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Voter Behavior Chapter 6 Section 4. Key Terms Off-Year Election Ballot Fatigue Political Efficacy Political Socialization Gender Gap Party Identification.

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Presentation on theme: "Voter Behavior Chapter 6 Section 4. Key Terms Off-Year Election Ballot Fatigue Political Efficacy Political Socialization Gender Gap Party Identification."— Presentation transcript:

1 Voter Behavior Chapter 6 Section 4

2 Key Terms Off-Year Election Ballot Fatigue Political Efficacy Political Socialization Gender Gap Party Identification Straight Ticket Voting Split Ticket Voting Independent

3 Nonvoting Term idiot is Greek for non-voter Millions of Americans do not vote Election day 2008 some 121 million votes were cast Only 53% of electorate voted Off-Year Elections-the congressional elections held in the even numbered years between the presidential elections

4 Some people do not vote for all the candidates Ballot fatigue- the further your name is down on a ballot the fewer votes you receive Sometimes voters exhaust their patience or knowledge More people vote for statewide offices instead of county or local elections

5 Turn out in congressional districts is higher in presidential years.

6 Why People Do Not Vote 2008 data 100 million people did not vote 10 million of them are aliens and are barred from voting 5 to 6 million are ill 2 to 3 million had top travel unexpectedly Race, religious biases also play a role

7 Actual Nonvoters In 2008, 80 million people who could vote did not in the Presidential election Reasons – People think there vote will nor make a difference – Many do not trust politicians – They either fear or scorn the system – Political efficacy-lacking any feeling of influence or effectiveness in politics

8 More reasons – Cumbersome election process (inconvenient registration process) – Long ballots/long lines at the polling places – Bad weather – Time-zone fallout (polls in the East and central close before the west) results are forecast before they have voted

9 Comparing Voters and Nonvoters 1.Results of particular elections – Individual votes are secret – Areas largely populated by African Americans or Catholics or high income groups will indicate how they voted 2. Survey Research – Scientific polls determine cross sections of population (Gallup/Pew) – Measure public opinion

10 3. Political Socialization-process by which people gain their political attitude and opinions – Begins in early childhood – Continues throughout your life – Experiences and relationships that lead people to see the political world in a certain way

11 Factors that Influence Voters Sociological and psychological factors – Sociological- pieces of the voters social and economic life (two kinds) 1. a voters personal characteristics-age, race, income, occupation, education, religion 2. voters group affiliations- family- coworkers, friends – Psychological- study of the mind and individual behavior Voter perception- how the voter sees the party, candidate and the issues of the election

12 The differences between the two are not great. Closely related to each other Constantly interact How voters look at parties, candidates or issues is often shaped by their own social and economic backgrounds

13 Sociological Factors College graduates are more likely to vote Republican So are persons over 50 African Americans more likely to vote for Democrats So are labor unions How would a 55 year old college-educated African American who belongs to the AFL-CIO vote?

14 Income and Occupation Voters in lower income brackets usually vote for Democrats Voters in higher income usually vote for Republicans 2008 election was the exception – Making under $50,000 (Barack Obama) – $50,000 and up evenly divided between the two – Won 52% of the vote of those who made over $200,000 (Barack Obama)

15 Often how much someone earns and what they do for a living are closely related – Professional and business people – Other high incomes regularly tend to the Republican side – Manual workers – and lower income workers tend to the Democrat side – With the exception of 1964 and 2008 professional and business people voted heavily Republican in every modern era election

16 Education College graduates high percentage Republican voters than those who graduate high school High school graduates vote more Republican than those who just finished grade school Except for 2008

17 Gender, Age Gender Gap- the difference in partisan choices between men and women First appeared in the 1980’s Women generally tend to favor Democrats by a ten percent margin Men often give the GOP the same margin

18 Traditionally younger voters tend to vote for the Democrats Older voters for the GOP Men and women vote differently on health care, abortion, other social matters Democrats won a large majority of voters under 30

19 This pattern was broken by Ronald Reagan in 1984 and George Bush in 1988 Bill Clinton restored the Democratic claim in held the tradition for younger voters garnering 66% of the under 30 vote

20 Religious, Ethnic Background Protestants preferred GOP Catholics and Jews the Democrats 2008 election supported that trend African American voters for decades have supported the Democratic party They form the only group that has given a clear majority in every presidential election since 1952

21 In the North, African Americans voted Republicans until the 1930’s (New Deal) Civil rights movement 1960’s much greater African American participation in southern politics Today African Americans are overwhelmingly Democratic

22 Geography South East corner of the country became known as the solid South (Democrats) The GOP now carries that area States that consistently support Republicans – Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas Democrats carry – Have made inroads into the Northeast section

23 Republicans still dominate the suburbs, smaller cities and rural areas

24 Family and Other Group Family members vote in a strikingly familiar way 9 out of 10 married couples share the same partisan leaning Those who work together and circles of friends vote alike

25 Psychological Factors Party identification- the loyalty of people to a particular political party. The single most significant and lasting predictor of how a person will vote Democrat or Republican will likely vote for all their parties candidates Democrats draw strength from big cities of the North and East and Pacific Coast

26 Straight ticket voting- the practice of voting for all the candidates of only one party in elections Party identification is a key factor in politics Though it has lost some of its power recently Split ticket- the practice of voting for candidates of more than one party This behavior began to increase in the 1960’s

27 Independents- those people who do not have a party affiliation Independent is a tricky term most vote for a candidate of one of the major parties. Number of independents is between a fourth and one third of all voters New breed of independent from the 1960’s and 1970’s New voters preferred not to be identified by party.

28 Candidates and Issues Party identification is a long term factor They may support the candidates but not the way they vote Short term factors can cause voters to switch sides – Impression the candidate make – Their image – Personal character and appearance

29 Issues have become important over the last 40 years – Civil rights movement, Viet Nam War, feminist movement, Watergate scandal, economic problems – Recent years- severe economic recession, Iraq and Afghanistan


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