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Lecture 12

PLS100 lecture 12

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Political Science
PLS 100
All Professors

Ch. 11 Voting, Campaigns, Elections Logic of Elections *Representative democracy *Delegation leads to agency loss -One solution: regular, competitive elections -Do not guarantee faithful representation Right to Vote *Early limits -none allowed women -required voters to own land -denied voting rights to catholics, jews, native americans and freed slaves *White men -relaxing of property requirements *Women -not guaranteed in constitution until 19th amendment in 1920 *African-Americans -Jim Crow laws *Youth -26th amendment: legal voting age from 21 to 18 Turnout (Logic) *Millions don’t vote *Makes sense to demand the right to vote *But rational to not use it *Many do use the right to vote Turnout (Determinants) *Factors that influence: -Demographics -Internal/external efficacy -Strong partisanship -Living in competitive areas -Low barrier to registration and voting *Usually no influence: -Gender -Cynicism, trust in government *Rational people will participate in voting when they can met he costs to do so and when they appreciate the benefits. Those with money, education, experience, free time and self-confidence find it easier to meet the costs and strong partisans receive greater benefits Turnouts (Variations) *Decline in voter turnout -Despite easier voter registration and better education *Other factors: -Suffrage for 18-20 year olds -Lessening of community roots -Lessening of political efficacy -Lessening of partisan attachments *Major reasons for decline: -Decline in efforts to mobilize voters (ask them to vote, help them register, etc.) -Highest impact: poorest and least educated *If nonvoters voted, would outcome change? -No -Preferences of voters and nonvoters aren’t very different How Do Voters Decide *Make a prediction about the outcomes *Get information to reduce uncertainty -Use cues as cognitive shortcuts -Free information *Assess and utilize: -Past performance and incumbency -Issues and policy options -Voter cues and shortcuts -Party identification Election Campaigns *Common features throughout competitive campaigns: -Candidate -Message -Way to inform voters about both *Role of public image *Media scrutiny *Importance of debates -Frontrunners: Gener
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