3 The Purpose of Elections Legitimize government, even in authoritarian systems.Organize government.Choose issue and policy priorities.Electorate gives winners a mandate.
4 1) Getting the Voters Involved Electorate: Those eligible to voteInitiative: citizens propose legislation and then vote on it.Referendum: state legislature submits proposed legislation to voters (aka “punting”)Recall: Voters seek to remove an elected official.Incumbent: an official already in office
5 2) Primaries and Caucuses Closed Primary – registered voters of a particular partyOpen Primary – Independents and often members of any party Non-Partisan Primary – Voting without regard to party affiliationCaucus – only a few states use these- more complicated than primaries- registered party members meet and debate the merits of each candidate and then vote
6 Open Primary Ballot for both Republican and Democratic primaries
7 Democratic Party members in Iowa vote in a presidential caucus
8 3) Presidential Elections Held every 4 yearsEach major party nominates a candidateWinner is determined by the Electoral College
9 THE PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES Winner Take AllProportionalCaucusFront Loading by StatesNational Convention: Out of Power Party goes first.Labor Day is the traditional “kick-off” but that has changed in recent years
13 THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE 538= 435 plus 100 plus 3 Originally designed to operate without political parties and to produce a non-partisan presidentRed is GOP and Blue is DemocraticLargest is California (55); then Texas (38); then New York and Florida (29)….Average district size is now going to be over 570K
14 A candidate only needs a plurality of the votes in the state to carry the state and get all its electoral votes
23 4) CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS Incumbents have a huge advantage:Mass mailingsWell knownConstituent ServicesLarge War Chests**OTHER KEY TERMS TO REMEMBER**RedistrictingGerrymanderingMidterm Elections (low turn out)Coattails in a Presidential Election
24 Candidates only need a plurality to win a district (SMD system) Senators are elected every 6 years on a rotating basisRepresentatives are elected every 2 years
25 Drawing District Boundaries Malapportionment: districts have very different populations, so the votes in the less-populated district “weigh more” than those in the more-populated districtGerrymandering: boundaries are drawn to favor one party rather than another, resulting in odd-shaped districts
27 The effects of gerrymandering in Ohio Congressional elections
28 5) Campaign Finance Reform Hard money- money which is regulated and given directly to candidatesSoft money- any money given to help a party or candidate, not directly, and originally completely unregulated
29 Table 10.2: Sources of Campaign Funds: All House and Senate Candidates in , by Party (in Millions)
30 Figure 10.1: The Cost of Winning Insert 10.1 (formerly 8.1 in 9e)Updated from Federal Election Commission report, May 15, 2001.
31 Federal Election Commission. Figure 10.2: Growth of PACsInsert Figure 10.2 (formerly 8.2 in 9e)Federal Election Commission.
32 1974 Campaign Finance Reform 1972: Watergate and illegal donations from corporation, unions, and individuals catalyzed changeBrought about the 1974 federal campaign reform law and Federal Election Commission (FEC)
33 Raising Money (Old System) Individuals can give $2,000; PACs can give $5,000 in each election to each candidateCandidates must raise $5,000 in twenty states in individual contributions of $250 or less to qualify for federal matching grants to pay for primary campaigns
34 Problems with Campaign Financing Independent expenditures: an organization or PAC can spend as much as it wishes on advertising, so long as it is not coordinated with a candidate’s campaignSoft money: unlimited amounts of money may be given to a political party, so long as it does not specifically advocate for the election or defeat of a candidate.
35 Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act: McCain-Feingold Bill 2002 Sharply restricted independent expendituresCorporations, unions, trade associations, nonprofit organizations cannot use their own money for an advertisement referring to a candidate by name 30 days before a primary and 60 days before a general election