GOVT - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


PPT – GOVT PowerPoint presentation | free to download - id: 3c7521-ZTQ5N


The Adobe Flash plugin is needed to view this content

Get the plugin now

View by Category
About This Presentation



GOVT CHAPTER 9 CAMPAIGNS & ELECTIONS * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 527 committees are named after the provision of the tax code which covers them. * * * * * www ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:50
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 43
Provided by: grossmont2
Learn more at:
Tags: govt


Write a Comment
User Comments (0)
Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: GOVT


Learning Objectives
Types of Elections
  • The general election is a regularly scheduled
    election held in even-numbered years on the
    Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
  • A special election is held at the state or local
    level when voters must decide an issue before the
    next general election or when vacancies occur by
    reason of death or resignation.

Types of Ballots
  • Since 1888, all states have used the Australian
    ballot a secret ballot that is prepared,
    distributed, and counted by government officials
    at public expense.
  • Most states use the party-column ballot which
    lists all of a partys candidates in a single
    column under the party label.
  • Other states use the office-block ballot, which
    lists together all of the candidates for each

Conducting Elections Counting Votes
  • All local government units, such as cities, are
    divided into smaller voting districts, or
  • An election board supervises the polling place
    and the voting process in each precinct.
  • Representatives from each party, called poll
    watchers, are allowed into each polling place to
    make sure that the election is being run fairly
    and to avoid fraud.

Presidential Elections and the Electoral College
  • When citizens vote for president and vice
    president, they are voting for electors who will
    cast their ballot in the electoral college.
  • The electors are selected during each
    presidential election year by the states
    political parties.
  • Each state has as many electoral votes as it has
    U.S. senators and representatives. There are
    three electors from the District of Columbia.
  • The candidate who receives the largest popular
    vote in a state is credited with all of that
    states electoral votes (a winner-take-all

The Electoral College, cont.
  • In December, after the general election, electors
    meet in their state capitals to cast their votes
    for president and vice president.
  • A candidate must receive more than half of the
    538 electoral votes available. Thus, a candidate
    needs 270 votes to win.

The Electoral College, cont.
  • If no presidential candidate gets an electoral
    college majority (which has happened twice in
    1800 and 1824), then the House of Representatives
    votes, with each state delegation casting only a
    single vote.
  • If no candidate for vice president gets a
    majority of electoral votes, the vice president
    is chosen by the Senate, with each senator
    casting one vote.

Party Control Over Nominations
  • Beginning in 1800, members of Congress who
    belonged to the two parties held caucuses to
    nominate candidates for president and vice
  • The caucus system collapsed in 1824 it was
    widely seen as undemocratic.

The Party Nominating Convention
  • In 1832, both parties settled on a new method of
    choosing candidates for president and vice
    president - the national nominating convention.
  • Those who attended the convention were called
    delegates, and they were chosen to represent the
    people of a particular geographic area.
  • Delegates were typically appointed by local party
    officials, who gained their positions in ways
    that were less than democratic.
  • Corruption in nominating conventions led
    reformers to call for a new way to choose
    candidates the primary election.

Primary Elections
  • An election in which voters go to the polls to
    decide among candidates who seek the nomination
    of their party.
  • In a direct primary, voters cast their ballots
    directly for candidates.
  • In an indirect primary, voters choose delegates,
    who in turn choose the candidates.
  • The major parties use indirect primaries to elect
    delegates to the national nominating conventions
    that choose candidates for president and vice-

Open Closed Primaries
  • Closed primary only party members can vote to
    choose that partys candidates, and they may only
    vote in the primary of their own party.
  • Open primary voters can vote for a partys
    candidates regardless of whether they belong to
    that party.

Presidential Primaries
  • Most of the states hold presidential primaries,
    beginning early in the election year.
  • In some states, delegates are chosen through a
    caucus/convention system other states use a
    combination of primaries and caucuses.
  • Iowa is an early caucus state, while New
    Hampshire traditionally holds the first primary.

Primaries The Rush to be First
  • In 1988, a group of southern states created a
    Super Tuesday by holding their primaries on the
    same day in early March.
  • The practice of front-loading primaries has
    gained momentum over the last decade.
  • The rush to be first was particularly notable in
    the year or so preceding the 2008 presidential
  • By 2007, about half the states had moved their
    primaries to earlier dates. Many states opted for
    February 5th, or Super-Super Tuesday as the
    date for their primaries.

