2 Legitimizing the political process Elections provide for:Institutionalizing and socializing the political process. All forms of political participation can end here ….VoooooooootinggggggggRegular access to political power w/o violence. . Ballots instead of bullets.The way to choose the right candidates. . . They are the almost universally accepted fair and free method to choose leaders.Guiding policy direction - either by selecting a new person or by initiative and referendums
3 Three Types of Elections Primary Elections- voters select party nomineesGeneral Elections- the contest between the candidates from different partiesInitiatives and Referendums- voters engage in making or ratifying legislation at the state level only
4 Specific policy elections Many U.S. states vote on their policiesReferendum- ratifying a policy proposed by the state legislature(vote for it)Initiative petition- citizens proposing legislation (usually by gaining signatures on a proposed law equal to 1/10 of number of voters in previous election)Recall-removing a state or local official before the end of his or her term
5 1800: The First Electoral Transition of Power No primaries, no nominating conventions, no candidate speeches, and no entourage of reportersState and local organizations promoted their causesPresidents were excluded from campaigns- seen as undignified for officeNewspapers didn’t care about dignity or honestyFocus was on state legislatures, which chose electorsEach elector cast two votes, and Jefferson tied with Aaron BurrHouse decided electionLed to amendment calling for running mates (12th)This was the first peaceful transfer of power between parties. “Ballots instead of bullets”
6 1996: How did Clinton Win Again? Turnout was below 50% (even with the Motor Voter Law)Ross Perot (Independent) raised campaign financing issues, national debt, NAFTAClinton wins with less than 50% of vote (again)Becomes first Democratic president with Republican Congress
7 2000 Election: One of a Kind! Who will chose the winner? Popular vote????Electoral college????Supreme Court ????the people????or all of the above!A campaign of Gore’s future proposals v. Bush’s attempt to “re-align” country around conservative proposals (Compassionate Conservativism)Media polls declared it was “too close to call”would not declare a winner until Florida vote was “legally” recounted because the spread between the two voters was less than 1/10th of one percent.
8 2000 Election: What We Know What do we know: Gore won the urban areas. Bush won the burbsGore won a majority of women and black votersBush carried male votedecisively.
9 2000 Election: Florida Decides Florida law mandated a recount because the margin was less than 1000Florida Supreme Court ruled in favor of the recount requested by Gorerecount ballots in a way to show the “clear intention of the voter”.Bush vs. Gore: U.S. Supreme Court ruled that if one country is recounted, they all need to be recounted.
10 But there was not enough time remaining before December 12, when the Electoral College was to meet. Soooooo…… Bush won Florida and got 271 electoral votes to Gore’s BUSH WINS.Al Gore won the popular vote, but Bush won in the Electoral CollegeFlorida has six million votersBush’s eventual winning spread was 537!!!Only the 4th time the winner of the popular vote lost an election
11 What did we learn from this process? Need to refine the voting process. Many races were very close and the machinery designed to count the votes was ooooooold in too many states --- and it is a State problem.Media can’t determine the winners, the voters must.Should Negative ads be allowed? (Living candidate analysis)Third parties can be a major factor in close elections. . .Nader’s Green party garnered 2.7% of the vote and 97,000 in Florida times more than the 537 vote margin separating Bush and Gore.
12 2004 Election Polls showed election too close to call but….. GW won handily with 286 electoral votes and an overwhelming popular vote. . .Biggest popular vote win since the 1980’s.Maps showed red all over except in California and the NE and Minnesota.Bush also pulled larger wins in House and Senate, which disappeared in ’06 election.Did “re-alignment” occur?
13 Whether to Vote: A Citizen’s First Choice Deciding Whether to VoteLegitimacy- the people’s belief that the government has the right to rulePolitical Efficacy: The belief that one’s political participation really matters.Civic Duty: The belief that in order to support democratic government, a citizen should always vote.
