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Candidate Selection

Candidate Selection

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Candidate Selection

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  1. Candidate Selection First essay assignment reminder Last time: campaign finance Getting the nomination Who runs The nomination process

  2. Essay assignment • Write no more than 3 double-spaced pages (exclusive of title/abstract page and references page) on the following: • Are major-party nominees for president different systematically today from the nominees typically produced before the 1930s? Why or why not? • Include a one-paragraph (short!) abstract on a separate title page, summarizing your answer • example of abstract is on the website • 3-paragraph introduction: hook, thesis, roadmap • Due in class Oct. 13

  3. Last time: campaign finance • Candidates get money from individuals, PACs, parties, self-contributions, and federal matching funds (primaries) or federal grants (convention and general election) • Corporations and labor unions can’t give money directly to candidates, but… • can give through PACS • can bundle individual donations informally • can make independent expenditures on behalf of candidates or spend on “issue advocacy” campaigns via 527 committees (more than 60 days before the election)

  4. The basics • Donations: • federal law limits how much an individual may donate per election to candidates, parties and political action committees • no limit on individual donations to 527 committees, although disclosure is required to IRS and/or state agencies (not FEC) • Expenditures: • Federal matching funds for primaries; federal grants for general elections, conventions • No limits in each phase if a candidate opts out • No effective limits on independent expenditures, but restrictions on electioneering ads in 60 days prior to general election (must be hard money-financed)

  5. Donations restrictions • Hard money: donations to candidates (for primaries) • individuals now limited to $2,000 per candidate per election (primary, general, special) up to $37.5K per 2-year cycle; multi-candidate PACs limited to $5,000 • PACs raise money from individuals, who are capped in totals they can give to parties and PACs • individuals can give up to $25K to national party, $10K to each state/local party, $5K to each PAC; subject to overall $57.5K aggregate limit (including PAC donations; excludes state/local parties); upheld in McConnell v. FEC • corporations and unions cannot give directly, but can cover overhead for PACs; money must be raised from individuals • Soft money: spending by parties for “party building” and GOTV; Independent expenditures and issue advocacy spending by third-party groups (527 committees) – donations are unlimited for individuals; some restrictions apply to corporations

  6. spending constraints • Matching funds in the primaries: • Individuals’ donations UP to $250 each can be matched if candidate raises at least $5K in each of 20 states at $250 per or less • To retain eligibility once primaries begin, must get 10+ percent of vote in two consecutive primaries or 20 percent in one • Candidates’ personal contribs limited to $50K if accepting fed. dollars (see Perot) • Primary spending limited by state and overall (about $36.5 million this time) • A candidate who secures nomination early may be spent out well before the convention (Dole, 1996: only $1.5 million to spend between April and August) • Convention grant ~$15 million • General election limit ~$75 million (grant from feds)

  7. Out or In? • Federal law limits aggregate primary spending by a candidate to around $37 million if accepting matching funds • by Aug. 20, Bush had raised $338+ million ($264 million before the convention) and spent $222 million (compare to $186 million total in 2000) • Kerry raised $311+ million ($236.5 million before the convention) and spent $198 million. He reimbursed himself for some $6+ million of self-financing during the primaries and has received • General election funding limited to ~$75 million

  8. Candidate selection • Who becomes a candidate? • In 2004, 5 current/ex-senators, 2 MCs, 1 governor, 1 ex-general, 1 minister/activist and 1 total looney ran for Dem. nomination • Cabinet secretaries were common nominees early in U.S. history • governors, senators, veeps are most common nominees since the Civil War • fundraising base? organizational base?

  9. The nomination process • If a candidate accepts matching funds, primary spending is limited by state population • Different rules for delegate selection by party and state; states vary in voter eligibility rules • Dems use proportional representation of candidates with a high threshold (15 pct of vote), selected at 2+ levels (cong dist; at-large) but delegates may “vote their conscience); Repub. thresholds vary by state & they allow winner-take-all • Dems use “super-delegates” to represent national party hierarchy; Repubs don’t

  10. Pre-convention campaigning • The pre-primary campaign • Organizing, fundraising take time and effort • Howard Dean formed an exploratory committee in fall 2002, followed by Kerry. • Chicken-egg problem for candidates w/o nat’l rep. Examples: 6 of 12 Repub candidates in 2000 quit before Iowa; Gephardt, others used their PACs to start the fundraising process • State organizations: get out the vote, momentum • Primaries and caucuses are very low-turnout elections • Primaries and caucuses were front-loaded this year

  11. Proximity voting? • spatial theory of elections: what kinds of issue platforms/candidate reputations are favored? • assumes participants are known in advance; candidate goal is to maximize share of vote; usual conclusion is centripetal incentives vis-à-vis the distribution of voter preferences • consequences for the general election? • mobilization models of election • both turnout and vote choice are in question for voters; • preference intensity matters • consequences for the general election?