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Development of Political Parties. A Political Party Definition A group of people with broad common interests who organize to win elections, control government,

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Presentation on theme: "Development of Political Parties. A Political Party Definition A group of people with broad common interests who organize to win elections, control government,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Development of Political Parties

2 A Political Party Definition A group of people with broad common interests who organize to win elections, control government, and thereby influence government policies.

3 Tasks of Political Parties Pick Candidates Run Campaigns Give Cues to Voters Articulate Policies Coordinate Policymaking

4 2012 Republican Primary These six men (others had dropped out already) competed in a primary election in every state to determine which one would run against Pres. Obama in the General Election Closed Primary states – only Republicans could vote for which Republican candidate they wanted Open Primary states – either Democrats or Republicans could vote for which candidate they wanted to be the Republican nominee

5 One Party Systems Usually authoritarian nations: –Cuba –China –Vietnam –North Korea –Iran (Theocracy)

6 Multi-Party Systems France – 5 major parties Italy – 10 major parties Great Britain – 2 major parties Israel – 7 major parties U.S. – 2 major parties

7 Political Parties in U.S. Major –Republican –Democratic Minor –Libertarian –Green –Constitution


9 The Republican Party Nickname: The Grand Old Party (The GOP) More conservative More business oriented Stronger on military issues/national security Pro-Iraq War Prefer smaller national government Promote “family values” (strong morals) Pro-life (anti-abortion) Less likely to support gay rights issues Business and industry trumps environment

10 Who traditionally supports the Republican Party? –Large businesses –Wealthier people –Southerners who may actually be registered Democrats –Conservative religious groups –Military The Republican Party

11 The Democratic Party More liberal and/or progressive More diverse (race, ethnicity) More “people” oriented (services) Believe that government can solve problems Comfortable with larger government Generally oppose the Iraq war (at least now) Pro-Choice Generally supports gay rights Concerned about the environment

12 Who traditionally supports the Democratic Party? –Poorer people –Working class (unions) –Minorities –Highly educated people (intellectuals) The Democratic Party


14 Ideologies of American parties overlap. Where are independents?



17 What Is A 3 rd Party? In American politics, any political party (other than the Democratic or Republican parties) is called a 3 rd party.

18 Major 3 rd Parties in the U.S. Libertarian Green Party Constitution Party

19 Other U.S. Political Parties (3 rd Parties) –America First Party –Centrist Party –Independence Party of U.S. –Marijuana Party –Socialist Party (6 different versions) –Reform Party Political Parties in U.S.

20 Full List of 3 rd Parties Google: American Political Parties


22 Why do we have 3 rd parties? Single-issue party Ideological party Splinter party

23 Impact of 3 rd Parties Sometimes they change the outcome of elections Promote ideas (often adopted by major parties)


25 Obstacles to 3 rd Parties Often can’t get on ballot People often view minor parties as a “wasted” vote Single-Member Districts Financing

26 Nominating Candidates

27 Schedule for Campaigns 2-3 years before election, the candidate is deciding to run and traveling around the country making speeches and drumming up support. 2 years before election, the candidate forms a planning committee. 1½ years before the election, the candidate formally announces and begins “running”.

28 1 year before election, primaries begin in New Hampshire and Iowa. 6 months before election, each state has its own convention. 4 months before election, both parties hold national convention. 4 months before election, the “official” campaign season begins. Schedule for Campaigns

29 The election finally arrives on 1 st Tuesday after the 1 st Monday in November. This election actually elects the “electors.” The “electors” cast their votes in December. The “electors” votes are formally counted in late December. The new President takes office in early January. Schedule for Campaigns

30 How Candidates Are Selected Four ways Caucuses (usually a meeting) Nominating Conventions Primary Elections Petitions

31 Caucus Process A precinct caucus meets, delegates are elected to district District meeting elects delegates to state convention State convention elects delegates to national convention How Candidates Are Selected

32 Primary Process Local precinct elects “pledged” delegates to district convention. District convention elects delegates to state convention. State convention elects delegates to national convention. How Candidates Are Selected

33 Primary Elections Direct Primary Election –Closed Primary (only party members) –Open Primary (all voters)

34 The Texas Two-Step Precinct holds primary election to determine votes for candidates. After polls close (7:00 pm) for local primary election, anyone who voted in the primary can attend the precinct caucus to elect delegates to district convention.

35 Primary Elections “Established leaders hate primaries for good reason … Primaries suck up and waste large sums of money from contributors who might better be tapped for the November finals … The charges and counter charges of primary civil war provide the enemy party with ammunition it can later use with blast effect …” Theodore H. White, 1961 Presidential Historian

36 “Beauty Contests” More than half of states with primaries hold “beauty contests” which are preference polls in which voters indicate which candidate they choose. Caucuses later choose the actual candidate.

37 You will see this term on a test and may be asked to explain how it relates to political contests. “Beauty Contests”

38 Problems with Primaries Extend over too long a time Too costly Exhausting for candidates Too many opportunities for candidates to “stumble” Tend to make the image of candidate (personality and appearance) more important than issues

39 Normally, few people vote in primaries If candidates lose early, they “die” politically Small states want to be first, second or third Large states, with later primaries, are left out National conventions are usually “rubber-stamps” Problems with Primaries

40 Please Note: Last year’s race for the nomination from the Democratic Party was very different and not normal for races in the last 50 years.

41 National Conventions Media events Establish Platform Big show for nominating the candidates Select the Vice-Presidential candidate

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