Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Congressional Elections POLS 125: Political Parties & Elections We would all like to vote for the best man but he is never a candidate. Frank McKinney.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "Congressional Elections POLS 125: Political Parties & Elections We would all like to vote for the best man but he is never a candidate. Frank McKinney."— Presentation transcript:

1 Congressional Elections POLS 125: Political Parties & Elections We would all like to vote for the best man but he is never a candidate. Frank McKinney Kin Hubbard Frank McKinney Kin Hubbard

2 The Electoral Connection Getting elected Getting elected Achieving influence in Congress Achieving influence in Congress Making good public policy Making good public policy Members of Congress are faced with three primary goals: Specifically, I shall conjure up a vision of United States congressmen as single-minded seekers of reelection, see what kinds of activities and goals that implies, and then speculate about how congressmen so motivated are likely to go about building and sustaining legislative institutions and making policy David Mayhew, Congress: The Electoral Connection (1974)

3 Who are these people? Richard Tarrant, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in 2006 Jack McMullen, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in 2004 Cris Ericson, Independent candidate for U.S. Senate in 2006 Craig Hill, Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate in 2006 SANDERS LEAHY

4 Who are these people? Peter Moss, Peace & Prosperity candidate for U.S. Senate in 2012 John MacGovern, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in 2012 Mark Donka, Republican candidate for U.S. House in 2012 Jane Newton, Liberty Union candidate for U.S. House in 2012 SANDERS WELCH

5 The Power of Incumbency PATRICK LEAHY (D) was first elected to the U.S. Senate in He is currently serving his 6th term. PATRICK LEAHY (D) was first elected to the U.S. Senate in He is currently serving his 6th term. BERNIE SANDERS (I) was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in He served in that office continuously until 2006, when he was elected to the U.S. Senate. BERNIE SANDERS (I) was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in He served in that office continuously until 2006, when he was elected to the U.S. Senate. PETER WELCH (D) was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in PETER WELCH (D) was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in The chance of unseating an incumbent member of Congress is slim. Most incumbents run for reelection and most of them win by substantial margins. Even in 1994, when an anti-incumbent mood hung in the air, 90% of incumbent House members, and 92% of incumbent Senators were returned to office. In Vermont,

6 Incumbent House and Senate Members Running for Reelection,

7 Reelection Rates of House and Senate Incumbents, Why is incumbency a less powerful force in Senate elections?

8 Now thinking about all the federal, state and local offices you are going to vote for this November. Compared to previous years, are you more likely to vote for an incumbent who currently holds an elected office, or are you more likely to vote for the challenger? Poll Finds Anti-Incumbent Mood Incumbent21%27 Challenger4855 No difference76 No vote42 Not sure2010

9 Incumbency Advantage Redistricting Redistricting Decline of party loyalty Decline of party loyalty Familiarity Familiarity Experience Experience Resources Resources Year Average Challenger Average Incumbent No. of Winning Challengers 1974$100,435$101, $144,720$154, $217,083$200, $343,093$286, $296,273$453, $518,781$463, $523,308$562, $703,740$876, $462,546$631, $433,482$840, $644,640$945, $1,070,162$1,040, $1,123,783$1,281, $2,024,725$2,511, $1,595,805$2,141, $1,616,513$2,003, $1,821,756$2,787, $1,971,197$2,354, $1,651,508$2,599,69553

10 Dubious Democracy? Sky-high incumbency rates. Only five incumbents lost to challengers in 2004the second lowest in our nations history. Nearly nine in ten incumbents were re-elected by landslide margins of at least 20 percent. Sky-high incumbency rates. Only five incumbents lost to challengers in 2004the second lowest in our nations history. Nearly nine in ten incumbents were re-elected by landslide margins of at least 20 percent. Landslides. In 14 states, every race was won by a landslide margin of at least 20 percent in Only four states (all with less than three seats) recorded no landslide wins. Landslides. In 14 states, every race was won by a landslide margin of at least 20 percent in Only four states (all with less than three seats) recorded no landslide wins. High victory margins. The average victory margin was a whopping 40 percent. Seven of every eight (83%) U.S. House races were won by landslide margins of at least 20 percent in Only 23 races (5%) were won by competitive margins of less than 10 percent. High victory margins. The average victory margin was a whopping 40 percent. Seven of every eight (83%) U.S. House races were won by landslide margins of at least 20 percent in Only 23 races (5%) were won by competitive margins of less than 10 percent. Apathy. Nearly one out of every 11 voters skipped over their House race on the ballot. Despite a surge in turnout due to the presidential race, more than 62 percent of eligible voters – nearly two in three – did not vote for a winning House representative. Apathy. Nearly one out of every 11 voters skipped over their House race on the ballot. Despite a surge in turnout due to the presidential race, more than 62 percent of eligible voters – nearly two in three – did not vote for a winning House representative. Source:

11 Confidence in American Institutions, 2011 Source: CNN/USA Today/ Gallup poll, June 9-11, "I am going to read you a list of institutions in American society. Please tell me how much confidence you, yourself, have in each one--a great deal, quite a lot, some, or very little?"

