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The Election Process Unit 4.

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Presentation on theme: "The Election Process Unit 4."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Election Process Unit 4

2 The Nominating Process
Unit 4, Notes 1

3 The Nominating Process
The Constitution doesn’t explain how we choose our president or presidential nominees Political parties have developed how to do that on their own = national conventions Party out of power holds convention first THIS IS HOW WE CHOOSE THE NOMINEES IN EACH PARTY

4 5 Ways nominations made in Us
Self announcement – oldest form of nominating process Person who wants to run, simply announces it Sometimes used by someone who failed to win regular party nomination or unhappy with party choice Examples: Ross Perot and Arnold Schwarzenegger Caucus – group of like minded people who meet to select the candidates they will support in election Began in colonial days Open to all members of party

5 5 Ways nominations, cont Convention – Since 1830s all major party presidential nominees have been chosen by conventions At local caucus, party members select delegates (rep.) to represent them at state convention At state level more delegates chosen to represent party at national convention where it selects the party’s presidential nominee Petition – candidates nominated by means of petition signed by certain # of required voters in that election district Mostly at local level Used for minor party or independent nomination Usually higher office more signatures required Direct Primary

6 Presidential Primaries
A presidential primary is an election in which 1)the party’s voters choose the states delegates to national convention 2)express a preference among the contenders for their party’s presidential nominees Candidates for nomination campaign in each state that holds a primary hoping to win and get their names recognized Want to build a national following This is why first few primaries are so important Candidates will most likely drop out by convention time if they aren’t receiving any votes in primaries

7 Primaries Primaries force would-be presidential candidates to test their ability to win on a real election circuit For the party out of power the primaries are usually very heated fights with many contenders = many members of the party battle for nomination Doesn’t usually happen like that in party in power because either: 1) the president himself is running for re-election 2) the president has given support to the candidate he favors for the nomination People in the party usually respect the president and what he wants

8 Direct Primary Method used by most states to choose delegates to convention and to pick their candidate for election 2 basic forms of direct primary Closed – only declared party members can vote in primary; party membership is established by registration; go to vote at primary, you can only vote on your party’s ballot Open – any qualified voter can cast ballot; when you go to vote you are handed a ballot for each party; mark the ballot of your choice in a private voting booth Some states have open public primaries – must ask for the ballot of the party you want to vote for Alabama has this

9 Closed Primaries Those in favor of closed primaries say they are good because: Prevents a party from “raiding” the other party and nominating a weaker candidate Makes candidates more responsive to the party and its platform Voters have to think more because they must choose between parties in order to vote

10 Open Primaries Those in favor of open primaries say they are good because: Voters are not forced to make public their party preference It does not exclude independent voters

11 Evaluation of the Primary
Voter turnout in primaries not that good Many resent having to declare a party Many don’t understand the importance Costly – a candidate must have the funds to campaign for the primary and then, if they make it that far, for the general election too Nominating happens within a party so it can cause disputes and divide the party

12 Money and Elections Unit 4, Notes 2

13 Campaign Spending Millions spent on campaigns - especially presidential campaigns Money goes to signs, stickers, pamphlets, staff, office rent, mailing, travel expenses Largest amount spend on TV time (ads)

14 Sources of funding Draw from 2 sources – public treasury and private donations Private givers are main source (5 categories) 1) Small contributors – usually give what they can True believers – really giving because they believe in candidate 2) Wealthy individuals/families – do so because in their best interest Want a favor, want business protected 3) Candidates themselves – many have lots of money 4) PACs – political action committees – political arms of special interest groups 5) Temporary organizations – formed for campaign Parties and candidates themselves hold fundraisers – dinners etc. Public funds – subsidies from state & federal government

15 Regulating Campaign Financing
Congress Job Federal Election Commission (FEC) – administers laws passed by Congress about funding Finance law not very well enforced FEC is underfunded and understaffed FEC supposed to regulated 4 areas 1) timely disclosure of campaign finance data 2) place limits on contributions 3) limits on expenditures 4) provide public funding for presidential election process

16 Campaigning Limits on Contributions PAC Contributions
Labor unions & corporations not allowed to donate PAC Contributions Labor unions & corporations can’t, but their PAC can Over 4,000 PACs today BIPAC – Business Industry PAC BANKPAC – American Bankers PACs get contributions from business leaders, labor union members, doctors, teachers Pools money

17 Money Have had limits on hard $ - money raised for electing candidates to office Didn’t limit soft $ until recently – money given to party for “party building” activities

