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Political Behavior: Government By the People

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Noelle Toxqui

on 23 March 2016

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Transcript of Political Behavior: Government By the People

Political Behavior:
Government By the People

I. Political Parties
A. Parties and What They Do
II. Voters and Voter Behavior
III. The Electoral Process
A. The Nominating Process
IV. Mass Media and Public Opinion
V. Interest Groups
A. The Nature of Interest Groups
Conclusion
1. A
political party

seeks to control gov't
in order to
affect certain public policies and programs
.
2. Political parties nominate candidates, inform and activate supporters, serve as a bonding agent, govern, and act as a watchdog
B. The Two-Party System
1. Why a Two-Party System?
a. It is
tradition
(Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists)
b. Electoral System
-
Winner-take-all
elections in
single member districts
-Winning candidate has a
plurality
(most votes)
c. American Ideological Consensus

-Broad consensus is still needed in a
pluralistic
society
2. Party Membership Patterns

-Affected by age, sex, religion, beliefs, socioeconomic status, parents' party affiliations, major events, etc.
C. Minor Parties

-Can have a "
spoiler role
" in an election

1)
Ideological Parties
3)
Economic Protest Parties
ex) Libertarian Party ex) Greenback Party
2)
Single-Issue Parties
4)
Splinter Parties
ex) "Know Nothings" Party ex) Bull Moose Party
D. Party Organization
2. Decentralized Nature of the Parties

a. The Role of the Presidency
-
President's party
is more united

b. The Impact of Federalism
-Parties are also
decentralized

c. The Role of the Nominating Process
-Nomination is
within the party
is
divisive
1. National Party Machinery

-National Convention, Committee, and Chairperson
-Congressional Campaign Committees
3. State and Local Party Machinery

a. The State Organization
-State central committee and chairperson

b. Local Organizations
i.
Ward
: divides cities for
city council elections
ii.
Precinct
: determines what
poling place
a voter goes to
4. Three Components of the Party

a. Party Organization
b. Party in the Electorate
c. Party in Gov't
5. The Future of Major Parties

Weakened State of the Parties
a. Decline in people who identify as Republican or Democrat
b.
Split-ticket voting
c. Structural changes/reforms
d. Changes in campaign technology
A. The Right to Vote
1.
SUFFRAGE
and
FRANCHISE
= the right to vote
2. Suffrage Expansion

a. 1800s:
White men over 21

b.
15th Am.
in 1870:
All men

c.
19th Am.
in 1920:
Women


d. 1960s:
Voting Rights Act
of 1965 brings
racial equality
and
24th Am. bans polling taxes

e.
26th Am.
: over
18
B. Voter Qualifications
1. Requirements

a. US Citizen
b. Resident of state
c. 18 years old
C. Suffrage and Civil Rights
1. The
15th
Am.
Extends suffrage to
all men
...but
a.
African Americans were kept from voting
since literacy tests, poll taxes, violence, etc. were used.
2. Civil Rights Act of 1964
Forbid

discrimination
in
voter registration and literacy requirements
.

3.
Voting Rights Act of 1965
Made the 15th Am. effective
by protecting against racial discrimination in voting
D. Voter Behavior
1. ~58.2% of eligible voters voted in the 2012 pres. election. Midterm elections have worse turnout.
2. Why People Do Not Vote

a. "Cannot Voters"

b. Actual
Nonvoters
CAN
vote but choose not to
3. Learning About Voters and Voter Behavior
a. Election results
b. Surveys
4. Sociological Factors

a.
Income
and
Occupation
b.
Education
c.
Gender
and
Age
d.
Religion and Ethnicity
e.
Geography
5. Psychological Factors

a.
Party Identification
-Often determines how people vote
b.
Straight-Ticket Voting
-Voting for all candidates in one party
c.
Split-Ticket Voting
-Voting for candidates from different parties
d.
Candidates and Issues
-Some people vote for candidates and certain issues regardless of their party affiliation
B. Elections
C. Money and Elections
a.
Caucus

Group of people meet to select candidates they'll support
b.
Direct Primary

Intra-party election
2. Types of Primaries

a.
Closed
Primary
-Only vote for candidates
in your own party
-Independents can't vote

b.
Open
Primary
-Can
vote for anyone
, but you must openly
state
your
party


c.
Blanket
Primary
-Can
vote for anyone
without stating what your party
Write this in your warm ups:

What are some pros or cons of 1) a closed primary, 2) an open primary, and 3) a blanket primary. Which one do you think is best? Why?

