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Chapter Nineteen: Political Parties in Texas 1. Questions to Consider Why was Texas politics dominated by the Democratic Party until the early 1990s?

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter Nineteen: Political Parties in Texas 1. Questions to Consider Why was Texas politics dominated by the Democratic Party until the early 1990s?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter Nineteen: Political Parties in Texas 1

2 Questions to Consider Why was Texas politics dominated by the Democratic Party until the early 1990s? Why have a majority of Texans come to identify with the Republican Party? What developments could lead to a resurgence of support for the Texas Democratic Party? 2

3 Chapter Contents How Political Parties Operate Development of the Texas Party System How the Party Machinery Is Organized in Texas A New Era of Republican Dominance 3

4 Learning Objectives Describe the functions and characteristics of American political parties. Explain the factors which contributed to Democratic Party dominance in Texas and identify the factions which operated within this system. Describe the structure of the party organization from the local to the national level. Explain the relative independence of state party organizations. Explain the recent success of the Republican Party in Texas. Explain the current status of the Democratic Party in Texas. 4

5 What If…Texas Nominated Its Candidates by Convention Nomination by convention would allow the parties more control over who gets nominated. Could select stronger candidates Candidates closer to the partys platform 5

6 What If…Texas Nominated Its Candidates by Convention (Contd) Could increase accountability in government Would eliminate costly primaries Voters would have little voice in choosing candidates. 6

7 For Critical Analysis 1.Other than GOP dominance, what other factors would make it difficult for Texas to adopt a convention system of nominating candidates? 2.Describe the major issue positions of Democrats or Republicans in Texas. How would a convention system of nominating candidates make it easier for the state party to enact its positions into law? 7

8 How Political Parties Operate What Is a Political Party? A broad-based coalition Primary purpose of winning elections Provide a link between the people and government Facilitate participation in political system Organize support for candidates Unify and mobilize groups and interests 8

9 How Political Parties Operate (Contd) Functions of parties: Nominate and elect their members to public office Educate the public Provide voters with cues on how to vote Mobilize voters by encouraging participation in the electoral process Run the government 9

10 Characteristics of American Political Parties Pragmatism Willing to compromise to appeal voters Try to appeal to a large number of interests Decentralization Precinct, local, state, and national levels Various levels are semi-independent actors. Power has shifted to the national parties. 10

11 Decentralization Figure 22-1 The Decentralized Nature of American Political Parties and the Strengthening of the National Partys Service Function 11

12 The Two-Party System Third parties have difficulty winning elections. In Texas, it is difficult for third parties to get on the ballot. 12

13 Politics with a Purpose: Crystal City High School and the Creation of the Raza Unida Party Mexican-American population of Crystal City, Texas, had long been denied political power. In 1963, the Hispanic population organized and won control of the city council. 13

14 Politics with a Purpose: Crystal City High School and the Creation of the Raza Unida Party (Contd) Hispanic students at Crystal City High School protested unequal treatment. Protests led to the election of Hispanics to the school board. 14

15 Politics with a Purpose: Crystal City High School and the Creation of the Raza Unida Party (Contd) La Raza Unida Party was created in Spread to other states Had its greatest success at the local level 15

16 Politics with a Purpose: Crystal City High School and the Creation of the Raza Unida Party (Contd) Mobilized Mexican-American voters, especially young people Twice nominated Ramsey Muñiz as candidate for governor Many of its concerns became part of the Democratic Party platform. 16

17 Development of the Texas Party System The One-Party Tradition in Texas From Reconstruction until the 1990s, the Democratic Party dominated Texas politics. Democratic primary became the substitute for the two-party contest. The Great Depression solidified Democratic dominance. 17

18 Ideological Basis of Factionalism: Conservatives and Liberals Conservatives Support free market and traditional values Support government promotion of business Oppose social welfare programs Favor stiffer penalties for criminals 18

19 Ideological Basis of Factionalism: Conservatives and Liberals (Contd) Liberals Support government regulation of economy Support social-welfare programs Support protection of civil rights and liberties 19

20 Conservative and Liberal Factions in the Democratic Party For many years, factions within the Texas Democratic Party resembled a two-party system. Conservative Democrats were more successful than liberals. 20

21 Conservative and Liberal Factions in the Democratic Party (Contd) Texas conservatives traditionally voted Democratic in state and local races. Voted for Republican presidential candidates Conservative Democrats dominated the governorship, the legislature and Texass representatives in Congress. 21

22 The Success of the Conservative Democrats Reasons for the success of the conservative faction: Represent powerful industries Publish most of the states daily newspapers Contribute money to campaigns More likely to vote in Democratic primaries 22

23 The Impact of Governor Shivers Shivers helped establish the dominance of the conservative faction of the Democratic Party. Shivercrats supported Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 election. Most Democratic candidates for state office that year were also nominated by Republican Party. 23

24 The Impact of Governor Shivers (Contd) 24

25 Liberal Democrats Liberal Democrats in Texas consist of groups that have supported the Democratic Party nationally. Organized labor African Americans Mexican Americans Teachers and intellectuals 25

26 Liberal Democrats (Contd) Liberal Democrats in Texas consist of groups that have supported the Democratic Party nationally (Contd) Small farmers and ranchers Environmental groups Abortion-rights groups Trial lawyers 26

27 Liberal Democrats (Contd) Historically, Texas Liberalism was most successful from 1890s through 1930s. Defection of conservatives to Republican Party has allowed liberal Democrats to capture partys nominations. This defection has made Republican Party dominant in the state. 27

28 The Rise of the Republican Party Republican Party in Texas was traditionally seen as the party of Reconstruction. In the 1950s, conservative Democrats began to support Republican presidential candidates. 28

