4 History of Political Parties The Post-Civil War PeriodThe Triumph of the RepublicansThe Progressive InterludeRepublicans SplitpopulismThe New Deal EraRoosevelt’s Democratic coalitionAn Era of Divided GovernmentIn the years after 1968, the general pattern was often a Republican president and a Democratic Congress.2000 Presidential Election (Red state–blue state)
7 Organization Local: Grassroots, the underestimated force Divided by precincts, led by Precinct captainneighboring precincts form Wards, represented at county committeeState: State Central Committeemade up of county representatives, led by state chairpersonhelp elect members to state government positionsNational: Three PartsNational Convention: meets every four years to elect party’s candidate for POTUSNational Committee: led my national chairperson, runs party operations and raises moneyCongressional campaign committee: raises money and identifies candidate to run in congressional elections
9 Party Functions Recruit candidates Educate the Public Most important functionmust be appealing, share basic ideologyEducate the Publictake positions on important issuesFrame the opposition
10 Party Functions Operate the government Dispense patronage agendas in line with party platformsties together branchesDispense patronagejobs, appointments, contractsThe Pendleton Act (1883)
11 Party Functions The Loyal Opposition Reduce conflict provides alternative to party in powerfights to preserve the rights of the minorityReduce conflictbuilds coalitions of interest groupsmoderate policies, mass appeal
12 Nominating Candidates Historical MethodsCaucus … still used, most notably in IowaNational ConventionDirect Primary SystemDetermine votes of Convention DelegatesClosed vs. Open PrimaryCaucuses vs. primariesCriticisms:Front loading; Image over issues
13 The National Convention Pre-election meeting of the national partyBound vs. Unbound delegatesSuperdelegatesDetermines the party’s ticket & finalizes the platformCriticism: operates more as a pep rally than serious meeting
14 The National Convention “There is so little news being made now at the conventions," said Jeffrey McCall, a communications professor at DePauw University. "The conventions have no real deliberations on platform issues and the VP picks are all made well in advance and have already been introduced to the public. "The main, real value for voters in watching the conventions is that they can see the candidates and hear their pitches in one place, without having to follow campaign stump speeches over many days of news coverage," McCall added. "Another benefit is for voters to see up and coming party leaders who might be influential on the political landscape in years to come."
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