Presentation on theme: "To Accompany Comprehensive, Alternate, and Texas Editions American Government: Roots and Reform, 10th edition Karen OConnor and Larry J. Sabato Pearson."— Presentation transcript:
To Accompany Comprehensive, Alternate, and Texas Editions American Government: Roots and Reform, 10th edition Karen OConnor and Larry J. Sabato Pearson Education, 2009 Chapter 13 Voting and Elections
Voting Behavior Voting is a form of conventional political participation. Turnout is the proportion of electorate who votes.Turnout States regulate voter eligibility.States regulate voter eligibility Voters are more educated and make more money. Voters are likely to be middle-aged, women, and white. The South traditionally has a lower turnout rate.The South traditionally has a lower turnout rate
Why Is Turnout so Low? In 2008, 62 percent of eligible voters turned out. Most common reason for not voting is being too busy.Most common reason for not voting is being too busy Registration can also be an unclear process.Registration Absentee voting can be difficult. There are a lot of elections. People are apathetic. Political parties have less influence than in earlier years.
Ways to Improve Voter Turnout Make registration and absentee voting easier. Make Election Day a holiday. Strengthen political parties.
Patterns in Vote Choice Party: Democrats largely vote for Democrats. Ticket-splitting has increased. Race: minorities largely vote for Democrats. Gender: women largely vote for Democrats. Income: poor largely vote for Democrats. Ideology: liberals largely vote for Democrats. Issues: prospective and retrospective judgments.
Purposes of Elections Legitimize government, even in authoritarian systems. Organize government. Choose issue and policy priorities. Electorate gives winners a mandate.
Types of Elections Primary elections can be open or closed. Crossover voting or raiding can occur in open primaries. Runoff primaries held if no candidate wins a majority. General elections determine who will fill public offices. Ballot measures: initiative, referendum, and recall.
Nominating a President Delegates to convention chosen by election or caucus. Elections may be winner-take-all or proportional. Caucuses are better for the party organization. Elections allow for broader participation. Trend toward front-loading.Trend toward front-loading
Party Conventions Each party has its own rules about delegates. Democrats no longer subscribe to unit rule. Delegates tied to candidate, except superdelegates. Require representation of women and minorities.women Republicans do not bind delegates to candidate. Media extensively cover happenings.
Electoral College Representatives from each state who select president. Electors equivalent to senators plus representatives. Framers favored system to remove power from people. Originally president and vice president selected alone. Changed after Twelfth Amendment. 1876 and 2000 elections demonstrate concerns.
Reforming the Electoral College Three major proposals have been made. Select the president by popular vote. Each congressional district has a vote. Keep the College, abolish the electors.
Congressional Elections In Congress, incumbency has its advantages. Support from a paid staff. Media and travel budgets. Scaring off other challengers. Redistricting and gerrymandering to protect incumbents.gerrymandering
Why Incumbents Lose Redistricting can pit incumbents against one another. Scandals. Presidential coattails. Midterm elections; presidents party usually loses seats.presidents party usually loses seats
2008 Congressional Elections Democrats advantaged by momentum and money. Used these to make gains in House and Senate. Victories in South and West were particularly notable.
Reforming the Electoral Process End front-loading with regional primaries. Even the playing field with new campaign finance laws. Increase turnout with online voting or voting by mail. Make voting more accessible with a modern ballot.modern ballot