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American Elections

American Elections

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American Elections

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  1. American Elections Almost college students, I handily won the 2008 presidential election. I want someone to briefly discuss noteworthy statistics and key points the textbook shows about that election. Obama won by 8.5 million votes; the Electoral College margin was 365-173—highest winning percentage for a Democrat since 1964 (Johnson)

  2. American Elections Very good. Please continue. • In percentages, Obama gained • 13 points among Hispanics • 12 points among voters 18-29 • 7 points among college graduates, people with • higher incomes, and people living in the West • 5 points among women and men

  3. American Elections Wow! I’m awesome! Please continue. Geographically, from 2004 Obama added Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico. Election coincided with strong gains in Democratic Party identification, voters registered as Democrats, and more Democratic identification among the nation’s fastest growing groups.

  4. American Elections Keep going. Turnout: 131 million people; an increase of 5 million people over 2004 (up 1%) Greater numbers of African Americans and younger Americans Obama—used Internet and social media to his advantage

  5. American Elections Hey, pretty good job. Part of political science is theory, often demonstrated through models. Let’s now discuss the three theoretical voting models discussed in the text.

  6. American Elections Three Election Models Prospective (Responsible Party) Voting a. Voters—interested in & capable of deciding what government will do in the future b. Each party—cohesive & united with clear policy positions that differ significantly from the other party’s c. Winning party, in office—do exactly what it said it would do

  7. American Elections Three Election Models Prospective (Responsible Party) Voting d. Potential Problems: Might increase frequency and intensity of political conflicts The party in power can make the policies it wants, disregarding objections of losing party (no compromises) Likely to lead to gridlock

  8. American Elections Three Election Models Electoral Competition Voting Model (Median Voter Model) a. Unified parties take most popular positions in competing for votes b. Take positions that appeal to median voter—midpoint of political spectrum c. Winning party enacts policies most voters want—democracy via competition

  9. American Elections Three Election Models d. Potential problems Conditions to work perfectly not likely to be met in the real world Parties must be unified and take stands on issues for pure and direct vote- seeking reasons Parties must keep their promises

  10. American Elections Three Election Models The Retrospective Model (Reward/Punishment) a. Voters judge how well “The Ins” have done and decide if they want them to continue in office b. Voters are purely retrospective in vision and vote to reward or punish “The Ins” c. Very simplistic; requires little of voters

  11. American Elections Three Election Models The Retrospective Model (Reward/Punishment) d. Potential Problems Gets rid of bad leaders only after disasters happen, without guaranteeing that the next leaders will be any better It relies on politicians anticipating the effects of future policies (prescience)

  12. American Elections The Unique Nature of U. S. Elections • More than any other democratic country • Separate and independent of one another • Inconsistent Election Procedures and vote • counting • Fill fixed terms • Fixed dates • First past the post (plurality vs. majority)

  13. American Elections Students, I am Dr. Edward S. Greenberg of the University of Colorado, one of your textbook’s authors. Ben Page and I assert that the Electoral College ensures that we choose our president more or less directly? How? Almost every state: winner-take-all; therefore the electors’ actions are usually controlled by the popular vote

  14. American Elections I’m not scowling for no reason. My tightiewhities are too tightie. Bully!!! I’m Theodore Roosevelt. To be elected, one must first be nominated. People are nominated five different ways. Self-announcement—most often used at the local level (city council, school board, etc.) Caucus—mostly used in the past; though in some states, like Iowa, caucuses are used to nominate candidates for president.

  15. American Elections Convention—used in some states, but primarily used by the major parties to formally nominate presidential and vice-presidential candidates, who are actually chosen during primary elections and caucuses in the states beforehand. Petition—mostly used in special elections, such as how Californians decided to recall Governor Gray Davis. Primary election—the most common way for candidates to gain their party’s nomination for political office.

  16. American Elections Hello. I’m Woodrow Wilson, and the people elected me president in 1912 and 1916. Nominations for the House and Senate and state and local offices occur through direct primaries in which the winner is named the party’s nominee for the general election.

