Presentation on theme: "Campaigns and Elections Political Competition in Democracy This presentation is the property of Dr. Kevin Parsneau for use by him and his current students."— Presentation transcript:
Campaigns and Elections Political Competition in Democracy This presentation is the property of Dr. Kevin Parsneau for use by him and his current students. No other person may use or reprint without his permission.
What are the different types of elections in the U.S.? Who runs for offices and who wins? How do voters decide? How do elections fit into the big picture for democracy? How are presidential elections different?
Types of Elections General Elections – Presidential – Midterm Primaries and caucuses – Closed – Open
Types of Intra-party Elections Caucus– members of a party hold a meeting to select the their candidate for the general election. Primary– members of a party vote by secret ballot to select their candidate for the general election. Closed caucus or primary--only registered party members may take part. Open caucus or primary—any voter may take part in selecting the party’s candidate.
Who runs for Congress? White Elderly Males Lawyers Less now than in the past
Theoretical “Ideal” Campaign Median Voter Theory: (PARAPHRASE) the candidate that endorses policies that appeal to the “median voter” (i.e. the voter that represents the winning vote (50% +1)) will win the election. Thus candidates choose policies designed to win the vote of the “median voter.”
Campaigns Election Strategies – Win Your Primary/ Caucus i.e. appeal to your party in the electorate Secures volunteers and contributions – Win your general election i.e. appeal to moderates pick up undecided, low motivated and low info voters avoid abandoning your partisan supporters
The “Shift” After trying to appeal to their party bases of relatively extreme and activist voters, candidates must shift their positions to attract moderate, independent and often less motivated or informed voters.
The “Shift” Two Potential Strategies Compromise-“move” to the center by changing your policy positions to centrists positions similar to the “median voter.” Crafted Talk-appear to change your positions by using language designed to sound centrist but that blurs your real positions and plans.
Crafted Talk (Jacobs and Shapiro) Candidates and campaign polling – Often use polls not to determine the policy positions of voters, but which words appeal to voters and make them think the candidate agrees with them Select words and phrases chosen to seem centrist Portray your opponent as extreme
Campaigns Who wins elections? – Incumbency advantage – Name recognition – Constituency Service and “pork” – “War chests” – Coattails – Final Steps to Winning the Campaign—G.O.T.V.
How Do Voters Choose? Party Identification (PID) Party Platform Ideology Image Issues
Elections and Responsiveness Prospective voting Retrospective voting Sociotropic voting
Unique Aspects of Presidential Elections Presidential Primaries and Caucuses – Go state by state winning delegates to the national conventions National Conventions – Delegates and Superdelegates vote to select the party nominees General Election – Campaigning for the Electoral College
Effects of the Electoral College 50 (51 w/ DC) separate elections for electors Have to win states not just votes Not only population centers and big cities Focus on big electoral states Focus on swing states Hard for third parties to compete Faithless electors Can have an “undemocratic” outcome
Is what it takes to get elected the same as what it takes to govern? Compromise Principles Rally support for yourself Vilify opponents Effect on turnout and faith in democracy