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Political Parties Unit 3


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Title: Political Parties Unit 3

Political PartiesUnit 3
Political Parties
  • Groups of people with broad common interests who
    organize to win elections, control government,
    and influence policies.
  • US-centrist party system.

What makes up a Party?
  • Composed of committees that
  • raise campaign funds
  • coordinate election activities
  • formulate policies
  • recruit members

What do political parties do?
  • Nominate candidates for public office
  • Help to organize and operate the government
  • Educate the public and energize their supporters
  • Act as the loyal opposition (if not
    in power)

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Parties Made Up of 3 Types of Members
  • Governmental party
  • Office holders and candidates
  • Organizational party
  • Workers and activists
  • Party-in-the-electorate
  • Those who vote for party/consider themselves to
    be associated with it

Evolution of American Parties
  • Hamilton and Jefferson, heads of Federalist and
    Anti-Federalists, considered 'fathers' of modern
    party system.
  • By 1800, country had 2 party system

History of American Political Parties
17891823 Republicans- Democrats (Jeffersonians) Federalists
18231832 Era of Good Feelings Multifactionalism Parties based on old party labels new individual alliances
1832-1857 Democrats Whigs
1857- Present (1874-1912 is known as the Golden Age of Parties) Democrats Republicans
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Main Political Parties in U.S. Today
  • System contains 2 major parties
  • Democratic and Republican Party.
  • Number of 3rd parties.
  • Important 3rd parties Reform and Libertarian

Recent Polling Data on Party ID
Splitting Vote Creates Divided Government!
AKADivided Government
  • Some split vote between parties, occasionally
    vote for 3rd/independent parties
  • EX
  • Voter might vote for a Republican presidential
    candidate but vote for Democrat for Congress, and
    Reform Party member for governor.

Why Democrats seem like Republicans and vice
  • Despite differences, Rep. and Dem. considered to
    be centrist parties
  • Parties attempt to appeal to as much of
    electorate as possible.
  • Blur positions to discourage opponents.
  • Declining party ID increased role of interest

Independent Voters
  • of independents rising
  • Leaners may feel party affiliation, choose not
    to self-identify with party

What is a Party Platform?
  • Formal statement of beliefs, opinions, and policy
    stands tied together by set of underlying
    principles based on partys ideological

Party Platform
  • Formulating most important job parties contribute
  • Every 4 years officials, activists, and nominee
    for president compile partys position on variety
    of issues
  • Usually unveiled at Party Convention

2008 Party Platformshttp//www.presidency.ucsb.ed
  • Democrats 2008
  • Renewing Americas Promise
  • Renewing the American Dream
  • Immediate tax relief for Americas middle class
  • Renewing Americas Leadership
  • Ending the War in Iraq/Winning in Afghanistan
  • Renewing the American Community
  • Protecting our Security and Saving our Planet
  • Renewing American Democracy
  • Open, Ethical Government
  • Republicans 2008
  • America, the Beautiful
  • Defending Our Nation, Supporting Our Heroes,
    Securing the Peace
  • Reforming Government to Serve the People
  • Expanding Opportunity to Promote Prosperity
  • Energy Independence and Security Environmental
  • Health Care Reform Putting Patients First
  • Education Means a More Competitive America
  • Protecting Our Families Preserving Our Values

2004 Party Platforms
  • Republicans 2004
  • A Safer World and a More Hopeful America
  • 2001 and 2003 tax cuts essential
  • Iraqi invasion necessary for safety
  • Pro-life
  • No same-sex marriage ratify new amendment which
    says marriage is between a man and a woman
  • Democrats 2004
  • Strong at Home, Respected in the World
  • Tax cuts created more deficit
  • WMD search was a failure
  • Pro-choice
  • Opposed Constitutional amendment concerning

Creation of Party Symbols- Thomas Nast
  • Thomas Nast came up with
  • Donkey represented Democrats (around 1870)
  • Elephant represented Republicans (1874).
  • NOT meant to be complimentary!

