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What Determines Elections? Linkage Institutions #4.

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Presentation on theme: "What Determines Elections? Linkage Institutions #4."— Presentation transcript:

1 What Determines Elections? Linkage Institutions #4

2 Campaigns Today 1)Political Parties are less important than they once were 2)Media (both news and paid) is more important than ever 3)Polling is constant (both news and within campaigns) 4)Money matters more than ever

3 Evaluating The Primary System Disproportionate Attention to Early Caucuses and Primaries Prominent Politicians have a hard time finding time to run for office Money plays a huge role Participation and Caucuses is low and unrepresentative System gives too much power to media

4 The Delegates Selected on basis on Primary Elections (Candidates pick them based on loyalty and other factors) Delegates Today tend to be issue-oriented activists (high education and income, not the same as typical voter) Advantages Increased Opportunity for Activists to participate Decreased Probability they flee the party Disadvantage These delegates may nominate a candidate unacceptable to majority of voters, or even rank and file members of the party.

5 The Campaign Running For President – “Getting Mentioned” “Off the record” mention you are considering it Travel around the country to give speeches (Obama) Have a famous name (Trump) Be identified with major legislation (McCain) Governor of a major state (Bush, Romney)

6 The Campaign Organization (Page 290) – Large Paid Staff – Volunteers (Ground Game) – Advisors on Issues (Position Papers)

7 The Campaign Strategy and Themes – Incumbents defend record, Challengers attack – Developing a Theme “Change You Can Believe In” – Developing a Tone (Positive or Negative) – Issues (Two Types) Position Issues: Issues in which rival candidates have opposing views and voters divided Valence Issues: Issues in which nearly everyone agrees (strong economy)

8 Delivering Your Message 1)Spots (Paid Advertisements) 2)News Broadcasts (“Visuals) 3)Debates 4)Internet

9 Spots (Paid Advertising)


11 News Broadcasts Cost the campaign very little Has greater credibility with voters Actually are LESS informative than paid advertisements

12 Debates Usually only an advantage to the challenger – Reagan 1980 – Clinton 1992 – Romney (First Debate at least) 2012 Higher Risk than Reward in most cases – Rick Perry in Primary not being able to detail his own program – Mitt Romney in Senate Race in Massachusetts

13 Debates


15 The Internet Direct Mail Campaigns Become Possible Addressing Specific Voters Fundraising Ability

16 Money Presidential Primaries – Federal Matching Funds for all individual donations of $250 or less – Gives incentive to raise from small donors – Grants given to cover convention costs Presidential General Election – Can be Public Money (limited though) or Private (more and more politicians) Congressional Elections – All private money (individuals, PACs, Parties) – Most money from individual small donors

17 Campaign Finance Rules 1974 Reform (Brought on by Watergate) Federal Campaign Reform Law – Limit on individual donations – Ban on corporate or union donations – Allowed to raise money through PACs (Political Action Committees) – PACS must…. Have 50 voluntary members Give to at least 5 federal election candidates Limited to $5,000 per election per candidate and $15,000 per year to a party

18 Campaign Finance Rules 1974 Reform (Continued) – Primary and general election counted separately for donations – Public Funding for Presidential Campaigns Matching funds in Primary Full Funding up to a limit (for major parties) More and more candidates declining Partial funding for minor parties that get 5% of the vote in previous election (Green Party- Nader in 2000)

19 Buckley v. Valeo (1976) 1974 Law Challenged in Court Most of the law was upheld Supreme Court strikes down the limit a candidate can spend of their own money on a campaign – Ross Perot (1992) spends $60 million – Mitt Romney (2012) spends $44 million (primary)

20 Campaign Finance Rules Problems with Reform – Independent Expenditures An organization or PAC can spend as much as it wishes on advertising as long as it is not coordinated with a campaign – Soft Money Unlimited amount of money may be given to a party as long as a candidate is not named. Money can be spent on helping candidates with voter drives (Half a billion spent in 2000)

21 Campaign Finance Rules 2000 McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act – Banned Soft Money Contributions to national parties from corporations and unions – Raised the limit on individual donations to $2,000 per candidate, per election – Restricted Independent Expenditures Groups could not use their own money for an advertisement referring to a candidate by name in months before an election

22 Campaign Finance Rules Mc-Cain Feingold Loopholes – 527s Groups that permit soft-money spending that once went to parties Cannot “coordinate” with a candidate or lobby directly for that person 2004- 1/3 of a billion dollars spent by 527s

23 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010) Challenged Independent Expenditures portion of McCain-Feingold – 5-4 vote in favor of Citizens United – Was violation of the “freedom of speech” of corporations Money = Speech


25 Overall Spending 2008 Election ( 33 Senate Races Candidates spent $400 million 435 House Races Candidates spent $1 Billion Presidential Race Candidates spent $1.75 Billion

26 Money

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