Module Four Notes
I. Role of Parties make policy preferences
· set agendas
· select candidates
· run campaigns
· A MAJOR access point for Interest groups and individuals.
II. American Parties are moderate Plurality - favors the two party system; Smaller parties can't win power because of plurality voting.
· parties are interested in power more than policy
· little party loyalty
· Moderate - not as extreme as the rest of the world.
· Today - The republicans are pushing the party to the right. Clinton pushed democrats from left to center.
· Democrats are losing numbers to both the Republicans and Independency. There is no Independent party- per se- registering as an Independent means you are neither a Dem or Rep!!!!
· Due to an increase in IND - dems and Rep are within 35 points of each other.
· Rep - the right wing and Christian coalition trying to push Reps to the right.
· Example: Pat Robertson had more delegates at the Nat'l Convention in 1992 when he was NOT a candidate than in 1988 when he was a candidate.
· Dem - using Superdelegates to reinvolve state level politicians in national politics
· Third Parties - are usually ideological
· Ross Perot was unique - doesn't need money, Spent more than 2x the other candidates, gained momentum from the anti-incumbency movement.
IV. Party Coalitions
· Graduate students
· College professors
· Union members
· Blue-collar workers
· Northern, White Protestants
· Evangelical Christians
· Corporate workers
· Small town dwellers
· Cuban Americans*
Recent examples: Recent Winning Coalitions
Reagan Coalition – 1980
Reagan held the traditional Republicans, but also gathered support from the other side:
- Blue collar disaffected Democrats
- Farmers - upset with USSR grain embargo after USSR Invaded Afghanistan in 1980
- Pro-life Catholics
- Cuban Americans
Clinton Coalition – 1992
Clinton tried to bring the party toward the center and rid the party of the "L-word":
- Split Cuban Americans
- Pro gay rights
- Women ("soccer moms")
- Younger voters
News Flash - keep in mind some of the events of that time period.
Remember that inflation and unemployment were high during the Carter administration.
Hostages were being held in Iran that we could not find a way to get released.
Read CBS News' Iran Hostage Anniversary.
Read HistoryCentral.com's 1992 Presidential Elections.
V. Third Parties Do not confuse third party candidates with candidates that are unaffiliated.
· Usually arise out of some feeling that the two major parties are not responding to demands of voters.
· Plurality system - makes it hard for third parties.
Example: Perot got 20% of popular vote- but got NO electors.
***this is one reason for the use of the electoral college!
VI. Party Realignment
· Defined: is a shift in the coalitions which makes up the two major parties at all levels of government.
· Must take place over time and show some permanence
· As regional populations shift (north to south) there seems to be a shift occurring in party affiliations - Republican gains in the south.
VII. Party Dealignment
· Party members who have been loyal become independent
· upset with the policies of the party
· vote the person not the party
· split ticket voting
VIII. Critical Elections Defined:
· When an elections occurs where the majority party becomes the minority party.
· The new majority must then maintain its majority status.
Campaigns and Elections
I. Generalizations 93% incumbency rate in Congress
· Many seats in the House and Senate are safe seats. (Ex. Broward Co. FL - 80% registered Democratic)
· The Coattail effect - could determine outcome of Congressional elections. Clinton not known for coattails - campaigned hard in GA for incumbent but still lost. (Coverdale/ Fowler)
· Technology has caused an increase in the cost of campaigns
· All campaigns must be centered in the media...today.
· Negative campaigning and attack ads work...that's why they are used.
II. House and Senate Campaigns
· Incumbents are rarely challenged in primaries.
· 1992 - Women successfully challenged incumbents - why?
o gender - an issue
o Anita Hill - testified against Clarence Thomas all summer in front of an all male, Senate Judiciary Committee.
o abortions - an issue
o Banking scandal in House - cost incumbents
o Largest turnover in House in 50 years
o More women in Senate than ever in history.
· Name recognition and high viability - keys to success
· Turnout is low for primaries
· Incumbents outspend challenger 3 to 1
· Incumbent Advantage
o franking privilege
o Constituent services and Congressional staff
o free press coverage and visibility
o seniority and committee assignments
o help of Congressional campaign committee - time, money resources
o Much higher visibility
more famous - (100 v. 435)
o face stronger challenges
III. Nominating a President
· Three Methods for delegate selection to the National Convention.
o Caucus (Iowa)
o Primary - can be open or closed. FL has Closed primary.
· The Preconvention Period
o Caucus (Iowa in Jan.) and primary - (New Hampshire is first primary in the nation - Feb)
o Super Tuesday in March.
· Convention - July/August
· The Fall Campaign - used to actually begin in the Fall - now starts the day after the Convention.
The 1992 Clinton campaign - considered to be a "perfect campaign" - rent The War Room (a video) - if you can.
*TV, TV, TV!!!!
· Electoral College
· Campaign Spending
o FECA 1974
o Buckley v. Valeo
o Soft Money
I. Types of Interest
· Groups Labor
· Single Issue
Realtors, Chamber of Commerce
· The politics of faction = interest group politics
· Interest groups that give money to candidates are PACs
· Federalist #10 - very important!!!
II. FECA 1974
· All contributions must be reported
· ONLY Presidential elections are limited in spending****
· Federal matching funds
III. Buckley v. Valeo
· This is a free speech case. Note that the ruling has changed the way campaigns for public office are run. Note the effects of negative campaign ads, single issue groups, and the power of both.
· The court upheld FECA but declared unconstitutional grounds of free speech the portion that limits spending on behalf of the candidate.
· Money not given directly to a candidate but spent independently on advertising for a candidate. This amount cannot be limited.
IV. The Numbers
· 1973 - no PACs
· 1974 - 74 PACs
· 1980 - 954 PACs
· 1982 - 3500 PACs
· 1988 - 4000 PACs
· 1982 - PAC totals
o Corporations - $47 mil.
o Trade Assoc. - $43 mil.
o Labor - $37 mil.
o Ideological - $64 mil
· PAC Contributions to House and Senate candidates:
o 1978 - $54 mil
o 1986 - $132 mil
V. PACs - effects
· PAC money go primarily to incumbents
· Most PAC money goes to heads of committees
· The names of PACs are often vague to hide the real purpose of the sponsors - (Ex. American Way PAC)
· PACs can be out in the open or behind the scenes
· Free rider membership - problematic
VI. Techniques of Interest Groups Lobbying
· Persuasion, Propaganda
· Rule Making - (Iron triangle)
· Election activities
VII. Movement v. a Group
· Groups work within the system - Movements work outside - (or unconventional)
· Movements are frustrated by the system
· Movements attempt to sway public opinion
· Examples: The Women's Movement, Civil Rights Movement, Environmental Movement
VIII. Techniques of Movements Marches
· Concerts, Farm Aid, Live Aid
· Publicity from a spokesperson - Hollywood type...etc.