reps / American Independent Party
    • 1992: Dems & Reps / Ross Perot
impact importance of 3 rd minor parties
Impact / importance of 3rd /minor parties
  • Often push a major party to adopt their ideas
    • Examples????
  • Can play the “spoiler role”
    • Ralph Nader: 2000 / 2% of vote
    • TR: 1912
why is it difficult for 3 rd parties to emerge in presidential elections
Why is it difficult for 3rd parties to emerge in Presidential elections?
  • Electoral College
    • Winner take all
  • Public Financing
    • Must be a member of a political party
    • Must show broad based support by raising at least $5,000 in at least 20 states (100,000)
  • Ballot Access: reading
    • Why so difficult?
  • Participation in debates
    • Must meet constitutional requirements
      • What are they?
    • Must be on enough state ballots to theoretically win 270 electoral votes
    • 5 separate polling organizations must indicate that the candidate has a rating of at least 15%
nominating process
Nominating process
  • History
    • 1st party era: picked by Congress
    • 2nd party era-6th Party era: Nomination conventions that rely more heavily on party officials than primary results
      • Non-binding primaries
      • Factional / splinter parties more common
        • 1912, 1948, 1968
    • 6th party era: current primary / caucus system
      • Delegates representing a candidate are chosen during these elections (similar to electoral college)
6 th party system the current state of our 6 th party system
6th party system: The current state of our 6th party system
  • Divided government ( no one party controls both Congress and the Presidency )
  • Hyper-partisanship

The problem is not divided government, it is the lack of compromise between the parties, since no one party dominates it is imperative that the parties work together to avoid inaction

What are the causes of hyper- partisanship?

the media and hyper partisanship
The Media and hyper partisanship

“The increasingly uncivil tone of our public

dialogue is hurting our ability to deal with issues

and discouraging people from participating in

the discussion and entering public life. We are

suffering from a national civility disorder that

is leading us down an unhelpful and unhealthy

political path.”

Pam Jenkins

President of Powell Tate

John Stewart v. Crossfire

what is the solution to our era of divided government centered around hyper partisanship
What is the solution to our era of divided government centered around hyper partisanship?
  • Minor parties
    • Elect more to office?
      • What would need to change to accomplish this?
        • Ballot access, funding, debate participation, winner take all system
  • Changes in the electoral system?
    • Multi-member districts instead of single member districts?
    • Run-off elections ?
    • Proportional instead of winner takes all?
    • Nominating process?
      • More participation in primaries / caucuses?
      • Non-binding primaries / caucuses?
  • Media
    • Do they exacerbate the partisan divide? Is there anything to be done about this?
  • 7th party system?
    • What might it look like?
      • Will a Critical issue emerge?
      • Will a Party fade away?
      • As a group, pick and expand on 1 way we can work towards a solution to the current state of hyper-partisanship.
          • What is the problem? What is your solution?
      • 7th party system ,create a scenario : what will cause the 6th party system to end? What will a 7th party system look like?
the media and politics
The Media and Politics

“Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

-Thomas Jefferson

  • What is the role of the media in politics?
    • Linkage institution: connects people and government officials , helps to publicize certain issues…
  • Do news organizations have an obligation to the public?
    • Give them what they want or what they need?
    • Is the news becoming “infotainment” ? Does that matter?
the media and politics1
The media and politics

Snapshot of a Typical Day

  • 13 million people listen to "Morning Edition" on NPR
  • 9 million people watch ABC World News Tonight
  • 2.4 million people watch The O'Reilly Factor on Fox News
  • 1.6 million people watch The Daily Show
  • 1.4 million people visit
  • 1 million people buy The New York Times print edition
  • 715,000 people buy TheWashington Post print edition
  • 350,000 people watch CNN's American Morning

the media and politics2
The Media and Politics

The Big Picture

  • On a typical day... 57% of Americans watch TV news
  • 54% watch their local news
  • 34% watch cable news channels
  • 28% watch the nightly network news
  • 23% watch the morning news programs (The Today Show, Good Morning America, etc.)
  • 40% of Americans read a newspaper
  • 36% of Americans listen to news on the radio
  • 23 % of Americans get news online
  • 18% visit news aggregators (Google News, Yahoo! News, AOL News, etc.)
  • 14% visit national TV networks' sites (,,, etc.)
  • 14% visit newspaper Web sites
  • 4% visit news blogs
  • 3% visit online news magazines (,, etc.)

does the media owe us anything
Does the media owe us anything?
  • What is news?
    • Class definition: How to detect bias in the media
    • Selection of stories: are the stories pushing a liberal or conservative agenda?
    • Labeling: what words are used to describe people and issues
      • Radical, leftists…
    • Spin: are there subjective comments by the host / reporter? Is only one side of an issue discussed?

“Court Backs Loaded Guns in Public“ what type of judgment is this headline making?

Analysis of cable network news: due Friday

- see website for worksheets

the media in america
The Media in America
  • Primary objective: make profits (get ratings so companies will advertise)
    • News media
      • Vast market
      • Private industry, but important part of the public sphere
      • Gov’t lightly regulates media
        • Many other nations govern portions of the media and run it as a public trust
broadcast media regulations
Broadcast Media regulations
  • Gov regulates the content and ownership of broadcast media, print media has essential no regulation
    • FCC: regulates TV and terrestrial radio (1934)
      • Prohibit obscenity, indecency, and profanity from 6am to 10pm
        • Super Bowl, South Park, Howard Stern
      • Equal time rule: must provide candidates for the same political office equal opportunities to communicate message to public
      • Right of rebuttal: individuals must have opportunity to respond to personal attacks
print media
Print media
  • Little regulation
  • No prior restraint: except under the most extraordinary of cases , the 1st amendment prohibits the gov from censoring newspapers and magazines
    • NY Times v. United States
    • Are subject to libel laws: can’t print false or malicious stories
      • Can be forced to pay damages
      • NY Times v. Sullivan (Due Friday)
        • Brief summary of the case: what is each side’s position
        • Court ruling
        • Impact : the good and the bad


George Washington on political parties: “serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another; foments occasionally riot and insurrection.”