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Chapter 10: Elections and Campaigns. Types of elections. Primary / Caucus. General . Designed to pick the candidate who will actually hold office Example: Obama vs. Romney. Designed to choose the parties nominee

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types of elections
Types of elections

Primary / Caucus


Designed to pick the candidate who will actually hold office

Example: Obama vs. Romney

  • Designed to choose the parties nominee
    • Example: Romney, Paul, Huntsman, Gingrich, Santorum competing to be Republican nominee for 2012
  • Types:
    • Closed: must declare in advance that you are a member of the party to take part in this election
      • About 40 states (why? )
    • Open: on primary election day you pick which parties primary you will vote on
      • 8 states
    • Blanket: can vote in primaries for both parties
      • Washington & Alaska

Hon .Clay Henry III of Lajitas , Texas

types of elections1
Types of Elections
  • Primary / Caucus
  • How to get on the ballot in NJ (each state is different)
  • It is estimated to cost about $50 million to run a successful primary/caucus campaign (Romney spent $110 million)
    • In the past 3 decades, in almost every case, the candidate who raised the most money during this stage in the process won their party’s nomination
    • What is a Caucus?
      • 19 states
    • Why do most states hold primaries?
      • C’s are too time consuming!!!!
        • About 10% turnout
primaries caucuses
Primaries / Caucuses
  • So where does that $ go?
  • Organization
      • Fundraisers , Accountants, Press secretary , Scheduler, Speech writers , TV and internet advertising specialist , Pollsters, Direct mailing company & Social media specialists

Helps to win Iowa Caucus and N. H. Primary 

      • only 2 candidates in the past 10 elections have lost both and gone on to win their party’s nomination
        • G. W. Bush in 2000
        • Clinton in 1992

So what do you have to do to win?

Read: the excerpt from Stormy Weather

      • What can help a candidate gain momentum?
      • How long does the “invisible primary” last?
      • Iowa doesn’t award delegates until weeks after the caucuses, so why are the Iowa caucuses still seen as important?
      • Why does New Hampshire remain an indicator of who will win the eventual nomination?
primaries caucuses1
Primaries / Caucuses
  • Need to motivate voters to turn out for you
    • Primary turnout low
      • About 20%
    • This results in candidates trying to appeal to the base of their party while also looking ahead to general election
      • Republicans: need to appear conservative
      • Democrats: need to appear liberal
      • During the general election candidates generally return to more moderate stances, must remember what you say during primary/ caucus season will be used by your opponent
        • Can result in “Clothespin voting”
presidential primaries caucuses
Presidential Primaries / Caucuses
  • When voting in a P/C you are actually selecting delegates who will attend the party’s National Convention to demonstrate support for that candidate.
    • Much like the electoral college

The Party’s decide the rules, they are not in the Constitution or state law, the party’s can change the rules prior to an election.

  • Democrats award delegates proportionally in all states
  • Republicans allow the state to decide if they want a winner take all system or a proportional system
    • NJ = winner take all



Total Number of Delegates: 2,066Pledged: 1,907Unpledged: 159

Each state gets 6 delegates plus 3 for each member in the House

BONUS DELEGATES Each state can earn additional delegates by meeting one or more of the following requirements:

the state cast a majority of its votes for the Republican presidential candidate in the previous presidential election

the state elected Republicans to the U.S. House or Senate, selected a Republican Governor or state legislative majorities

and / or the state holds its presidential primary election after March 15th (this is to discourage states from holding early primaries).

  • Total number of delegates: 4,339Pledged: 3,537Unpledged: 802
  • PLEDGED "PLEO" (Party Leaders and Elected Officials) DELEGATES
    • Based on % of democratic vote in that state in the past 3 presidential elections
  • UNPLEDGED "PLEO" DELEGATES (Super delegates occurred after 1980)Primarily Democratic Members of Congress, Governors, and "distinguished party leaders." 802 total.
    • This equals 15% of pledged delegates
general presidential vs general congressional campaigns
General Presidential vs. General Congressional Campaigns



Less voter turn-out, especially during midterm elections (non-presidential election years 2002,2006, 2010..)

Typically about 36% turnout since 1964

Historically less party turnover

(recent exceptions include 2006 and 2010)

Why less turnover?!?

Incumbency advantage

More direct connection to the voter (service to constituents)

Separate themselves from the “mess in Washington”

Sophomore surge: can use perks of office to get elected

  • More voters participate
    • Typically about VEP 60% turnout since 1964
  • More party turnover
    • Past 20 elections
      • Republicans 9 times
      • Democrats 11 times

How to get on the ballot for the general election in NJ

presidential elections
Presidential Elections
  • Who does the public prefer?
    • Most candidates have experience in multiple areas listed below
presidential election
Presidential Election
  • Theme?
    • A simple ,appealing idea that can be repeated over and over and over and over and over (you get it)
      • Obama: Forward
      • Romney: We can’t afford 4 more years
    • If you are an incumbent, you will invariably have to defend your record
  • Tone?
    • Positive?
      • Build me up
    • Negative?
      • Knock them down
negative campaigning
Negative Campaigning
  • Jefferson and Adams
  • Daisy
  • Willy Horton


    • Start too early and you may go broke, too late and you may not build up enough momentum or name recognition
  • Targets?
    • Who are the undecided in this election? How will you sway them?
      • Use precise targeting / “micro-targeting”
      • New demographics(see next slide)
targets demographics
Targets: Demographics
    • Need to focus on these voters and mobilize them!!!!