18 Presidential elections
Unit 4, Notes 3

19 Presidential Primaries
Many states hold these to choose their delegates to the national convention A presidential primary is an election in which the party’s voters 1. Choose the states delegates to national convention (see ch. 7.1 notes) 2. Express a preference among the contenders for their party’s presidential nominees

20 Presidential Primaries, Cont.
New Hampshire holds the first primary each time Candidates for nomination campaign in each state that holds a primary hoping to win and get their names recognized – want to build a national following This is why first few primaries are so important Candidates will most likely drop out by convention time if they aren’t receiving any votes in primaries

21 The National Convention
After all the primaries and caucuses held, the delegates chosen, and the nominees usually narrowed down both parties hold their national conventions Meeting at which delegates vote and pick their presidential and VP candidates

22 The National Convention, Cont.
3 major goals at convention Name Pres. And VP candidates Bring different groups within the party together for a common purpose – promote party unity Adopt the party’s platform = formal statement of its basic principles, stands on major issues, etc. Also promotes party unity and gains national attention for the party

23 First Two Days First Two Days = used to organize and welcome the delegates = lots of speeches by various party members to fire up the crowd 2 MAIN HIGHLIGHTS Keynote address- loud, exciting speech delivered by one of the party’s best speakers and well-known members – designed to glorify they party, its accomplishments, and speak badly of other party Platform announced- a statement of party stands, but also very important that it appeal to as many people as possible, so its usually generalized

24 The Last Two Days Last Two Days = first nominate VP – usually the pres. Candidate has announced already who his running mate will be, so all the convention has to do is ratify the choice Ends with selection of the Pres. Candidate- many nominating speeches are given by party States are then called on in alphabetical order and the chair of each state’s delegation announces how their votes cast Counted and candidates nominated Last day = candidates acceptance speech Fire up crowd and generalizes what he plans to do

25 The Framers Framers decided on method of choosing the President
Didn’t want to let Congress decide Gave them too much power Popular vote would not work because 1) People didn’t know about candidates 2) People didn’t know about elections 3) Representation – large state population would count more

26 The Framers, Cont. Agreed to have electors from each state
Cast one vote for President and one for VP Electors would vote based on popular vote Within their state Supposed to be men who were educated, knew about politics Electoral College is the group of electors chosen from each state and DC to formally select the Pres. and VP Plan worked okay while Washington was President But once political parties developed it didn’t work PROBLEMS Candidates win same # of votes Who is President/VP? 12th Amendment = separate ballots for them

27 The Election Presidential campaign begins right after the convention
Campaign committees work to present candidates in the best light speeches, press conferences, debates, ads, bumper stickers, “shaking hands, and kissing babies”

28 The Electoral College Today
When you vote in presidential elections, you are not voting directly for that candidate Instead you are voting to elect that candidates presidential electors – those who will cast your vote for him Each state is allowed as many elector votes as it has members in Congress (senators + representatives ) AL = 9

29 The Electoral College Today, Cont.
Electors are expected to vote automatically for their party’s candidates for president and VP Chosen on a winner-take-all basis The candidate who wins the most votes in that state (popular vote) gets all his electors, therefore he wins all the electoral votes from that state A candidate must win the majority of all the electoral votes in the country to become president 270 out of 538

30 Flaws in the Electoral College
The winner of the popular vote is not guaranteed the presidency The fact that the electoral vote is on a winner-take- all basis leads to this problem Ex: Bush won Ohio by 51% of the popular vote, but still won all 20 electoral votes, even though Kerry won over 2 million votes, he didn’t get the electoral votes Add up enough states like this and a candidate may win the popular vote but not the electoral Four times a candidate has won the popular vote, but not won the electoral, therefore he can’t be president

31 Flaws, Cont. 2) Electors aren’t required to vote for the candidate who won the popular vote they are expected to vote for the popular winner, and as loyal party members they almost always do, but the constitution does not require them to

32 Flaws, Cont. 3) Possibility that the election may have to be decided by the House of Representatives Happens if no one receives the majority of the electoral votes A strong third party candidate would have to be in the race to take some of the electoral vote for this to happen

33 Flaws, Cont. Many people want a direct popular election
Each vote would count equally in the national result (no electoral college – direct election by the people) Say this supports democratic ideals The winner would always be the majority choice Opponents point out that it would take a Constitutional amendment to change the election process and that is long and hard process Also it would put a huge burden on the election process – because every vote would count, candidates would have to campaign strenuously in every state hard on campaign time and money

34 Electoral College Supporters
2 Major Strengths: It’s a known process – know it works, we don’t know if other plans, once in effect, would work It determines a winner quickly

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