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Chapter 8

Intro to US Gov & Pol [COMPLETE NOTES] Chapter 8 -- I 4.0ed this course

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Political Science
PS 101
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PS 101-Ch 8 I. Textbook  Popular Vote: The votes cast by citizens in an election.  Electoral Vote: Votes cast by members of the Electoral College; after a presidential candidate wins the popular vote in a given state, that candidate’s slate of electors cast electoral votes for the candidate on behalf of the state.  Party Ratio: The proportions of seats in the House and Senate that are controlled by each major party.  Seat Shift:Achange in the number of seats held by Republicans and Democrats in the House or Senate.  Normal Election:A typical congressional in which the reelection rate is high and the influences on House and Senate contests are largely local.  Nationalized Election:An atypical congressional election in which the reelection rate is relatively low for one party’s House and Senate incumbents and national level issues exert more influences than usual on House and Senate races.  Incumbent:Apolitician running for reelection to the office he or she currently holds.  Challenger:A politician running for an office that he or she does not hold at the time of election. Challengers run against incumbents of in open-seat elections.  Retrospective Evaluation:Acitizen’s judgment of an officeholder’s job performance since the last election.  Nomination: The selection of a particular candidate to run for office in a general election as a representative of his or her political party.  Open Primary: Aprimary election in which any registered voter can participate in the contest, regardless of party affiliation.  Closed Primary: Aprimary election in which only registered members of a particular political party can vote.  General Election: The election in which voters cast ballots for House members, senators, and (every four years) a president and vice president.  Absentee Ballot:Avoting ballot submitted by mail before an election. Voters use absentee ballots if they will be unable to go to the polls on Election Day.  Plurality Voting: A voting system in which the candidate who receives the most votes within a geographic area wins the election, regardless of whether that candidate wins a majority (more than half) of the votes.  Majority Voting:Avoting system in which a candidate must win more than 50% of votes to win the election. If no candidate wins enough votes to take office, a runoff election is held between the top two vote-getters.  Runoff Election: Under a majority voting system, a second election held only if no candidate wins a majority of the votes in the first general election. Only the top two vote-getters in the first election compete in the runoff.  Under vote: Casting a ballot that is either incomplete or cannot be counted.  Primary: Aballot votes in which citizens select a party’s nominee for the general election.  Caucus (electoral):Alocal meeting in which party members select a party’s nominee for the general election.  Delegates: Individuals who attend their party’s national convention and vote to select their party’s nominee for presidency. Delegates are elected in a series of primaries and caucuses that occur during winter and spring of an election year. ProportionalAllocation: During the presidential primaries, the practice of determining the number of convention delegates allotted to each candidate based on the percentage of the popular vote cast for each candidate.All Democratic primaries and caucuses use this system, as do some states’ Republican primaries and caucuses.  Winner-Take-All: During the presidential primaries, the practice of assigning all of a given state’s delegates to the candidates who receives the most popular votes. Some states’Republican primaries and caucuses use this system.  Regional Primaries:Apractice whereby several states in the same area of the country hold presidential primaries or caucuses on the same day.  Frontloading: The practice of states moving their presidential primaries or caucuses to take place earlier in the nomination process, often in the hopes of exerting more influence over the outcome.  Super delegates: Democratic members of Congress and party officials selected by their colleagues to be delegates at the party’s presidential nominating convention. (Republicans do not have super delegates.) Unlike delegates selected in primaries or caucuses, super delegates are not committed to a particular candidate and can exercise their judgment when deciding how to vote at the convention.  Electoral College: The boys that votes to selectAmerica’s president and vice president based on the popular vote in each state. Each candidate nominates a slate of electors who are selected to attend the meeting of the college if their candidate wins the most votes in a state or district.  Swing States: In a presidential race, highly competitive states in which both major party candidates stand a good chance of winning the state’s electoral votes.  Election Cycle: The two-year period between general elections.  Open Seat:An elected position for which there is no incumbent.  Permanent Campaign: The actions officeholders take throughout the election cycle to build support for their reelection.  Open Seat:An elected position for which there is no incumbent.  Permanent Campaign: The actions officeholders take throughout the election cycle to build support for their reelection.  Political Business Cycle:Attempts by elected officials to manipulate the economy before elections by increasing economic growth and reducing unemployment and inflation, with the goal of improving evaluations or their performance in office.  Wholesale Politics:Amode of campaigning that involved indirect contact with citizens, such as running campaign ads.  