  • An alternative to the primary system, the caucus
    is a party convention held at the local level
    that elects delegates to conventions at the
    county or congressional district level.
  • These mid-level conventions then choose the
    delegates to the state convention, which finally
    elects the delegates to the national party
  • Twelve states choose national convention
    delegates through caucuses four states use
    caucuses to allocate some of the national
    convention delegates and use primaries to
    allocate the rest.

National Party Conventions
  • National conventions, held in late summer, are
    unique in Western democracies.
  • Delegates adopt the partys platform and nominate
    the presidential and vice-presidential
  • At one time, the conventions were often giant
    free-for-alls. As more states opted to hold
    presidential primaries, however, the drama of
    national conventions diminished.
  • Today, convention activities are highly staged

Responsibilities of the Campaign Staff
  • Raise funds
  • Get media coverage
  • Produce and pay for political ads
  • Schedule the candidates time effectively with
    constituent groups and potential supporters
  • Convey the candidates position on the issues
  • Conduct research on the opposing candidates
  • Get the voters to go to the polls

The Professional Campaign Organization
  • With the rise of candidate-centered campaigns,
    the role of the political party in managing
    campaigns has declined.
  • Professional political consultants now manage
    nearly all aspects of a presidential candidates
  • Political consultants generally specialize in a
    particular area of the campaign, such as
    researching the opposition, conducting polls, or
    developing advertising.

The Professional Campaign Organization, cont.
  • At least half of the budget for a major political
    campaign is consumed by television advertising.
    Media consultants are pivotal members of the
    campaign staff.
  • In recent years, the Internet has become a
    political playing field that is in some ways more
    important than any other.
  • Internet fundraising grew out of an earlier
    technique, the direct mail campaign. Now, email
    messages can be sent at almost zero cost.

Fund-raising on the Internet
  • Internet fund-raising grew out of an earlier
    technique, the direct mail campaign.
  • The cost of direct mailing, though, is well over
    a dollar, whereas the cost of each email message
    is essentially zero.
  • In the 2004 presidential campaign, Howard Dean
    focused on collecting donations over the
  • His campaign had raised about 50 million by the
    time he ceded the nomination to John Kerry.

Fund-raising on the Internet, cont.
  • Barack Obama took Internet fundraising to a new
    level during his 2008 presidential campaign.
  • The Obama campaign recruited as many supporters
    as possible to act as fundraisers, soliciting
    contributions from friends and neighbors.
  • In August 2008, the Obama campaign set a record,
    raising 66 million, the most ever raised in one
    month by a presidential campaign.
  • Most of the 2.5 million people who donated to
    Obamas campaign had been contacted through the

Targeting Supporters
  • In 2004, President Bushs chief political
    adviser, Karl Rove, pioneered a technique known
    as microtargeting, which involved collecting as
    much information as possible about voters in a
    giant database and then filtering out various
    groups for special attention.
  • This technique is entirely Web-based and uses
    information about peoples online behavior to
    tailor the advertisements that they see.
  • This technique raises privacy concerns, and both
    Congress and the Federal Trade Commission have
    held hearings on the practice.

Support for Local Organizing
  • As with fund-raising, Obama took Web-based
    organizing to a new level his campaign used
    existing sites such as Facebook and MySpace.
  • On YouTube, Obamas videos were viewed 50 million
    times, compared with McCains 4 million.
  • Obamas own Web site,,
    eventually racked up over a million members.

The Federal Election Campaign Act
  • The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) was
    passed by Congress in 1971 in an effort to halt
    and prevent abuses in the ways that political
    campaigns were financed.
  • The act restricted the amount that could be spent
    on mass media advertising, including TV.
  • The act also limited the amount that candidates
    and their families could contribute to their own
    campaigns and required disclosure of all
    contributions and expenditures of more than 100.

FECA Amendments in 1974
  • Amendments that were passed in 1974 did the
  • Created the Federal Election Commission (FEC)
  • Provided public financing for presidential
    primaries and general elections
  • Limited presidential campaign spending
  • Required disclosure of contributors and how funds
    were spent
  • Limited contributions by individuals and groups

Buckley v. Valeo
  • In Buckley v. Valeo (1976), the Supreme Court
    declared unconstitutional a provision of the 1971
    act that limited the amount that each individual
    could spend on his or her own campaign.
  • The Court held that this is protected by the
    First Amendment a candidate has a First
    Amendment right to engage in the discussion of
    public issues and vigorously and tirelessly to
    advocate his own election.

