Political Science 1100, Introduction to American Politics, February 20, 2013
Voting and Elections
1. THE IDEAL FOR AMERICAN ELECTIONS: PROSPECTIVE VOTING
Under Ideal Circumstances,
Rational Voters Cast Prospective Votes For the Candidates That Offer Future Policies They Prefer
Assumes that Voters are well informed, we carefully consider several candidates, and votes for the candidate who will do what the voter thinks is best
REALITY OF AMERICAN ELECTIONS: American Circumstances are far from idea.
Turnout tends to be Low
turnout are not perfectly representative of voting age adults.
Four Reasons that Voters Choose One Candidate Over Another
a. Party Identification
b. The Image Of The Candidates
c. Candidates' Stands On Major Issues
d. Incumbents' Past Performance in Office
In Reality, we tend to cast Retrospective Votes: We Tend To
Retrospective voting is particularly important in voting for President
2008: A Change election favors challenger Obama
2012: Obama was now the incumbent
1. Why do we have political parties?
- Ask James Madison - Why did he help create America's first political party?
- to make American government work by building coalitions of
(1) legislators and other public officials (party in government),
(2) voters who would vote for candidates for public office (party in the electorate) .
(2) a party organization