American Political Parties
Oldest in the world, but are relatively weak as more are voting split ticket and identifying as independents.
The first organized political party in America. Were followers of Jefferson, thus were more like today's democrats.
First Party System
Weak because it was the first, but when Jefferson won the presidency in 1800, the Federalist party virtually ceased to exist by 1820.
Second Party System
Lasted from 1824 until the Civil War with political participation becoming a popular event.
Party Convention System
Developed as a reform to give more local control over the nominating process.
As a result of the Civil War, became the only third party to gain major-party status.
From the 1890s until the 1930s, a significant split between Republican support by the northern states and Democratic support by the southern states.
Opposed to the heavy emphasis on patronage, disliked the party "machinery," was fearful of heavy immigration. Also called progressives.
Major party is so badly defeated that it disappears and a new party emerges to take its place.
New issue cuts across existing parties and replaces old issues that were formerly the basis of party identification. (Slavery, Great Depression)
Split Ticket Voting
Vote for different parties in an election (versus straight ticket). Creates divided government in which Congress and the Presidency are two different parties.
National Party Spending
$12 million spending for each party for direct presidential candidate work. Thus, send much $$$ to the state parties!
Money not reported to the FEC to be spent on party activities, such as voter registration instead of on a specific candidate.
Buckley v. Valeo
held that limitations on donations to candidates were constitutional, but spending caps were an unconstitutional abridgment of free speech under the First Amendment.
Banned national political party committees from accepting or spending soft money contributions.
National Convention Delegates
Republicans give more delegates to faithful states. Democrats give more to large states.
Party leaders and elected officials who don't have to run in the primary to become delegates to the National Convention
Party organization that recruits its members by incentives such as jobs, money, and government favors.
Made it illegal for federal civil service employees to take an active part in political management or political campaigns.
Demands of the ideological activists in the party to find out true party beliefs. Usually controversial questions used.
People who engage in politics for the fun of it and to be a part of an organization.
Another organization that creates or sponsors a local party structure. (Typically unions.)
The winner is the person who gets the most votes, but not necessarily the majority of the votes.
Williams v. Rhodes
Unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment to restrict third parties from getting on the ballot.
Protest against depressed economic conditions, but usually disappear as soon as conditions improve.
Created by a split in the major party, usually over the identity and philosophy of the major party's presidential candidate.
Third Party Influence
Minor parties develop ideas that the major parties adopt. Factional Parties have had the greatest influence on public policies.
Nominating a President
Push to appeal to the majority of the voters, thus take a middle-of-the-road view.
Meeting of party followers in which party delegates are picked. Only the most dedicated attend.
Win with over 60% of the vote. Since 1962, over 90% of House incumbents have won. Have the staff, publicity, and franking privileges. Can deny they are the cause of the "mess in Washington."
Lower turnout during off year races. Candidates must be appealing to their constituents, b/c can do things president cannot.
A popular president could help get congressional candidates elected. Not so much any more.
Committee set up by and representing a corporation, union, or special interest group. Can give up to $5000 in an election. (primaries and general election are separate)
Federal Matching Election Funds
Must raise at least $5,000 in individual contributions of $250 or less in each of 20 states.
Drawing a district boundary in some bizarre or unusual shape to make it easy for the candidate of one party to win the election in that district.
Wesberry v. Sanders
1964 - Ruled the Constitution requires that districts be drawn so that one person's vote would be worth as much as another's.
Newly elected congressional leaders become strong in their districts very quickly. (Difference in the number of votes received as a Freshman and the second time around.)
Getting Elected to Congress
Must be closely tied to local concerns and have little influence by the party leaders.
Want to get reelected over all else. Seek out committee appointments to produce benefits for their home districts.
Seek out committee assignments that give them a chance to address large questions, such as foreign affairs, that have no impact on their districts.
Campaign activity that appears on a news broadcast. Have greater credibility than spots and cost little money.
Congressional Election Money
No federal dollars. Incumbents get over 1/3 of their money from PACS and don't spend much out of pockets. Challengers spend half as much money, but only get 1/10 from PACs.
Federal Support of Third Parties
Money from federal government is you have won at least 5% of the vote in the last election.
Spending money by PACs that is not directly given to the candidate, such as advertising. Can't directly refer to a candidate during the 60 days preceding a general election or 30 days before a primary.
Peace Time Election
Winner determined by the state of the economy, the political party affiliation, and the character of the candidate.
In good times, the party holding the White House does well. In bad times, it does poorly.
Party Identification and Voting
More identify with Democrats, but Republicans do better with Independents. Higher percentage of Republicans tend to vote.
Examine the views that the rival candidate has on the issues of the day and cast our ballots for the person we think has the best ideas for handling these matters. Mostly political activists!