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AP Gov 4 Tony

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Party in government
One of the three divisions of a political party (office holders, cabinet members, etc.) .
Party in electorate
One of the three divisions of a political party that consists of the voters.
Party in organization
One of the three divisions of a political party that includes those who organize for the party but don't work in government (party volunteers)
Gender gap
Women tend to vote liberal while white males tend to vote conservative.
Incumbency effect
The incumbents have a higher probability of being elected in an election. Usually as a result of party recognition and the ability to easily access media.
Motor voter bill
One can register to vote at the DMV. States with this law had significantly higher registration turnout.
Impact of third parties
Usually tend to pull votes away from other candidates. They often tend to be single issue parties. Their positions get absorbed by another party. They increase participation to a fairly small extent.
George Wallace
Ran as a Dixiecrat and broke away from the democratic party under a pro segregationist banner.
Teddy Roosevelt
Ran as a member of the bull moose party and he got the largest percentage of the vote for a third party candidate. He's an example of how a charismatic leader pulls votes.
Ross Perot
Ran as an independent who was a billionaire who financed his own campaign and he got a decent percentage of the votes. Ran as a business guy.
Ralph Nadar
Ran as green party candidate who famously used a grass roots campaign to only take a small percentage of votes but took all votes that would've otherwise gone to Gore causing Bush to win.
Two party domination
-Some states have laws that require signatures from registered voters endorsing somebody just to get them on a ballot.
-Democrats and Republicans worked together to pass laws that make it difficult to run a third party.
-Any funding whether public or private is much more generous to the two parties rather than third parties.
-For example in a national election a third party has to receive 5% of the vote after the election to get public funding for the election.
-News media tend to fixate on the two parties.
-Voters tend to switch from independent to two party closer to the election.
Primaries
These are pre election elections that determine who will run for the election. Two types: 1) Open 2) Closed.
Open Primary
Allows any registered voter to vote for nominees from all parties.
Closed Primary
Only get to vote for people in the party for which you are registered.
Electoral College
-Representatives of each state who are selected by state-chosen procedures and who vote for the president. # of electors is determined by the number of senators + number of congressional representatives per state.
-Was designed to prevent tyranny of the mob. They were originally expected to vote their conscience and would be only educated men in theory.
-The election of 1800 ended up tied when the electors voted the way they wanted between TJ and Aaron Burr which led to a compromise. This led to the 12th amendment. Doesn't always ensure popular vote = presidency. Re apportionment occurs every 10 years with the census and favors republicans.
-Now a rubber stamp
-Usually works with a majority but not always. 1876 nobody won.
12 Amendment
Allowed only 1 elector to have 1 vote per office and would settle ties in the congress rather than among the electors.
Redistricting/Reapportionment
- The US Census reapportions congressional representation
- Each Congress Person represents same number of citizens
- Has been turned into a political weapon since the 1790s
-Reapportionment is when they give different levels of congressional representation to different areas based on increases or decreases in population.
Gerrymandering
- When Congresspeople use their power in the state congress to redraw district lines in a way that favors them
Split ticket voting
When people vote for different members of different parties. It has increased since the end of old party machines in 1900's. Led to more divided government. Declined since the 1990's.
Functions of political parties
-mobilize support and gather numbers
-provide stability in moderation in the political arena
-provide unity for different factions and some level of accountability
-help run elections
-determine how people will vote and how they see issues.
-formulate policy and promote a particular party ideology
Voter identification in geographic region
People on the coasts are more liberal/democrat since the 1960's. People in the south tend to vote more republican since party realignment. People in midwest tend to vote republican except in high labor areas such as detroit. People in the west tend to vote conservative (Arizona, Nevada, etc.)
Party identification and gender.
In the 1980 election the gender gap emerged. Basically women voted democrat, men voted republican. It still exists today though it is getting smaller. The biggest proportion of women that vote democrat are single women.
Party identification and age
Younger people tend to be more liberal while the elderly and post married people tend to be more conservative.
Party identification and income
People who tend to be professional white collar high earners tend to be democrat and people who are blue collar and low income tend to vote democrat.
McConnell v. Federal Elections Committee
-The supreme court concluded that the federal government could restrict soft money donations in order to prevent corruption.
-In other words the prevention of corruption overrides free speech rights.
McCain-Feingold bill (BCRA)
Passed in 2002 and was in response to failures of corporations that were soft money donors. It fast tracks law suits regarding campaign contributions to district courts in order to prevent stalling by lobbyists. Challenged in McConnell v. FEC and upheld.