12 Confidence in American Institutions, 2011 Source: CNN/USA Today/ Gallup poll, June 9-11, " I am going to read you a list of institutions in American society. Please tell me how much confidence you, yourself, have in each one--a great deal, quite a lot, some, or very little?" Confidence in government institutions is comparatively low.

13 Congressional Approval, Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job? Americans are far more favorable towards their own member of Congress

14 Candidate-Centered Campaigns Today, campaigns are largely controlled by candidates. Today, campaigns are largely controlled by candidates. Candidates spend a great deal of time raising money for their campaigns. Candidates spend a great deal of time raising money for their campaigns. The old politics emphasized party rallies and door-to-door canvassing, which required organizations built around campaign volunteers. The new politics emphasizes effective use of the media, reliance on campaign consultants, pollsters, media producers and fund-raising specialists. The old politics emphasized party rallies and door-to-door canvassing, which required organizations built around campaign volunteers. The new politics emphasizes effective use of the media, reliance on campaign consultants, pollsters, media producers and fund-raising specialists. Old-style campaigns relied on party loyalty to bring out the vote whereas today's campaigns depend on creating and sustaining a favorable media image for the candidate and presenting a negative image of the opponent. Old-style campaigns relied on party loyalty to bring out the vote whereas today's campaigns depend on creating and sustaining a favorable media image for the candidate and presenting a negative image of the opponent. Modern day candidates have become increasingly dependent on televised ads, which means more air time is devoted to national rather than state and local races and candidates. Media campaigns also include debates and talk- show appearances. Modern day candidates have become increasingly dependent on televised ads, which means more air time is devoted to national rather than state and local races and candidates. Media campaigns also include debates and talk- show appearances. Political parties have adapted to technology-based campaigns by increasing their services to candidates. Political parties have adapted to technology-based campaigns by increasing their services to candidates. Parties have come to depend more on soft money donations to fund general advertising, registration and get-out-the-vote drives. Parties have come to depend more on soft money donations to fund general advertising, registration and get-out-the-vote drives. Candidates are increasingly using the internet to raise money, attract volunteers and increase public support. The internet lends itself to use of direct attacks on rival candidates. Candidates are increasingly using the internet to raise money, attract volunteers and increase public support. The internet lends itself to use of direct attacks on rival candidates. Source:

15 Reelection Rates of House and Senate Incumbents,

16 History of Congressional Elections Throughout most of U.S. history, congressional elections were party- centered. Throughout most of U.S. history, congressional elections were party- centered. In the post-World War II era, campaigns have became increasingly candidate-centered, centered around images that are largely independent of party labels. In the post-World War II era, campaigns have became increasingly candidate-centered, centered around images that are largely independent of party labels.

17 Creating an Appealing Image

18

19 The Candidate-Centered Campaign Separation of powers Separation of powers Bicameralism Bicameralism Federalism Federalism Primaries Primaries 1. THE INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK What factors have influenced the rise of the candidate-centered campaign? 2. POLITICAL CULTURE 3. CAMPAIGN TECHNOLOGY 4. POLITICAL CLIMATE

20 President House Senate /3 of the Senate is elected every two years by voters within each state The entire House is elected every two years by voters within each congressional district The president is elected every four years by the Electoral College Presidential election years draw in higher turnout. Midterm congressional elections have lower rates of voter turnout

21 Senate 1/3 of the Senate is elected every two years by voters within each state House The entire House is elected every two years by voters within each congressional district President The president is elected every four years by the Electoral College Holding elections in this way using different timetables and different constituencies separates the electoral fortunes of members of Congress from one another, and does little to encourage teamwork in campaigning

22 The institution of Congress supports the electoral needs of its members remarkably well… Incumbency provides visibility Incumbency provides visibility Congressional privileges (e.g., franking) allows members to advertise their issue positions back home Congressional privileges (e.g., franking) allows members to advertise their issue positions back home Political power is decentralized Political power is decentralized The seniority system ensures that the value of an incumbent appreciates over time The seniority system ensures that the value of an incumbent appreciates over time

23 The Candidate-Centered Campaign Separation of powers Separation of powers Bicameralism Bicameralism Federalism Federalism Primaries Primaries 1. THE INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK What factors have influenced the rise of the candidate-centered campaign? 2. POLITICAL CULTURE 3. CAMPAIGN TECHNOLOGY 4. POLITICAL CLIMATE

