A) Introduction 1. Getting nominated & getting elected a. Get name on ballot b. Individual effort c. Role of parties
B) Major Differences 1.Presidential races are more competitive…WHY? 2.Fewer people vote in Congressional elections…WHY? When do you think Congressional elections have the highest turn-out? 3.Congressional incumbents can hone in on their constituents 4.Congressional candidates can duck responsibility 5.Benefit of presidential coattails has declined…What does this mean?
1. Get mentioned Reporters, trips, speeches, name recognition, large states 2. Setting aside time 3. Money Individuals can give $1000, PAC’s—5000 Candidates must raise at least $5000 in twenty states to qualify for matching grants for primary 4. Organization Need a large paid staff, volunteers, and advisors on issues 5. Strategy and themes Defend or attack (incumbent v challenger) Set a positive or negative tone Develop a theme, judge election environment, Know your audience
Know the zones (malapportionment & gerrymandering) Know the census—determines size of House Win the primary Develop relationship with the party Know the value of being an incumbent Know the local concerns
1. Create an organization in order to legally receive money 2. Start raising money—There are nat’l and state limits on what you can spend 3. Prepare for the early primaries and caucuses (party selects candidates) Feb—1 st caucus in Iowa and 1 st primary in New Hampshire Mar—Super Tuesday, primaries in 6 southern states Mar—Big 10 Tuesday—primaries in mid-west states 4. Pick a strategy 5. Control the convention 6. Do nothing at the convention to embarrass you
1. General—fill an elective office 2. Primary—selects candidates to run for an elected office Closed—only registered members of a political party can vote Open—you are given every party’s ballot and you vote on the party you wish to participate in(ID, MI, MN, MT, ND, UT, VT, WI) Blanket—you can vote on the candidates regardless of party (AL, WA) 3. Presidential Primary—picks delegates to the presidential nominating convention of the major parties Political parties are allowed to insist that only voters who declare themselves democrats or republicans can vote in presidential primaries and state legislatures do not have the right to decide how delegates to the nat’l convention are chosen (Democratic Party v La. Follette, 1981).
Two kinds of issues: position—opposing views (health insurance, SS) valence—views on matters that everyone agrees upon (strong economy, low crime rates) A) Role of TV, debates, and mail 1. Paid advertising—spots (usually cancels each other out 2. News broadcasts—less informative than spots, but have greater credibility 3. Debates—advantage to challenger 4. Mail (computer) Great tool, but creates many problems (A. Weiner)
In presidential election 2008, candidates spent over 300 million Sources Self, private, public donations PACs Presidential candidates can receive matching funds from gov’t Interest groups
1. Reform law established after Watergate scandal 2. All federal election contributions and expenditures reported to the FEC (Federal Election Commission) 3. All contributions over $100 must be disclosed 4. No cash/foreign contributions over $100 5. No limit on personal spending unless federal funds are accepted
1. May not exceed $1000 to any candidate 2. May not exceed $20,000/year to nat’l party committee 3. May not exceed $5000 to a PAC 4. No limit on own personal spending for advertising
1. A PAC can be established by a corporation, union, or other association 2. PACs must register 6 months in advance, have 50 contributions, and at least five candidates 3. Contributions can not exceed $5000/candidate and 15,000/ nat’l party
1. Federal gov’t will match all individual donor funds giving $250 or less 2. To be eligible for matching funds, a candidate must raise $5000, in at least 20 states, in contributions of $250 or less (so each of 20 states has to give no less than 20 contributions) 3. In a Presidential election, the federal gov’t will pay all campaign costs of major-party candidates and part of minor-party candidates (those winning 5-25% of the vote)
1. Increased amount spent by special interests groups 2. Decreased role of political parties 3. Provides an advantage to wealthy candidates 4. Provides advantage to candidates with strong ideological appeal 5. Penalizes late starters 6. Helps incumbents and hurts challengers 7. Increase in “soft money”—political donations made to avoid federal regulations (donating to an organization rather than individual) How have each of these effects negatively impacts elections?
NEW REFORMSPROBLEMS 1. Sharpen limits on contributions 2. Free ads 3. Limit soft money 4. Use gov’t money to pay for campaigns 5. Prevent PACs from spending money on candidates 1. Incumbents find it easier to raise money 2. TV and radio could not afford it 3. In effect, it would ban free speech 4. Still does not limit interest group spending 5. Committees have a 1 st Amendment right to make their views known
1. During peacetime: party affiliation, economy, character 2. Money: challenger must spend more 3. Incumbent: election process easier 4. Party ID: GOP more loyalty 5. Issues: economy, war, spending 6. campaigning 7. Prospective (forward) v. retrospective (backward) voting
Questions 1.“ Any American who cannot bother to vote and who thinks that a single vote does not matter is letting America down.” Give your thoughts on this statement. 2.Explain your thoughts regarding this statement: “In the American political system, the nomination of candidates is more important than the general election.” 3.Is politics only for the rich? Explain. 4.If you were the head of the FEC, how would you close the loopholes in campaign finance laws?