    • What groups are Republicans going to have to reach out to to win the next presidential election ?
    • How can the Republicans appeal to women and Latinos without changing their core beliefs?
presidential elections1
Presidential Elections
  • What types of issues will the candidate focus on?
    • Position: rival parties take different stances
      • Taxation:
        • Obama : increase taxes on wealthy to help pay down debt
        • Romney: decrease tax rate for all to help struggling economy
    • Valence: how closely a party/candidate is connected with a concept
      • Nixon: associated with a tough stance on crime
      • Reagan: more associated with a strong economy
presidential elections2
Presidential Elections
  • Who is going to be your Vice President?
    • Need to pick someone who will appeal to a part of the party you may not appeal to “balance the ticket”
      • Youth / Experience
      • Regional
      • Moderate / Conservative or Liberal
      • Unify party after bitter primary
    • Classic examples
      • Kennedy and Johnson
      • Reagan / G.H.W. Bush
    • How does Obama /Biden reflect this?
    • How does Romney / Ryan reflect this?
    • Classic Anomaly:
      • Clinton / Gore
presidential elections3
Presidential Elections
  • How will you “advertise” your candidate?
    • TV
    • Debates
    • Direct Mail
    • Internet
general election and the electoral college
General Election and the Electoral College

Electoral College: 538 electors in total (100+435+3) , need 270

Meet on the first Monday after the 2nd Wednesday in December votes sent to Congress counted during a joint session

How are electors chosen?

What happens if there is a tie? (1825)

election of 1800: Jefferson v. Adams

12th amendment: Electors vote on separate ballot for pres and VP to avoid rivals holding office together

How the 2012 election broke down, various maps

electoral college
Electoral College



Doesn’t always reflect the will of the people

Can have faithless electors

Doesn’t reflect the idea of 1 person, 1 vote

Wyoming has one "elector" for every 177,556 people and Texas has one "elector" for about every 715,499.

  • Allows for both people and states to be represented : Federalism
  • “Extended Republic”
    • Need to appeal to a variety of voters, not just one faction or region
campaign spending
Campaign Spending
  • Reading:
    • Summarize the rules governing campaign finance
      • FECA
      • BCRA / McCain Feingold Act
      • Public Funding
    • Buckley v. Valeo
      • What was Buckley’s argument?
      • What did the Supreme Court rule?
      • How does this currently impact elections?
campaign finance
Campaign Finance
  • “There are two things that are important in politics.

The first is money and I can’t remember what the second one is.”

  • —Ohio political boss and U.S. Senator Mark Hanna, 1895

Hard Money vs. Soft money:

Hard money : money given directly to a candidate’s campaign

Soft Money: money used to promotes issues

Dark money: contributions that don’t have to be disclosed (501c4s)

pacs and super pacs
PACs and Super PACs
  • Political Action Committees
    • Created in 1940s by the CIO as a way to contribute to FDR’s campaign
    • Organizations that have developed with the sole purpose of helping a candidate to get (re)elected to office
    • Individuals and organizations can contribute up to $5,000 annually to a PAC
    • PACs can legally contribute only $5,000 to a candidate committee per election (primary, general or special).
    • They can also give up to $15,000 annually to any national party committee, and $5,000 annually to any other PAC.
    • However, there is no limit to how much PACs can spend on advertising in support of candidates or in promotion of their agendas or beliefs.
    • PACs must register with and file detailed financial reports of monies raised and spent to the Federal Election Commission.
pacs and super pacs1
PACs and Super PACs
  • Traditional PACs include two distinct types of political committees registered with the FEC:
    • separate segregated funds (SSFs)
      • political committees established by corporations, labor unions, membership organizations or trade associations that can only solicit contributions from individuals associated with the sponsoring organization
        • Microsoft PAC
    • No connected committees
      • not sponsored by or connected to any of the listed organizations and are free to solicit contributions from the general public, subject to campaign contribution limits.
        • National Rifle Association
pacs and super pacs2
Super PACs PACs and Super PACs
  • Created as a result of 3 Court Decisions
    • In January 2010, the Supreme Court dealt a major blow to McCain-Feingold (BCRA). Ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the court said that the government cannot prevent corporations and unions from spending unlimited money to support or criticize specific candidates.
    • Drawing on this decision in March 2010, a federal appeals court ruled in v. Federal Election Commission that political committees making independent expenditures—that is, spending not coordinated with or directed by a candidate’s campaign—could accept donations of unlimited size.
pacs and super pacs3
PACs and Super PACs
  • Super PACs may not contribute directly to candidate’s campaign or to political parties but instead spend money independent of a political campaign to influence the result.
  • In addition, they can raise funds from corporations, unions and other groups, and from individuals, without legal limits.
  • According to FEC rules, Super PACs are not allowed to cooperate, consult, or act in concert with a candidate or their agents or a political party or its agents.
  • They can , however, publically declare support for one candidate or another.
  • List of current Super PACs
presidential campaign spending
Presidential Campaign Spending
rules governing campaign finance
Rules governing campaign finance
  • FECA (1972):
    • Imposed contribution limits to a candidates campaign
    • Limited campaign expenditures
    • Need to disclose donor information
    • Created public financing
    • Created Federal Election Commission
buckley v valeo testing constitutionality of feca
Buckley v. Valeo: testing constitutionality of FECA



Limits on candidates expenditures (spending)

Except if you accept public funding

  • Limits on direct contributions to candidates
  • Optional public financing
  • Disclosing contributions
  • Creation of FEC
brca mccain feingold 2002
BRCA / McCain –Feingold (2002)
  • Labor Unions and corporations can’t fund ads
  • Limits on how much $ could be given to PACs and how much PACs could give to candidates and political parties
citizen s united and the 2012 election a case study
Citizen’s United and the 2012 Election: A Case Study
  • Basic information about Citizens United
    • What changes did Citizens United make to campaign finance regulation?
    • Do you agree or disagree with this decision? Why?
  • Impact of Citizens on 2012 election
    • Write a 1 paragraph reaction to this article.