The official endorsement of a candidate for office by a political party. Generally success in nomination game requires momentum, money, and media.
To Run, or Not to run?
Are "skeletons" worth running against? Campaigns have become more physically and emotionally taxing than ever, which is why fewer politicans run for president.
National Party Convention
The supreme power within each of the parties. The convention meets every 4 years to nominate the party's presidential and vice-presidential candidates and to write party's platforms.
A meeting of all state party leaders for selecting delegates to the national party convention.
Elections in which voters in a state vote for a candidate (or delegates pledge to him or her). Candidates are narrowed down to one nominee.
Evaluating the Primary & Caucus System
Problems with the primary and caucus system. Political scientists aren't happy with system because too much attention is paid to Iowa and New Hampshire in primaries.
Attention to Early Primaries and Caucuses
Disproportionate attention goes to early caucuses & primaries; they play a key role in building momentum, generating money, and generating media attention.
The press exaggerates the polls by deciding who has the momentum at any given moment by readily labeling candidates as winners or losers. Example: "Dewey defeats Truman"
Organizing the Campaign
Campaign organizing requires alot of work, with only a little time to do it.
Keeps candidate from getting bogged down in organizational details; this person bears the day-to-day responsibility for keeping the campaign square on its message and setting its tone.
With all the current federal regulation of campaign financing, legal assistance is essential to endure compliance of the laws.
Professional consultants get politicians the most exposure for their money. Example: buying TV time, buttons, signs, etc.
Besides hired staff, volunteers who do other small, but essential, tasks such as doorbell ringing, envelope licking, etc. These people are competing for patronage jobs.
Good advanced people handle the complicated details of candidate scheduling and see to it that events are well publicized and well attended.
Research and Policy Advisors
Policy advisors feed complex issue reporters the info they need to keep up with events.
Helps reporters and press make their deadlines with stories that the campaign would like to see reported; reports to press core.
Federal Election Campaign Act (1974)
A law passed for reforming campaign finances. Created the Federal Election Commission, Presidential Election Campaign fund, and attempted to limit contributions.
Political Action Committees (PAC)
committee formed by a special interest group, corporation or union to raise money for their favorite political candidate. The FEC meticulously monitors the PACs expenditure.
Buckley v Valeo
Extended the right of free speech to PACs, because money is extension of freedom of speech. PACs can now spend unlimited amounts indirectly, as long as such activities are not coordinated with campaign.
Political contributions (not subject to contribution limits) earmarked for party building expenses or generic party advertising.
McCain Feingold Act
Banned soft money, increased amount of individual contributions and limited issue ads.
Independent groups that seek to influence political process but aren't subject to contribution restrictions because they don't seek election of particular candidate. Example: Swift boat members for McCain