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Political Parties. ÞWhat is a Political Party? A group of political activists who organize to win elections, to operate the government, and to determine.

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Presentation on theme: "Political Parties. ÞWhat is a Political Party? A group of political activists who organize to win elections, to operate the government, and to determine."— Presentation transcript:

1 Political Parties

2 ÞWhat is a Political Party? A group of political activists who organize to win elections, to operate the government, and to determine public policy. How they differ from Interest Groups/Factions ·Interest groups do not want to operate government ·Interest groups tend to sharpen issues, whereas political parties tend to blur their issue ·From factions, which are smaller groups that are trying to obtain certain benefits for themselves. ·Factions are subgroups within parties ·Biggest Diff. is that factions do not have a permanent organization, political parties do.

3 Goals of Political Parties 1. Organize the elections 2. Unify the Electorate 3. Organize the Gov't 4. Policy making 5. Provide Loyal Opposition aka Honeymoon 6. Recruit Voters/Candidates ·Elect people to office. ·Gain control of government.

4 Nomination Process Pr imaries Direct Open/Closed Differs State 2 State: W ho can run Can the party endorse before Who can vote Votes Needed Most common way to nominate candidates Caucuses are still used in which local party members run for office C aucus *Crossover Voting V oting for a candidate for another party A meeting or gathering of members of a political party where members deliberate and choose from the list of those seeking the presidential nomination.

5 How do superdelegates influence the power of party leaders? Party leaders are now assured a role in the nomination process, regardless of which candidate they support. Party leaders can cast the deciding vote in close nomination contests. Superdelegates are unpledged and therefore can change their minds on candidates as the process unfolds. Superdelegates A super-delegate is a leader in the National Democratic Party who has a vote at the national convention; they are not selected by state party members.

6 Why campaign strategies often differ between primary and general elections? The electorate in the primary election is different from the electorate in the general election. A candidate’s opponents in the primary are fellow partisans, whereas opponents in the general election are from other parties. There are differences in financing, media coverage and current events leading up to the general election.

7 History of Political Parties The creation of parties, from The first partisan division in the U.S. occurred prior to the adoption of the Constitution. ·The Federalists – pushed for adoption of the Constitution ·The Anti-Federalists – were against ratification Jefferson and others who were against the Feds formed the Democratic-Republican Party but now known as the Democrats

8 History of Political Parties Realigning Elections 1824 Andrew Jackson and the Democratic Party All Candidates were from the same party but represented sectional interests (John Q. Adams, Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson, and William Harris Crawford) Because of factions within the Demo/Rep Party no one candidate obtained 131 electoral votes Adams vs. Jackson - Adams wins causing a split in the Demo/Rep Party and the Democratic Party is born

9 Realignment Election of 1824 Pres. CandidatePartyStatePopular Vote Electoral Vote John Q. Adams Demo-RepMassachusetts108,74088 Andrew JacksonDemo-RepTennessee153,54499 William Harris Crawford Demo-RepGeorgia46,61841 Henry ClayDemo-RepKentucky47,13637

10 Realignment Election of 1860 Birth of the Republicans Whig Party had collapsed in 1852 Slavery was dividing the U.S. North vs. South Lincoln won with a plurality §Post Civil War, South became Democratic (the Solid South) and the North became Republicans. §The Republicans control was solidified by winning over the urban working-class vote in northern cities. §This was an era of Republican dominance.

11 Presidential election of 1896, William McKinley Exactly how much realignment took place in this election is debated. This election marks the end of the Civil War Era as new issues took the place of those that defined the Civil War period. Also, McKinley, in defeating William Jennings Bryan, began to use campaign methods that have come to define the modern era, including raising big money from business (McKinley outspent Bryan 10 to 1) and campaigning in hotly contested states (swing states). Bryan also struck a theme of “populism” which has come to characterize the Democratic party ever since. McKinley was re-elected in 1900.

12 Realigning Elections 1912 Election §In 1912, A schism in the Republican Party Former Republican president Teddy Roosevelt campaigned for the presidency as a Progressive. (Bull Moose Party) §Three candidates: Woodrow Wilson (Democrat), William Howard Taft (Republican) and Theodore Roosevelt (Progressive). The Republican split allowed Wilson to win the presidency. Republicans dominated until Franklin D. Roosevelt (1932; Democrat)was elected

13 Realigning Elections 1932 Election " The Modern Period" FDR won the 1932, 1936, 1940, and 1944 Elections New Deal that he crafted is still with us. Nat'l Gov't regulating and promoting our economy still an issue between the two parties today New Deal Coalition

14 Realignment Major shift of philosophy within a party and marks a major change in a party's ideology (usually happens after a critical election.) FDR's (D) New Deal supported by city dwellers, blue collar workers, labor unions, the poor, Catholics, Jews, the South, and Af. Americans Coalition of N. Liberals and S. Conservatives held most of the control of the W.H. and Congress until 1968 New Deal encouraged larger government influence in social programs. (Democratic Platform)

15 ·“Gridlock” – Congress and Presidency controlled by different parties · Republican sweep of Congress and Presidency - party loyalty stronger? · split the Presidency and Congress again ·2008 – Democratic sweep ·2010 – Republicans take back Congress · ??? Realignment

16 De-alignment If alignment is the shift in party eras, then people gradually moving away from their party based on ideology is de-alignment Example of this would be Southern Democrats converting to the Republican Party because of the R's more conservative stance.

