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Presentation on theme: "LINKAGE INSTITUTIONS: ELECTIONS AND INTEREST GROUPS."— Presentation transcript:


2 Elections in the United States Three Categories: 1. Primary Elections and Caucuses - Used to nominate candidates to run for office - Open (Any voter can cast a ballot in any party’s elections) vs. Closed (voters cans only cast ballots for the party they are registered to) Primaries 2. General Elections - Race between the nominees from each party to determine who wins the office/seat 3. Policy Elections - Allow the public to pass legislation directly - Referendums and Initiatives Plurality v. Majority

3 2014 – 158 ballot measures in 42 States - 35 Initiatives 2012 – 188 ballot measures in 39 states - 50 Initiatives 2010- 184/46, 2008 – 174/68, 2006 – 226/78

4 Colorado - Legalize recreational use of marijuana with regulations. – APPROVED Idaho - Would add to the state constitution the right to hunt and fish.- APPROVED Maine - Would legalize same-sex marriage in the state.- APPROVED North Dakota - Makes it a felony to maliciously harm a cat, dog, or horse, with exemptions for people with occupations involving animals – REJECTED Oklahoma - Would ban affirmative action programs in the state – APPROVED Maryland- Would approve legislation that guarantees in-state tuition to illegal immigrants- APPROVED Florida - Prohibits public funds for abortions. - REJECTED Alabama - Would prohibit mandatory participation in any health care system. – APPROVED To remove references to segregation of schools in the state constitution. – REJECTED

5 Presidential Elections Four Step Process Announcement (1-2 years before election) Primaries and Caucuses (Jan – June) Caucus – meeting of party members to deliberate and choose from a list of candidates seeking the Presidency) Conventions (August/September) General Election (First Tuesday in November after the 1 st )

6 Nominating Process for President Presidential Primary Trail - Each state votes on a given day between January and June to award candidates delegates to the convention – which ever candidate gets the majority of the delegates wins their party’s nomination for President - Purpose of the Primary system - Differences between Democrats and Republican - Democrats – Proportional elections and super delegates (4420/800) – 2008 – Clinton vs. Obama - Republicans –winner-take-all (2280/123) - Iowa – First Caucus - New Hampshire – First Primary - The rest of the trail and Super Tuesday - The importance of momentum and the expectations game - Frontloading and 2008

7 Identify two changes in the Presidential Primary system from 2004 to 2008? What are two impacts these changes have on the strategies for Presidential candidates? What is one impact these changes might have on the American voter?


9 Problems with the Primary System Importance of early States Time and Money Low voter turnout Media has too much power Solutions? National Primaries or Regional Primaries

10 Nominating Process for President National Conventions - Week long infomercial for the Party and the Presidential Candidate - Reward the faithful and energize the party August or September/ Location Delegates to the Convention - campaign workers, wealthy, educated, and politically active Day 1 - Keynote speaker Day 2 - Platform Day 3 - Nomination of the Presidential Candidate Day 4 - Selection of the VP (Complete the Ticket) and acceptance speeches

11 General Elections: The President The Electoral College – Each state gets the number of electoral votes that matches the number of representatives and senators 538 total electoral votes Winner take all in each state (except Maine and Nebraska) Majority (270 votes) needed to win


13 Electoral College Problems with the Electoral College Electors are not required to vote according to the popular vote If no candidate gets a majority – election decided in the House of Representatives – 1800 and 1824 Presidents have won the electoral vote, but lost the popular vote – 1876, 1888, 2000 Proposed Solutions and likelihood for change Proportional System and District System Popular Vote – Power of the Small States

14 Mitt Romney From Michigan/ Massachusetts 64 Yrs. Old Married Forty Years – 5 Sons Mormon Graduated from BYU, JD from Harvard Governor of Massachusetts, Business- CEO Baine Capital, Salt Lake Olympics Fiscal and Social Moderate Weakness – Does not appeal to Christian Right, Supported Abortion and Gay Rights as Governor of MA Profile of the Vice President Newt Gingrich From Georgia 68 Years Old Married three times/ 2 Daughters Lutheran/Baptist/ Catholic Graduated from Emory, PhD from Tulane Congressman from Georgia for 20 years, Speaker of the House for 4 years, lobbyist Fiscal and Social Conservative Weakness – Resigned from the House and as speaker after getting caught in an ethics scandal

15 Congressional Elections Congress (House) - every two years, Senate - 1/3 every two years Plurality in District/State Incumbents usually win reelection Advertising and Visibility - Travel Allowances and Franking Privileges Credit Claiming - Casework and Pork Barrel Weak Opponents (more House than Senate) Campaign Spending and Paid Staffs Senate = 2 per state House of Representatives: Reapportionment – Redistributing the number of Congressmen each state has based on the census – 10 yrs. Redistricting – State legislatures draw district lines to match the new number of representatives Gerrymandering – Drawing district lines in a way to produce a particular political outcome  Contiguous lines, must not dilute minority strength, based on population Presidential Coattails - Presidential Election years vs. Midterms





