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Forms of political participation

seek public office, attend public meeting, communicate with representatives, initiate and repealing laws, voting

Does Texas have initiative and referendums?

Neither

Why do Americans vote less?

Lack of party-group linkage
Registration restrictions
Non-compulsory voting
Voter exhaustion

How We Measure Public Opinion

1. question wording
2. sampling-random
3. contacting respondents

Sampling Error

the margin of error or sampling error is quite small if the sample is carefully selected. All polls contain some error, 3 to 5% is considered a reasonably small rate of error.

what are the shortcoming of polling?

sampling error
limited respondent options
lack of information
intensity
elitism

political socialization

Political socialization is the process by which we teach and learn our political knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, values and habits of behavior.

What is the oldest form of local government?

county government

What is the greatest local government expenditure?

education

municipial government

government incorporated in cities

County government in Texas

County Commissioners Court

mayor heads what branch

executive

city council heads what branch

legislative

mayor council forms

weak mayor council form or strong mayor council form, council members are elected at large or by districts and the mayor is elected at large

weak mayor council form

other executives such as the city attorney and the city treasury are also elected

strong mayor council form

the mayor appoints other executives and has more significant budgetary and veto powers. the form of municipal government employs the checks and balances ideas of how to form public policy. Population of at least 250,000

council manager form

a mayor council cities have an official appointed by the mayor to tend to the internal business of the city while the mayor attends to political matters.

Impact of competitive election and turnout

no correlation

Impact of competitive election and city taxes

no correlation

impact of competitive elections and general expenditures

no correlation

political party constituent function

-SELECT CANDIDATES FOR OFFICE; FORMAL PROCESS GOVERNED BY STATE & FEDERAL LAW
-SUPPORT CANDIDATES FOR OFFICE
-DISTINCTION BETWEEN MAJOR AND MINOR PARTIES: CAN THEY WIN?
-STATE GOVERNMENTS HAVE TECHNICAL DEFINITIONS USUALLY BASED ON VOTE % FOR GOVERNOR. MAJOR PARTIES MUST HAVE PRIMARY ELECTIONS.

political party information function

-DEVELOP A PROGRAM & EDUCATE PUBLIC
-SET OF BELIEFS, NEARLY COMPREHENSIVE
-POLICY GOALS & PROGRAMS FOR GOVERNMENT

political party government function

-ORGANIZE GOVERNMENT, WINNERS
-LEGISLATURES CAUCUS & GET COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS BY PARTY; GOVERNOR APPOINTS SUPPORTERS BY PARTY; JUDGES TEND TO VOTE TOGETHER

interest groups constituent function

LIMITED; DO NOT SELECT CANDIDATES BUT DO SUPPORT CANDIDATES. CAN SUPPORT CANDIDATES DURING PRIMARY ELECTIONS. CAN AND DO SUPPORT BOTH CONTESTANTS FOR SAME OFFICE. SUPPORT AFTER ELECTION IS COMMON IN TEXAS.

interest groups information function

BELIEFS NOT NECESSARILY COMPREHENSIVE IN SCOPE; LIMITED POLICY PREFERENCES
PRIMARY TARGET IS GROUP MEMBERS RATHER THAN ENTIRE PUBLIC

interest group government function

DO NOT ORGANIZE GOVERNMENT; BUT DO PROVIDE INFORMATION AND ORGANIZE FOR SPECIFIC POLICY GOALS
WHEN ACTIVITY IS CONCENTRATED
PARTIES AT ELECTIONS; INTEREST GROUPS BETWEEN ELECTIONS

closed primary

choose at time of registration. Register by party: information is public, commitment is binding

open primary

voters choose at time of election. information becomes public after the primary election

mixed primary election

other combinations of when people choose and whether decisions are binding. Depend on those choices, a state may have the equivalent of a closed primary (republicans) and open primary (democrats)

top two system

used in Washington. Parties are challenging. All candidates for all parties on ballot, voters cast one vote for each office; candidates expressing a party preference. Top two finishers compete in general election, regardless of party preference and even if top finisher receives a majority

What are Texas Primary Election systems?

Open

responsible party system

american political parties are not responsible parties that is they cannot completely control nominations, campaign financing or party members adherence to the party platform

negative campaigning

mud, "swift boating" and "branding"

What weakens political parties

primary elections

new style politics

campaigning focuses on using television, dropping the person to person contact between party workers and voters and appealing for party unity

Swift boating

one kind of negative campaigning involves turning a candidates strength into a weakness

greater control by the Democratic party and greater tax burden

correlation is .4 moderate positive correlation

partisan control and state/local expenditures

no correlation

legislative control by Democratic party and state policies, and abortion laws

r=-.46 moderate negative correlation greater control by democratic party result in fewer restriction on abortion

Democratic control and TANF

no correlation exclude Southern state r=.28

Does competition influence politics?

no there is little to suggest that competition influence public policy

interest group assets

large numbers
wealth
status

interest groups

organization of individuals who share one or more interest
-try to influence political system

LOBBYING

SHARING INFORMATION. LOBBYISTS WANT TO GAIN RECOGNITION, NOT BUY FUTURE SUPPORT. ALSO ACCESS

targets of electioneering

members

targets of lobbying

government

targets of propagandizing

nonmembers

Who is more likely to join an interest group?

MORE education and income, wealthy, white and male, involved in business

The type of lobbyists in Texas

energy, insurance, banking, real estate, health care, and agriculture industries

PAC

committee formed by an organization, industry, or individual for the purpose of collecting money and then contributing that money to selected political candidates and causes.

population and campaign contributions

strong positive correlation

Which groups of people do interest groups overrepesent?

White, males, businesses, wealthy and better educated

states with stronger interest group influence have lower tax burdens

-.30

relationship between interest group strength and TANF payments is

-.31

Is there a correlation between abortion laws and per capita expenditures

no correlation

What can we conclude about the correlations of tax and welfare policies and interest groups are a result of what

the correlations result from a spurious relationship

Turnout of elections during presidential voting year from greatest to lowest

Governor, president and lastly US House (congress)

Turnout of elections during presidential off year voting from greatest to lowest

governor voting is less than presidential outcome and then US House off year

The American Voter

1952-1956 presidential elections and discussed how class coalitions led to party affiliation

Literacy Digest

straw polls to predict every presidential election from 1920-1932 except 1936 Landon would bet FDR. FDR won in a landslide talking all but two states

straw polls

simply ask as many people as possible a given set of questions. They do not choose a sample in a random and scientific manner so that the sample will represent the population

poor technique of sampling

nonstratified sampling, straw polls, and most notably sampling methods

party identification are dependent on what factors

transmission from parents, likely to participate, likely to be informed, least likely to vote for opposition, enduring, vote based on PID not issues

competitive results and voter turnout in 2006 Gubernatorial elections

no correlation

turnout and party representatives of lower chamber

no correlation

democrat and republican balance in electorate and state lower house 2006

strong positive correlation

local governments

90000

school districts

15000 have decreased

special districts

have increased 37000

population and local government

positive strong correlation

Greatest local government expenditure

education

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