American Politics COMPLETE NOTES [Part 17] - I got a 4.0 in the course!

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Political Science
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March 31, 2014 Office hours Tuesday, April 1st: 2-4pm Today’s Questions: ➔ What are the dimensions of political parties? Are parties in decline? ➔ ➔ Why no 3rd party in US? Dimensions of Parties: PIE ➔ Pie - the extent or power of partisan loyalty in the electorate ◆ Historic rise of citizens who identify as independent rather than as a Republican or Democrat ● Decline in partisan identification is reflected by alienation ○ Scandals ○ Wars ○ Unpopular Presidents ● Reflects an Increasing Education ○ More educated people (college) are less reliant upon a political party ● Media reporting on politics ○ For much of media history, media focused on political parties ○ NOW media is Candidate Centered - Not Party Centered ● Increase of independent voters is an “illusion” ○ Individuals who identify as independent LEAN to one party over another ○ Between 50-75% of “independent” voters admit to leaning toward Democrat or Republican identification ● Evidence of increase in strength of partisan identification - party polarization and identification ○ Democrats only vote for Democrats, Republicans only vote for Republicans ○ Vote Choice ○ Polarization ◆ Racial Issues Cultural Issues ◆ ○ Two Americas? ◆ Distinct Religions, Values, Lifestyles, and Economies ● Overall ○ Weakening ○ Best Predictor of Vote Choice/Attitudes ➔ Second way of understanding parties - Parties in the Government “PIG” The ability of party leaders to direct both of the everyday workings of Congress ◆ and and the behavior of rank and file members in electoral office to follow and implement party policies and directives Functions ◆ ● Coordinate Activities and Overarching Party Goals ● Set and Define Agenda of Problems to Deal with and Craft Solutions to Those Particular Problems ● Discipline Members Who “Step Out of Line” Using Resources such as... ○ Committee Assign, Money, Challengers ◆ Decline? ● Rise of Congressional Mavericks ○ Individuals in Congress who do not follow directives of party leaders ○ Go against party when they morally disagree ● More concerned with Reelection ● Vote Against Party when policies conflict with constituents ● Little discipline to these mavericks ◆ Increased Polarization? ● Increase in Partisan Loyalty Dimensions of Parties as Organizations: PAO ➔ ◆ Ability of party to recruit, nominate, and elect candidates to political office through mobilization of voters ● Functions ○ Find new and exciting individuals who embod
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