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2012-10-03 Congressional and Presidential Elections 2012.docx

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Political Science
Political Science 2244E
P Ferguson

American Government and Politics – Congressional and Presidential Elections 2012 October 3, 2012 How Do Congressional elections differ from a Parliamentary System? -Two (Three) levels of elections -win primary to get nomination rather than nominated by the party -once you win primary, you move on to general election -Party Discipline limited -can’t whip the elected representatives -more individuals and less about representing the party -Represent individual districts/states -you are much more tied to your district -Nomination via primary -Vote for Candidate not party -Senators are elected every 6 years -What proportion of the Senate faces election during a typical federal election? 33% Running for the Senate -2 senators per state -6 year terms -incumbent advantage -incumbent: somebody sitting in office -somebody sitting in office most likely to get re-elected -money and organization -media -senator represents whole state -substantial incumbency advantage -80% re-election rate -senators stay in the senate forever -nobody leaves the senate seat -How often do members of the House of Representatives face elections? Once every 2 years -What proportion of the House faces election during a typical federal election? 100% Running for the House -Based on Population (census) -2 year terms -day after they get elected: they start re-election -constantly in re-election mode -IncumbentAdvantage -for the past 40 years, the lowest re-election rate was 84-85% -How often do presidential elections occur? Once every 4 years The Twenty-First Century Campaign -The Changing Campaign -move from personalized to media-based -Less party-centred, more candidate-centred -The Professional Campaign -peoplethey run campaigns -volunteers -time -re-election campaign starts right after election for sitting presidents and representatives -money Explaining the IncumbencyAdvantage -media coverage -name recognition (franking, travel, news) -franking: they send letters an
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