14 Registering to VoteIn 1888, West Virginia had 159,000 votes but only 147,000 eligible votersStates adopted voter registration to prevent fraud (North Dakota has no registration)Registration difficulty varies from state to stateBiggest indicator of voting is voter registrationMotor Voter Act 1993 required states to offer voter registration when citizens obtain their driver’s licenses.Registration is up but voting is down (Most politicians like it that way!)Recent proposals would require ID, registration, voting
15 Whether to Vote: A Citizen’s First Choice Who Votes?These factors increase the likelihood of voting:AgeIncomeEducationMarriageCaucasianFemaleUnion MemberGovernment WorkerNortherner
16 Sample Question Which of these would be most likely to vote? A. a middle-aged professor at a private universityB. a young southerner without a high school diplomaC. a northerner with a high school diploma who is a union memberD. a 63-year-old government worker with a doctorateE. a well-educated senior citizen who used to work for a big corporationAnswer: D
17 How Do Voters Vote?The Mandate Theory of Elections is the idea that the winning candidate has a mandate (widespread support) from the people to carry out his or her policies.Political Scientists say 3 things influence voters:Party ID. . .although its waning vs. candidate centered elections.Being an incumbent may have more influence than the party in office.Voters don’t seem to mind divided gov’t.“Floating voters” or those so called independents, who vote for the candidate instead of the party beacon, are an issue. Both major parties seek their vote. And a successful campaign can attempt to lure them.
18 How Do Voters Vote?Policy voting is the idea that electoral choices are based on voters’ policy preferences and where the candidate stands on policy issues.This IS what a politician does once elected -- make policy- Now will he/she do what they claim?When given the option, voters’ policy choices carry IF the candidates positions are clear. .And there are wide policy differences between the candidates BUTTTT Too often this is not true.View of Candidate is the idea that a favorable image of a candidate will help them willMust focus on 3 things here: Integrity, Reliability, CompetenceShould also be dependable and decisive
19 How Do Voters Vote?Retrospective voting is the idea that incumbents who have provided desired results are rewarded with a new term and those who fail are not reelected.Voters CAN support candidates who will provide for them. Ronald Reagan coined it. . .“What have you done for me lately?” “Are you better off today than you were yesterday?” If yesssssss . . .vote for me again!Obviously major events and economics impact voter preferences. . .
20 Homework: Polling your community/family Try to poll at least 10 people from your family/community. Ask them if they voted in the 2012 electionDO NOT ask them who they voted for, just IF they voted.If they DID NOT vote, ask them why
21 Why Don’t People Vote? Institutional obstacles Age, registration, citizenshipApathetic– No political efficacy. No sense of civic duty.Time issues – Too busy . . .costly to give up work . . .It’s a TuesdayToo many elections. . .diffuses enthusiasmNo difference between the two parties.Third parties never win so no changes.Vote doesn’t matter, 1 of 100 million!
22 The Last Battle: The Electoral College Electoral College actually elects the President- founders wanted him chosen by the elite of the countryStates choose the electorsWinner-Take-All system gives bigger emphasis to more populated states battleground statesOnly Nebraska and Maine are ProportionalBut you can say the EC protects small states
23 The Last Battle: The Electoral College How it works today:Each state has as many votes as it does Representatives and Senators (Minimum is 3)Amendment 23 gave D.C. 3538 Electoral College votesWinner of popular vote typically gets ALL the Electoral College votes for that state.CA has most at 55Electors meet in December, votes are reported by the vice president in January.If no candidate gets 270 votes (a majority), the House of Representatives votes for president, with each state getting ONE vote.Senate chooses VP from top two candidates
24 Criticisms of the Electoral College Possibility of a minority President (1824,1876,1888).'Faithless electors:' no fed. law requires electors to vote the way they are "supposed" to vote.Small states proportionately overrepresented.Small states ridiculously overrepresented if election goes to House, e.g., Alaska would have same voting power as California.Inhibits development of third parties.Today issue of swing states. – NV; MO, OH, PA, VA, NC, FL
25 Alternatives to the Electoral College Direct election: everyone's vote would be worth the same.District system (candidate who wins a congressional district wins that district's electoral vote).Proportional system (candidate gets same % of electoral votes as popular votes).Keep electoral votes but abolish the electors themselves.
26 Effects of Campaigns Reinforcement Activation Conversion Reinforces voters’ preferences for candidatesActivationGetting them to contribute money or ring doorbellsConversionChanging voters’ minds- rarely happensSelective PerceptionVoters pay attention to what they already agree with
27 YouTube Presidential Campaign Propaganda There are 12 different ways to design campaign commercials to help craft your image and get out your message. The following 12 examples demonstrate how this is done.
28 Name Recognition http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDBYuAxyT4E Dwight D. Eisenhower (1952)