24 Incumbent House Members Running for Reelection,

25 Candidate-centered campaigns = Incumbent advantage CONSEQUENCES?

26 The Responsible Party Model Revisited A strong political party can generate collective responsibility by creating incentives for leaders, followers, and popular supporters to think and act in collective terms. First, by providing party leaders with the capability (e.g., control of institutional patronage, nominations, etc) to discipline party members, genuine leadership becomes possible. Legislative output is less likely to be a least common denominatora residue of myriad conflicting proposalsand more likely to consist of a program actually intended to solve a problem or move the nation in a particular direction. Second, the subordination of individual office holders to the party lessens their ability to separate themselves from party actions. Like it or not their performance becomes indentified with the performance of the collectivity to which they belong. Third, with individual candidate variation greatly reduced, voters have less incentive to support individuals and more to support or oppose the party as a whole. And fourth, the circle closes are party-line voting in the electorate provides party leaders with the incentive to propose policies which will earn the support of a national majority, and party backbenchers with the personal incentive to cooperate with leaders in the attempt to compile a good record for the party as a whole Morris Fiorina

27 Some scholars claim that Congress rewards individual responsiveness over collective responsibility. Are stronger parties the answer?

28

29 Individual Responsiveness vs. Collective Responsibility Increasingly, we have seen the insulation of members of Congress from national political forceswhich makes it harder and harder to unseat incumbents once they are elected into office. Increasingly, we have seen the insulation of members of Congress from national political forceswhich makes it harder and harder to unseat incumbents once they are elected into office. Candidate-centered campaigns allow members to escape responsibility for Congress performance as an institution. Candidate-centered campaigns allow members to escape responsibility for Congress performance as an institution. As the electoral fates of Congress and the president diverge, so does their incentive to cooperate to get things done. As the electoral fates of Congress and the president diverge, so does their incentive to cooperate to get things done. The fragmentation of the legislative process and the committee system often leads to gridlock. The fragmentation of the legislative process and the committee system often leads to gridlock. In short, Congress often provides a kind of hyper-responsiveness to the publics desires, but without true collective responsibility for their actions. What kind of political representation is produced by American electoral politics and how does that representation influence the laws Congress enacts?

30

31 Consequences? Congress as a whole is unpopular, but incumbents can usually weather the storm. Congress as a whole is unpopular, but incumbents can usually weather the storm. What makes a member of Congress popular at home often involves them acting contrary to the national interest. What makes a member of Congress popular at home often involves them acting contrary to the national interest.

32 Incumbency Advantage Redistricting Redistricting Decline of party loyalty Decline of party loyalty Familiarity Familiarity Experience Experience Resources Resources

33 The Candidate-Centered Campaign Advantages Provide flexibility and new blood to electoral politics Provide flexibility and new blood to electoral politics Encourage national officeholders to be responsive to local interests Encourage national officeholders to be responsive to local interestsDisadvantages Prominent influence of special interests and stress on campaign funding Prominent influence of special interests and stress on campaign funding Can degenerate into personality contests and "attack politics" Can degenerate into personality contests and "attack politics" Blur the connection between campaigning and governing Blur the connection between campaigning and governing

34 Confidence in American Institutions, 2007 Source: CNN/USA Today/ Gallup poll, June 11-44, "I am going to read you a list of institutions in American society. Please tell me how much confidence you, yourself, have in each one--a great deal, quite a lot, some, or very little?" Confidence in government institutions is comparatively low.

35 Accused of bribery, Congressman Dan Flood (D-PA) sometimes known as Dapper Dan resigned from the U.S. House of Representatives in 1980 after serving 16 terms. Map showing the location of anthracite coal regions

36 Trust in Government Whats Wrong with Congress? Whats Wrong with Congress? Congress: It Doesnt Work. Lets Fix It Congress: It Doesnt Work. Lets Fix It Kick the Bums Out Kick the Bums Out The Best Congress Money Can Buy The Best Congress Money Can Buy Can the publics distrust of Congress be blamed on the electoral system?