  17. American Elections Now remember, primary elections for president are not direct primaries; again, the states have primary elections at different times, between February and June. Then, each party has a national convention in which state delegates cast votes for president based on their parties’ results in their states’ primaries.

  18. American Elections Now let’s discuss the characteristics of voters in American elections. • Since 1912: • 50-65 % in presidential elections • 40-50% in off-year elections (1/3 Senate, 1/3 • governors; all members of the House) • 10-20% in primaries and minor local elections

  19. American Elections Only about 25% of the American public are what political scientists call The Attentive Public. • Know & understand how government works • Vote regularly • Read editorials and political articles • Watch news shows & informational TV • Know issues and talk politics

  20. American Elections On the opposite side, 35% of Americans have little to no interest in politics And 40% of Americans are part-time citizens: vote sometimes, rarely read news stories, rarely discuss politics

  21. American Elections Hmmm. Not good. OK, so what are some of the barriers to American voting, particularly compared to voting in European countries? Advanced registration requirement—many do not make the effort (procrastination)

  22. American Elections I am Alexis de Tocqueville, a Frenchman who observed American politics in the 1830s. Today in Europe, some countries experience between 80% and 90% turnout—or more--in almost all of their elections. But remember, the government often is responsible for registration—in Italy and Belgium people are required to vote—and most countries conduct elections on Sundays or holidays. Austria—92% Belgium—91% Germany—86% Italy—90%

  23. American Elections Students, I am Wisconsin governor, Scott Walker.Remember, Wisconsin, and 6 other states, now have same day registration. Our turnout is around 73%--similar to European countries. That statistic suggests that the prior registration requirement in other states may be a major barrier to voter turnout.

  24. American Elections Excuse me. Justina here. As someone who often gets confused—I mean, I once got in the wrong lane for a sprint—I think we also have to consider that some Americans don’t vote because voting choices, like California initiatives or refereda, are often confusing and overwhelming. For that reason, many often don’t vote.

  25. American Elections So true, Justina. But there are some other reasons, such as parties don’t do the best job they can mobilizing the vote and also the intense partisanship and incivility in recent elections have led to several elections that are not competitive. In such cases, some believe their votes do not count.

  26. American Elections I am John F. Kennedy, and the American people elected me president in 1960. What factors determine what people vote in American elections? The more education a person has, the more likely that person is to vote.

  27. American Elections The higher a person’s income, the more likely that person is to vote. Those with higher status careers or occupations are more likely to vote. Poor, young, less-educated people, African- Americans and Hispanic-Americans tend to be underrepresented in voting. African-Americans and whites tend to vote in equal proportions, with African-Americans voting more for Democratic candidates. Hispanic-Americans and Asian Americans vote much less

  28. American Elections The older a person is, the more likely that person is to vote. (2004: 73.3% of people 65-74; 48.5% of people 18-24); 2008 Women are nowadays voting at a significantly higher rate than men: 2008, 66% to 62%. Chart on p. 307

  29. American Elections My fellow Americans, I am Lyndon Johnson and the American people elected me as president in 1964. In addition to low voting statistics, very few people participate in the American political process. Less than 25% of Americans try to influence how others vote. Only 5% of Americans work for a candidate or donate money to candidates

  30. American Elections I am Senator Daniel Inouye from Hawaii. Every 6 years since 1962 the people of Hawaii have elected me to the United Stated Senate—I am now, at age 86, the longest serving member of the Senate. Because I am also in the majority party, I am the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. Here are some more facts. Only 25% of America’s taxpayersdesignate $3.00 on their Federal Income Tax returns to be sent to the Presidential Campaign Fund.

  31. American Elections Students, at what venue do presidential nominees become the official nominees of their parties? At their party’s national convention in the summer before the presidential election.

  32. American Elections Yes, I know I won in 2008, but where was my nomination actually determined? During the primaries and caucuses of the winter and spring

  33. American Elections Let’s find out, Senator. Mr. President, we Republicans have a slightly different nominating process than you Democrats. I wonder if these young citizens know the difference.

  34. American Elections Republicans: winner-take-all (similar to the Electoral College), meaning the candidate who wins a state’s election or caucus gets all of that state’s convention delegates.

