What are the 3 types of elections?
+Primary elections (select party nominees)
+general elections (select officeholders)
+select options on specific policies
What are the two ways to create a policy election?
+Referendum--state-level method of direct legislation that gives voters a chance to approve proposed legislation or constitutional amendment
+initiative petition-- process permitted in some states whereby voters may put proposed changes in the state constitution to a vote, given a sfficient number of signitures
What changed with the election of 1800?
VPs are now chosen by the party rather than the system of who ever loses is VP.
What were campaigns focused on in the election of 1800?
What changed with the election of 1896?
It was the first time a candidate had campaigned on his own by giving speeches (ironically, the candidate giving speeches lost the race)
What was the main issue of the election of 1896?
The economy; the Domocrats focused on unlimited coinage of silver
What characterized the election of 2004?
Negative campaigning; leadership of the War on Terrorism and "moral values"
What charaterized the election of 2008?
The historical election of an African-American president and the first Republican women running as VP.
What is suffrage? What are the various amendments associated with it?
The right to vote;
+15th-- African Americans can vote
+19th-- Women can vote
+26-- 18 year olds can vote
Why does Downs believe it is rational not to vote?
+Those who see clear differences between the parties are likely to vote; if indifferent, the one may rationally abstain from voting
What two factors keep people voting?
+political efficacy-- the belief that one's political participation really matters
+Civic duty-- the belief that in order to support democratic gov't, a citizen should always vote.
What is voter registration? What law was passed to help people register to vote?
A system adopted by the states that requires voters to register well in advance of the election day
+Motor Voter Act-- requires states to permit people to register to vote when they apply for their driver's license
+Education-- more edu. = more likely to vote
+Age-- older = more likely to vote
+Race-- Caucasian = more likely to vote. BUT, other ethnicities are higher w/ comparable education
+Gender-- Female = more likely to vote
+Marital status-- married=more likely to vote
+Union membership/ government worker = more likely to vote
What is the mandate theory of elections?
The idea that winning candidate has a mandate from the people to carry out his/her platforms and policies. (In other words, the winning candidate assumes that since they won everyone aggrees with what they want to do). Politicians like the theory better than political scientists
How does party identification affect voting?
+People still gnenerally vote for the party they agree with
+however, with the rise of candidate centered politics, parties' hold on voters has declined
+Many more voters make an individual voting decision (swing voters)
The factors that affect a candidate's image the most are--
(Sidenote: personality also plays a role in vote choice, esp. if a candidate is perceived to be incompetent or dishonest)
What is policy voting?
basing your vote choice on issue preferences, and where the candidates stand on policy issues
How can policy voting occur?
+If the voter knows where they stand and the candidates stand on the issues and sees differences b/t candidates
Why is policy voting unlikely to occur? Why are chances now increasing for policy voting?
+Candidates can be ambiguous on the issues
+media tend to focus on the "horse race" not issues.
candidates are forced to take a clear stand in the party primaries increasing chances for policy voting
Who elects the president?
The electoral college
Who chooses the electors in the electoral college?
The state chooses them; state parties can choose an equal amount of electors, and they pick party loyalists
How does the electoral college work?
+Each state has as many votes at it does Representatives and Senators
+Winner of the popular vote typically gets all the Electoral College votes for January
+If no candidate gets a majority (270 votes), the House votes for president, w/ each state casting one vote (chosen from the top 3 vote setters)
How can democracy be aided by elections? How is this unlikely?
The greater the policy differences b/t the candidates, the more likely voters will be able to steer gov't policy by their choices.
Candidates do not always clarify issues, and candidates who vow to continue popular policies are more likely to win elections
What is retrospective voting? How can retrospective voting affect elections?
Voters cast a vote based on what a candidate has done for them lately
+those who feel worse off are likely to vote against incumbents (therefore, politicians are scared of bad economies)
How do elections affect the scope of government?
+Elections generally support government policies and power
+Voters feel they are sending message to gov't to accomplish somethings
+Thus, time gov't expands to fill the needs of the voters (voters don't think that gov't is gaining more power, but that they are given more power to control gov't with it in more areas)
What are the two basic decisions made by voters at election time?
+ whether to vote
+who to vote for