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Parties, Interest Groups, Elections/Campaigns in Texas Chapter 26 O’Connor and Sabato American Government: Continuity and Change.

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Presentation on theme: "Parties, Interest Groups, Elections/Campaigns in Texas Chapter 26 O’Connor and Sabato American Government: Continuity and Change."— Presentation transcript:

1 Parties, Interest Groups, Elections/Campaigns in Texas Chapter 26 O’Connor and Sabato American Government: Continuity and Change

2 Parties, Interest Groups, Elections/Campaigns in Texas In this chapter we will cover…. 1.Roots of Political Parties, Interest Groups, Elections, and Campaigns in Texas 2.Political Parties in Texas 3.Interest Groups in Texas 4.Elections and Political Campaigns in Texas

3 Roots of Political Parties, Interest Groups, Elections, and Campaigns in Texas Political parties and interest groups developed slowly in Texas Democratic Party dominance Early interest groups - agrarian and Grange Post WWII – economy and society became more complex and represented broader interests Campaigns were originally personal loyalties; were transformed into partisan or faction groups

4 Political Parties in Texas Political Parties perform functions through 1.party organization 2.party in the electorate 3.party in the government

5 Party Organization Formal organization includes both a temporary and permanent organization for each political party Functional organization provides a skeleton for party organization Political parties’ lack of unity detracts from their effectiveness

6 Party in the Electorate Most important function for party organization is to win elections – mobilizing interest in the party’s goals and candidates among voters Party in the electorate consists of people who identify with the party and consider themselves members

7 Party Identification in Texas, Selected Years

8 Party in the Electorate Recent changes in party attachment shows -decrease in Democrats -increase in Republican -increase in the percentage of independent voters Party realignment in Texas triggered by critical elections has changed the distribution of partisan attachments

9 Party in the Electorate Realignment has resulted in changes including the following: young voters more likely to be Republicans new residents more likely to be Republican It is also possible that dealignment is occurring, not realignment (in dealignment party affiliation weakens)

10 Party in the Government Party in the government is the political party’s mechanism for establishing cooperation among separate branches of government Considerations in party in the government: executive branch – plural executive legislative branch – institutional leadership reduces party organizational strength judicial branch – partisan elections ballot and gubernatorial appointive authority impact effective party organization

11 Interest Groups in Texas Types:  Business and trade (oil and gas industry)  Professional (lawyers and teachers)  Labor (municipal workers)  Racial and ethnic groups (NAACP & LULAC)  Public interest groups (common cause)

12 Interest Groups in Texas Interest activities  Lobbying  Electioneering  Litigation

13 Elections & Campaigns Type of elections In Texas elections are frequent, the ballots tend to be longer, and the legislature has established uniformed election dates.  Primary  Special general  Local elections

14 Elections & Campaigns Texas Campaigns: should provide opportunity for voters to compare candidates on issues and views Factors influencing campaigns  Money  Media  Marketing

15 Elections & Campaigns Voters Decision (yes/no) Turnout low in Texas:  Benefits of voting  Impact of “motor voter” laws  Early voting rates  Legal requirements  Cost of voting  Changing composition of electorate

16 Elections & Campaigns Vote Decision Psychological factors  Party identification  Issues  Candidate characteristics Voting behavior  Split ticket  Straight ticket

17 Voter Turnout in Texas,


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