  35. American Elections Democrats: proportional, with delegates to the convention distributed in rough proportion to the vote received by each candidate in a state primary or caucus. Democrats also have superdelegates—party luminaries and elected officials (Members of Congress, state and local officials) who also have convention votes and are not limited by election results in their States.

  36. American Elections Regarding the presidency, who have tended to be the people nominated by major parties? Middle-aged or elderly White (until President Obama) Protestant (except Kennedy and Al Smith) Males Extensive formal education High incomes Substantial experience as public figures

  37. American Elections Early years of the Republic, the “springboard” was Secretary of State (Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, J. Quincy Adams) Since 1900, 5 have been vice-presidents (T. Roosevelt, Coolidge, Truman, Johnson, Ford*, G. H. W. Bush) Governors: Wilson, F. Roosevelt, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, G. Bush Senators: Harding, Kennedy, Obama Other: Taft (Secretary of War); Hoover (Secretary of Commerce), Eisenhower (General, university president) Nixon (former VP and senator)

  38. American Elections Process: begins 2-3 years prior Test the waters—small meetings with financial backers Surveys to test for name recognition Exploratory Committees Campaign organization Manager Pollsters Fundraisers Campaign consultants National & individual state organizations

  39. American Elections Students, what is an invisible primary? The relationship between money-raising and consideration as a serious candidate OK, so, what is the public campaign finance system and why would candidates, like me, not want to use it?

  40. American Elections Public campaign finance system: the federal government matches the first $250 from each individual donor on conditions that candidates limit preconvention campaign spending to about $50 million. Alternative: go it alone raise hard money contributions from individuals (with limitations) and PACs (with limitations) and spend what they wish

  41. American Elections • Public financing of presidential nominating • campaigns seems to be going by the board • Costs have gone up much faster than the • amount that candidates who choose public • funding are allowed to spend • 2) It is easier now to raise money outside the • public financing system

  42. American Elections Students, Mitt Romney here. Remember, it’s also important to decide which state primaries and caucuses to enter, as all of them are very expensive, require huge organizational networks, and, well, as I learned in South Carolina, any loss is damaging.

  43. American Elections Good afternoon, students. I am Richard M. Nixon, and the people elected me president in 1968 and 1972. Because of federalism, each state selects the type of primaryelection it will hold.

  44. American Elections The types of primary are: closed primary, open primary, runoff primary and nonpartisan primary. Closed primary: members of a political party are permitted to vote only for candidates from their party. Most states have open primaries: they allow a registered voter to participate in either the Republican or Democratic nomination process but by choosing a party once he or she has entered the voting booth.

  45. American Elections The type of primary helps determine a candidate’s strategy. How? Closed primaries: pitch appeal to the party base (Nixon Maxim—Ch. 9) Open primaries: more diverse voters so candidates must take more moderate positions on issues (The Ides of March (2011).

  46. Political Parties Mr. President, it’s Al Gore. We all know that I lost in the 2000 general election. I need to tell the students that the general election is one in which the voters actually choose their representatives and leaders. Since 1845, the general election is always held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November, and for President it’s in the leap year.

  47. American Elections I won the first two primaries in 2012, giving me early momentum. Why is early momentum important? Early winners get press attention, financial contributions, and better standings in the polls because they are more visible: media, money, and increased popular support

  48. American Elections The authors of your text believe the primary system is disorganized. Why? States and parties control the nominating process and it therefore changes from one primary election to the next. Some states: both parties the same day; other states different dates for different parties. Different years, the dates change to make state primaries more relevant

  49. American Elections Primary campaigns for Congress Step 1: raise hundreds of thousands of dollars—friends, acquaintances, interest groups Step 2: build a personal organization Step 3: Hire campaign managers and technicians, buy advertising, conduct polls—key is available money

  50. American Elections Primary campaigns for Congress Main hurdle: gaining visibility Mentioned by media Personal contacts Door-to-door campaigning Identify likely supporters and court their favor The more money spent in the primary campaign, the greater voter turnout