2 Political PartiesAt their 2012 national convention, Republicans formally nominated Mitt Romney as their presidential candidate. While many Americans express frustration over partisan conflict, political parties play an important role in organizing American politics and government.
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 governmentVoters Parties Elected OfficialsEspecially true in elections, parties filter participation.Voters today frequently understand government and politics through the lens of political parties.That makes sense given the fact that our direct participation in elections is mediated by parties in many ways.Think about examples of the first set of relationships (voters parties).Think of examples of the second set of relationships (parties elected officials).
4 What Are Political Parties? Utility in American government and politicsIncrease political participationProvide important information cues to votersOrganize congressional businessParties have an important role in American politics beyond running conventions.Mobilization and turnout are a large part of their job.They provide information shortcuts so voters can make decisions when faced with candidates they may not know much about.The “R” or “D” next to the candidate name on a ballot is a strong cue to vote choices.
5 What Are Political Parties? Party formationInternal mobilizationPolitical conflicts prompt officials and competing factions within government to mobilize popular support.External mobilizationGroup of politicians outside of government organizes popular support to win governmental power.Two ways parties come to exist.The first is more “organic”; people already involved in government splinter from an existing party, or coalesce to form a party.The second occurs when new ideas and organization are introduced from people outside the existing parties or political structure.In both cases, the mass public must buy in (in democracies anyhow) in order for parties to form.
6 What Are Political Parties? Defining traits of party systemsNumber of partiesOrganizational structureBalance of power between parties and within party coalitionsInstitutional and social bases of supportIssues and policies that define the party and their competitorsThese criteria can be applied to any party system in any country, at any point in time, to ascertain how parties work in and outside of government in a given place.
7 What Are Political Parties? American two-party systemWinner takes all single-member districtsIf candidates wins by 20 percent, or .001 percent, same resultLosing party gets no representation from that specific district.Unlike proportional representation systemsMultimember districts/states, party wins number of seats in proportion to the share of votes won in electionThird 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.1. Many democracies have proportional representation systems instead; discuss the merits of PR system.
8 Political Parties Geographic vs. proportional representation U.S. party representation geographic WTACongress 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 systemsParties get a share based on vote.Three different schools of thought define the problem with American parties differently.Accordingly, each prescribes a different solution, since each views the problem in a distinct manner.Without knowing much about these three yet, what do students identify as the problem with parties in the United States today? Do students name similar issues to those identified by the authors?
9 What Are Political Parties? The Democratic Party of the United States is the world’s oldest political party. It can trace its history back to Thomas Jefferson’s Jeffersonian Republicans and, later, to Andrew Jackson’s Jacksonian Democrats. The Jacksonians expanded voter participation and ushered in the political era of the common person, as shown in this image of Jackson’s inauguration celebration.
10 Electoral Alignments and Realignments Occur when issues that currently separate the two parties decline in relevanceNew issues emerge that parties center aroundDramatic shifts in which party governsDramatic shifts on positions the parties supportExample: 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 BritainJeffersonians: free trade, agriculture, relations with France1. You may want to stress that the term party should be loosely construed during this time period.2. There were no party organizations as we now know them.3. Parties were mostly voting coalitions in Congress, and did not even have party platforms or any national structures or conventions.
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 ideologiesEventually, the Whigs are replaced by a coalition of free labor, free soil, and free land supporters.
13 Party SystemsThe Civil War and postwar system: Republicans and DemocratsRepublicans: higher tariffs to protect industry, no slavery in new territories, westward expansionDemocrats: lower tariffs to promote agriculture, smaller, local government, proslaveryThe northern industrialists needed high tariffs to protect their businesses from more efficient European ones, and hence favored high tariffs.They needed new markets, so they promoted westward expansion.High tariffs hurt agricultural exporters, who leaned toward the Democratic Party.The parties were divided over slavery, but their core economic interests were directly opposed as well.
14 Party Systems System of 1896: Republicans and Democrats America more urban, industrialized by end of the nineteenth centuryPopulists and Democrats appealed to workers and farmers.Farmers found themselves unable to get credit at acceptable rates, and thought they paid too much to railroads for shipping their produce.Workers wanted eight-hour days and the ability to unionize.