Federal Elections Campaign Act (FECA)
Passed in 1980's and governs the nature of contributions and financing campaigns.
Presidential matching funds
States that donations to presidential campaigns will be matched by the federal treasury less than 251 dollars. But, this limits the amount of funds they're allowed to raise. They have to raise at least 5000 in individual contributions. The most that can be raised in total is 75 million if they opt for this method of financing. As a result most presidential hopefuls from the main parties do not choose this kind of financing. Assumes that there's enough money volunteered by tax payers to pay for those expenses and only goes to people who receive more than 5% of the vote.
Hard Money
Hard money is money raised under the FECA guidelines and it includes any advertisement that expressly advocates the election or defeat of a particular candidate.
Soft Money
Money not regulated by the FECA and does not specifically advocate the election or removal of a particular candidate. It's a loophole where they don't specifically mention defeating a candidate but focus on issues. The BCRA has limited soft money donations. In the 70's political parties used these techniques to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars from individual donors.
Buckley v. Valeo
Supreme court rules that candidates for office can spend unlimited amounts of personal wealth on a campaign because it is free speech.
Causes of low voter turnout in the US
-Americans say they were too busy or had conflicting work schedules. (In Europe voting day is a national holiday)
-In the United States one has to register to vote and it is sometimes rather difficult ( In Europe people are registered automatically)
-Absentee voting is difficult (In Europe getting absentee ballots is easier)
-Sheer number of elections, too many elections to focus on.
-Voter attitudes, people feel their vote doesn't mean much. ( In Europe some places have compulsory voter laws.)
-Political parties have weakened.
California Democratic Party v. Jones
The U.S. supreme court said that there couldn't be a proposition that requires primaries in california to be blanket primaries rather than closed primaries because it violates the political parties right of association guaranteed under the first amendment.
Voter Turnout
Has gotten significantly lower since the days where the political parties had a lot of strength. 40% of eligible voters vote regularly. 25% vote occasionally.
Eduction and voter turnout
Higher levels of education correlate to higher levels of turnout. College graduates being the most likely to vote.
Income and voter turnout
Higher income leads to higher voter turnout.
Voter turnout and age
Older voters vote more than younger voters. Possibly because younger people have less time.
Voter turnout and ethnicity
Typically white people tend to vote more frequently than not white people. (Income and education are factors). Jim Crow laws made it difficult for minorities to vote. States with history of Jim Crow are known for having difficult voting requirements.
Voter turnout and intrest
People who have greater level of political interest tend to vote more regularly. Roughly about 5% of population.
Expanding suffrage
- From 1812-1860 the property requirement for white men was abolished on a state by state basis and in 1868 any man born or naturalized in the U.S. could vote (14 amendment)
-Non white men are given right to vote (15th amendment)
-1913 state populations could vote for senators directly (17th amendment)
-1920 women are given the vote (19th amendment)
-1924 Native americans are given the right to vote.
-1964 the 24th amendment prohibits poll taxing thus providing greater access for the poor.
-1965 racial minorities are given greater federal protection through the voting rights act.
-1971 the 26th amendment said adults over 18 could vote.
Decline in party strength
Since the progressive era and the period of the big party machines, party loyalty and party strength have declined. People are more willing to identify themselves as independent than before. However, there is still the same level of partisanship as there used to be.
Geographic differences in party loyalty
Cities are strongly democratic. Rural areas tend to be strongly conservative. Small towns seem more evenly divided. Suburbs are becoming more strongly republican.
Religion and party identification
Protestants tend to vote more conservative. Catholics and jews tend to vote more liberal. However, this traditional support is beginning to erode. Republicans are starting to get more of the Jewish and Catholic vote and Democrats are starting to get more of the Christian vote. In fact, among fundamentalists republicans have just about a 10% lead over democrats.
Party identification and marital status
Married tend to vote more conservative. Unmarried tend to be more evenly divided. Widowed are more likely democratic also divorced/separated.
Super delegates
Members of the democratic party who are selected from the national convention and are elected party officials. They are concerned with winning general elections rather than primaries. Prior to 1972 democrats were not bound to respect primary results which meant conventions were usually areas where back-room deals were figured out. Now this is not the case. All democratic governors are now delegates.
Party realignment/dealignment
Major issues in U.S. politics often cause radical transformations of political parties. In U.S. history there have been 6 party realignments.