29 The Rise of the Republican Party (Contd) In 1961, Republican John Tower was elected to replace Lyndon Johnson in the U.S. Senate. In 1978, Republican Bill Clements was elected governor. 29

30 The Republicans Become Dominant In 1998, Republicans won every statewide office. They captured a majority in the Texas Senate in 1996 Won majority in Texas House in 2002 In 2004, they captured a majority in Texass congressional delegation. Competitive in local elections 30

31 The Republican Become Dominant (Contd) Table 22–1 Changes in the Number of Republican and Democratic Officeholders in Texas 31

32 Sources of Republican Strengths and Weaknesses The Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Midland-Odessa areas The Northern Panhandle East Texas oil field counties of Smith, Rusak and Gregg The Hill Country-Edwards Plateau area 32

33 Sources of Republican Strengths and Weaknesses (Contd) Large urban cities: Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso, Austin South and South Central Texas Far West Texas Far pockets of East Texas 33

34 Sources of Republican Strengths and Weaknesses (Contd) Figure 22–2 Presidential Candidates with Most Votes 34

35 Sources of Republican Strengths and Weaknesses (Contd) Sources of Republican Strength: Middle- and upper-class individuals and rural, high-income ranchers White Anglo-Saxon Protestants and German Americans Active and retired military officers Traditional conservatives 35

36 Conservative and Moderate Factions Within the Republican Party Conservative Christians dominate the Texas Republican Party. Control much of the party machinery Moderate Republicans represent business interests. Want low taxes Want to limit government role in business 36

37 Republicans and Minorities The party has failed to generate much support among the minority voters. Mexican Americans have traditionally identified with the Democratic Party. Substantial number of Hispanic voters are swing voters. 37

38 An Example of a Third Party: The Libertarian Party Active force in Texas politics Combines the conservative emphasis on free markets with the liberal skepticism toward legislating morality 38

39 An Example of a Third Party: The Libertarian Party (Contd) Faces the same hurdles as other third parties Poor financing Lack of media coverage Gaining ballot access Have won more than 300 local and state offices throughout the country 39

40 How the Party Machinery Is Organized in Texas Temporary Party Organization Permanent Party Organization 40

41 How the Party Machinery Is Organized in Texas (Contd) Figure 22–3 Texas Political Party Organization 41

42 Temporary Party Organization Precinct Convention Adopts resolutions to be passed onto the county or state senatorial district convention Selects delegates to the county or senatorial district convention 42

43 Temporary Party Organization (Contd) Precinct Convention (Contd) Open to all who vote in the primary election Attendance is very low. Small minority can control of convention. 43

44 Temporary Party Organization (Contd) County and Senatorial District Conventions Votes on adoption of resolutions to be considered at the state convention Selects delegates and alternates to attend state convention May be dominated by liberal or conservative factions 44

45 Temporary Party Organization (Contd) State Convention Held in June of even-numbered years Elects state party officers and state executive committee Adopts a party platform Certifies the candidates nominated by the party in its primary 45

46 Temporary Party Organization (Contd) State Convention (Contd) In presidential election years, the state convention also Elects representatives to national committee Selects 34 candidates to the electoral college Elects some delegates to national convention 46

47 Permanent Party Organization Precinct Chair Party organizer in the precinct Presides over precinct convention Member of the county executive committee 47

48 Permanent Party Organization (Contd) County Chair Presides over county executive committee Organizes party primaries Must certify the names of official nominees 48

49 Permanent Party Organization (Contd) County Executive Committee Assembles delegates to the county convention Canvasses returns from the primary for local offices Helps the county chair prepare the primary ballot 49

50 Permanent Party Organization (Contd) State Chair Presides over meetings of state executive committee Calls state convention to order Handles requests of statewide candidates on the ballot Certifies runoff primary election winners 50

51 Permanent Party Organization (Contd) State Executive Committee 64 members Led by a chair and a vice chair Determines site of the next state convention Canvasses statewide primary returns Certifies the nomination of party candidates 51

52 A New Era of Republican Dominance Republicans hold 99 of the 150 seats in the Texas House 19 of the 31 seats in the Texas Senate Texas has swung from Democratic Party dominance to Republican Party dominance 52

53 Emergence of Republican Party Dominance Conservative middle- and upper-class white Democrats gradually switched allegiance to the Republican Party. Many alienated by the Democratic Partys emphasis on civil rights. Ronald Reagan attracted conservative Democrats to the Republican Party. 53

54 Emergence of Republican Party Dominance (Contd) A majority of recent migrants to Texas from other states have been Republicans or independents. The rise of an affluent middle class has created a new environment for many Texans. 54

55 Emergence of Republican Party Dominance (Contd) Sources: Statewide polls in 1952 and 1972 conducted by Belden Associates of Dallas and archived at the Roper Center. Data for 1990 from the Texas poll, Texas A&M University Policy Resources Laboratory, Harte-Hanks Communications. Data for 2008 from University of Texas, Austin, Texas Politics Poll Table 22–2 Democratic and Republican Party Identifiers 55

56 Can the Democrats Still Be Competitive? Democrats are still strongly represented in local offices. In recent elections, they have gained seats in the Texas House of Representatives. Growing minority populations tend to support the Democratic Party. 56

57 Dealignment A growing number of voters in Texas engage in ticket splitting. 57

58 You Can Make a Difference: Grassroots Politics at the Precinct Level Many politicians got started at the precinct level. Activity might include: registering voters, attending the precinct convention and getting voters to the polls. Local involvement can influence leadership and activities of the party. 58

59 What Can You Do? Attend precinct convention Held after polls close on primary day Pass resolutions Delegates to next level conventions selected Sparse attendance allows individuals to be heard. 59


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