Political Science 1100, Introduction to American Politics, March 4, 2013
Exam 2: Monday March 11. Please be here by 9:30
5. American Political Parties are very polarized today
Party in the electorate
Party in government
6. WHO CARES about the political parties?
To Become President, Or Governor, Or A Legislator,
You Still Have To Win Elections
-- But Without Strong Parties To Help,
Tactics For Winning Have To Include
1). The "Candidate-Centered" Campaign
You Have To Rely
On Yourself To Win Elections
2). If You Go It Alone And Rely On Yourself,
You Have To Advertise Yourself To Potential Voters
(That's Because They Won't Rely On Party Labels
You have to run your own campaign and find a lot of donors
And many donors will only give you big money if you are very ideological and very partisan – like they are
And if you are rewarded for being very ideological and partisan, you may be punished if you compromise
BUT ... the Constitution requires compromise to make government work)
1. WINNING THE PRESIDENCY
You have to win two games: the nomination, and the general election
These games have two different sets of
A. To Win The Nomination,
You Have To Win A Majority of The Delegates
To The Party's Nomination Convention
in the Summer before the general election
To Win delegates, you have to do very well in the
Primaries and Caucuses
Turnout In the Primaries Is Low
- about 20% of voters
Turnout In Caucuses (like
In Order To Win The Nomination, You Have To Win The Support Of Those Who Show Up
in primaries and caucuses
These people tend To Be More Active In Their Party &
These tend to be people with very strong views - these tend to be "wingers" - that is, the more conservative Republicans, and the more liberal Democrats
Keys To Winning The Nomination:
- Win Early And Often To Drive Out The Opposition
Key contests: Iowa, the first caucus
New Hampshire, the first primary
The 2012 Nomination
B. To win the General Election, you have to win 270 electoral votes
What are electoral votes?
How are a state's electoral votes determined?
How do you win a state's electoral votes?
Can you win a majority of the popular vote and lose the election?
Who are the electors?
The 2012 General Election