-Prior to the civil war the whig party dissolved and allowed the republican party to re form which led to the election of a republican in 1860
-In the 1890's the democratic party became radically populist which allowed republicans to gain a larger share of the majority of less radical voters.
-1930's the great depression shifted more people toward the democratic party and embrace ideals of social welfare programs.
-1960's the dixicrats left the democratic party as a result of the passage of the voter rights act thus the south moved away from the democrats and to the republicans.
Secular Realignment
Doesn't occur in response to events but is a gradual realignment based on slow shifts in demographics. With less party loyalty major party realignment is less frequent. An example of this is the importance of neoconservativism with support for social security and medicare is a result of a growing population of older individuals who tend to be socially conservative but rely on more liberal social welfare programs.
Candidate centered campaign
They're more popular now in the era of weak party machines and focus more on the candidate and his/her character rather than party identification.
Party centered campaigns
Tended to be more prominent prior to the populist era. Now they're harder to run especially in modern gerrymandered districts because the districts tend to become increasingly polarized. People don't vote for the party anymore they vote for the most ideologically pure.
Party machines
Prior to 1920's political parties were the major force of the election/nomination system. At this period the high levels of immigration and rapid industrialization created a great split in america. This split was reflected in a strength in political parties. Immigrants and working class tended to vote democratic. Civil rights activists and rural people tended to vote more republican. Led to greater levels of voting.
Straight ticket voting
People vote the ticket, they don't worry about candidates. Likely because they were incentivized by strong party bosses.
Caucus
These are groups of party members who meet in order to select the party's delegate to the national convention who will vote for the presidential nominee. It is the oldest and most party oriented method to pick delegates. It decreased in popularity during the populist era. They tend to be more open now than they used to be. They're being replaced by primaries.
Presidential nominating process.
The first part of the political campaign where candidates target leaders and activists within the party. The main concern here is electability though party activists attempt to ensure the candidate will adhere to the ideology of the party. Usually begins early in the election cycle anywhere from 4-2 years prior to the election. They try to develop support within the party. One of the problems is that when trying to be nominated members of the party have to try to go to extreme ends of the ideological spectrum. Then, during the general election, they have to move towards the center and this can be too difficult to accomplish for some.
Campaign finance reform
Recently people having become increasingly critical of the role of money in the political arena. There have been calls by members of both parties to reform how campaigns are financed. For example John McCain has often campaigned on the promise of campaign finance reform but in all the goal is the same which is to prevent any single individual or interest group from having a disproportionate level of influence over the political process.
PAC and 527 groups
PAC's are known as political action committees that are officially recognized fundraising committees that represent interest groups in raising funds for primaries and elections. They're allowed to donate greater amounts of money to candidates and have no limit on their total annual contributions. They've increased substantially within last 30 years. They hope to use their money to buy influence among elected officials. They tend to donate more to incumbents. They have a much greater impact on elections than individuals.
- 527 groups are committees that are used to move soft money to political parties. They require far less disclosure than other finance bodies and they can take money and donate it without saying who donated it and are tax exempt. Not allowed to expressly advocate for an election or the defeat of a candidate but often do. There are no restrictions on contributions and no spending limits,
Nomination process
The process by which potential candidates are vetted and selected through a primary process in order to determine who will run as the party candidate.
Conventional vs. Unconventional participation
Conventional: includes voting, volunteering for a political party, donating, serving office (activities we expect from good citizens)
Unconventional: legal but often considered inappropriate. Involves boycotts, petitions, protests, rallys, etc.
Presidential Primary Process and its effect on party strength
The primary process pits candidates from a party against one another in the media and in debates. This places the candidate as most important and the party as secondary. As a consequence, modern primaries (that have increased with a move away from caucus' have helped to weaken party strength and center more attention on candidates.
Party Conventions (Purposes of and changes to)
The conclusion to the nomination battle. It uses a period of time to monopolize press coverage and celebrate the party platform, the party nominee, and attempt to weed out potential future candidates. They used to be a place where party leaders would decide who was going to be nominated but today they are more of a spectacle than anything. The first convention was held in 1831 by the anti masonic party then in 1832 was the first democratic national convention. Until the early 20th century the conventions were under the control of the party bosses and the machines. State delegates were uncommitted when they arrived and only voted after they met and discussed who should run. In this way party leaders could use their clout to get favors from candidates, today delegates already know how they are going to vote before they arrive because of primaries and polls etc. It's less insulated and more open to the public. Parties are not as significant anymore etc.
Income and voter choice
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