15 Party Systems The New Deal party system Franklin Delano Roosevelt elected in 1932.Expanded reach of governmentBegan regulating the workplaceCreated a social safety netCreated a broad coalition of voters that sustained it until the late 1960s1. Explaining the New Deal is beyond the scope of this section, but most students will take required American history courses that will cover this topic.2. The government we have today, with a powerful executive and large federal programs, began with the New Deal.3. Before that, virtually all assistance to the poor and needy was provided by the states, and there was virtually no government regulation of the economy.
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.Over the last several decades, the party leaders are becoming farther apart ideologically and are purging moderate members from the ranks.There is debate as to whether the public follows elite polarization or not.Online activism makes it easier for party activists to mobilize and publicize their grievances with the party; the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street are examples.The GOP has been very responsive to their activist base (with a congressional Tea Party caucus), the Democrats have not yet shown the same attention to their party members who are unhappy with the party (Occupy and immigration activists are examples).
17 Party Systems Party polarization Sharp divisions between the two partiesCongress is most polarized today since 1956Measured in Congress using roll call votesParty unity: frequency and strengthHow 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 wellParty identification, election margins of victory
18 Electoral Realignments FIGURE 9.2 Electoral RealignmentsPolitical scientists disagree over whether an electoral realignment occurred in 1968, because no one party clearly dominated the national government after that election. Although Republicans dominated the federal government between 2000 and 2006, their control fell short of a full fledged realignment: Republicans never gained a majority of party identifiers, they failed to enact many of their key policy goals, and elections remained extremely close.
19 American Third Parties In 2000, Ralph Nader ran as the candidate of the Green Party and won 3 percent of the vote, mainly at the expense of the Democratic candidate, Al Gore. Many observers believed that Gore would have won the 2000 election had Nader dropped out. In 2004 and 2008, Nader ran again as an independent candidate, receiving less than 1 percent of the vote.
20 Electoral Alignments and Realignments Third partiesRepresent social and economic interests not voiced by the two major partiesPotential influence in pushing two parties to address their issue(s), if they are taken seriously by voters and mediaSignificant structural obstacles make it hard for third (or more) parties to get on the ballot.Democrats and Republicans make election rules.It makes sense that the two parties pass laws making it difficult for their power to be challenged by third parties.Theoretically, they can draw votes from the two parties, but it is often people who are not excited about the two parties that support a third party.It is not really possible to know whether third-party voters would have voted for X, if third party had not been on the ballot (as many party leaders like to lament).
21 Parties and Candidates in 2012 TABLE 9.1 Parties and Candidates in 2012SOURCE: ngtonpost.com/2012/results# (accessed 11/12/12).
22 Party Organization FIGURE 9.3 How American Parties Are Organized The text lays out the national conventions nicely, and discusses their formal functions. You might ask your students why the national conventions receive so much media attention. You might tell them that conventions perform other important functions, which are to inform voters of party beliefs and values and introduce the parties’ candidates.
23 Party Organization National committees Democratic National Committee (DNC)Republican National Committee (RNC)Raise funds for candidatesBuild party infrastructureRecruit and groom candidatesPromote party interests through the mediaUnify supporting coalitions1. National committees are the most familiar structures.2. These are now vast, full-time institutions with large budgets and high-profile chairs.3. Their organization (like the pyramid illustration) is similar to any hierarchical organization, with a clear organizational chart that one can easily follow to see how operations work and functions are distributed.4. Candidates for Congress, the Senate and the presidency are often recruited by the party.
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.Citizens United renders many of the rules and distinctions about “what kinds of money” insignificant. For more on Citizens United, and the role of money in elections, an excellent podcast from This American Life:
25 Party Organization Congressional committees Democratic Congressional Campaign CommitteeNational Republican Congressional CommitteeDemocratic Senatorial Campaign CommitteeNational Republican Senatorial CommitteeRecruit, raise funds for, and assist candidatesHigh pressure for elected officials leading those committees to raise millionsEach committee is chaired by a member of that respective chamber, who will often spend a great deal of time finding and recruiting quality candidates to run for open seats or seats held by the opposite party. The committee helps certain select candidates by providing them with campaign funds, policy advice, training on how to campaign, and also helps with polling and even advertising on their behalf at times.For more role of money in parties and Congress, an excellent podcast from This American Life:
26 Parties and the Electorate Party Identification 1952–2010FIGURE 9.4 Americans’ Party Identification, 1952–2010Over time, the Democrats lost strength as more Americans identified themselves as Republicans and independents. However, the percent identifying as Democrats has grown in recent years. Why do you think the percentage of people identifying themselves as independents grew during the 1970s?SOURCES: From 1952 to American National Election Studies, 2006–2008: Gallup.com (accessed 7/15/10).*Independents who said they leaned toward one party are counted with that party.
