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Political Parties. What is a Political Party? Group that seeks to elect governmental officials under a given label The primary goal of a political party.

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Presentation on theme: "Political Parties. What is a Political Party? Group that seeks to elect governmental officials under a given label The primary goal of a political party."— Presentation transcript:

1 Political Parties

2 What is a Political Party? Group that seeks to elect governmental officials under a given label The primary goal of a political party is to win control of government

3 Roles of political parties Electioneering Nominate candidates Simplify voting choices Provide stability and hold accountable “big tents” Coordinate actions of government officials Propose and pass programs

4 Why does America have a two-party system? single-member districts instead of proportional representation Ballot obstacles/funding challenges Lack of media attention dualist theory political socialization absorption of third party issuesthird party

5 LP candidates were on the ballot every time in 2 states (Colorado and Washington). LP candidates were on the ballot every time except 1972 in 25 states plus the District of Columbia. LP candidates were on the ballot six times (missed two times) in 13 states. LP candidates were on the ballot five times (missed three times) in 8 states. LP candidates were on the ballot four times (missed four times) in 2 states (Missouri, West Virginia). Libertarian Party ballot attempts

6 Party in government party structures the operation of government Congressional leaders are chosen on the basis of the controlling party reason--set the agenda for what government will do

7 Campaign spending Expensive presidential campaign Expensive President Bush launches ad campaigncampaign Democrats seek funding for Kerry Senator Feingold’s financesfinances Congressional races in

8 House of Representatives Republicans hold a majority House tends to be more partisan Dennis Hastert (Speaker)

9 Changes in the Senate 2001: split— which party had control? Committee members were equally divided between parties 2002: Jeffords leaves the Republican Party

10 HouseSenate 435 Members 100 Senators (Vice President votes in case of a tie) 229 Republicans 205 Democrats 1 Independent 51 Republicans 48 Democrats 1 Independent

11 Party unity Trends in congressional voting Ability of parties to raise fundsfunds

12 Party in the electorate Party identification: person’s affinity for a party, usually resulting in voting for party’s candidates

13 strong party loyalty is diminishing how important is the party identification of voters? Depends Rise of independent voter—35-40% of population

14 candidate, issue or party centered voting What are the benefits/weaknesses of each type? Think, pair, share

15 Split-ticket voting voter chooses candidates from different parties around 60% in presidential elections leads to divided government

16 Optional writing assignment visit the websites of the Republican and the Democratic National Committees (http://www.rnc.org and and answer the following: what is the focus for each party? Which site do you prefer, and why? Which party (if either) do you agree with, and why?http://www.rnc.org Due Tuesday, March 9

17 Redistricting and parties 2000 census requires redistricting Power of parties: state legislatures/governors

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19 For Tuesday: Read Chapter 13 Answer the question: why don’t people vote?


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