37 Incumbent House and Senate Members Running for Reelection,

38 Incumbent House Members Running for Reelection,

39 Beginning in early 2001, a great tragedy occurred in American politics. It happened quietly, for the most part behind closed doors, and with minimal public input or oversight. The net result of this tragedy is that most voters had their cote rendered nearly meaningless, almost as if it had been stolen from them. Yet the stealing happened without faulty voting equipment, poorly designed ballots, misused voter lists, or campaign finance abuses. It was more like a silent burglar in the middle of the night having his way while American voters slept… And it was legal. Not only was it legal, but the two major political parties, their incumbents, and their consultants were participants in the heist. Steven Hill, Behind Closed Doors (2002) An Incumbent Protection Plan

40 Reapportionment, as Defined by the U.S. Constitution ARTICLE 1, Section 2, Clause 3: Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative;

41 What is Apportionment? Apportionment (or reapportionment), is the process of distributing seats for a legislative body among different sectors of the country by creating constituencies. Typically, this is done proportionally to the population in the individual sectors to prevent unequal representation among different constituencies. In the United States, for example, the 435 seats in the House of Representatives are allotted proportionately between the states, who then create districts for House members to run in. Malapportionment is broad and systematic variance in the size of electoral constituencies resulting in disproportionate representation for a given voter. Source:

42 The Politics of Apportionment At first there was 1 member of the House of Representatives for every 30,000 American citizens. Today, with a current population of 300 million, that ratio has increased to about 1:690,000. At first there was 1 member of the House of Representatives for every 30,000 American citizens. Today, with a current population of 300 million, that ratio has increased to about 1:690,000. If we were to restore the original ratio between the House of Representatives and their constituents, it would require increasing the size of the chamber from 435 members (where it has been locked since 1911), to 10,000 members. If we were to restore the original ratio between the House of Representatives and their constituents, it would require increasing the size of the chamber from 435 members (where it has been locked since 1911), to 10,000 members. But remember, Article I of the U.S. Constitution says that The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, which means there will not be more representatives than that, not that there will not be fewer. But remember, Article I of the U.S. Constitution says that The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, which means there will not be more representatives than that, not that there will not be fewer. Has political representation been diluted by population growth?

43 Baker v. Carr (1962) In the 1962 case before the U.S. Supreme Court, the state of Tennessee had failed to reapportion the state legislature for 60 years despite population growth and redistribution. Charles Baker, a voter, brought suit against the state (Joe Carr was a state official in charge of elections) in federal district court, claiming that the dilution of his vote as a result of the states failure to reapportion violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. The court dismissed the complaint on the grounds that it could not decide a political question. Baker appealed to the Supreme Court, which ruled that a case raising a political issue would be heard. This landmark decision opened the way for numerous suits on legislative apportionment. Source:

44 States that voted for... Electoral Votes Bush in Gain / Loss INDIANA1211 MISSISSIPPI76 OHIO2120 COLORADO89+1 NEVADA45+1 NORTH CAROLINA ARIZONA810+2 FLORIDA GEORGIA TEXAS Net Gain / Loss +8

45 States that voted for... Electoral Votes Gore in Gain / Loss NEW YORK PENNSYLVANIA CONNECTICUT87 ILLINOIS2221 MICHIGAN1817 WISCONSIN1110 CALIFORNIA DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 23+1 Net Gain / Loss -6

46

47

48 Electoral Map for 2012

49

50 Redrawing District Lines What is gerrymandering? Gerrymandering is a term that describes the deliberate rearrangement of the boundaries of congressional districts to influence the outcome of elections. What is gerrymandering? Gerrymandering is a term that describes the deliberate rearrangement of the boundaries of congressional districts to influence the outcome of elections. Where did gerrymandering come from? The original gerrymander was created in 1812 by Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry, who crafted a district for political purposes that looked like a salamander. Where did gerrymandering come from? The original gerrymander was created in 1812 by Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry, who crafted a district for political purposes that looked like a salamander. What is the purpose of gerrymandering? The purpose of gerrymandering is to either concentrate opposition votes into a few districts to gain more seats for the majority in surrounding districts (called packing), or to diffuse minority strength across many districts (called dilution). What is the purpose of gerrymandering? The purpose of gerrymandering is to either concentrate opposition votes into a few districts to gain more seats for the majority in surrounding districts (called packing), or to diffuse minority strength across many districts (called dilution). How has Congress regulated redistricting? In 1967, Congress passed a law requiring all U.S. representatives to be elected from single member districts in the system we use today. Congress in 1982 amended the Voting Rights Act to protect the voting rights of protected racial minorities in redistricting. Within those laws, states have great leeway to draw districts, which often leads to gerrymandering. How has Congress regulated redistricting? In 1967, Congress passed a law requiring all U.S. representatives to be elected from single member districts in the system we use today. Congress in 1982 amended the Voting Rights Act to protect the voting rights of protected racial minorities in redistricting. Within those laws, states have great leeway to draw districts, which often leads to gerrymandering. Source:

51 The Original Gerrymander

52 Cracking and Packing Redrawing the balanced electoral districts in this example creates a guaranteed 3-to-1 advantage in representation for the blue voters as 14 red voters are packed into the light green district and the remaining 18 are cracked across the 3 remaining blue districts. Source:

53 Maptitude® for Redistricting is a special edition of Caliper Corporations Maptitude GIS for Windows that includes everything you need to build and analyze redistricting plans. As you assign area features to a district, the district boundaries are redrawn and selected attributes are automatically summarized to reflect the districts characteristics Redistricting Software

54 Majority-Minority Districts The unusual earmuff shape of the 4th Congressional District of Illinois connects two Hispanic neighborhoods while remaining continuous by narrowly tracing Interstate 294. Source: My contribution to modern art!

