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Voter Participation Factors in voter turnout: the United States in comparative perspective Significantly lower turnout than European democracies Registration requirements Historically a means to limit suffrage Motor voter law © 2014, McGraw-Hill Education. All Rights Reserved.2
3 Insert Figure 7-1 Voter Turnout in Presidential Elections, 1960-2012
Voter Participation Factors in voter turnout: the United States in comparative perspective Registration requirements Voter ID cards serve to depress voter turnout Georgia photo ID/voter identification card law Federal judge struck down monetary requirement Supreme Court upheld Indiana voter ID card requirement © 2014, McGraw-Hill Education. All Rights Reserved.4
Voter Participation Factors in voter turnout: the United States in comparative perspective Frequency of elections Elections at many levels of government, frequent and staggered Primary elections Americans asked to vote two or three times as often as Europeans © 2014, McGraw-Hill Education. All Rights Reserved.5
Voter Participation Why some Americans vote and others do not Education and income Age Civic attitudes Apathy Alienation Civic duty Political interest and party identification © 2014, McGraw-Hill Education. All Rights Reserved.6
7 Insert Figure 7-2 Voter Turnout and Level of Income, 2012
Conventional Forms of Participation Other Than Voting Campaign and lobbying activities Virtual participation Political campaigns and citizen mobilization Democratizing effects, but also lend themselves to political polarization Community activities Decline in social capital? © 2014, McGraw-Hill Education. All Rights Reserved.8
9 Insert Figure 7-3 Campaign Activity
Unconventional Activism: Social Movements and Protest Politics The Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street protest movements Each social (political) movement started with anger at established interests and seek change Tea Party: Initial target: Republican lawmakers for the 2008 bank bailout Played a key role in Republican takeover of House in 2010 Resulting House turmoil has weakened popular support © 2014, McGraw-Hill Education. All Rights Reserved.10
Unconventional Activism: Social Movements and Protest Politics The Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street protest movements Occupy Wall Street: Began as protest against bailout of the financial industry and government’s failure to hold bankers accountable Has seen popular support decline because of public’s unease with protesters confronting police OWS’s target was private wealth and aimed to curb the political influence of large political donors © 2014, McGraw-Hill Education. All Rights Reserved.11
Unconventional Activism: Social Movements and Protest Politics The public’s response to protest activity Political protests have a long history in America Americans less likely to protest than citizens in other democracies Public support for protest activity relatively low © 2014, McGraw-Hill Education. All Rights Reserved.12
Participation and Potential for Influence Individualism diminishes political participation Lower-income Americans least likely to vote or participate politically; lack resources and education levels Participation reflects socioeconomic level © 2014, McGraw-Hill Education. All Rights Reserved.13
Political Participation: Activating the Popular Will Chapter 7.
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