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CH 8: Elections and Campaigns. Ms. Bittman’s AP Government. People who Run for Office. Presidential Campaigns. Need to raise lots of money to tour nation. Funds to start up organization, plan for primary, win nomination. Need funds to compete in general election. . Why do they run?.

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ch 8 elections and campaigns

CH 8: Elections and Campaigns

Ms. Bittman’s AP Government

presidential campaigns
Presidential Campaigns
  • Need to raise lots of money to tour nation.
  • Funds to start up organization, plan for primary, win nomination.
  • Need funds to compete in general election.
why do they run
Why do they run?
  • Two groups
    • Self starters: volunteers, get involed to further careers, carry out specific political programs, push a certain policy.
      • Often see political office as stepping stone to career goals.
      • Issues are not as important as political goals (status, career, prestige)
    • Recruited: more opportunities to run than there are people who want to.
      • Compounded in one-party cities.
  • President
    • Natural-born citizen, 35, resident of USA for 14 yrs.
  • VP
    • Natural-born citizen, 35, not be a resident of the same state as president.
  • Senator
    • Citizen for 9 years, 30, resident of state.
  • House
    • Citizen for 7 years, 25, resident of state.
  • State
    • States decide for themselves.
  • Who runs?
    • White, male, N. European, protestant. Usually lawyers.