27 Group AffiliationsIn 2012 both major parties tried to appeal to Latino and Hispanic voters. Mitt Romney called on members of his family who speak Spanish to appear at campaign events with Latino groups.
28 Parties and the Electorate Racial and ethnic group party identificationWhite voters (about 52–55 percent) identify as GOP90 percent of African Americans identify as DemocratsLatinos tend to vote for DemocratsCuban Americans more GOP, other Latinos more DemocratLikelihood of supporting candidates from either party depending on issues and candidatesAsian Americans lean DemocratTies not strong; cross-party voting common
29 Parties and the Electorate Gender and religionMore 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 IdeologyConservatives support Republican Party.Liberals support Democratic Party.Moderates split between the two.RegionRepublicans strong in South and Mountain WestDemocrats strong in West Coast, Midwest, NortheastOne point you may want to stress is that the media portrays many states as “red states” or “blue states” when the reality is far more complicated. While many states are virtually guaranteed to send their electors to one party or the other before the presidential campaigns begin, all states elect officials from both parties to major state and federal offices—an important point that is often ignored.
33 Who Identifies with Which Party? MenWomenGender47%55%11%42%34%18 – 2930 – 4950 – 6465 and overAge58%50%51%49%10%11%33%39%38%40%Party identification varies by income, race, and gender. For example, as these statistics from 2008 show, Americans with higher incomes are significantly more likely to support the Republican Party. Women and African Americans are more likely than white men to identify with the Democratic Party.Republican PartyDemocratic PartyIndependentSOURCES: Harold W. Stanley, Vital Statistics on American Politics, (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2011), p. 110.
34 Who Identifies with Which Party? WhiteBlackHispanicAll othersRace46%86%62%73%10%8%11%12%44%7%27%15%IncomeUnder $20K$20K – $29,999$30K – $49,999$50K – $74,999$75K and over63%58%54%41%45%12%10%9%8%24%32%36%51%48%Party identification varies by income, race, and gender. For example, as these statistics from 2008 show, Americans with higher incomes are significantly more likely to support the Republican Party. Women and African Americans are more likely than white men to identify with the Democratic Party.Republican PartyDemocratic PartyIndependentSOURCES: Harold W. Stanley, Vital Statistics on American Politics, (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2011), p. 110.
35 Who Identifies with Which Party? EastMidwestSouthWestRegion55%50%49%53%11%12%10%34%38%41%37%Education< High schoolHigh school grad.College grad.Postgraduate60%52%47%53%13%11%10%9%27%38%43%Party identification varies by income, race, and gender. For example, as these statistics from 2008 show, Americans with higher incomes are significantly more likely to support the Republican Party. Women and African Americans are more likely than white men to identify with the Democratic Party.Questions for Classroom Discussion:How do younger Americans differ from older Americans in their party identification? How—and how much—do regions of the country differ?Do you think of yourself as a Democrat, Republican, or independent? Are other Americans of your gender, age, race, region, and income level likely to share your party preference?Republican PartyDemocratic PartyIndependentSOURCES: Harold W. Stanley, Vital Statistics on American Politics, (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2011), p. 110.
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 prioritiesWelfare, housing, hunger, public transportation, not discussedNeither party competing for their votes.
37 Political Parties What is wrong with the American party system? Vigorous debate to this questionParty leaders (not voters) too polarized—Fiorina et al.Parties not strong enough, ineffective—SchattschneiderUnrepresentative, need reform—Bowler and Donovan
38 Parties and Elections Parties in American elections Recruit candidates to runMobilize supporters and votersProvide voters with choices
39 Parties and Elections Recruiting candidates A quality candidate needs: Good name recognitionPrevious experience in officeAbility to raise large amounts of moneyUnderstanding of the key issuesAbility to withstand severe scrutiny
40 Parties and Elections Mobilization: getting out the vote Get supporters registeredKeeping online groups engagedTurning out their base on election dayOperate phone banks, put up yard signsOffer rides to polling stationsParties subsidize the costs of informing and mobilizing votersYou might ask the students if anyone helped or offered to register to vote.