Write about 5 sentences.
1. Administration of Elections

a.
Election Day
-Almost always the
1st Tues. of Nov.
in
even

years
b. Early Voting
-
Absentee voting
allows this
c. The
Coattail
Effect
-Strong candidates may cause you to
vote for everyone else from that party
2. Casting the Ballot

a.
Ballot
= what we use to vote
b. Types of Ballots
i. Australian Ballot
-Printed w/all candidates listed
ii.
Office-Group
Ballot
-
Candidates for office grouped together
iii. Party-Column Ballot
-Lists each party's candidates in a column
c. Sample Ballots
i. Given before an election
3. Automated Voting

a.
Electronic Vote Counting
-Ballots counted scanners OR touch-screen computers

b.
Vote-by-Mail
Elections
-Used for
absentee
voters
1. Campaign Spending
a. 1960:
Total = ~$175 million
Per Voter = $2.54

b. 2004:
Total = ~$6.0 BILLION
Per Voter = $49.92
2. Sources of Funding
a. Regular people/Small contributors

b. Wealthy individuals and families

c. Candidates and their families
3. Regulating Campaign Finance
a. Federal Election Campaign Act (
FECA
) of 1971
-
Regulates
and requires disclosure of
campaign spending

b.
Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act
of 2002
-Deals with
"soft-money"
loopholes
4. The Federal Election Commission
1) Disclosure Requirements
-Contributions
>$200
need to be
disclosed
2) Limits on Contributions
-
Primary
=
<$2,100
-
Election
=
<$5,000
3)
PAC
Contributions
-
<$5,000
per
candidate
-
<$10,000
per election
cycle
A. The Formation of Public Opinion
1. What is Public Opinion?
Attitudes
held by a
significant number of people
2. What influences public opinion?
a. The
Family

Early agents of political socialization
b. The
Schools

Students learn about American values from schools
c.
Mass Media
Means of communication that reach large, widely dispersed audiences simultaneously
d.
Peer Groups

Friends, classmates, neighbors, co-workers
e.
Opinion Leaders

People who have an unusually strong influence on others
f.
Historical Events

Major events can influence public opinion
B. Measuring Public Opinion
1. Measuring Public Opinion

a.
Elections
-Election results
b.
Interest Groups
-organizations who want to influence public policy
c.
The Media
-"mirrors" and "molders" of opinion
d.
Personal Contacts
-A public official's constituents
2. Polls - The Best Measure

1)
Straw Votes
-Same question asked to
large number of people
2)
Scientific Polling
-
Gallup Polls
, Harris Survey, etc.
3. The Polling Process
a.
Defining the Universe
b.
Constructing a Sample
c.
Preparing Valid Questions
d.
Interviewing
e.
Analyze and Report Findings
C. The Mass Media
1. The Role of the Mass Media
a. A medium is a
means of communication
that transmits info.

b.
Examples:
i. Television
ii. Newspapers
iii. Radio
iv. Magazines
v. Internet
2. The Media and Politics
a.
Public Agenda
-
Shapes societal problems
that need attention
b.
Electoral Politics
-
Campaigning
-"Image"
-Good sound bites
-Short and exciting coverage
3. Limits on Media Influence
1)
Few people

follow
events very closely
2)
Media
can be
influenced
by
advertising
3) Hard to cover everything
B. Types of Interest Groups
C. IGs at Work
1. The Role of Interest Groups
2. Differences Between PPs and IGs
3. Pros and Cons
a. Positive Functions of IGs
i. Create
interest in public affairs
ii. Represent members
iii. Provide specialized info to the gov't
iv. Act as
vehicles for political participation
v. Add to the checks and balances of gov't
b. Criticisms
i. Some IGs are way too influential
ii. Hard to tell how many people they represent
iii. They
might not represent the views of all the people
they claim to
iv. Some groups are a little shady
a.
PPs can nominate candidates
, but IGs can't
b. In primaries,
IGs
are more focused on policy than candidates
c.
PPs
focus on
broad interests
, but
IGs
are much more
specific
a. Interest groups
seek to influence

public policy

b. Often called "pressure groups," "special interests," or "organized interests"
1. Economic IGs
a.
Business
(National Association of Manufacturers, Chamber of Commerce, etc.)
b.
Labor
(AFL-CIO, etc.)
c.
Agricultural
(National Farmers Union, American Farm Bureau Federation, etc.)
d.
Professional
(American Medical Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, etc.)
2. Other IGs
a. Groups That
Promote Causes
(American Civil Liberties Union, National Women's Political Caucus, etc.)
b. Organizations that
Promote the Welfare of Groups
(NAACP, AARP, etc.)
c.
Religious
Organizations
(Christian Coalition, American Jewish Congress, etc.)
3. Public IGs
Groups that seeks to institute certain public policies that would
benefit everyone
(League of Women Voters, etc.)
1. Goals
a. Provide people with info the IG thinks they should have
b. Build a positive image for the group
c.
Promote a particular public policy
2. Propaganda
a. Aimed at influencing behavior

b.
Propagandists can be advertisers, persuaders, or "brain washers"
3. Influencing Parties and Elections
a. IGs may
endorse a candidate
b. They
raise funds through PACs
c.
Single-IGs concentrate on one issue
and will go against a candidate that opposes them
4. Lobbying
a.
Lobbying
= activities in which
legislators
and the
legislative
processed are
pressured

b. Lobbyists know the political system and often have contacts in Congress

c. They also bring "
grass roots
" pressures from the
average voter
1. Ways to Nominate a Candidate
d.
Political Action Committees (PACs)
-PACs
try to get candidates elected

e. Temporary organizations also raise funds for elections
4) Public Funding of Presidential Campaigns
-Pres. Election Campaign Fund
-$3 of tax return can go to campaigns
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