Current Demographics

changing campaign
Changing Campaign
  • Extravagant, year-long, enormously expensive.
    • Increased intensity b/c of the shift from party to candidate. Why has it changed?
      • Changes in electoral system.
      • Increased importance of TV
      • New technology, ie computers.
      • Increased cost of campaigning.
    • Their organization must be able to…
      • Raise funds, get coverage from media, pay for commercials and ads, schedule candidates time effectively, convey position on issues, conduct research, get voters to polls.
changing campaign continued
Changing Campaign Continued…
  • When party identification was stronger (before TV) the party org provided the services and expertise a candidate needed.
    • PP funded campaigns till 1970s
    • Less effort was spend on a single candidates position and character.
the professional campaign
The Professional Campaign
  • Paid professionals, not volunteers.
    • Political Consultant: for a (large) fee, devises campaign strategy, theme, colors, candidate’s portrait for literature.
      • Monitors progress
      • Plans media appearances
      • Coaches candidate for debate
        • Began to replace volunteers in 1960s
        • Critics worry that more focus is on strategy and image, rather than developing position on issues.
        • Candidates seem to be more interested in sound bites, than position papers.
the strategy of winning
The Strategy of Winning
  • Simple rule.
    • All party votes, most independents, some opposite party votes.
      • Must consider the following 3 things…
1 candidate visibility and appeal
1. Candidate Visibility and Appeal
  • How well known.
    • Incumbents have the advantage.
    • If unknown or unfamiliar, must have a strategy to attack.
    • If independent or minor-party… good luck.
2 use of opinion polls and focus groups
2. Use of Opinion Polls and Focus Groups
  • Opinion polling fine tunes campaigns.
    • Tracking Polls: as the election approaches, they check how they are competing for votes almost every day.
      • Must be a random sample of individuals.
      • Fair questions
      • Answer categories must be carefully considered.
  • Focus Groups: organized groups of citizens discussing the candidate.
    • Discuss personality traits, advertising.
    • Goes more emotional, deeper, than polling.
presidential vs everyone else
Presidential vs. Everyone Else
  • Presidential campaign,
    • Government money or fundraising.
  • All others
    • Provided by candidates, borrowed, raised by individuals or PACs
  • From candidates, PACs, PP all generate soft money ($ that escape limits of fed election law)
    • No limits on contributions to PP for party activities.
    • Independent expenditures from corps, unions just as long as they do not coordinate w/ candidate or PP.
      • Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce 1990, right of the state and fed to limit independent, direct contributions from corp on behalf of candidates.
      • CO Republican Federal Campaign Committee v. FEC 1996, PP can make independent expenditure, but no coordination.
regulating campaign financing
Regulating Campaign Financing
  • They must follow the law.
    • Corrupt Practices Acts First passed in 1925.
      • Limited primary and general election expenses for congressional candidates. Required disclosure of expenses. Controls on contributions by corps.
      • Ineffective.
    • The Hatch Act of 1939
      • Forbid a political group from spending more than $3 million. Limited individual contributions to $5,000.
regulating campaign financing continued
Regulating Campaign Financing Continued…
  • The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 Replaced all previous laws.
    • No limit on spending, but restricted mass media.
    • Limited amount candidates could contribute
    • Required disclosure of all contributions past $100.
    • Limited unions and corps.
    • Voluntary check on income tax returns for public financing for presidential elections.
    • Amendments to FECA
      • Created the FEC, public financing for prez primary and general elections, if candidate accepts public $ must limit expenditures
regulating campaign financing continued1
Regulating Campaign Financing Continued…
  • Buckley v. Valeo 1976, ruled that candidates can spend as much as they want on themselves. (1st)
  • Another amendment to FECA in 1976…
    • Created PAC (Political Action Committees) an organization that campaigns for, against candidates and policy.
      • Individuals limited to $5,000, corporations/unions banned.
  • Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (McCain-Feingold)
    • Eliminated all soft $ donations to national party, doubled contributions of hard $. Banned union/corp to pay for broadcast advertising w/in 30 days.
regulating campaign financing continued2
Regulating Campaign Financing Continued…
  • Citizens United v. FEC 2010 ruled PACs may accept unlimited donations from individuals, unions, corps for independent expenditures.
  • Called SuperPACs
  • Cannot coordinate with the campaigns.
primary campaign
Primary Campaign
  • Jan-June of election year.
    • Mandated in 1903 in Wisconsin. Wanted to weaken the influence of party bosses in nomination process.
      • Mass public now controls nomination.
        • After the riots at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.
        • DNC appointed a special the McGovern-Fraser Commission.
        • New rules for Democratic Primary.
          • Elected by the voters in primary elections, in caucuses held by local parties or at state conventions.
          • Delegations must include % of women, young members and minorities.
types of primaries
Types of Primaries
  • Closed Primary (FL): election is limited to declared party members.
    • Tries to prevent the other party from crossing over and nominating the weakest candidate, or to affect the ideology of the party.
  • Open Primary- voters can vote in either primary, but not both.
    • No restrictions on independent voters.
types of primaries continued
Types of Primaries Continued…
  • Blanket Primary- (AK, LA, WA) voter can vote for candidates of more than one party.
    • More $, each candidate is trying to influence all voters
    • 2000 SC altered the blanket primary
      • PP challenged 1996 ballot initiative allowing blanket.
        • PP said it challenged their 1st amendment right of association.
        • SC ruled in favor of the parties.
  • Run-Off Primary: if no one gets majority… compete in second primary.
primary white house
Primary ->White House
  • As soon as they become the front runner, their tactics change.
    • Candidates focus on states that hold early, important primary elections.
      • NH primary, IA caucus means they become the frontrunner.
