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Chapter 9 Political Parties. What Are Political Parties? Political parties: organized groups that attempt to influence the government by electing their.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 9 Political Parties. What Are Political Parties? Political parties: organized groups that attempt to influence the government by electing their."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 9 Political Parties

2

3 What Are Political Parties? Political parties: organized groups that attempt to influence the government by electing their members to local, state, and national offices. Important link between public and government Voters Parties Elected Officials – Especially true in elections, parties filter participation.

4 What Are Political Parties? Utility in American government and politics Increase political participation Provide important information cues to voters Organize congressional business

5 What Are Political Parties? Party formation –Internal mobilization Political conflicts prompt officials and competing factions within government to mobilize popular support. –External mobilization Group of politicians outside of government organizes popular support to win governmental power.

6 What Are Political Parties? Defining traits of party systems –Number of parties –Organizational structure –Balance of power between parties and within party coalitions –Institutional and social bases of support –Issues and policies that define the party and their competitors

7 What Are Political Parties? American two-party system –Winner takes all single-member districts If candidates wins by 20 percent, or.001 percent, same result –Losing party gets no representation from that specific district. Unlike proportional representation systems –Multimember districts/states, party wins number of seats in proportion to the share of votes won in election Third parties less viable; voters feel “wasted vote” –No incentive to vote for candidates who cannot win because that point of view will not get represented.

8 Political Parties Geographic vs. proportional representation –U.S. party representation geographic WTA Congress in single-member districts (winner takes all) U.S. Senate allocated by state (winner takes all) President by way of electoral college (winner takes all) –Many democracies have proportional representation systems Parties get a share based on vote.

9 What Are Political Parties?

10 Electoral Alignments and Realignments Realignments –Occur when issues that currently separate the two parties decline in relevance –New issues emerge that parties center around –Dramatic shifts in which party governs –Dramatic shifts on positions the parties support Example: Republicans and Democrats on civil rights

11 Party Systems First system: Federalists and Jeffersonian Republicans –Federalists: stronger federal government, assumption of Revolutionary War debt, protective tariffs, commercial ties with Britain –Jeffersonians: free trade, agriculture, relations with France

12 Party Systems Second party system: Democrats and Whigs –Intense competition for votes led politicians to increase suffrage. –Parties divided more by personalities and petty politics than by significant ideologies –Eventually, the Whigs are replaced by a coalition of free labor, free soil, and free land supporters.

13 Party Systems The Civil War and postwar system: Republicans and Democrats –Republicans: higher tariffs to protect industry, no slavery in new territories, westward expansion –Democrats: lower tariffs to promote agriculture, smaller, local government, proslavery

14 Party Systems System of 1896: Republicans and Democrats –America more urban, industrialized by end of the nineteenth century –Populists and Democrats appealed to workers and farmers.

15 Party Systems The New Deal party system –Franklin Delano Roosevelt elected in –Expanded reach of government –Began regulating the workplace –Created a social safety net –Created a broad coalition of voters that sustained it until the late 1960s

16 Party Systems The contemporary American party system –GOP expands voter base, draws economic and social conservatives, especially southerners. –Ideological divide increases among elected officials; within the ranks as well. The Tea Party (not an actual political party) illustrates base frustration with GOP elected officials. Progressive activists, Occupy Wall Street most notably, illustrate base frustration with Democratic party.

17 Party Systems Party polarization –Sharp divisions between the two parties –Congress is most polarized today since 1956 –Measured in Congress using roll call votes Party unity: frequency and strength –How often does the party vote as a cohesive bloc? –How strong is party bloc vote: unanimous, 90 percent, or 60 percent? –Measured in public opinion as well Party identification, election margins of victory

18 Electoral Realignments

19 American Third Parties

20 Electoral Alignments and Realignments Third parties –Represent social and economic interests not voiced by the two major parties –Potential influence in pushing two parties to address their issue(s), if they are taken seriously by voters and media –Significant structural obstacles make it hard for third (or more) parties to get on the ballot.

21 Parties and Candidates in 2012

22 Party Organization

23 National committees –Democratic National Committee (DNC) –Republican National Committee (RNC) Raise funds for candidates Build party infrastructure Recruit and groom candidates Promote party interests through the media Unify supporting coalitions

24 Party Organization Hard money, soft money, and 527s –Hard money was used for campaigning; soft money for party building. –2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act outlawed soft money. –527s: nonprofits that can campaign for, but not coordinate with, the candidates. –Citizens United allows unlimited, anonymous donations via interest groups; significant impact.

25 Party Organization Congressional committees –Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee –National Republican Congressional Committee –Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee –National Republican Senatorial Committee Recruit, raise funds for, and assist candidates High pressure for elected officials leading those committees to raise millions

26 Parties and the Electorate Party Identification 1952–2010

27 Group Affiliations

28 Parties and the Electorate Racial and ethnic group party identification –White voters (about 52–55 percent) identify as GOP –90 percent of African Americans identify as Democrats –Latinos tend to vote for Democrats Cuban Americans more GOP, other Latinos more Democrat Likelihood of supporting candidates from either party depending on issues and candidates –Asian Americans lean Democrat Ties not strong; cross-party voting common

29 Parties and the Electorate Gender and religion –More women identify as Democrats; more men identify as Republicans. –~90 percent of Jews identify as Democrats. –White Catholics and Protestants are more likely to identify Republican. Latino Catholics and Black Protestants, Democrats

30 Parties and the Electorate Class does not break down cleanly. –Those lower on the SES still tend to support the Democratic Party. –Higher SES more likely to vote GOP. Of course, demographics don’t predict partisanship for any one person.