17 Period of Divided Government (Modern Era) Vietnam brought the Reps back into power (6/8 Pres) Reagan (R): Pulled support from middle class Democrats Clinton (D): Had Democratic majority but between '92 and '96 terms fought ideological battle Liberals, moderates, and conservatives who did not vote on party lines Party controls the White House but loses control of Congress Since 1953

18 Party Systems Two Party System Two major parties that dominate elections Must remain moderate when making and implementing policies (Something a multiparty doesn't necessarily have to do.) Minor parties exist usually running on a specific ideology Communist, Prohibition, Libertarian, Green Parties etc. Minor parties may not win but can cause a split in voters for a party Ex) Ted Roosevelt won 88 Electoral Votes allowing W. Wilson to win

19 Third Parties have played a role in politics Types ·Individual personality – those dominated by one figure head (Ex. – 1912 Theodore Roosevelt – Bull-Moose) (1968 George Wallace – American Independent Party) ·Long-lasting goal or ideology – (Ex. – Abolitionists, Prohibitionists, Socialists) ·Has many obstacles to over come No access to debates, funding, winner-take-all system, etc.

20 Why do we have a two Party System The foundations of the system Fed vs. Anti-Fed started it all Sectional Politics (North vs. South) The longevity of the parties Two parties have lasted throughout time due to parent/child socialization The Common views among Americans Private property, individual prosperity, religious backgrounds, economics The winner-take-all electoral system Outcome of elections is based on the plurality Winner of the most votes in a state, gets all the electoral votes in that state. (Opposite Proportional representation) Some hold run-off elections until a candidate obtains at least one vote over 50% of the votes. State and federal laws favoring the two-party system The Federal Election Commission (FEC) rules for campaign financing also place restrictions on minor-party candidates.

21 Shortens the timeframe for candidates wrapping up the nomination. Affects strategic decisions (e.g., allocation of funds, time). Advantages those with more prominence or better name recognition early in the process. Consequences of a winner-take-all system

22 Party Organization Provides structure and framework to recruit members Party Platform Jobs in Party oCampaign consultants oFundraisers oLocal, state, and national executives oNational staff members Township Chair and Committee County Chair and Committee State Chair and Committee National Convention/Delegates Nat'l Chair and Nat'l Committee

23 Parties Today 1. Parties in the Electorate 2. In Government 3. Institutions 4. Party Identification Party-in-the-Electorate P arty Registration: Limit participates in primaries to members of that party and make it easier to contact voters that might vote for their party. Party Regulars: Place the party first Candidate Activists: Followers of a particular candidate and are not concerned with party operations Ex. Followers of Ron Paul Issue Activists: Wish to push their party towards particular issues and hold the platform with extreme importance.

24 Parties as Institutions National Party Leadership The supreme authority of parties is party convention. National Committee is in charge when party is not in convention National Chair is top official but in reality is the choice of the president/presidential nominee. Job of convention is to nominate Pres and VP of U.S. Party Platforms Every four years adopt a new platform which is the official statement of party policy Vague but spells out the most important values Parties at State and Local Levels Structured much like national level Local levels try to get party members into elected positions like sheriff, commissioner and treasurer

25 Pa rty in Electorate Par ty in Gov't Pa rty Organization Party Role in Government Legislative: Partisanship very serious; Partisanship can help unify the two houses. All employees must be partisan to one party or the other; Executive: POTUS selects nearly all senior White House staff and cabinet members from own party (Sec. of State, Defense, Treasury, etc.) Party loyalty by all officials is essential Pres. do give one or two positions to opposite party (Bipartenship) Judicial: Supposed to be nonpartisan; Life time tenure; Do not sit together by party like Congress; Marbury v. Madison concerned the efforts to "stack" the judiciary before leaving office; Party identification is still important in the nomination of federal judges Parties Today 1. Institutions 2. In Government 3. Parties in the Electorate 4. Party Identification

26 Party Identification: Psychological attachment to a party that most people acquire from childhood Party ID is declining As of 2000 plurality of voters labeled themselves as Independent 7 Types of Identification Strong Dem Weak Dem Independent-leaning Democrat Pure Independent Independent-leaning Republicans Weak Republicans Strong Republicans

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28 Pa rty in Electorate Par ty in Gov't Pa rty Organization Two Party System Summary Party Functions ·Nominate candidates ·Run successful campaigns ·Develop positive image ·Articulate issues so the electorate (the people) identify with the party or candidate ·Implementing party policies in gov't ·Watchdog

29 How Parties Raise and Spend Money Parties rely on money raised by fundraising, individual and interest groups contributions. Soft Money vs. Hard Money Interest Groups and PACs are limited by the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) PACs are more likely to give to candidates than parties Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) regulates soft money as unrestricted almost banned it entirely

30 How Parties Raise and Spend Money Party Expenditures: Party committees can make contributions to candidates with limited money and use this in competitive elections. Party-independent Expenditures: Parties can spend unlimited money for and against a person as long as it's independent from that candidate/party

31 Are the Political Parties Dying? 1. Do you think parties do not take a meaningful and contrasting stand on most issues? 2. Do you feel that party membership is essentially meaningless? 3. Do you feel that parties are so concerned with accommodating the middle of the ideological spectrum that they are not capable of passing legislation for social progress?

32 Are the Political Parties Dying? Reform Among Democrats 1968: Due to uneasiness about Vietnam made reforms Used direct primaries more for selection of Ds to the DNC Greater representation of younger voters, women, and minorities Abolition of the winner-take-all rule (Proportionate representation) 2008: Neither Obama nor Clinton had enough delegates to clinch thus resulting in superdelegates playing a key role in electing Obama

33 Are the Political Parties Dying? Reform Among Republicans More control over presidential campaigns by National Committee Encourage participation from women, minorities, poor, and youth Always been better organized than Democratic Party Tend to raise more funds from donors than Dems with the exception of 2010 Election cycle Has been the minority party consistently between the late 1960s to mid-1990s in the House of Representatives


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