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Elections and Campaigns
Transcript of Elections and Campaigns
What are the Constitutional requirements for elections?
Elections were left up to the states
Only the House was directly elected by the people
the Senate was elected by the state legislatures.
the President was selected by the EC
The National Convention
Following the primary season (January–June of an election year), each party meets in a national convention.
Prior to the 1960s, conventions were often exciting, because it was far from clear who would be the nominee.
Because of television, parties want an orderly convention that emphasizes party unity and impress viewers.
As result, party leaders created rules so that the nominee would be known in advance of the convention.
Fundraising and Money
No one could run for president without funding.
Party nominees are eligible for public matching funds—a dollar amount equal to the amount the candidates raise from private contributors with a limit per individual contributor and an overall cap.
There are private contribution limits.
In 2008, individuals could give $2500
Primary and general elections are considered different so an individual can give $5000.00
Some contributors bundle money (amass contributions).
Political action committees (PAC's) are groups formed with the express purpose of donating money to candidates; they could give $5000 to a candidate and $15000 to a national party.
Limits have been imposed to prevent wealthy individuals from having undue influence.
Super PAC's allow for unlimited fund raising for groups, not candidates.
The Presidential Election
In some states, voters can cast ballots on specific policies through initiatives and referenda.
Initiatives are the process by which citizens place proposed laws on the ballot for public approval.
Referenda are the processes by which public approval is required before states can pass laws.
No developed country has as many elections as the United States, as citizens also elect a variety of state and local officials.
The Electoral College
538 Electors who officially cast their ballots for the president and vice president of the United States
How the EC Works
each party lines up electors before the election.
Winner take all system gives all of the state's votes to the winning cadidate.
Maine and Nebraska allocate their votes by Congressional district.
270 is the magic number to win the presidency.
If no candidate wins the EC, the election goes into the HOR and the VP election goes into the Senate.
Although many dislike the EC, it is here to stay for the foreeseeble future.
It has neve worked as intended as modern electors are often selected as political favors.
At the completion of every presidential election, the losing party often calls for the elimination of the EC.
Biggest problems are when the popular vote and the EC vote do not directly translate to each other.
In 2000, Al Gore recieved 600,000 more votes.
The Constitution requires that representatives be apportioned, within each state, according to population, which is counted every ten years in a census.
State legislatures are responsible for drawing the district lines, in a process known as redistricting.
The majority party in the state legislature tries to construct each district in such a way that makes it easier for its candidates to win congressional seats.
The politicization of drawing districts is called gerrymandering.
Primaries and Caucuses
Refer back to the pros and cons
Explain how it will help
Describe the next steps
Based on Jim Harvey's speech structures
The Senate was intended by the Framers to bring state interests to bear on the legislative process, whereas the House was intended to represent the people; a compromise between the interests of states and the people.
Each state has two senators, regardless of size.
Seventeenth Amendment provided for direct election of the Senate.
Terms are staggered.
House members are allotted based on proportional representation.
Entire House is up for election every two years.
is when redistricting is done for political or racial
Democrats packed as many Hispanic voters as possible into Rep. Luis Gutierrez’s (D) redrawn seat. They created a supermajority Hispanic district that has attracted considerable unfavorable attention, both among the delegation and in court. A GOP lawsuit claims this district is illegal because there are enough Hispanic voters in the state for two majority-minority districts. Three black Democrats in the delegation expressed similar concerns. Down the line, this district will only get more interesting. Hispanics make up the fastest-growing ethnic community in the Chicago area.
Tar Heel Republicans packed all the Democrats they could into this district. It’s just one controversial part of an aggressive redraw intended to oust four House Democrats next year.
But the 4th district is the worst formation on the new map, appearing more like an archipelago than a contiguous land mass. Republicans packed most of the Research Triangle into the district, including the liberal university towns of Chapel Hill and Raleigh. Given the area’s famous athletic programs, one Democrat griped that you could kick a field goal over the 40-yard width of the district at one dimension. Democratic Reps. Brad Miller and David Price will likely face off here.
Once a candidate decides to run for president, he or she enters what has been called the invisible primary.
This is the period just before the primaries begin during which candidates attempt to capture party support and media coverage.
Candidates who can get attention from the news media can raise more money and secure more endorsements from party leaders.
Incumbent presidents usually win their party’s nomination for a second term.
About 70 percent of the states use some form of primary election, an election in which citizens go to the polling booths and vote for their favorite party candidates.
The other 30 percent use caucuses, which are something like a town meeting where people discuss the candidates.
They have low turnout.
Frontloading—States have been moving their primary and caucuses dates earlier to avoid the possibility of holding an election after the winner has already been determined.
Since the 1960s, when consumer behavior became a popular field of study, direct marketers have refined the practice of gathering detailed information on different cross-sections of consumers to sell their products.
Gathering detailed information on cross-sections of the electorate to track potential supporters and tailor political messages for them is also called narrowcasting.
Because campaigns are competitive struggles for votes, candidates look for ways to secure extra votes while maintaining existing support.
One strategy is to use a wedge issue that has the potential to break up the opposition’s coalition. Wedges usually involve controversial policy concerns, such as abortion or gay marriage, which divide people rather than build consensus.
Candidates are very good at telling voters why they should vote for them, but they are also good at telling the public why they should not vote for their opponents.
One of the most famous negative ads was the “Daisy spot,” aired only once by President Lyndon Johnson (1963–1969) in his 1964 campaign against the Republican nominee, Barry Goldwater. The implication was that Senator Goldwater, if president, would start a nuclear war.
In the 2008 campaign, about two-thirds of all statements were negative.
Eighty percent of the public dislike negative ads.