55 Majority-Minority Districts Consider North Carolinas 12th congressional district (the 1 st, drawn in dark green, is nearly as strange): The joke in the mid-1990s was this: If you drove down the highway in the 12th district with your car doors open, you would kill everyone in it! Why were such irregular district lines drawn by the state legislature? The idea, as one newspaper columnist explained, was to gather enough black voters to elect a black representativea so- called majority-minority districtand it worked. In the eastern part of the state they produced a second black-majority district whose shape recalls a bug splattered on a windshield. The states remaining districts variously resemble a pterodactyl, a rag doll, a broken nutcracker and the lymphatic system of a chipmunk.

56 The Fight Over North Carolinas 12 th Congressional District District lines have been redrawn several times in response to legal challenges. Gerrymandering based solely on race has been ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court under the Fourteenth Amendment, first by Shaw v. Reno (1993) and subsequently by Miller v. Johnson (1995). Partisan gerrymandering remains legal.

57 Legal Standards on Racial Gerrymandering It is permissible to be aware of race in the districting process and to consider issues of race. It is permissible to be aware of race in the districting process and to consider issues of race. Race, however, may not be the predominant factor in the redistricting process to the subordination of traditional districting principles. Race, however, may not be the predominant factor in the redistricting process to the subordination of traditional districting principles. Districts are not necessarily unconstitutional because they have odd shapes; however, a bizarre shape may be evidence that strongly suggests that race was the predominant factor driving the districting decision. Districts are not necessarily unconstitutional because they have odd shapes; however, a bizarre shape may be evidence that strongly suggests that race was the predominant factor driving the districting decision. If race was the predominant consideration in the districting decision, the districts are subject to strict scrutiny analysis and the governmental body must demonstrate that they are a narrowly tailored means of addressing a compelling governmental interest. If race was the predominant consideration in the districting decision, the districts are subject to strict scrutiny analysis and the governmental body must demonstrate that they are a narrowly tailored means of addressing a compelling governmental interest. Compliance with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act is a compelling governmental interest. Compliance with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act is a compelling governmental interest. The Court has been willing to assume that compliance with Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is a compelling governmental interest, but it has never been required to decide the issue. The Court has been willing to assume that compliance with Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is a compelling governmental interest, but it has never been required to decide the issue. Districts drawn to comply with Sections 2 or 5 must be narrowly tailored. That means, among other things, that they use race no more than is necessary. Districts drawn to comply with Sections 2 or 5 must be narrowly tailored. That means, among other things, that they use race no more than is necessary.

58 The Texas Redistricting Case Gerrymandering based solely on race has been ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. However, partisan gerrymandering remains legal. Some argue that Lays plan strengthened the GOP majority in the House by as many as 5 seats.

59 The Texas Redistricting Case Some argue that Lays plan strengthened the GOP majority in the House by as many as 5 seats.

60 Reform in Redistricting

61

62 Do these commissions really create more competitive elections? No, says Alan Abramowitz: During the round of redistricting, eight states with a total of 75 House districts used nonpartisan commissions to redraw their district lines or had their lines drawn by the courts. In the 2002 elections, 9 percent of House contests in those states were decided by a margin of less than 10 percentage points compared with 8 percent in all other states. Of the 65 incumbents who ran for reelection in states who districts were redrawn by the courts or nonpartisan commissions, not one was defeated.

63 Does Redistricting Produce Uncompetitive Elections? Scholars argue that there is little evidence that redistricting generally makes elections less competitive. Scholars argue that there is little evidence that redistricting generally makes elections less competitive. Why? Because party leaders face a tension between incumbent protection on the one hand and the growth of the partys majority on the other. Why? Because party leaders face a tension between incumbent protection on the one hand and the growth of the partys majority on the other. In Texas, the GOP-controlled legislature shifted some Republican precincts out of the Tom DeLays district in order to make neighboring districts more Republican. As a result, DeLays own district is less assured. In Texas, the GOP-controlled legislature shifted some Republican precincts out of the Tom DeLays district in order to make neighboring districts more Republican. As a result, DeLays own district is less assured.

