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Party in the electorate The people who identify with a particular party Party identification – may be psychological attachment or actual voter registration.

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Presentation on theme: "Party in the electorate The people who identify with a particular party Party identification – may be psychological attachment or actual voter registration."— Presentation transcript:


2 Party in the electorate The people who identify with a particular party Party identification – may be psychological attachment or actual voter registration Party organization People who hold positions within the party (precinct chair, national convention delegate, etc.) Party in government Elected/appointed officials who belong to the party (e.g., Democrats in Congress, Republican executive branch officials in SC state government)

3 Democrats Northeast, West Coast, industrial Midwest African-Americans Hispanics, other than Cuban-Americans in Florida LGBT Professional women Government employees Working class and middle income, esp. union members Poor, non-high school/college graduates More secular individuals (less religious/less frequent attendees at services)

4 Republicans White Southerners, particularly males Rocky Mountains and agricultural Midwest Cuban-Americans in Florida Those who are more religious (regular/more frequent churchgoers), especially evangelical Christians Stay-at-home mothers Economic conservatives (anti-tax) Social conservatives (anti-gay rights, abortion) Wealthy private-sector workers

5 Realignment vs. dealignment Realignment is the emergence of a new majority party Last two national realignments: 1896 (Republican) and 1932 (Democratic) Dealignment occurs as more people consider themselves to be Independent rather than D or R; this has been the trend since about 1960, so now there is no majority party (neither one has more than half the electorate) Independent is not a party, but the absence of a party; someone who considers the Ds to be too conservative and someone who considers the Rs to be too liberal may both be independent, but theyre not members of the same party

6 Socioeconomic Status Education Income Age Race: Whites/Asians more likely than blacks/Hispanics Political efficacy Do you feel that your political participation matters? Do you feel that the political system responds to the needs of people like yourself?

7 Straight-ticket vs. split-ticket voting Straight-ticket: voting for all members of the same party (D President, D Senator, D Representative, etc.) Split-ticket: voting for members of different parties for different offices (D President, R Senator, etc.)

8 Straight-ticket voting tends to produce one-party control of government; historically, usually when there was a Democratic President, there was a Democratic Congress; when there was a Republican President, there was a Republican Congress Split-ticket voting is much more common than historically; this can produce divided government, where the branches are controlled by different parties Recent examples: 1981-1987: R Pres. (Reagan), D House, R Senate 1987-1993: R Pres. (Reagan/Bush), D Congress 1995-2001: D Pres. (Clinton), R Congress 2007-2009: R Pres. (Bush), D Congress 2011-2013: D Pres. (Obama), R House, D Senate

9 PRESIDENTSENATE R 1953-1961 D 1961-1969 R 1969-1977 D 1977-1981 R 1981-1993 D 1993-2001 R 2001-2009 D 2009-2013 D 1955-1981 R 1981-1987 D 1987-1995 R 1995-2001 D 2001-2003 R 2003-2007 HOUSE D 1955-1995 R 1995-2007 D 2007-2011 R 2011-2013

10 Good for accountability – the branches of government are supposed to check each other and keep each other honest Good if you dont like what one party is trying to do (the health care bill would not have passed if the Democrats hadnt controlled the Presidency and both Houses of Congress in 2010) Bad if youre trying to pass something and the two parties can block each other. Democratic Senate and Republican House have found it very difficult to agree on anything, and this Congress passed less legislation than any since 1947. (Congresss current approval rating is 21%.)

11 The Democratic coalition is larger than the Republican coalition, but Republicans are more likely to vote, and to vote consistently. This makes the two parties roughly equally balanced. Gender gap: Since 1984, it has consistently been observed that women are more likely to vote Democratic and men are more likely to vote Republican. Obama has a 9-point advantage among women Romney has a 10-point advantage among men (Gallup Poll completed Oct. 28, 2012)

12 Split-ticket voting makes it less likely that one party will control both legislative and executive branches Party organizations used to recruit candidates, and now people tend to recruit themselves Direct primaries give voters, not parties, control over who wins party nominations Candidates have independent sources of funding and are no longer as dependent on parties to provide money, staff and materials for their campaigns

13 Voters have more sources of information (nonpartisan media, Internet) and dont rely on parties/partisan media for their political information and voting cues Parties no longer control patronage (government jobs) and social services – nonpartisan government programs provide things like welfare; this was particularly important for urban party machines in helping new immigrants assimilate and find work Progressive reforms: Secret ballot, professional nonpartisan civil service Weaker parties and lower voter turnout go hand- in-hand

14 1960: 63% 1964: 62% 1968: 61% 1972: 55% 1976: 54% 1980: 52% 1984: 53% 1988: 50.1% 1992: 55% 1996: 49.3% 2000: 51% 2004: 56% 2008: 57% 2012: Projected to be higher than 2000, lower than 2004/2008

15 Registration drives (parties, campaigns, other groups) – get your potential supporters registered so they can vote Identify supporters (contact voters to determine their preference, know whos voting for you) Persuade the undecided Mobilization: After youve identified your supporters, make sure they vote – help with absentee ballots, rides to the polls, make sure their votes are cast and counted GOTV = Get Out the Vote

16 For most of our history, money in federal elections was unregulated. Candidates didnt have to disclose who their contributors were or how much they got 1971 Presidential Election Campaign Act: Public financing through a check-off on the federal tax return (originally $1, now $3) established the Presidential Campaign Fund A presidential candidate who raised $10,000 in each of 25 states during the primaries was eligible for matching funds from this fund (raise $1, get $1, double your money)

17 Accepting money from this fund required complying with spending limits in each state In 2000, George W. Bush was the first successful nominee not to accept matching funds – he could raise more than twice as much on his own, and didnt have to comply with spending limits Several candidates turned down the matching funds in 2004 Only John Edwards among major-party candidates accepted it in 2008 No one took it this year Obama and Romney have each raised approximately $1 Billion in campaign funds for the general election

18 In response to the Watergate scandal, Congress enacted the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) of 1974 Enacted limits on how much campaigns for federal office (President, US Congress) could raise from specific individuals and corporations. Currently $2300 for individuals. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) was established in 1975 to monitor and enforce federal election laws. Most money raised by campaigns goes to advertising, particularly in early primary states during the nomination process and swing states during the general election.

19 Independent expenditures: A group not affiliated with a party, campaign or candidate may use its own resources to express support or oppose a candidate or cause. Political Action Committee (PAC): An interest group which supports and contributes to a campaign/issue on behalf of a specific group of people (Bank of America, United Auto Workers, etc.), subject to contribution limits in federal elections.

20 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 imposed limits on the amount of money an interest group could make as an independent expenditure. Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010): The Supreme Court ruled that this is an unconstitutional infringement on freedom of speech – an individual or corporation has the right to spend unlimited amounts of its own money to convey a message. This is the first time the Court has ruled that corporations have the rights of individuals.

21 SuperPACs have emerged in 2012 specifically to make independent expenditures on behalf of their causes/candidates. Examples: Restore Our Future supports Romney, Priorities USA Action supports Obama. They do have to report to the FEC who their donors are but can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money. SuperPACs have spent just over $0.5 Billion to influence the presidential election.

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