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Chapter 9

Chapter 9 Nominations, Elections, and Campaigns.pdf

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Political Science
CAS PO 111
Graham Wilson

Chapter 9: Nominations, Elections, and Campaigns Sunday, December 15, 2013 4:53 PM I. The Evolution of Campaigning • Election Campaign: organized effort to persuade votes • In the past, political campaigning was all done by the party, now it's moving towards local and state organizations → candidates rely less on the party campaigns ○ Hiring political consultants and opinion polls ○ Candidate centered campaign rather than party centered ○ However, candidates must still campaign to be nominated by their party II. Nominations A. Nominations for Congress and State Offices • Primary Election: parties to select their final candidates (4 major types) ○ Only about ½ of regular voters vote in primaries ○ Closed primaries: voters must register their party affiliation and vote within ○ Open primaries: voters can vote from either parties ○ Modified closed primaries: each state decide whether to allow voters with no party affiliation vote ○ Modified opened primaries: voters can choose party and candidate ○ Type of primary depends on the influence of the party organization in each state; open primaries can hurt because voters can easily switch sides ○ Allowing voters to nominate is pluralist B. Nomination for President • President and VP nominees are chosen at the national convention summer of election year ○ 1972 Hubert Humphrey upset people, since then the convention played less and less in the role of nomination.  Party organization dominated because few primaries, short campaigns and less media coverage • Selecting Convention Delegates: ○ Presidential Primary: primary to select candidate to attend the party’s convention  Democrats favor proportional principle for each state  Republicans favor winner-take-all ○ Caucus/convention: starts locally then the process goes all the way to the national convention where the candidate is selected ○ Front-loading: practice of moving the primaries earlier in the calendar to attract more media attention • Campaigning for the Nomination ○ Silent campaign: aka invisible primary, candidates start lining up political/financial support long before the convention ○ Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire Primary are very important parts of the process  First in the process and winnows down the field • Consequences of campaigning : ○ When no incumbent in the White House is seeking re-election, the presidential nominating process becomes contested in both parties  No incumbent makes the race more fair, so more contestants ○ An incumbent president usually encounters little or no opposition for re-nominations within the party  Except; H Bush v. Buchanan and Johnson ○ Many hopefuls seek the presidential nomination of the opposition party  In 2012, 12 notable Republicans filed with FEC ○ The Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire primaries do matter Candidates eventually favored by most party identifiers usually win their party’s ○ Candidates eventually favored by most party identifiers usually win their party’s nomination  Except; Adlai Stevenson and George McGovern; both lost ○ Candidates who win the nomination do so largely on their own and owe little or nothing to the national party organization, which usually does not promote a candidate  Obama vs. Clinton (Dem. party promoted Clinton) and Carter III. Elections • General Election: national election held by law in November every even numbered year ○ Presidential, congressional and off-year elections A) Presidential Elections and the Electoral College • Structure ○ 270 out of 538 votes wins the presidency • Politics ○ Bush vs. Gore 2000 caused opinion flips on the electoral college • Abolish it? ○ Sometimes electoral voters don’t vote for their pledged candidate ○ Numbers are too hard to control, nationwide recount would be devastating B) Congressional Elections • Straight Ticket: a single party for all offices • Split Ticket: different parties for difference offices • First-past-the-post elections: awards victory to the candidate with the most votes ○ Party that wins the most votes tends to have more seats in the House  2 houses of Congress are split parties as of 2012 IV. Campaigns A) The Political Context • Important structural factors: incumbent or challenger ○ Incumbents are usually hard to replace → makes open elections easier  Have more sources and funds B) Financing: very important aspect of campaigning • Regulating Campaign Financing ○ Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA): limited mass spending and imposed rules on full reports containing contributions and expenditures ○ Federal Election Commission (FEC): bipartisan federal agency of six members that oversees the
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