20 Political Campaigns Primaries v. General Elections- Strategy Organization: Campaign Manager Fundraiser Campaign Counsel Media Consultant Research Staff and Policy Advisors Pollster Press Secretary Campaign Staff - Professionals and Volunteers

21 Campaigning: Use of the Media Press Secretary and Media Consultant Paid Media – Spots – 30 – 60 sec ads - President Obama’s Infomercial – American Stories, American Solutions – Approx $4 million - Attack ads v. policy ads Free Media – - Visuals and Sound bites – Nightly News - Endorsements - Televised Debates, Talk Shows New Media – - Mass emails, Robocalls, Social Networking, Blogs, Websites, YouTube

22 Campaign Finance Federal Election Campaign Act of 1974 and McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 Rules: - Ban on Soft Money contributions and electioneering within 60 days of elections by Corporations and Unions - Limits on Individual and PAC contributions ($2300/$5000) - Mandatory Reporting of all contributions and expenditures - Matching Funds in Primaries and Lump Sums in General Elections for Presidential Candidates (2012 - $54 mil/$91 mil) – (Obama - $986 Mil/ Romney - $992 Mil) Is Money Speech? - Buckley v. Valeo – 1974 – money is speech - McConnell v. FEC – 2003 – BCRA constitutional - FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life – 2007 – Issue Ads - Citizens United v. FEC – 2010 – ruled limits on corporate/union ads unconstitutional Super PACs - allowed to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money from corporations, unions, individuals and associations; cannot coordinate with candidates ; 2012 - $567 Million



25 Voting Qualification and Registration Property Owning Males 21 and Over Jacksonian Era and Property Requirement, 15 th, 19 th, 26 th Amendments Today: Voter Registration 18 years old, a citizen, and a resident of the district Must Register in advance except for in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Maine, Wyoming, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire Motor Voter Act - 1993 48 States ban voting from prison, 23 States ban felons on parole, 12 States ban felons for life

26 Voting Behavior in the United States Presidential Elections - 1996 – 51%, 2000 - 54%, 2004 – 60%, 2008 – 62%, 2012 – 58% Midterm Elections - 1998 – 38%, 2002 – 40%, 2006 - 41%, 2010 – 41% 200420082012 Age: 18-2447%49%41% 25-3456%57% Over 5572%71% Race: White67%66%64% Black60%65%66% Hispanic47%50%47% Asian44%47%48% 200420082012 Sex: Male62% 60% Female65%66%64% Income: < $30,00048%52%48% > $75,00080%79%77% Education: { "@context": "", "@type": "ImageObject", "contentUrl": "", "name": "Voting Behavior in the United States Presidential Elections - 1996 – 51%, 2000 - 54%, 2004 – 60%, 2008 – 62%, 2012 – 58% Midterm Elections - 1998 – 38%, 2002 – 40%, 2006 - 41%, 2010 – 41% 200420082012 Age: 18-2447%49%41% 25-3456%57% Over 5572%71% Race: White67%66%64% Black60%65%66% Hispanic47%50%47% Asian44%47%48% 200420082012 Sex: Male62% 60% Female65%66%64% Income: < $30,00048%52%48% > $75,00080%79%77% Education: $75,00080%79%77% Education:


28 Why is voter turnout so low? Reasons people gave in the 2012 election: - Too Busy, Conflict in Schedule – 18% - Don’t Know, Refused – 18% - Illness/Disability – 15% - Not Interested – 13% - Did not like candidates – 13% - Out of Town – 9% - Registration Problems – 6% - Transportation Problems – 5% - Forgot – 3% Other Reasons: 1. Registration Requirements – Motor Voter Act (Registration Problems ) 2. Difficulty of Absentee Ballots (Illness, Disability, Out of Town) 3. Number of Elections 4. Political Attitudes – Political Efficacy v. Political Apathy, Distrust of Government, Length and Negativity of Campaigns (Don’t Know/Refused, Don’t like the candidates, Not interested – 44%)

29 Possible Solutions Ease Registration Requirements - Same Day Registration - Automatic Registration Lengthen Voting Times - Early Voting, Mail-in Ballots and online voting, Absentee Ballots, Extend Hours Change Election Day - National Holiday or Saturday/Sunday Other Ideas - Proportional Voting, Tax Credits, Compulsory Voting, Lottery

30 American Voter Decisions Party Identification Most powerful predictor of voter behavior (particularly at local and state levels) Partisanship has decreased since early 1900s Independents and ticket-splitting Candidate’s Personal Image Competence, Reliability (Flip-flop), Leadership, Morality and Honesty Policy and Issue Voting Election of 2008 - Economy v. Terrorism Mandate Theory

31 Interest Groups Organization of people with similar policy goals that enter the political process to try to achieve those goals Difference between interest groups and political parties Do not try to win elections and do not run candidates - try to influence those in government and who wins elections Policy specialists not policy generalists Only try to satisfy their members, do no try to appeal to everyone