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 policyGOP: wealthier Americans, white working-class, social conservativesCuts in social programsHigh military spendingTax relief for higher earnersLow taxes for businessConservative social policyThe point here is that the party in power matters a great deal, because the two differ on a large number of issues. Why? Because they appeal to different constituencies and those constituencies have very different policy preferences.
43 Parties and Government Parties and policyDemocrats: organized labor, working class, racial minorities, liberal wealthier AmericansExpanded social welfare spendingCuts in military spendingConsumer and worker protectionProtection for the environment
44 Parties and Government Parties in CongressBoth chambers organize functions through committees that are divided by party.The majority party has the leadership roles.President and partyIf 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 PollThere is ongoing debate about whether Americans are politically polarized or not. What do you think?The American media and public are polarized.American media and parties are polarized, the mass public (people) are not.People who follow politics a lot are polarized, but they are a small share of the American population.There is no polarization.
46 Public Opinion PollDo 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?Yes, more people would vote.No, more parties would have no impact on turnout.Fewer people would vote; it would cause confusion.
47 Public Opinion PollDo you think there is a significant difference between Democrats and Republicans in office?Yes, they are very different.No, politicians of both parties are mostly the same.
48 Public Opinion PollDo you think turnout rates would increase if all elections were nonpartisan (like many local elections)?Yes, people would like to vote for people not associated with a party.No, people would be confused without party cues to help them make their vote choices.
49 Public Opinion PollDo you think the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are welcoming to voters of different racial and ethnic backgrounds?Yes, both parties are welcoming to all voters.No, neither is welcoming.Republicans are welcoming, Democrats are not.Democrats are welcoming, Republicans are not.
50 Chapter 9: Political Parties QuizzesFlashcardsOutlinesExerciseswwnorton.com/we-the-people50
51 Following this slide, you will find additional images, figures, and tables from the textbook.
52 Political Parties and the World In the 1930s the Whig Party emerged as the Democrats’ main rival. This drawing depicts a Whig rally and parade during the 1840 election, which became known as the “hard cider” campaign.
53 Parties and Candidates in 2012 TABLE 9.1 Parties and Candidates in 2012SOURCE: ngtonpost.com/2012/results# (accessed 11/12/12).
54 How the Party System Evolved FIGURE 9.1 How the Party System EvolvedDuring the nineteenth century, the Democrats and the Republicans emerged as the two dominant parties in American politics. As the American party system evolved, many third parties emerged, but few of them remained in existence for very long.*Or in some cases, fourth parties; most of these parties lasted through only one term.**The Anti-Masonics had the distinction of being not only the first third party but also the first party to hold a national nominating convention and the first to announce a party platform.
55 Party SystemsFollowing the Civil War, the Republican Party remained dominant in the North. This poster supporting Republican Benjamin Harrison in the 1888 election promises protective tariffs, and other policies that appealed to the industrial states in the North.
56 Party SystemsRichard Nixon’s “southern strategy” helped broaden the Republican Party’s base in the late 1960s and the 1970s by appealing to white southerners. Here, Nixon meets supporters in Georgia in 1973.
57 Third PartiesGreen Party candidate Jill Stein ran for president in 2012 and received less than 1 percent of the vote. Although minor-party candidates do not have much chance of winning the presidency, their campaigns can affect the issues that the major parties put on their agendas.
58 National ConventionAt the Democratic Party’s 2012 national convention, Democrats officially confirmed the nomination of President Barack Obama as the party’s candidate for president in 2012.
59 State and Local Party Organizations Local party offices may work in tandem with the national and state party organizations, but they also have a good deal of independence to decide which local candidates and issues to support.
61 Parties and PolicySince the 1980s, the Republicans have appealed to “values voters” concerned about social issues like school prayer, abortion, and gay marriage with promises to enact new policies in these areas. In 2011, Mitt Romney spoke at the\ Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C.
62 Parties in CongressWithin the government, parties help like-minded politicians achieve their policy goals. In Congress, party members work together to try to pass legislation, and they also work with the president. Here, President Barack Obama meets with the Democrats’ congressional leaders in the Oval Office.