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Pearson Education, Inc., Longman © 2008 Nominations and Campaigns Chapter 9 Government in America: People, Politics, and Policy Thirteenth AP* Edition Edwards/Wattenberg/Lineberry
Pearson Education, Inc., Longman © 2008 The Nomination Game Nomination: the official endorsement of a candidate for office by a political party Generally, success requires momentum, money, and media attention. Campaign Strategy: the master game plan candidates lay out to guide their electoral campaign
Pearson Education, Inc., Longman © 2008 The Nomination Game Deciding to Run – Campaigns are more physically and emotionally taxing than ever. – Other countries have short campaigns, generally less than 2 months. – American campaigns are much longer. Whoever is elected president in November 2008 will likely have declared their intention to run in early 2007.
Pearson Education, Inc., Longman © 2008 The Nomination Game Competing for Delegates – Nomination game is an elimination contest – Goal is to win a majority of delegates support at the national party convention, or the supreme power within each of the parties The convention meets every four years to nominate the partys presidential and vice-presidential candidates. Conventions are but a formality today.
Pearson Education, Inc., Longman © 2008 The Nomination Game Competing for Delegates – The Caucus Road Caucus: meetings of state party leaders for selecting delegates to the national convention Organized like a pyramid from local precincts to the states convention A handful of states use a caucusopen to all voters who are registered with a party The Iowa caucus is first and most important.
Pearson Education, Inc., Longman © 2008 The Nomination Game Competing for Delegates – The Primary Road Primary: elections in which voters in a state vote for a nominee (or delegates pledged to the nominee) –Began at turn of 20 th century by progressive reformers –McGovern-Fraser Commission led to selection of delegates through primary elections –Most delegates are chosen through primaries. –Superdelegates: democratic leaders who automatically get a delegate slot Frontloading is the tendency of states to hold primaries early to capitalize on media attention. New Hampshire is first. Generally primaries serve as elimination contests.
Pearson Education, Inc., Longman © 2008 The Nomination Game Competing for Delegates – Evaluating the Primary and Caucus System Disproportionate attention to early ones Prominent politicians do not run. Money plays too big a role. Participation in primaries and caucuses is low and unrepresentative; 20 percent vote in primaries The system gives too much power to the media.
Pearson Education, Inc., Longman © 2008 The Nomination Game
Pearson Education, Inc., Longman © 2008 The Nomination Game The Convention Send-off – National conventions once provided great drama, but now are a formality, which means less TV time. – Significant rallying point for parties – Key note speaker on first day of Convention – Party platform: statement of a partys goals and policies for next four years Debated on the second day of the Convention – Formal nomination of president and vice-president candidates on third and fourth days
Pearson Education, Inc., Longman © 2008 The Nomination Game
Pearson Education, Inc., Longman © 2008 The Campaign Game The High-Tech Media Campaign – Direct mail used to generate support and money for the candidate – Get media attention through ad budget and free coverage – Emphasis on marketing a candidate – News stories focus more on the horse race than substantive policy issues
Pearson Education, Inc., Longman © 2008 The Campaign Game Organizing the Campaign – Get a campaign manager – Get a fund-raiser and campaign counsel – Hire media and campaign consultants – Assemble staff and plan logistics – Get research staff, policy advisors, and pollsters – Get a good press secretary – Establish a website
Pearson Education, Inc., Longman © 2008 The Campaign Game
Pearson Education, Inc., Longman © 2008 Money and Campaigning The Maze of Campaign Finance Reforms – Federal Election Campaign Act (1974) Created the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to administer campaign finance laws for federal elections Created the Presidential Election Campaign Fund Provided partial public financing for presidential primaries –Matching funds: Contributions of up to $250 are matched for candidates who meet conditions, such as limiting spending. Provided full public financing for major party candidates in the general election Required full disclosure and limited contributions
Pearson Education, Inc., Longman © 2008 Money and Campaigning The Maze of Campaign Finance Reforms – Soft Money: political contributions (not subject to contribution limits) earmarked for party-building expenses or generic party advertising – The McCain-Feingold Act (2002) banned soft money, increased amount of individual contributions, and limited issue ads. – 527s: independent groups that seek to influence political process but are not subject to contribution restricts because they do not directly seek election of particular candidates
Pearson Education, Inc., Longman © 2008 Money and Campaigning The Proliferation of PACs – Political Action Committees (PACs): created by law in 1974 to allow corporations, labor unions and other interest groups to donate money to campaigns; PACs are registered with and monitored by the FEC. – As of 2006 there were 4,217 PACs. – PACs contributed over $288.6 million to congressional candidates in 2004. – PACs donate to candidates who support their issue. – PACs do not buy candidates, but give to candidates who support them in the first place.
Pearson Education, Inc., Longman © 2008 Money and Campaigning
Pearson Education, Inc., Longman © 2008 Money and Campaigning Are Campaigns Too Expensive? – Fundraising takes a lot of time. – Incumbents do worse when they spend more money because they need to spend to defeat quality challengers. – The doctrine of sufficiency suggests that candidates need just enough money to win, not necessarily more.
Pearson Education, Inc., Longman © 2008 The Impact of Campaigns Campaigns have three effects on voters: – Reinforcement, Activation, Conversion Several factors weaken campaigns impact on voters: – Selective perception: pay most attention to things we agree with – Party identification still influence voting behavior – Incumbents begin with sizeable advantage
Pearson Education, Inc., Longman © 2008 Understanding Nominations and Campaigns Are Nominations and Campaigns Too Democratic? – Campaigns are open to almost everyone. – Campaigns consume much time and money. – Campaigns promote individualism in American politics. Do Big Campaigns Lead to an Increased Scope of Government? – Candidates make numerous promises, especially to state and local interests. – Hard for politicians to promise to cut size of government
Pearson Education, Inc., Longman © 2008 Summary Campaigns are media-oriented and expensive. Delegates are selected through caucuses and primaries. Money and contributions from PACs regulated by the FEC are essential to campaigns. Campaigns reinforce perceptions but do not change minds.
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