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Texas Politics Today, 11th Edition


Texas Politics Today, 11th Edition. Chapter 4. Political Parties. A ... Decentralization Refers to political power in American party politics that is ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Texas Politics Today, 11th Edition

Texas Politics Today, 11th Edition
  • Chapter 4
  • Political Parties

A Political Party Is
  • A structure of national, state and local
  • Inner circles of leaders holding or seeking
  • Networks of leaders who coordinate organizational
    machinery year-round
  • Party activists who give support, time and money
    to the partys candidates
  • Voters who identify with the party and support
    its candidates

Purpose and Function
  • The purpose of political parties is win elections
  • The five functions of parties
  • Run government/oppose other party
  • Unify groups and interests
  • Simplify policies
  • Shaping of opinion
  • Choose and support candidates

Political Parties Terms
  • Pragmatism Ideas should be judged on the basis
    of their practical results rather than on an
    ideological basis.
  • Decentralization Refers to political power in
    American party politics that is distributed to
    state and local party organizations in addition
    to the national organization. Also refers to
    government authority being placed in local or
    regional governments rather than in a central
  • Grassroots The lowest level of party
    organization. In Texas this is the precinct level
    of organization.
  • Two-Partyism When two dominant parties compete
    with each other for political offices. (Minor or
    third parties have little chance of winning.)

The One-Party Tradition in Texas
  • The Democratic party has dominated Texas politics
    since Texas became a state, except for a period
    following Reconstruction
  • The only real opposition to the Democratic party
    was the Liberal Populist party
  • Democratic party reforms and the Great Depression
    solidified the position of the Democrats in Texas

Ideological Factions Conservatives
  • Conservatives
  • Believe that individuals should be left alone to
    compete in a free market unfettered by government
  • Prefer that government regulation of the economy
    be kept to a minimum
  • Support government involvement and funding to
    promote business

Ideological Factions Liberals
  • Liberals
  • Believe that it is often necessary for government
    to regulate the economy
  • Posses a more optimistic view of human nature
    than conservatives
  • Support support of happiness, education, equal
  • Taxes should be on a sliding scale

Conservatives And Liberal Factions In The
Democratic Party
  • Factional struggles resembles a two-party system
  • Texas conservatives gained power with Alan
    Shivers gubernatorial election in 1949
  • Conservatives in Texas made up the power elite
    from oil, gas, and corporations owned by affluent
  • Liberals are composed of organized labor,
    minority groups, teachers and intellectuals

The Rise of the Republican Party
  • Republicans and recent elections
  • Developments in the 1950s
  • Presidential republicans
  • People who vote Republican for national office
    and Democratic for the state and local office
  • John Tower
  • Republican elected to the U.S. Senate on May 27,
  • Bill Clements
  • Defeated John Hill in the race for governor in
    November 1978
  • Developments in the 1990s
  • Kay Bailey Hutchinson
  • George W. Bush
  • John Cornyn

Sources of Republican Power and Weaknesses
  • Republican strength is located in
  • Houston
  • Dallas-ft. Worth
  • Midland-Odessa
  • Northern panhandle
  • East Texas
  • Hill country
  • Republicans appeal to
  • Middle-class
  • Upper class
  • Urban communities

Conservative Moderate Factions Within The
Republican Party
  • The Texas Republican Party has been dominated by
  • Evangelical or fundamentalism Christians
  • Concerned with such issues as family, religion,
    and community morals
  • Party platform

Temporary Party Organization
  • Precinct Convention
  • A gathering of the faithful that is open to all
    who voted earlier in the day in that primary
  • County and Senatorial District Conventions
  • Are held on the second Saturday following the
    primary and precinct conventions
  • Delegates vote on adoption of resolutions to be
    considered at the state convention
  • Select delegates and alternates to attend that

State Conventions
  • Both the Democratic and Republican parties in
    Texas hold state conventions in June of
    even-numbered years
  • Elect state party officers
  • Elect sixty-members of the state executive
    committee from their senatorial districts
  • Adopt party platform
  • Certify to the secretary of state the candidates
    nominated by the party in the march primary
  • During presidential election years state
  • Elect the partys nominees from Texas to the
    national committee of the party
  • Select the states thirty potential presidential
  • Elects some delegates to the partys national
    nominating convention

Permanent Party Organization
  • Precinct-level organization
  • Precinct chair serves as party organizer in the
  • County-level organization
  • County chair
  • Presides over the county executive committee
  • Determines where the voting places will be for
    the primary appoints all primary election judges
  • Certifies official nominees
  • State-level organization
  • State chair
  • Presides over the state executive committees
  • Call the state convention to order
  • Handle the requests of statewide candidates on
    the ballot
  • Certify the election runoff primary winners to
    the state convention

Competitive Parties in Texas A New Era
  • Party realignment
  • The transition from one stable party system to

Reasons for Two-Partyism
  • Reasons for two-partyism in Texas
  • Shift among conservative middle and upper class
    white democrats to the Republican party
  • The election of popular Ronald Reagan to the
  • Recent migrants to the state
  • Long-term economic trends

Emergence of Two-Partyism
  • Partisan identification
  • The psychological identification with one party
    or the other
  • Dealignment
  • Voters are refusing to identify with either
    political party. Voters are more inclined to call
    themselves independents.
  • Ticket splitters
  • Those who are willing to vote for candidates of
    both parties in the general election
  • Straight Ticket Voters
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