64 november /daily-show-rock----mid-term- elections

65 Voters are apathetic, turnout is low Voters are apathetic, turnout is low A rigged and corrupt system ensures the reelection of incumbents A rigged and corrupt system ensures the reelection of incumbents Midterm elections dont matter Midterm elections dont matter

66 Losses by the President's Party in Midterm Elections,

67

68 2006 Midterm Elections HOUSESENATE Republicans20249 Democrats23351 Change for Democrats = +31+6* +5 Democrats, +1 Independent (Lieberman, CT) The Democrats share of the two-party vote nationwide increased by 5.6 percentage points (52%-44%).

69

70 It was a thumpin.

71 Eriksons Theories on Midterm Loss Midterm loss as regression to the mean Midterm loss as surge and decline Midterm loss as a referendum on presidential performance Midterm loss as a presidential penalty

72 Turnout in Presidential and Mid-Term Elections, %

73 Eriksons Theories on Midterm Loss Midterm loss as regression to the mean Midterm loss as surge and decline Midterm loss as a referendum on presidential performance Midterm loss as a presidential penalty

74 Tufte Model

75

76 Eriksons Theories on Midterm Loss Midterm loss as regression to the mean Midterm loss as surge and decline Midterm loss as a referendum on presidential performance Midterm loss as a presidential penalty

77

78 Trends in President George W. Bushs Job Approval September 11 terrorist attacks Start of Iraq War Capture of Saddam Hussein

79 Forecasting Midterm Elections

80 2006 Midterm Elections Presidential job approval in the 30s Presidential job approval in the 30s Congressional job approval in the 20s Congressional job approval in the 20s A Democratic advantage in the generic vote of more than 10 percent A Democratic advantage in the generic vote of more than 10 percent Percent of Americans who believe that the country is on the wrong track in the 60s Percent of Americans who believe that the country is on the wrong track in the 60s Decidedly negative assessment of the economys performance under president Bush Decidedly negative assessment of the economys performance under president Bush Double digit lead for the Democrats as the party trust to do a better job in dealing with the nations problems Double digit lead for the Democrats as the party trust to do a better job in dealing with the nations problems Scandals and blunders preoccupy voters minds (e.g., Abramoff, Foley, Iraq, Katrina) Scandals and blunders preoccupy voters minds (e.g., Abramoff, Foley, Iraq, Katrina) Women voters and evangelicals are more jaded now than in Women voters and evangelicals are more jaded now than in Virtually every public opinion measure available since June 2006 points to a Category 4 or 5 hurricane gathering for the November elections. Thomas E. Mann

81

82 Can the Democrats Win? Get women to the polls (Ellen Malcolm, president of EMILYs list) Get women to the polls (Ellen Malcolm, president of EMILYs list) If Republicans want to make national security the fulcrum of the debate, say Bring it on (Rahm Emanuel) If Republicans want to make national security the fulcrum of the debate, say Bring it on (Rahm Emanuel) Competence sells. Tell the truth: the war in bad, the Republicans are incompetent and uncaring (Howard Dean) Competence sells. Tell the truth: the war in bad, the Republicans are incompetent and uncaring (Howard Dean) Run on the economy and Iraq. We want this battle (Stanley B. Greenberg) Run on the economy and Iraq. We want this battle (Stanley B. Greenberg) Take risks. Avoid a were not as bad as they are campaign (Joe Trippi) Take risks. Avoid a were not as bad as they are campaign (Joe Trippi)

83 Can the Republicans Hold On? The priority must be to restore Congresss credibility with the broader public and to restore with conservatives. Embrace reform (OBeirne and Lowry). The priority must be to restore Congresss credibility with the broader public and to restore with conservatives. Embrace reform (OBeirne and Lowry). Avoid the temptation to hope for the best. Hope is the enemy (OBeirne and Lowry). Avoid the temptation to hope for the best. Hope is the enemy (OBeirne and Lowry). Stop ignoring the elephant in the room. Face up to Iraq (OBeirne and Lowry). Stop ignoring the elephant in the room. Face up to Iraq (OBeirne and Lowry). Fall back on fundamentals (Social Security is up, gas prices down) Fall back on fundamentals (Social Security is up, gas prices down) Rally demoralized voters on Election Day. Rally demoralized voters on Election Day. Focus on local aspects of races, not national priorities. Allow incumbency to save seats. Focus on local aspects of races, not national priorities. Allow incumbency to save seats. The idiocy of the other side knows no bounds. Democrats may not present a viable alternative. The idiocy of the other side knows no bounds. Democrats may not present a viable alternative. Distract attention away from retrospective assessments of government performance (e.g., reminds voters of the continued threat of terrorist attack). Distract attention away from retrospective assessments of government performance (e.g., reminds voters of the continued threat of terrorist attack).