32 Democratic Theory and Interest Groups Pluralist (Group) Theory - Support Interest Groups Provide linkage between the people and the government - Alexis De Tocqueville - democratization of American society - Women and African Americans So many groups that it guarantees that influence is dispersed - no one group will become too dominant (James Madison and Federalist No. 10) Check on the power of the government

33 Democratic Theory and Interest Groups Elite Theory - Against Interest Groups Real power is only held by a few key groups - influence of money - i.e. large corporations, pay for votes Hyperpluralist Theory - Against Interest Groups System is out of control - so many interest groups with so much power that the government tries to please them all Leads to contradictory and confusing policy or legislative gridlock Can cause runaway spending

34 Successful Interest Groups Small groups often more successful than large groups because of organization - Mancur Olsen’s Law of Large Groups - Free-Riders Intensity - how deeply members care about the issues Leadership and Membership - Good CEO and influential members Financial Resources

35 Types of Interest Groups Economic Interest Groups Labor - AFL-CIO, UAW Business - Chamber of Commerce, Microsoft, Google, AMA, ABA Environmental Interests Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, Greenpeace Equality Interests NAACP, NOW, AARP, LULAC, ACLU Public Interests Common Cause, League of Women Voters, Christian Coalition Single Issue NRA, National Right to Life Committee, MADD

36 Methods Used by Interest Groups Lobbyists - Professionals that work for interest groups and try to influence government - 40% are retired Congressmen/Senators Source of information and expertise Help with political and campaign strategies Source of new policy ideas President, Congressman, Senators, Staffs, and Agencies – ‘wine and dine’ Laws regulating lobbyists Lobbying Disclosure Act - 1995 - Lobbyists must register and file expenditure reports Honest Leadership and Open Government Act - 2007 - bans on gifts, tougher disclosure laws, lengthen time in between retirement from government and hiring by interest group

37 Methods Used by Interest Groups Electioneering Political Action Committees (PACs) Candidate Endorsement GOTV Drives Candidate and Office Holders Rating Cards Issue Advertisements (Citizens’ United) Courts and Litigation Amicus Curiae Briefs Court Appointment - Choice and Ratification Class Action Lawsuits Grassroots - Public Opinion Petitions, Marchers, email/letter campaigns, protests

38 Top 20 PAC Contributors to Republican Candidates, 2007-2008 PAC NameRepub Total National Auto Dealers Assn $1,892,000 National Assn of Realtors $1,679,000 American Bankers Assn $1,671,743 AT&T Inc$1,626,950 Associated Builders & Contractors $1,430,000 National Beer Wholesalers Assn $1,361,000 National Assn of Home Builders $1,338,500 United Parcel Service $1,213,273 Honeywell International $1,196,616 Credit Union National Assn $1,089,149 Freedom Project$1,065,398 Every Republican is Crucial PAC $1,029,500 Koch Industries$1,014,000 American Dental Assn$883,650 PricewaterhouseCooper s $877,500 Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu $852,000 AFLAC Inc$831,000 National Rifle Assn$821,382 Blue Cross/Blue Shield$804,340 National Rural Electric Cooperative Assn $792,174

39 Top 20 PAC Contributors to Democratic Candidates, 2007-2008 International Assn of Fire Fighters $2,115,900 American Fedn of St/Cnty/Munic Employees $2,083,093 Air Line Pilots Assn$2,065,500 Communications Workers of America $2,009,145 United Auto Workers$1,974,950 Sheet Metal Workers Union $1,974,260 United Food & Commercial Workers Union $1,887,228 National Education Assn $1,857,800 Carpenters & Joiners Union $1,794,700 National Air Traffic Controllers Assn $1,768,975 PAC NameDem Total Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers $3,270,150 American Assn for Justice$2,576,000 Laborers Union$2,355,850 Operating Engineers Union $2,346,567 National Assn of Realtors$2,340,900 American Federation of Teachers $2,261,750 Machinists/Aerospace Workers Union $2,251,342 Plumbers/Pipefitters Union $2,205,909 Teamsters Union$2,175,950 Service Employees International Union $2,145,100


41 American Political Participation Conventional Participation – voting, volunteering for a campaign, running for office, contributing money to a candidate, signing petitions, discussing politics, joining a political party Unconventional Participation – uncommon, challenging behavior - Protest, Civil Disobedience, sit-ins, strikes, boycotts, marches, demonstrations (Grassroots) - Repeal of Draft and 26 th Amendment, Montgomery Bus Boycott, March on Birmingham and Selma Participation is done through linkage institutions

42 Elections as Linkage Institutions Politicians present their platforms to the people – campaign events and mailings People voice their preferences by voting People can contribute to campaigns and volunteer to help Policy Elections allow people to voice opinions on laws

43 Interest Groups as Linkage Institutions Express group members’ preferences to politicians Communicate policy information to group members Raise and spend money to advocate for the interests of the groups – electioneering and political advertisements Lobbyists try to persuade politicians and provide expert information Unconventional Participation – Organize Grassroots Protests


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