31 Parties and the Electorate Ideology –Conservatives support Republican Party. –Liberals support Democratic Party. –Moderates split between the two. Region –Republicans strong in South and Mountain West –Democrats strong in West Coast, Midwest, Northeast

32 WHO ARE AMERICANS? Who Identifies with Which Party? CHAPTER 9

33 WHO ARE AMERICANS? Who Identifies with Which Party? 18 – – – and over Age 58% 50% 51% 49% 10% 11% 33% 39% 38% 40% Men Women Gender 47% 55% 11% 42% 34% SOURCES: Harold W. Stanley, Vital Statistics on American Politics, (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2011), p Republican PartyDemocratic PartyIndependent

34 WHO ARE AMERICANS? Who Identifies with Which Party? Income Under $20K $20K – $29,999 $30K – $49,999 $50K – $74,999 $75K and over 63% 58% 54% 41% 45% 12% 10% 9% 8% 24% 32% 36% 51% 48% Republican PartyDemocratic PartyIndependent SOURCES: Harold W. Stanley, Vital Statistics on American Politics, (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2011), p White Black Hispanic All others Race 46% 86% 62% 73% 10% 8% 11% 12% 44% 7% 27% 15%

35 WHO ARE AMERICANS? Who Identifies with Which Party? SOURCES: Harold W. Stanley, Vital Statistics on American Politics, (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2011), p East Midwest South West Region 55% 50% 49% 53% 11% 12% 10% 34% 38% 41% 37% Education < High school High school grad. College grad. Postgraduate 60% 52% 47% 53% 13% 11% 10% 9% 27% 38% 43% 38% Republican PartyDemocratic PartyIndependent

36 Political Parties Do the two parties represent all Americans? –Significant body of research finds: GOP and Democrats focus on issues important to middle- and upper-middle class. –The environment, retirement benefits, and taxation are middle/upper-class issues; central to political agenda. –Parties compete for these groups of voters. Poor neglected in policy, debate, and issue priorities –Welfare, housing, hunger, public transportation, not discussed –Neither party competing for their votes.

37 Political Parties What is wrong with the American party system? –Vigorous debate to this question Party leaders (not voters) too polarized—Fiorina et al. Parties not strong enough, ineffective—Schattschneider Unrepresentative, need reform—Bowler and Donovan

38 Parties and Elections Parties in American elections –Recruit candidates to run –Mobilize supporters and voters –Provide voters with choices

39 Parties and Elections Recruiting candidates –A quality candidate needs: Good name recognition Previous experience in office Ability to raise large amounts of money Understanding of the key issues Ability to withstand severe scrutiny

40 Parties and Elections Mobilization: getting out the vote –Get supporters registered –Keeping online groups engaged –Turning out their base on election day –Operate phone banks, put up yard signs –Offer rides to polling stations –Parties subsidize the costs of informing and mobilizing voters

41 Parties and Elections Facilitating voter choice –Americans vote on many more officials than most citizens of other countries do. –This requires Americans to be informed about more candidates. –Parties make obtaining this information easier. –People use party as an information “shortcut” when making voting decisions.

42 Parties and Government Parties and policy –GOP: wealthier Americans, white working-class, social conservatives Cuts in social programs High military spending Tax relief for higher earners Low taxes for business Conservative social policy

43 Parties and Government Parties and policy –Democrats: organized labor, working class, racial minorities, liberal wealthier Americans Expanded social welfare spending Cuts in military spending Consumer and worker protection Protection for the environment

44 Parties and Government Parties in Congress –Both chambers organize functions through committees that are divided by party. –The majority party has the leadership roles. President and party –If Congress is controlled by the opposition party, then we often see gridlock and delay rather than cooperation (divided government). –President is de facto head of his party.

45 Public Opinion Poll There is ongoing debate about whether Americans are politically polarized or not. What do you think? a)The American media and public are polarized. b)American media and parties are polarized, the mass public (people) are not. c)People who follow politics a lot are polarized, but they are a small share of the American population. d)There is no polarization.

46 Public Opinion Poll Do you think more people would vote if there were more viable political parties (maybe three to five) instead of only two as we have now? a)Yes, more people would vote. b)No, more parties would have no impact on turnout. c)Fewer people would vote; it would cause confusion.

47 Public Opinion Poll Do you think there is a significant difference between Democrats and Republicans in office? a)Yes, they are very different. b)No, politicians of both parties are mostly the same.

48 Public Opinion Poll Do you think turnout rates would increase if all elections were nonpartisan (like many local elections)? a)Yes, people would like to vote for people not associated with a party. b)No, people would be confused without party cues to help them make their vote choices.

49 Public Opinion Poll Do you think the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are welcoming to voters of different racial and ethnic backgrounds? a)Yes, both parties are welcoming to all voters. b)No, neither is welcoming. c)Republicans are welcoming, Democrats are not. d)Democrats are welcoming, Republicans are not.

50 Chapter 9: Political Parties Quizzes Flashcards Outlines Exercises wwnorton.com/we-the-people

51 Following this slide, you will find additional images, figures, and tables from the textbook.

52 Political Parties and the World

53 Parties and Candidates in 2012

54 How the Party System Evolved

55 Party Systems

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57 Third Parties

58 National Convention

59 State and Local Party Organizations

60 Digital Citizens

61 Parties and Policy

62 Parties in Congress

63 Political Parties and the World


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