84 Privately, even GOP operatives concede that they see minimum losses of perhaps 18 seats in the House, with 25 to 30 a more likely outcome. In the Senate, they see four seats likely to tip to the Democrats: PA, RI, MT, and OH. President Bush and Karl Rove remain upbeat.

85 2006 Senate Elections By defeating incumbents, the Democrats picked up Senate seats in Missouri, Pennsylvania, Montana, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Virginia.

86 Reelection Rates of House and Senate Incumbents,

87 Midterm elections dont matter Midterm elections dont matter Voters are apathetic, turnout is low Voters are apathetic, turnout is low A rigged and corrupt system ensures the reelection of incumbents A rigged and corrupt system ensures the reelection of incumbents

88 2010? BAD NEWS: According to CNN, favorability for Republicans currently stands at 36% to 54%; for Democrats, 53% to 41%. BAD NEWS: According to CNN, favorability for Republicans currently stands at 36% to 54%; for Democrats, 53% to 41%. GOOD NEWS: According to Rasmussen, Republicans outscore Democrats on trust when it comes to key issues. (e.g., the economy, national security and the war on terror). GOOD NEWS: According to Rasmussen, Republicans outscore Democrats on trust when it comes to key issues. (e.g., the economy, national security and the war on terror). BAD NEWS: According to NBC/WSJ, 46% prefer a Congress controlled by Democrats, compared to 38% by Republicans. BAD NEWS: According to NBC/WSJ, 46% prefer a Congress controlled by Democrats, compared to 38% by Republicans. BAD NEWS: According to ABC/WP, on the generic ballot question, 51% prefer the Democratic candidate in their district, while 39% prefer the Republican candidate. BAD NEWS: According to ABC/WP, on the generic ballot question, 51% prefer the Democratic candidate in their district, while 39% prefer the Republican candidate.

89 Losses by the President's Party in Midterm Elections,

90 Confidence in American Institutions, 2011 Source: CNN/USA Today/ Gallup poll, June 9-11, "I am going to read you a list of institutions in American society. Please tell me how much confidence you, yourself, have in each one--a great deal, quite a lot, some, or very little?"

91 Congressional Approval, Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job? Americans are far more favorable towards their own member of Congress

92 Confidence in American Institutions, 2005 Source: CNN/USA Today/ Gallup poll, May 23-26, "I am going to read you a list of institutions in American society. Please tell me how much confidence you, yourself, have in each one--a great deal, quite a lot, some, or very little?" Confidence in Congress is comparatively low.

93 Trust in Government Whats Wrong with Congress? Congress: It Doesnt Work. Lets Fix It. Kick the Bums Out. The Best Congress Money Can Buy. Can the publics distrust of Congress be blamed on the electoral system?

94 Campaigning Governing

95 The Impact of Campaigning on Governing Contemporary campaigning has made contemporary government more difficult. Campaigns raise public expectations about government at the same time that they lower trust and confidence in government. They emphasize personal accomplishments in a system designed to curb the exercise of institutional and political power. They harden policy positions in a government system that depends on compromise. They have increasingly brought partisan and ideological rhetoric into the policy-making arena where a pragmatic approach and quiet diplomacy used to get things done. And the candidates have developed a public persona that they continue to pursue once in office, a persona that can get in the way of behind-the-scenes compromises on major issues with which they have been associated. Stephen J. Wayne, Is This Any Way to Run a Democratic Election? (2001)

96 Identifying Problems Low public esteem for the institution of Congress Low public esteem for the institution of Congress Uncompetitive elections that favor incumbents Uncompetitive elections that favor incumbents Highly parochial, individualized, and fragmented politics Highly parochial, individualized, and fragmented politics Pressure exerted through campaign contributions Pressure exerted through campaign contributions Frequent elections lead to permanent campaigns Frequent elections lead to permanent campaigns Campaigns focus on style over substance Campaigns focus on style over substance Prioritize elections over public policy Prioritize elections over public policy Poor representation (e.g., lack minority candidates, etc.) Poor representation (e.g., lack minority candidates, etc.) Incumbency advantage leads to long congressional careers Incumbency advantage leads to long congressional careers Partisan wars over redistricting Partisan wars over redistricting Policy gridlock Policy gridlock Limited ability to punish/reward the institution as a whole Limited ability to punish/reward the institution as a whole

97 Finding Solutions Replace partisan redistricting with non-partisan commissions Replace partisan redistricting with non-partisan commissions Enact term limits Enact term limits Adopt longer terms in sync with presidential elections Adopt longer terms in sync with presidential elections Increase the size of the U.S. House of Representatives Increase the size of the U.S. House of Representatives Use proportional representation Use proportional representation Provide public financing of congressional campaigns Provide public financing of congressional campaigns Encourage stronger parties that impose discipline and unity Encourage stronger parties that impose discipline and unity

98 Questions… Are these solutions likely to address the root cause(s) of the problem? Are these solutions likely to address the root cause(s) of the problem? What are the obstacles to effective reform? What are the obstacles to effective reform?

