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POLITICAL PARTIES Chapter 12 O’Connor and Sabato American Government: Continuity and Change.

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Presentation on theme: "POLITICAL PARTIES Chapter 12 O’Connor and Sabato American Government: Continuity and Change."— Presentation transcript:

1 POLITICAL PARTIES Chapter 12 O’Connor and Sabato American Government: Continuity and Change

2 Introduction to Political Parties Democratic PlatformRepublican Platform

3 Analyzing the Constituents of Each Party Who is a Democrat?Who is a Republican?

4 In this chapter we will cover … What is a Political Party? The Evolution of American Party Democracy The Roles of American Parties The Basic Structure of American Political Parties The Party in Government The Modern Transformation of Party Organization The Party in the Electorate One-Partyism and Third-Partyism POLITICAL PARTIES

5 A political party is a group of voters, activists, candidates, and office holders who identify with a party label and seek to elect individuals to public office. 1.What is a Political Party?

6 2.The Evolution of American Party Democracy Hamilton and Jefferson, as heads of the Federalist and Anti-Federalist groups respectively, are often considered “fathers” of the modern party system. By 1800, this country had a party system with two major parties that has remained relatively stable ever since.

7 Democrats and Republicans: The Golden Age From the presidential elections of 1860 to the present, the same two major parties have contested elections in the United States: Democrats and Republicans. –Reconstruction -- Republican dominance – closely competitive – Republican dominance –1930s and 1940s -- Democratic dominance –1950s and 1960s -- closely competitive –1970-present -- neither party dominant

8 3.The Roles of the American Parties The two-party system has been used to resolve political and social conflicts. –Mobilizing Support and Gathering Power –A Force for Stability –Unity, Linkage, Accountability –The Electioneering Function –Party as a Voting and Issue Cue –Policy Formulation and Promotion

9 4.The Basic Structure of American Political Parties The organizational structure of America’s political parties remains fairly simple with aspects of national, state, and local influence: National Committees/Conventions State Central Committees Local City/Precinct Committees Informal Groups: Think Tanks and Reform Groups

10 The Basic Structure of American Political Parties

11 5.The Party in Government The Congressional Party The Presidential Party The Parties and the Judiciary The Parties and State Government

12 Homework Read: Madison – Federalist 10, p.65 Why did Madison warn people against factions and how do political parties and pluralism ensure stability?

13 6.The Modern Transformation of Party Organization Republican Party Strengths: Party Staff – several hundred operatives stationed in key districts Voter Contact – telephone canvassing and bulk mailings Polling Media Advertising – in-house media division Staff Training and Research

14 Political Party Finances,

15 7.The Party In The Electorate The ‘party in the electorate’ is the mass of potential voters who identify with a specific party. American voters often identify with a specific party, but rarely belong formally. Party identification is often a voter’s central political reference symbol. Party identification generally comes from one’s parents. However, party identification can be affected by a number of factors such as education, peers, charismatic personalities, cataclysmic events, and intense social issues.

16 Declining Party Loyalty? The number of independents in the U.S. rose from 19% in 1958 to 37% twenty years later. Identification with the two major parties today is in the mid 80% range. Pollsters often find that many self-declared independents often “lean” quite strongly to either the Democratic or Republican party. “Leaners” do feel party affiliations, but choose not to self-identify with a party.

17 Loyalty Trends - Democratic Labor union members tend to vote Democratic. Democrats have a lead in garnering the women's vote. Over 80% of African Americans and Hispanics vote Democratic. Young people are once again more Democratic. Most blue-collar workers and unemployed are Democrats. Catholics and Jews are mostly Democrats. The widowed are mostly Democrats. Liberals tend to be Democrats.

18 Chambers of Commerce members tend to vote Republican. The West tends to be more Republican. Men tend to split fairly evenly between the two parties. Cuban-Americans are generally Republicans (anti- Castro). Professionals, executives, and white-collar workers tend to be Republican. High-status Protestants tend to be Republican. Married couples tend to be Republican. Conservatives tend to be Republican. Loyalty Trends - Republican

19 Websites Major Parties Democratic National Committee –www.democrats.org Republican National Committee –www.rnc.org Third Parties Third Party Central –www.3pc.net/index.html Libertarian Party –www.lp.org Reform Party. –www.reformparty.org

20 8.One-Partyism and Third-Partyism A significant trend of recent times is the demise of one-partyism (one-party dominance of elections in a given region). The formerly "Solid South" is no longer only Democratic. There are no exclusively Republican or Democratic states at this time. Many individuals split their vote between the parties, and sometimes vote for third parties.

21 Minor Parties: Third-Partyism Minor parties are not a threat to the two major parties. Only eight third parties have won any electoral votes in a presidential contest. The third parties that have had some success are: –1996 and 1992: Ross Perot’s Reform Party –1968: George Wallace’s American Independent Party –1924: Robert LaFollette’s Progressive Party –1912: Teddy Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Party –1856: Millard Fillmore's American Party


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