Elections and Campaigns Kelly Walker AP US Government
Election Campaign • An organized effort to persuade voters to choose one candidate over others competing for the same office. • Candidates don’t use parties to conduct their campaigns- Polls/hiring consultants/media advisors • Parties now support candidates • Candidates campaign for nominations as well as political office.
Nominations • Primary Elections: A preliminary election conducted within a political party to select candidates who will run for public office in a subsequent election. Rules determined by the state. Highly decentralized. • Closed: voters must declare their party affiliation before they are given the primary ballot containing that party’s potential nominees. • Open: Voters need not declare their party affiliation and can choose one party’s primary ballot to take into the voting booth. • Modified Closed: Allows individual state parties to decide whether they permit independents to vote in their primaries and for which offices. • Modified Open: Entitles independent voters to vote in a party’s primary. Those registered to a party must vote on their party’s ballot. http://www.fairvote.org/congressional-and-presidential-primaries-open-closed-semi-closed-and-top-two
National Party Machinery • National Convention: Party’s national voice-summer of every presidential election year- nominates their candidate, writes platform, rules • National Committee: handles party’s affairs between conventions (2 from each state, important institutions, and territories) • National Chairperson: Leader of the National Committee. Strengthen the party, $$$ • Congressional Campaign Committee: Reelect incumbents, retain seats left by retiring members • http://stgapgov.pbworks.com/w/page/7199024/Media-in-Elections-and-Campaigns
Nomination for President • Chosen at a National Convention every four years in the summer prior to the November general election http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Party_(United_States)_presidential_primaries,_2008 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_Party_(United_States)_presidential_primaries,_2008 http://www.demconvention.com/ http://www.gopconvention.com/
Selecting Convention Delegates • Delegates are selected by each party, go to the national convention, and cast votes for their candidate. • Presidential Primary- Democrats attend the Presidential Primary Convention and cast votes proportionally. Republicans- winner take all system • http://www.cfr.org/publication/15414/role_of_delegates_in_the_us_presidential_nominating_process.html
Selecting Convention Delegates • Caucus/Convention: A method used to select delegates to attend a party’s national convention. Generally, a local meeting selects delegates for a county-level meeting, which in turn selects delegates for the higher level meeting: the process culminates in a state convention that actually selects the national convention delegates.
Which states use a Caucus? • Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, Nevada, Nebraska, Washington, Maine, Wyoming, Texas, Utah***. • Texas has both a primary and a caucus, giving democratic voters the opportunity to legally vote twice. 2/3 of the delegates in Texas are determined by primary results and 1/3 of the delegates in Texas are determined by the caucus results. Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Which_states_use_a_caucus_for_presidential_nominations#ixzz18qbMbvdI
The Primary Election • Frontloading: A states’ practice of moving delegate selection primaries and caucuses earlier in the calendar year to gain media and candidate attention. “New Hampshire Envy” • http://www.gwu.edu/~action/frontload.html
Campaigning for the Nomination • Invisible Primary- Likely candidates silently begin lining up political and financial support for their race 4 years later. • Iowa Caucuses (7% participate) and New Hampshire Primaries (40% vote)- testing ground for public opinion- narrows down the competition- Frontloading.
Campaigning for the Nomination • Really- There are two elections • When no incumbent in the White House is seeking re-election, the presidential nominating process becomes contested in both parties • An incumbent president usually encounters little or no opposition for re-nomination within the party • Candidates favored by most party identifiers usually win their party’s nominations • Candidates who win the nomination do so largely on their own and owe little or nothing to the national party organization, which usually does not promote a candidate
Primary Election dates • The election dates for 2008, up to and including Super Tuesday were as follows. • January 3—Iowa caucus • January 5—Wyoming caucus (Republican only) • January 8—New Hampshire primary • January 15—Michigan primary • January 19—Nevada Caucus & Republican South Carolina primary • January 26—Democratic South Carolina primary • January 29—Florida primary • February 1 - February 2―Republican Maine caucus • February 5 ― Super Tuesday: Primaries/caucuses for both parties in 19 states, plus three Democratic-only caucuses and two Republican-only primaries
State and Local Party Machinery • Set by state law • Built around a State central committee • Chairperson and central committee work to further the party’s interests in the state • Find candidates, raise $$ • Locally, party structure varies Party unit for each district/ ward/block/building Ward: a unit into which cities are often divided for election of city council members Precinct: smallest unit- voters in each precinct report to one polling place
Elections • General Election: A national election held by law in November of every even-numbered year. Single member district system- “Winner Take All” • Electoral College: Not in the constitution-incorporated into statues, so it has assumed a legal basis- tradition is difficult to change. • Article II, section 1 http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.articleii.html • 538 electors- 1 for each senator, 1 for each Rep and 3 for DC- need 270 to win http://www.270towin.com/
The Electoral College • 2000 election- Bush won Florida with 537 popular votes • Abolish? • Founding fathers did not trust the peeps to vote directly for a candidate- compromise- legislature cast the vote or direct election? • Allows the states to choose the leader through electors- Citizens choose the electors when they vote.