99 Rotation in Office Washington, D.C. in the 19 th century was described as a swampy, mosquito-infested, rural outpost.

100

101 The Term Limits Amendment Section A. No person shall serve in the office of U.S. Representative for more than three terms, but upon ratification of the Term Limits Amendment no person who has held the office of U.S. Representative or who then holds the office shall serve for more than two additional terms. Section A. No person shall serve in the office of U.S. Representative for more than three terms, but upon ratification of the Term Limits Amendment no person who has held the office of U.S. Representative or who then holds the office shall serve for more than two additional terms. Section B. No person shall serve in the office of U.S. Senator for more than two terms, but upon ratification of the Term Limits Amendment no person who has held the office of U.S. Senator or who then holds the office shall serve more than one additional term. Section B. No person shall serve in the office of U.S. Senator for more than two terms, but upon ratification of the Term Limits Amendment no person who has held the office of U.S. Senator or who then holds the office shall serve more than one additional term. Section C. This article shall have no time limit within which it must be ratified by the legislatures of three- fourths of the several States. Section C. This article shall have no time limit within which it must be ratified by the legislatures of three- fourths of the several States.

102 Thereafter, within the first 100 days of the 104th Congress, we shall bring to the House Floor the following bills, each to be given full and open debate, each to be given a clear and fair vote and each to be immediately available this day for public inspection and scrutiny: …10. THE CITIZEN LEGISLATURE ACT: A first- ever vote on term limits to replace career politicians with citizen legislators.

103 RespondentsYesNo Total sample61%21% By party Republican6428 Republican6428 Democrat6030 Democrat6030 Independent5833 Independent5833 By ideology Liberal 5834 Liberal 5834 Moderate6430 Moderate6430 Conservative 6329 Conservative 6329 By race White 6131 White 6131 Black6127 Black6127 By gender Men5735 Men5735 Women6327 Women6327 Do you think there should be a limit to the number of times a member of the House of Representatives can be elected to a two- year term? Public Opinion on Term Limits

104 Term Limits: Good Idea! Term limits are needed to increase electoral competition and counteract the political advantages of incumbents. Term limits are needed to increase electoral competition and counteract the political advantages of incumbents. Restricting congressional tenure would produce a new breed of citizen- legislators, less aloof and more in tune with the day-to-day concerns of the people. Restricting congressional tenure would produce a new breed of citizen- legislators, less aloof and more in tune with the day-to-day concerns of the people. Ending careerism in Congress by bringing in new blood will change legislative behavior for the better. With new legislators come fresh ideas. Ending careerism in Congress by bringing in new blood will change legislative behavior for the better. With new legislators come fresh ideas. Term limits should be imposed because these laws have overwhelming public support. Term limits should be imposed because these laws have overwhelming public support.

105 Term Limits: Bad Idea! We already have term limits. They're called elections. We already have term limits. They're called elections. Term limits are un-American. They deny citizens their foremost rightto choose who they would like to represent them in government. Term limits are un-American. They deny citizens their foremost rightto choose who they would like to represent them in government. Term limits fail to distinguish between legislators whose careers deserve to be cut short and those who deserve reelection. Term limits fail to distinguish between legislators whose careers deserve to be cut short and those who deserve reelection. The effectiveness of Congress would be impaired by term limits because representatives would have less time to acquire the on-the-job skills necessary for evaluating and implementing public policy. The effectiveness of Congress would be impaired by term limits because representatives would have less time to acquire the on-the-job skills necessary for evaluating and implementing public policy. While voters may support term limits in the abstract as a way to express frustration with the institution of Congress, most continue to defend the electoral success of their own member of Congress. While voters may support term limits in the abstract as a way to express frustration with the institution of Congress, most continue to defend the electoral success of their own member of Congress.

106

107

108 The Citizen-Legislator Joe the Plumber

109

110 More Representative is Not Necessarily Better If these reforms were put into place, would the public suddenly love Congress? We do not think so. Certain reforms, such as campaign finance reform, may help, since they would diminish the perception that money rules politics in Washington. But the main reason the public is disgruntled with Congress and with politics in Washington is because they are dissatisfied with the processes intrinsic to the operation of a democratic political system - debates, compromises, conflicting information, inefficiency, and slowness. This argument may seem odd on its face, so in the next few paragraphs we provide our interpretation of why the public questions the need for democratic processes.


Download ppt "Congressional Elections POLS 125: Political Parties & Elections We would all like to vote for the best man but he is never a candidate. Frank McKinney."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google