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Voter Behavior and Turnout Fitz- AP GOV. Whether to Vote: A Citizen’s First Choice 15 th -Extended to African Americans 19 th -Extended to Women 26 th.

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Presentation on theme: "Voter Behavior and Turnout Fitz- AP GOV. Whether to Vote: A Citizen’s First Choice 15 th -Extended to African Americans 19 th -Extended to Women 26 th."— Presentation transcript:

1 Voter Behavior and Turnout Fitz- AP GOV

2 Whether to Vote: A Citizen’s First Choice 15 th -Extended to African Americans 19 th -Extended to Women 26 th -Extended to people over 18 years of age

3 U.S. has low voter turnout Realistic: It is rational to not vote Those who see clear differences between parties are likely to vote. Idealistic: Voting is a civic duty

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5 Registering to Vote: We’ve Made it Pretty Easy Registering To Vote Left up to the States by the Constitution Motor Voter Act: passed in 1993, requires states to permit people to register to vote when they apply for their driver’s license

6 Referendums

7 Registering to Vote: We’ve Made it Pretty Easy Motor Voter Act: passed in 1993, requires states to permit people to register to vote when they apply for their driver’s license

8 Who votes? Education: More education = more likely to vote. Most important factor! Family= most important for socialization Older = more likely to vote Race: Caucasian = more likely to vote. BUT, other ethnicities are higher with comparable education Female = more likely to vote

9 Who votes? Marital Status: Married = more likely to vote Union Membership: Union member = more likely to vote Traits are cumulative - possessing several adds up

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11 How Americans Vote: Explaining Citizens’ Decisions Mandate Theory of Elections The idea that the winning candidate has a mandate from the people to carry out his or her platforms and politics

12 How Americans Vote: Explaining Citizens’ Decisions Party Identification People still generally vote for a party they agree with. Rise of candidates= Drop in importance of parties Since More about the presidential CANIDATE

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19 Sarah Palin Thanksgiving video

20 How Americans Vote: Explaining Citizens’ Decisions

21 Candidate Evaluations: How Americans See the Candidates Candidates want a good visual image. Personality plays a role in vote choice, especially if a candidate is perceived to be incompetent or dishonest.

22 How Americans Vote: Explaining Citizens’ Decisions Policy Voting Basing your vote on issues Policy voting may occur if: Voters know where they and the candidates stand on issues and see differences between candidates..

23 How Americans Vote: Explaining Citizens’ Decisions Unlikely to occur because: Candidates can be ambiguous on the issues. Media tend to focus on the “horse race” not issues.

24 Understanding Campaigns and Voting Behavior Are Nominations and Campaigns Too Democratic? open to almost everyone. consume much time and money. individualism in American politics.

25 Understanding Campaigns and Voting Behavior Do Elections Affect Public Policy? The greater the policy differences between candidates, the more likely voters will be able to steer government policy by their choices. Unlikely—candidates do not always clarify issues

26 Understanding Campaigns and Voting Behavior Do Campaigns Lead to an Increased Scope of Government? Candidates make numerous promises, especially to state and local interests. Hard for politicians to promise to cut size of government

27 Understanding Elections and Voting Behavior Elections and the Scope of Government Elections generally support government policies and power. Voters feel they are sending a message to government to accomplish something Thus, the government expands to fill the needs of the voters.

28 Summary Campaigns are media-oriented and expensive, but are not likely to change minds. Money and contributions from PACs regulated by the FEC are essential to campaigns. Voters make two basic decisions at election time: whether to vote and for whom to vote. Party identification, candidate evaluations, and policy positions drive vote choice.


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