Political Science 1100, Introduction to American Politics, March 3, 2014

 


Current Events 

 


Presidential Elections


1. WINNING THE PRESIDENCY

    You have to win two games: the nomination, and the general election

    These games have two different sets of rules
 
 

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 Iowa) is even lower.

 

 

Consequence: 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:

- Organization,

        Money

            and "Momentum"

- 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

 

 

 


Interest Groups


1. How Groups Influence Politics
 

a. Inside Lobbying: Providing Information for Making Policy

 

b. To Provide Information, Groups Must Have Access To Policy Makers

 

c. Outside Lobbying: Grassroots Advocacy

 

d. Litigation: Going to Court

 

e. Electoral Support

 

PACs (Political Action Committees)

 

Super PACS

 

 

2.  Political Consequences Of Interest Groups 

 

a. There Is A Temptation For Political Leaders
    To Trade Policy  for Interest Group Support

 

 

b. Private Benefits Tend To Crowd Out The Public Interest

 


The Media 


1. "Megamedia:" The Media Business

 

2. Media Biases


 

A.   Hype: Grabbing your attention

 

 

B.   Brief Stories

 

 

C.    Political Bias? Just Cynicism

 

The Media Campaign

 

Governing through Media