Agenda, November 7th • Videos • Notes: make sure your name is on them; you will turn them in • Questions? Comments? • Lecture • Activity
The Primaries and Party Conventions How does the presidential candidate nomination process play out?
How they choose nominees? • Until the early part of the twentieth century, every state used caucuses to choose a candidate. • Not common anymore because of “political machines” • caucuses continue to be used in 12 states.
Caucuses • Caucuses begin on a local level • members of a political party are selected to represent the local community. • delegates move on to the district level, then the state level, and possibly the national level • Party members at every level select the people they feel are best qualified to represent their interests. • hundreds or even thousands of representatives at the national party convention.
Primaries • Primaries are a more common method of selecting presidential candidates • created to address the corruption and undue influence that was common in the caucus system. • Voters directly cast their ballot for a candidate, and electors from each state pledge to support the candidate chosen by the popular vote.
Types of Primaries • open primaries • a constituent can vote for any candidate regardless of his political affiliation. States that have closed primaries allow only registered members of a political party to vote in that party’s primary. • closed primaries • Closed primaries are much more common with approximately 40 states holding closed primaries. • blanket primaries • Alaska and Washington hold blanket primaries where candidates from both parties are listed together on a single ballot.
Iowa and New Hampshire • The Iowa Caucus and the New Hampshire Primary are two of the most important components of the presidential election process. • Frontloading • holding primaries or caucuses early in the year • Iowa and New Hampshire are regarded as “make or break” states for candidates. • media often practices horserace reporting • candidates typically must finish in the top three in order to continue receiving media attention.
Super Tuesday • Many states hold primaries or caucuses on Super Tuesday • the second Tuesday of March • often produces a clear favorite and will eliminate several candidates. • On Super Tuesday, candidates must establish a presence in several states simultaneously, which requires large amounts of campaign funding. • After Super Tuesday a majority of unsuccessful candidates are likely to withdraw from the race and endorse the frontrunner
Conventions • national meetings held by political parties for two reasons: • establishing a party platform • candidate selection. • The party that is out of power traditionally holds its convention in July, while the president’s party meets in August.
Party Platform • party platform • set beliefs and tenets the party values and intends to emphasize during the campaign. • The goal is to create consensus and unity among the different factions of the party. • plank • element of the platform that is often an extension of a party’s core belief intended to appease members on the party fringe. • In Democratic Party v. La Follette, the Supreme Court ruled that parties could not force a “fringe” delegate to the national convention to support the winner of his state’s presidential primary
Candidate Selection • process of identifying presidential and vice presidential candidates. • During the first ballot, delegates from each state vote for the candidate selected in their state’s primary or caucus. • If the party is unable to reach a consensus decision on the first ballot, delegates are allowed to vote for any candidate on subsequent ballots. • Recent nomination selections have been viewed as “nominee coronations” because candidates are identified through the primaries and caucuses. These coronations have decreased the excitement and media coverage that used to be associated with conventions.
Convention Video • The speech that made Obama President
Article • IS the US Primary System Flawed? • Discussion
Political Party Groups • You will be in the lab Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of next week • For Monday • Have a plan for your campaign video (filming)