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Political Parties

Political Parties

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Political Parties

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  1. Political Parties

  2. Outline: • Characteristics of Party Realignment • Role of the Parties • Electoral Systems • Coalitions • Third Parties • Party Organizations

  3. Characteristics of Realignment Post Civil War, there has been consistent competition between Dems and Repubs Realignment occurs when the parties adapt during crises: • Powerful and divisive issue (War, Economy) • Elections with huge shifts in voter support • A major change in policy by dominant party • Enduring change in the party coalitions

  4. Three critical realignments: • The Civil War Realignment • Repubs dominate • Dems blamed for war, but they had the “Solid South” • 1896 Realignment • Economic panic, blamed on Dem Cleveland • Strengthened Repubs • Great Depression Realignment • Crash blamed on Hoover • Dems reign for next 36 years; interrupted only by IKE in the 50s

  5. Recent realignment (ish) Southern shift from solid Dem to solid Repub • Civil Rights Act, Vietnam War, New Deal politics ending • Splinters the Dems, Repubs revitalize Southern voters • Not as abrupt as the other three

  6. Party Roles • Linkage institutions • Connect citizens to government • Gives popular majorities a choice over how they will be governed • Strongest indicator of how someone will vote • Gain power by winning elections

  7. Electoral Systems: Why only two parties? • An exception for democracies around the world • Tradition • Single Member Districts • Elect a single member to each district (candidate with most votes wins) • Contrast to a proportional system • Play to the middle • Median voter theorem

  8. Party Coalitions

  9. Platforms Dems Repubs Abortion: Pro-Life Civil Rights: Traditional definition of marriage Education: Promote school choice Healthcare: individuals manage their needs Immigration: Fence Taxes: Cuts for all • Abortion: Choice • Civil Rights: No gay marriage ban • Education: Hire more teachers • Healthcare: Affordable healthcare for all • Immigration: Pathway • Taxes: Cuts for working families, not rich 1%

  10. Third Parties • Reform • Progressives • Reform • Single Issue • Free Soil • Greenback • Prohibition • Populists • Ideological • Libertarian • Tea • Green

  11. Mitt Romney Former Massachusetts Governor

  12. Mike Huckabee Former Arkansas Governor

  13. Sarah Palin Former Alaska Governor

  14. Tim Pawlenty Former Minnesota Governor

  15. Weakening of Parties Over Time

  16. From Party Centered to Candidate Centered

  17. The Perry Campaign

  18. Mitt Romney

  19. Michelle Bachman

  20. Herman Cain

  21. What about Christie?

  22. And, Obama

  23. + The Machine

  24. SNL • http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/mitt-romney-chris-christie-cold-opening/1361090 • http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/gop-debate-3-cold-open/1368128

  25. Party orgs weaken over time: • Nomination (Party to Candidate) • Progressives (Reform in response to corruption) • Primaries (Party choice to voter choice) • Money (Party generated to candidate generated) • Jobs (Patronage to merit system)

  26. Changes in the Nominating Process (McGovern-Fraser Reforms) Until 1968 • Party Dominated • Few Primaries • Short Campaigns • Easy Money • Limited Media Coverage • Late Decisions • Open Conventions After 1968 • Candidate Dominated • Many Primaries • Long Campaigns • Difficult Fundraising • Media Focused • “Front-Loaded” • Closed Conventions