Retail Politics:Amode of campaigning in which a candidate or campaign staff contacts citizens directly, ass would happen in a rally, a talk before a small group, or a one-on-one meeting between a candidate and a citizen.  Mobilization: Motivating supporters to vote in an election and, in some cases helping them get to the polls on Election Day.  GOTV or the ground game:Acampaign’s efforts to ‘get out the vote’or make sure their supporters vote on Election Day.  Push Polling:Atype of survey in which the questions are presented in a biased way in an attempt to influence the respondent.  Campaign Platform:Acandidate’s description of his or her issue positions and the kinds of policies he or she will seeks to enact while in office.  Opposition Research:Attempts by a candidate’s campaign or other groups of supporters to uncover embarrassing or politically damaging information about the candidates opponents.  Attack Ads: Campaign advertising that criticizes a candidates opponent- typically by making potentially damaging claims about the opponent’s background or record-rather than focusing on positive reasons to vote for the candidate.  Federal Election Commision: The government agency the enforces and regulates election laws; made up of six presidential appointees or whom no more than three can be members of the same party.  Hard Money: Donations that are used to help elect or defeat a specific candidate.  Soft Money: Contributions that can be used for voter mobilization or to promote a policy proposal or point of view as long as these efforts are not tied to supporting or opposing a particular candidate.  Paradox of Voting: The question of why citizens vote even though their individual votes stand little change of changing the election outcome.  Turnout: The percentage of the voting age population who cast a ballot in a given election.  Issue Voters: People who are well informed about their own policy preferences and knowledgeable amount the candidates and who use all of this information when they decide how to vote.  Voting Cue: Pieces of information about a candidate that are readily available, easy to interpret and leas a citizen to decide to cote for a particular candidate.  Reasonable Vote:Avote that is likely to be consistent with the voter’s true preference for one candidate over the others.  Coattails: The idea that a oluar resident can generate additional support for candidates affiliated with his part. Coattails are weak or non existent in most American elections.  Split Ticket:Aballot on which voters a voter selcts candidates from more than one political party.  Straight Ticket:Aballot on which a voter selects candidates from only one political party.  I. Lecture(3/4/13) Campaigns & Elections A. Campaigning in the U.S. 1. Campaigns are a. Organized efforts to persuade voters to choose one candidate over others competing for the same office 2. Difference between party-centered and candidate-centered campaigns? a. In the US electoral system, the focus is on the candidates who call the shots. 3. Campaigns for election vs. campaigns for nomination a. Compete to be Democratic or Republican candidate B. Nominations for Congressional Elections 1. Candidates are selected via a primary election 2. How competitive are primaries? a. If there is an incumbent candidate(person currently in office) running, primaries are often uncontested b. If it is an open seat, often very hard fought C. Types of Primaries 1. Closed primary a. Only people who are registered members of a party may vote 2. Open primary a. Anyone may vote in a party’s primary 3. Modified open/closed a. Rules for partisans vs. independents D. Characteristics of Primary Voters 1. Size of the primary electorate a. Typically about ¼ the size of general election electorate 2. Compared to general-election only voters a. More knowledgeable and more partisan b. Does this mean their choices are more extreme? i. They are pragmatic, even though their choices are more extreme but are looking ahead to the presidential election and therefore choose the moderate E. Congressional General Elections 1. Incumbency advantage a. What proportion of incumbents tend to win? 85-95% b. Why might this be a problem? Why might it not? i. Incumbents have advantages in comparison 2. Party ratio a. The proportion of seats in the House and Senate controlled by Democrats and by Republican 3. Seat shift a. The change in the party ratio between the last election and the current one (Recent Congressional Results-GRAPH) F. Nomination Process for President 1. Amix of primaries, caucuses, and party conventions 2. Primaries and caucuses don’t directly select candidates, but instead select delegates to supports candidates at the national convention G. Delegate Selection Methods 1. Presidential primaries a. Most common method 2. Democratic primaries typically use proportional division 3. Republican primaries traditionally used winner-take-all, but many states have switched to proportional in 2012 1. Caucuses a. Less common method b. Series of meetings at local and state levels to select delegates H. The Pre-Convention Campaign 1. The “invisible primary” a. What is it and what do candidates have to do to win it? Early efforts by raising money and showing they have a legit shot 2. Actual primaries a. Why so much attention to Iowa and New Hampshire? January 2012 because they are the first two events that occur b. What is “Super Tuesday”? When most of the primaries occur 3. Front-loading a. What is it? b. What have the parties done to try to prevent it? B. The Conventions 1. When are they held? July-September 2. What happens? a. Delegates select parties’nominees b. Nominee formally accepts and the fall campaigns kick off 3. Can we predict the outcome ahead of time? Most of the time yes, it is more of a formal coronation and kickoff to the Fall campaign trail C. Consequences of the Current System
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