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Campaigns and Elections Chapter 9. Elections Do Matter 2000 election: Al Gore won national popular vote by 539,947 votes but Bush carried 537 more votes.

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Presentation on theme: "Campaigns and Elections Chapter 9. Elections Do Matter 2000 election: Al Gore won national popular vote by 539,947 votes but Bush carried 537 more votes."— Presentation transcript:

1 Campaigns and Elections Chapter 9

2 Elections Do Matter 2000 election: Al Gore won national popular vote by 539,947 votes but Bush carried 537 more votes in Florida, which gave him majority in electoral college

3 Winner Takes All/Single- Member Districts Effects of a winner-takes-all system/single- member districts Wasted-vote syndrome Reinforcement of moderate and centrist candidates Difficult for minor parties to get elected

4 Funding for Congressional Elections Most money comes from individual small donors ($100–$200 a person) $2,000 maximum for individual donors $5,000 limit for PACs, but most give just a few hundred dollars Challengers must supply much of their own money

5 Incumbent Advantage Incumbents have a strong advantage when seeking reelection –Name recognition –Campaign contributions –Resources of office

6 PAC Contributions to Congressional Candidates

7 US House Incumbents Reelected 1960-2004

8 Competitive House Seats, 1992-2006

9 The Senate Because a Senate seat is so coveted, competition is fierce and a race costs millions of dollars. Incumbency advantage not as great as in House.

10 Seats Lost by the President’s Party in Midterm Elections

11 Running For President Stage 1: The Nomination Campaigning begins well before any declaration of candidacy, as candidates try to –line up supporters to win caucuses or primaries in key states –raise money for their nomination effort Presidential primaries – more common than caucuses and state party conventions

12 The Presidential Campaign: Typical Campaign Organization

13 Selecting a theme Negative Campaigning Using focus groups and polling News management Paid advertising Seeking free airtime Campaign Strategies

14 Running For President Stage 2: The National Party Convention National Party Convention A national meeting of delegates elected in primaries, caucuses, or state conventions who assemble once every four years to nominate candidates for president and vice president, ratify the party platform, elect officers, and adopt rules

15 The Vice-Presidential Nominee Presidential candidates usually submit their choice for vice president in the run-up to the party’s national convention Usually pick a candidate that will “balance the ticket”

16 Running For President Stage 3: The General Election Presidential debates give candidates an opportunity to show how quickly and accurately they can respond to questions and outline their goals

17 Presidential v. Congressional Campaigns Lower turnout in off years means that candidates must appeal to more motivated and partisan voters Members of Congress can do things for their constituents that the president cannot Members of Congress can distance themselves from the “mess in Washington”

18 Money in U.S. Elections Watergate The 1972 Watergate scandal led to the discovery that large amounts of money from corporations and individuals were “laundered” in secret bank accounts outside the country and used by Nixon’s campaign for political and campaign uses

19 Campaign Financing Independent expenditures: an organization or PAC can spend as much as it wishes on advertising, so long as it is not coordinated with a candidate’s campaign Soft money: unlimited amounts of money may be given to a political party, so long as a candidate is not named

20 McCain vs. Obama Fundraising McCain Obama

21 Efforts at Reform 3 strategies used to prevent abuse in political contributions 1. Imposing limitations on giving, receiving, and spending political money 2. Disclosure laws 3. Governmental subsidies

22 The Federal Election Campaign Act Serious campaign finance reform began in the 1970s with the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) (1971) Buckley v. Valeo (1976) – Supreme Court case that overturned several of FECA’s provisions on grounds that they violated 1st Amendment –Said legislatures couldn’t limit how much of their own money people spend on their own campaigns independent of a candidate or political party (independent expenditures) –But, Congress may limit how much people contribute to somebody else’s campaign

23 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act Took effect in 2003-2004 election cycle, banned nearly all soft money contributions BCRA made hard money contributions easier by raising the contribution limits for individuals from $1,000 to $2,000 Increased maximum amount of money any individual could give in combined contributions in a two-year cycle from $50,000 to $97,500 one effect was growth in PAC contributions and independent expenditures in 2004

24 527 Organizations A new source of money under the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act Designed to permit the kind of soft money expenditures once made by political parties They can spend their money on politics so long as they do not coordinate with a candidate or lobby directly for that person

25 Effects of the 2002 Campaign Finance Reforms

26 Continuing Problems with Campaign Finance Rising costs of campaigns Declining competition Increasing dependence on PACs and wealthy donors

27 Congressional Campaign Committee Soft Money Spending, 1994-2002

28 Rising Campaign Costs in General Elections

29 Presidential Primary Cumulative Receipts, 2003-2004 (millions of dollars)

30 How Much Does it Cost to Get Elected? The Growing Costs of Campaigns

31 What Do Contributors “Buy”? Rarely is money given with an explicit quid pro quo Contributions can, however, increase the chances of the contributor gaining: –Access to policy makers –Government assistance

32 Reforming the Nominating Process

33 The Electoral College

34 Reforming the Electoral College Give every voter the same weight in presidential balloting Winners would have greater legitimacy Plan would undermine federalism Unrestrained majority rule Populous states would lose influence Should we use a direct popular election instead of the electoral college? ProsCons

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