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Presidential Elections


Presidential Elections – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Presidential Elections

Presidential Elections
  • Historically, 1 voter getter become
    President, 2 became V.P.
  • Now, President and V.P. run together on same
  • 12th Amendment changed this

Current Process
  • Step 1- Declare your candidacy
  • -Apply to the Fed. Elections Comm.
  • -Take steps, in each state, to get name on

Step 2- Presidential Primaries
  • An election within a party. Why?
  • 1. Get one candidate per party. Why?
  • -Dont split your party
  • 2. To negate power of bosses
  • -Caucuses used in early 1900s were very easy
    to corrupt
  • -Primaries could not be corrupted.

  • Caucuses-small group of party insiders who make
    decisions for the party
  • -Bosses controlled by
  • Intimidating (colored ballots)
  • Bribing, blackmail
  • Cheating
  • This led to changes

3 Changes that stopped corruption
  • Voter Registration- stopped cheating
  • Secret Ballot- stopped intimidation
  • Direct Primaries
  • Open- vote in either party, but only one
  • Closed- must be party member to vote
  • Blanket- vote in both without penalty.

Primaries Continued
  • Two goals of primaries
  • 1. Elect all/some of delegate to Convention
  • 2. Show preference vote for President
  • Out of power parties always have a harder time
    nominating than in power parties.
  • -Why??

Step 3 National Conventions
  • Parties created them no state laws governing
    them, just party rules.
  • Held in big cities to bring attention.
  • 4-5 days long- many speeches focused on
    supporting candidate
  • President candidate is chosen he then
    announces V.P. running mate.

National Conventions Cont.
  • Three main goals of Convention
  • 1. Adopt a party platform
  • 2. Pick presidential ( V.P.) candidate
  • 3. ATTENTION- Publicity
  • 4. Unify behind your candidate. Why??
  • -Party has just spent several months fighting
    amongst members, but now is the time to unify

National Conventions page 3
  • Q Whom does a party nominate for Pres.
  • A Ability to win
  • Q What does a Pres look for in a running mate?
  • A Balance the ticket (in two ways)
  • 1. Geographically- Pull from two parts of U.S.
  • 2. Improve your weaknesses
  • Exp- McCain should chose a conservative
    because he is not well liked by
    conservatives because of his voting record

Step 4 Campaign vs. Opponent
  • Run against opposing party ( some third
  • -State visits
  • -TV and Newspaper ads
  • -Sometimes ugly
  • Approx. 2 months before election

Step 5 General Election
  • Held on the Tuesday following first Monday in
    November (every 4 years)
  • Each state has their own rules of election
  • -hours
  • -method
  • -machine

Step 6 Electoral College
  • In November, we cast a vote know who wins by
    the end of the day.
  • However, the vote is not official until the E.C.
    meets votes on Jan. 6 (Not Sun.)
  • Electoral voters are chosen by the parties to
    attend the E.C. Who is chosen?
  • Must get majority (51) of Electoral votes.
  • Magic number is 270! 5353/2 269
  • State Elec. Votes to states Reps Sens.

Electoral College Defects???
  • Electoral vote will contradict Popular vote
  • -Has happened 4 times in history 2000!!
  • -Why/how?
  • a) Winner take all feature- If you win Illinois,
    you receive all 34 of their electoral votes
  • Exp- 1988, Bush won 50.7 in Ill, but
  • If you win 13 states by close margins, and
    lose 37 states by wide margins, you will
    lose the popular vote and win the E.C.

Winner take all Defect-examples
  • 1876- Tilden wins by 250,000 pop. votes, but
    loses to Hayes by 1 Elect. Vote
  • 1888- Cleveland wins by 90,000 pop. votes, but
    loses to Harrison by 65 Elect. Votes
  • 2000- Gore wins by ????? Popular votes, but
    loses to Bush by ?????? Elect. Votes

E.C. Defects- continued
  • 2. No law requires electoral voters to vote for
    the candidate who carried their state.
  • -They are called Broken Pledges
  • -occurred 9 times in history
  • -Never affected an election, but could.

E.C. Defects- page 3
  • 3. House of Reps breaks non majorities.
  • -House of Reps decides Presidency
  • -Senate decides Vice Presidency
  • -Each state gets one vote
  • -What if Indiana had 5 Dem 4 Rep Reps that
  • -Exp-1824- Jackson 40 of Pop. Vote
  • J.Q. Adams 30
  • -Went to House Adams won