        • Increases contributions and media exposure
      • States see that early primaries have a greater effect on the presidential election, and hold their’s earlier
        • Southern states hold theirs on the same date, Super Tuesday.
          • March 6, 2012, and will involve contests in Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia.
Blue denotes Democratic-only caucuses (3), Red illustrates Republican-only contests (2), and Purple represents states holding elections for both parties (19).
national convention
National Convention
  • Every presidential candidate gets nominated since 1832.
    • Delegates are sent from each state that had voting majorities for the party in the preceding elections.
      • DC, territories, and overseas groups.
        • Both parties use a credentials committee to determine delegates.
      • Convention lasts a few days
        • 1st consists of speech making.
        • 2nd committee reports
        • 3rd presidential balloting
        • 4th VP is nominated and Prez gives the acceptance speech.
electoral college1
Electoral College
  • Not voting for president/vp, actually voting for electors. Art. II, Sec. 1.
    • Selection of ppl determined by state laws. Total 538, 100 Senators + 435 House + 3 Electors from DC.
elector s commitment
Elector’s Commitment
  • If a plurality of voters choose president, electors will cast their ballots on the first Monday after the 2nd Wednesday in Dec.
    • Ballots counted and certified before a joint session of Congress in early Jan.
      • Candidates who receive a majority become prez (270)
      • If no candidate hits 270, election of the president is decided by the House from among the candides with the highest # of votes, each state gets one vote.
        • VP decided by Senate.
don t write this
Don’t Write This
  • Congress was required to choose the president and vice president in 1801 (Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr) and the House chose the president in 1825 (John Quincy Adams).
  • It is possible for a candidate to become president without obtaining a majority of the popular vote (Lincoln, Wilson, Truman, Kennedy, Nixon (in 1968), and Clinton). Such an event can always occur when there are third-party candidates.
  • It is also possible for a candidate to receive the popular vote and still lose the election (John Quincy Adams in 1824, Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, Benjamin Harris in 1888, and George W. Bush in 2000 – all of whom won elections without obtaining a plurality of the popular vote).
criticism of electoral college
Criticism of Electoral College
  • President might not get the majority of the popular votes.
  • Electors are committed to the candidate who has a plurality.
  • Giving all electoral votes to one candidate is unfair.
    • Presidential campaigning only occurs in some states.
    • Less-populous-state bias in the electoral college, (more House).
proposed reforms
Proposed Reforms
  • Get rid of it.
    • Proposed by Carter and in 2001
  • Eliminate electors, but keep college.
    • Proportional basis
  • PP , might give minor parties more influence.
  • Less populous states , b/c they could get overwhelmed by the large urban vote.
  • We use the Australian Ballot (secret, that is prepared, distributed, counted by gov at public expense) since 1888.
    • Two types of ballot
      • Office-bloc (Massachusetts) groups all candidate for office by office.
        • Politicians  b/c emphasis on office, not party.
        • Encourages split-ticket.
      • Party-Column (Indiana) candidates arranged in one column under the party label.
        • Encourages straight ticket
        • Most use this
        • Increases coattail effect.
  • Voting by mail has been accepted for absentee ballots
    • Military, overseas.
    • Critics say voting is uninformed, fraud.
  • Fraud
    • High through phony voter registration
    • Difficult to remove someone from polling list in CA
  • 2000 Election
    • 200 Million eligible voters,
      • 101 million voted, 50.7% of voters
      • Presidential elections = higher turnout.
      • Local races have turnout of less than 25%
    • Low Voter Turnout
      • Some see it as a threat to democracy
      • Apathy of our political system
      • Ppl don’t learn about the issues
      • Easier for dictator to take over
      • Low voter turnout might mean that people are ok with the status quo.
why people do not vote
Why People Do Not Vote…
  • Political withdrawal
    • RuyTeixeria, America has become disconnected.
      • Decline in church, social membership.
  • Rational Ignorance Effect
    • People rationally choose to be ignorant.
  • Rise in the cost of voting
    • In terms of time and inconvenience.
      • Bad weather= lower turnout.
  • Campaign effects
    • Negative advertising and longer campaign= lower turnout.
factors influencing voting
Factors Influencing Voting
  • Age: Turnout increases with age.
  • Education: more education, more voting
  • Minority: less voter turnout with minorities.
  • Income: more $, more voting
historical restrictions
Historical Restrictions
  • Colonial Time
    • Rich white guys
    • B/c government functions are economic, those that own property are the only ones that should vote.
  • 19th Amendment= women
  • 15th Amendment black males
    • South’s loopholes through Jim Crow Laws
  • 26th= 18 year olds can vote
current eligibility and registration requirements
Current Eligibility and Registration Requirements
  • Citizenship
  • Age
  • Residency
    • 1972, states cannot impose residency requirement over 30 days.
    • States can disqualify mentally incompetent, prisoners, felons, election-law violators.
  • Each state is different, but most states require pre-election registration.
    • Critics argue that registration requirements-> nonparticipation.
socioeconomic demographic factors
Socioeconomic/Demographic Factors
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Geographic
  • Education:
  • Income:
  • Religion
    • Protestants vs. Catholics/Jews
  • Ethnic Background
    • Irish, Italians, Polish.
    • Anglo-Saxon, N. European
    • African-Americans
    • Hispanics
psychological factors
Psychological Factors
  • Party Identification
  • Perception of Candidate
  • Issue Preferences
    • Historically, economics are the most important to voters.
      • When the economy is doing well, incumbents win.
      • Inflation, unemployment or high interest rates hurt incumbent
      • Foreign policy are influential only when guns are involved.
      • Occasionally drugs, crime, corruption are issues
      • Some presidential candidates would like to avoid issues like abortion, role of women, rights of gays, prayer in school. Some love it.