Presentation on theme: "POLITICAL PARTIES Chapter 12 O’Connor and Sabato American Government:"— Presentation transcript:
1 POLITICAL PARTIES Chapter 12 O’Connor and Sabato American Government: Continuity and Change
2 POLITICAL PARTIES In this chapter we will cover… What is a Political Party?The Evolution of American Party DemocracyThe Roles of American PartiesOne-Partyism and Third-PartyismThe Basic Structure of American Political PartiesThe Party in GovernmentThe Party-In-The-Electorate
3 What is a Political Party? 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.
4 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.
6 Democrats and Republicans: The Golden Age to Today 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 dominanceclosely competitiveRepublican dominance1930s and 1940s -- Democratic dominance1950s and 1960s -- closely competitive1970-present -- neither party dominant
7 The Golden Age (The Gilded Age) Political Machine: A party organization that recruits voter loyalty with tangible incentives and is characterized by a high degree of control over member activity.
8 What did political machines offer? Party machines and government seemed to be the same thing to many city dwellers.Provided jobsHousingFoodEntertainmentCommunity eventsImmigrant supportUpward social mobility75% Voter Turnout!!!
9 History Replace Political Machines Government conducts elections and primariesPrimary: The means by which a political party nominates candidates for public office.New Deal provides social welfare programs1900s Wave of Immigration slows downPost WWII – Growth of Suburbia
10 The Modern EraDirect Primary: The selection of party candidates through the ballots of qualified voters rather than at party nominating conventions.Civil Service Laws: These acts removed the staffing of the bureaucracy from political parties and created a professional bureaucracy.
11 Post WWIICandidate-Centered Politics: Politics that focuses directly on the candidates, their particular issues, and character, rather than on party affiliation.Issue-Oriented Politics: Politics that focuses on specific issues rather than on party, candidate, or other loyalties.Ticket-split: To vote for candidates of different parties for various offices in the same election.
12 How do Parties Change?Party realignment: a shifting of party coalition groupings in the electorate that remains in place for several elections.Critical election: An election that signals a party realignment through voter polarization around new issues.Secular realignment: The gradual rearrangement of party coalitions based more on demographic shifts than on shocks to the political system.
13 The Roles of American Parties The two party system has been used to resolve political and social conflicts.Mobilizing Support and Gathering PowerA Force for StabilityUnity, Linkage, AccountabilityThe Electioneering FunctionParty as a Voting and Issue CuePolicy Formulation and Promotion
14 Mobilizing Support and Gathering Power Coalition: A group made up of interests or organizations that join forces for the purpose of electing public officials.Get Out the Vote: Voter registration drives. Mobilizing previously unmotivated voters to participate. May not be effective in mobilizing “undecided” Americans.
15 A Force for Stability and Moderation ContinuityTame extreme elementsNew Deal: Brought together African Americans and southern whites.Increasing polarization diminished moderating effect of parties.Government shut-down, GOP struggles with Tea Party.
16 Unity, Linkage, and Accountability Linkage between executive and legislative branchesModerates separation of powerLinks National and State governmentsLinks House to SenateAccountability between candidates and voters
17 The Electioneering Function Candidate recruitmentElection positions become government positionsSustain the competitive function of elections
18 Party as a Voting and Issue Cue Filter information – political ideologyShortcut for voting decisionsUninformed votersReinforce the “compass” element of political ideology
19 Policy Formulation and Promotion National party platform: A statement of the general and specific policy goals of a political party, usually promulgated at the national convention.describes the key differences between the two major parties.2/3 of winning platform becomes (at least partly) government policy½ of losing platform is also adopted – bipartisanship (suggests limits on voter choice)
20 One-PartyismA 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 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 Party1968: George Wallace’s American Independent Party1924: Robert LaFollette’s Progressive Party1912: Teddy Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Party1856: Millard Fillmore's American Party
22 Obstacles to Third Party Success Proportional Representation: A voting system that awards seats according to the percentage of the vote won by a particular political party. NOT USED IN AMERICA!Winner-take-all-system: An electoral system in which the party that receives at least one more vote than any other party wins the election. (“single-member plurality”)
23 Third Party SpoilersThird Party candidates are often accused of syphoning votes from the person who “should have” won a particular position. This is called the “spoiler effect”.Ralph Nader – took votes in FL from Al Gore in 2000Ross Perot – took votes from George Bush in 1992 and Bob Dole in 1996.
24 The Basic Structure of American Political Parties
25 Party Organization DNC: Democratic National Committee RNC: Republican National CommitteeBoth lead by a “Chairperson”Chairperson is appointed by President or Presidential CandidateIn between elections & When out of power – the National Committees elect their own Chairpersons.ChairpersonStrong fundraising roleNegotiator/Dispute Arbitrator
26 National ConventionsNational Convention: A party meeting held in the presidential election year for the purposes of nominating a presidential and vice presidential ticket and adopting a platform.
27 Party DisciplineMost regulation of party activities is left to states, not national leadership.2008 – MI and FL (Dem) scheduled presidential primaries for January – before IA and NH.DNC voted to deny both states half their voting power at the National Convention.
28 Informal Groups Both parties have: Think Tank: Institutional collection of policy-oriented researchers and academics who are sources of policy ideas.Governors AssociationsCollege/Young divisionsNational Federation of ___ Women
29 MONEY!!!Soft Money: The virtually unregulated money funneled through political parties for party building purposes, such as get out the vote efforts or issue ads.Citizens United (2010): SCOTUS overruled most parts of BCRA (2002), restoring the ability of corporations, unions, and organizations to spend money for “electioneering purposes”.
30 Eight “Magic Words”Ads move from “issue ads” to “express advocacy” when they include:Vote forElectSupportcast your ballot forSmith for CongressVote againstDefeatRejectFootnote in Buckley v. Valeo (1976)
31 MONEY!!!Hard money: Funds that can be used for direct electioneering but are limited and regulated by the Federal Elections CommissionsMoney = SpeechBuckley v. Valeo“the concept that government may restrict the speech of some [in] order to enhance the relative voice of others is wholly foreign to the First Amendment.” –Justice Brennan
32 The Party in Government The Congressional PartyThe Presidential PartyThe Parties and the JudiciaryThe Parties and State Government
33 The Party-In-The-Electorate The party-in-the-electorate is the mass of potential voters who identify with specific party.American voters often identify with a specific party, but rarely formally belong to it.Party identification is often a voter's central political reference symbol.Party identification generally come from one's parents.However party id can be affected by a number of factors such as education, peers, charismatic personalities, cataclysmic events, and intense social issues.
34 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 Democrat or Republican party.“Leaners” do feel party affiliations, but choose not to self-identify with a party.
35 Loyalty Trends - Democratic Labor union members tend to vote DemocraticDemocrats have a lead in garnering the women's votesOver 80% of African Americans and Hispanics vote 3 to 1 DemocraticYoung people are again more DemocraticMost blue collar workers and unemployed are DemocratsCatholics and Jews are mostly DemocratsThe widowed are mostly DemocratsLiberals tend to be Democrats
36 Loyalty Trends - Republican Chambers of Commerce tend to vote RepublicanThe West tends to be more RepublicanMen tend to split fairly evenly between the two partiesCuban Americans are generally Republicans (anti-Castro)Professionals, executives, and white collar workers tend to be RepublicanHigh status Protestants tend to be RepublicanMarried couples tend to be RepublicanConservatives tend to be Republican