The Rise of PACs
  • The FECA allows corporations, labor unions, and
    special interest groups to set up national
    political action committees (PACs) to raise money
    for candidates.
  • PACs can contribute up to 5000 per candidate in
    each election, but there is no limit on the
    amount of PAC contributions during an election

Skirting the Campaign-Finance Rules
  • Contributions to political parties were called
    soft money one of the loopholes in the federal
  • The FECA and its amendments did not prohibit
    individuals or corporations from making
    contributions to political parties.
  • Contributors could make donations to the national
    parties to cover the costs of party activities
    such as registering voters, printing brochures,
    advertising, and holding fund-raising events.
  • Soft dollars became the main source of campaign
    money in the 2000 presidential race.

Skirting the Campaign-Finance Rules, cont.
  • Another loophole in the federal laws was that
    they did not prohibit corporations, labor unions,
    or special interest groups from making
    independent expenditures expenditures for
    activities that are not coordinated with those of
    a candidate or political party.
  • These groups could wage their own issue
    campaigns, as long as they did not say to vote
    for a particular candidate.

The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002
  • The new law banned the contributions to national
    political parties known as soft money.
  • It also regulated campaign ads paid for by
    interest groups and prohibited any issue advocacy
    commercials within thirty days of a primary
    election or sixty days of a general election.
  • The 2002 act set the amount that an individual
    can contribute to a federal candidate at 2,000
    and the amount that an individual can give to all
    federal candidates at 95,000 over a two-year
    election cycle.
  • Individual contributions to state and local
    parties cannot exceed 10,000 per year, per

Constitutional Challenges to the 2002 Law
  • In December 2003, the Supreme Court upheld nearly
    all clauses of the act in McConnell v. Federal
    Election Commission.
  • In 2007, however, the Court held that restricting
    all TV ads paid for by corporate or union
    treasuries during a particular timeframe amounted
    to censorship of political speech.

Independent Expenditures After 2002
  • A major attempt to exploit loopholes in the 2002
    act was the establishment of 527 independent
  • During the 2004 election cycles, 527 committees
    spent about 612 million to advocate positions.
  • By 2008, 527 committees began to decline in
    relative importance due to the creation of the
    501(c)4 organizations.
  • A 501(c)4 could, according to some lawyers, make
    limited contributions directly to campaigns and
    could conceal the identity of its donors.
  • A ruling on the legality of this technique has
    yet to be issued.

The Closeness of Recent Elections
The 2000 Presidential Elections
  • In 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote by 540,000
    votes but on election night, the outcome in
    Florida was deemed too close to call.
  • There was a great deal of controversy over the
    types of ballots used, and some of the counties
    in Florida began to recount ballots by hand.
  • The issue that ultimately came before the US
    Supreme Court was whether manual recounts of some
    ballots and not others violate the Constitutions
    equal protection clause.

Here, Florida officials attempted to see if the
chads in the voting punch cards had been
clearly punched or not.
The 2004 Presidential Elections
  • The 2004 presidential election was another close
    race, with President Bush defeating Democratic
    challenger John Kerry by just 35 electors.
  • In contrast to the situation in 2000, though,
    Bush won the popular vote in 2004 by a 2.5
    percentage point margin.
  • The elections were decided by the closely
    contested vote in Ohio, which had early on been
    viewed as a battleground state a state where
    voters were not clearly leaning toward either
    major candidate leading up to the elections.

The 2008 Presidential Elections
  • At times during the campaign, the presidential
    contest appeared to be close but the financial
    panic that struck on September 15 tipped the
    elections decisively in Obamas favor.
  • Obamas popular vote margin over John McCain was
    about 7.2 percentage points, nearly a 10 point
    swing to the Democrats from the elections of
  • With approximately 52.9 of the popular vote,
    Obama was the first Democrat to win an absolute
    majority (over 50) of the popular vote since
    Jimmy Carter did so in 1976.
  • While the results of the 2008 election did not
    constitute a landslide, if the voters in 2012
    believe that Obamas presidency has been a
    success, he may win a true landslide that year,
    as Reagan did in 1984.