3The Purpose of Elections Legitimize government, even in authoritarian systems.Organize government.Choose issue and policy priorities.Electorate gives winners a mandate.
41) 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
52) 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
6Open Primary Ballot for both Republican and Democratic primaries
7Democratic Party members in Iowa vote in a presidential caucus
83) Presidential Elections Held every 4 yearsEach major party nominates a candidateWinner is determined by the Electoral College
9THE 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
13THE 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
14A candidate only needs a plurality of the votes in the state to carry the state and get all its electoral voteshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUilsDiFdIg
234) 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
24Candidates 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
25Drawing 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
27The effects of gerrymandering in Ohio Congressional elections
285) 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
29Table 10.2: Sources of Campaign Funds: All House and Senate Candidates in , by Party (in Millions)
30Figure 10.1: The Cost of Winning Insert 10.1 (formerly 8.1 in 9e)Updated from Federal Election Commission report, May 15, 2001.
31Federal Election Commission. Figure 10.2: Growth of PACsInsert Figure 10.2 (formerly 8.2 in 9e)Federal Election Commission.
321974 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)
33Raising 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
34Problems 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.
35Bipartisan 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