Campaigns 4 parts: The candidate, the issues of the candidate, the campaign organization, the money to run the campaign The Political Context- what kind of race? • Incumbent- the current office holder • Open election: Occurs when there is no incumbent- 2008
Campaign Strategies:3 Types • Party-centered-suited to contests where voters have little political knowledge • Issue-oriented • Image-oriented Campaign Tools: • Polling Package: Benchmark poll-issues important to voters, Focus groups- represents groups the campaign wants to target, trend poll- candidate image, and tracking polls. • News Coverage: Free and objective • Advertising: Name recognition • Internet: New, effective medium- On-line political citizens are seven times more likely to attend politically active- attend rallies, etc.
Campaigns: Financing Campaign Financing- Heavily Regulated • 1971- Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) rules for reporting campaign contributions- Federal Election Committee- watchdog • Hard money: Money given directly to a candidate running for congress or the presidency • Buckly v. Valeo1976- upheld $1,000 limit on hard money contributions- Individuals may however, spend as much as they wish for a campaign. Candidates may spend as much of their own money as they wish.
Reform Act of 1974 • Created the 6 person Federal Election Commission to oversee elections, an expenditures and to investigate and prosecute violators. • All contributions over $100 must be disclosed and no cash contributions over $100 are allowed. • No foreign contributions allowed. • Individual contributions are limited to $1,000 per candidate, $20,000 to a national party committee, and $5,000 to a political action committee. • A corporation or other association is allowed to establish a PAC, which has to register six months in advance, have at least 50 contributors, and give to at least five candidates. • PAC contributions are limited to $5,000 per candidate and $15,000 to a national party. • Federal matching funds are provided for major candidates in primaries and all campaign costs of major candidates in the general election were to be paid by the government.
Campaigns: Financing • Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act (BCRA)- 2002 McCain- Feingold- Ban soft money contributions and issue –advocacy ads that favored a given candidate. • Raised the limits to $2,000 for a contribution (2 yr cycle) • $5,000 per year to each state party or political committee • $20,000 per yr to any national party committee • $95,000 limit over 2 yr cycle based on limits to individual candidates and committees • $5,000 from a PAC to any candidates campaign • All limits linked to inflation
Presidential Campaign Financing • Primaries: If you decline matching of federal funds, you may spend as much as you wish
Campaigns: Financing- Loopholes • Soft Money: Funds that are not raised and spent for specific federal election campaign (Political donations made in such a way as to avoid federal regulations or limits, as by donating to a party organization rather than to a particular candidate or campaign.) • Soft Money banned by BCRA in national party committees • Did not extend to state parties and BCRA allows issue-advocacy groups (527 Groups: tax exempt) to raise unlimited amounts of soft money to spend on commercials and other forms of advertising as long as they do not advocated a candidate’s election or defeat (Moveon.org) • http://moveon.org/
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission • http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/22/us/politics/22scotus.html • The government may NOT ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections. • 1st Amendment: Government may not regulate political speech.
Super PAC’s • What is a super PAC? • A super PAC is a political-action committee that is allowed to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money from corporations, unions, individuals and associations. Some nonprofit groups are allowed to contribute to super PACs without disclosing where their money came from. • What's the function of super PACs? • The role of super PACs is similar to that of traditional political-action committees. They advocate for the election or defeat of candidates for federal office by purchasing television, radio and print advertisements and other media. There are conservative super PACs and liberal super PACs.
Super PAC’s • What's the difference between a super PAC and a traditional political action committee? • Who can contribute, and in how much they can give? • Candidates and traditional candidate committees can accept $2,500 from individuals per election. That means they can take in $5,000 a year - half in the primary, and half in the general election. • Candidates and traditional candidate committees are prohibited from accepting money from corporations, unions and associations. Federal election code prohibits those entities from contributing directly to candidates or candidate committees. • Super PACs, though, have no limitations on who contributes or how much they contribute. They can raise as much money from corporations, unions and associations as they please and spend unlimited amounts on advocating for the election or defeat of the candidates of their choice.
Super PAC’s • Are there any restrictions on super PACs? • Yes. The most important restriction prohibits super PACs from working in conjunction with the candidates they're supporting. According to the Federal Election Commission, super PACs cannot spend money “in concert or cooperation with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate, the candidate's campaign or a political party.” • Restore Our Future • Priorities USA Action
Bundling • The practice of rounding up contributions from friends and associates to bypass campaign finance limits. • San Antonio News-Express: “Welcome to the world of bundlers: a semi-secretive though perfectly legal practice in which super-duper fundraisers deliver bundles of campaign contributions to their favorite candidates that they induce, entice or, some would say, strong-arm others to make. Bundling allows candidates of both parties to finesse the federal caps on individual political contributions and allows the bundlers to gain more-than-ordinary access to presidents and presidential hopefuls.”
Explaining Voting Choice • Party Identification: Vote with your party • Issues and Policies: Candidates exploit issues that they think are important to voters and challengers campaign by pointing out problems, • Candidates’ Attributes- not rational Democratic Theory: Citizens should vote according to the candidates’ past performance and proposed policies. Campaign Effects: Television: election only in battleground states. Debates.
Campaigns, Elections, and Parties • Majoritarian Model: Parties link people with their government by making government responsive to public opinion. Parties should have clear platforms. • Pluralist Model- Parties are not the basic mechanism through which citizens control their government; instead they function as two giant interest groups. Parties enjoy electing and reelecting candidates and enjoy the benefits of public office.