Where do I belong??
  • Party identification often voter's central
    political reference symbol.
  • Generally come from one's parents.
  • Party ID affected by number of factors

Democratic Loyalty Trends
  • Liberals
  • Northeast and West
  • Catholics and Jews
  • Labor union members
  • Women
  • Over 80 of African Americans Hispanics vote 3
    to 1 Democratic (not Cuban-Americans!)
  • Young people
  • Americans under 30 - since 1992 now rock-solid
    Democratic constituency when it comes to
    presidential voting.
  • More highly educated vote for Democrats
  • Most blue collar workers/unemployed
  • The widowed
  • Singles

Republican Loyalty Trends
  • Conservatives
  • Professionals, executives, and white collar
  • South and Midwest
  • Bible Belt
  • Men tend to split fairly evenly between 2
    parties, but are more conservative
  • Cuban Americans (anti-Castro)
  • Married couples
  • Evangelicals
  • Not all especially young evangelicals
  • White Protestants (WASPs)
  • Very important since 1980s-Christian Coalition

Party ID by State
2009 Poll
2009 Poll
Young People and Parties-2008
Young People and Issues- 2008
Hispanic voters becoming increasingly important
  • 2000-2004 Hispanics accounted for 1/2 of growth
    in pop.
  • Out of every 100 Hispanics, 40 voting age
    citizens, 23 likely to be registered and only 18
    likely to vote.

Importance of Religion2004-08
  • Stance on religion good predictor of vote.
  • more religiously observantGeorge Bush
  • less observantJohn Kerry.
  • of people with no religious affiliation
  • 16 of pop., up from 8 in 1980s.
  • Reliable Democratic voters.

Suburbs new contested terrain- 2008
  • "Density equals Democrats"
  • Republican voters used to dominate suburbs, but
    becoming nation's most important swing districts.
  • Conversely, farther out you get from urban core,
    more voters lean toward GOP.

Basic Structure of American Political Parties
  • National Level
  • National Committees
  • Party in Government
  • Chairman/Leadership
  • National Conventions
  • State Level
  • States and Localities
  • Congressional districts
  • Party in the Electorate
  • Local activists
  • Precincts
  • Grassroots groups
  • Informal Groups
  • Voters

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Basic Structure of American Political Parties
  • National Committees
  • Democratic National Committee (DNC) and
    Republican National Committee (RNC) are national
    policy organs of parties.
  • Choose national chairpersons, run quadrennial

Basic Structure of American Political Parties
  • Leadership
  • Party chairpersons usually selected by sitting
    president for party in power
  • Party national committee usually selects other
    national chairperson.
  • Chair important spokesperson for party interests.

Party Chairmen
  • Republican National Committee Chairman
  • Wisconsin Party Chief Reince Priebus
  • (Ryns Pree'-bus)
  • Democratic National Committee Chairman
  • Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Chairman Priebus
Chairman Wasserman Schultz
Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean
Basic Structure of American Political Parties
  • Each national party has committee of elites-
    decide national agenda, platforms
  • Most national party members polarized left or
  • For parties to survive, must focus on ability to
    capture swing voter.

Democrats President Obama Majority Leader- Harry
Republicans Majority Leader Eric
Cantor Speaker- John Boehner
Primaries and Delegates (Superdelegates)
  • Each party holds primary/caucus
  • Political elite from e/party selected as pledged
  • Delegates must vote as state voted on 1st ballot
  • Both parties have unpledged delegates who not
    obligated to vote w/state delegates
  • Democrats
  • Currently 4,049 total delegates to DNC, including
    3,253 pledged delegates and 796 unpledged or
  • Total of delegate votes needed to win
    nomination is 2,025.
  • Republicans
  • Currently 2,380 total delegates to RNC, including
    1,917 pledged delegates and 463 unpledged
  • Total of delegate votes needed to win
    nomination is 1,191.

Basic Structure of American Political Parties
  • Unpledged (Superdelegates in Dem. Party) dont
    have to indicate candidate preference, compete
    for position.
  • Typically members of national committee, elected
    officials like senators or governors, or party

DNC RNC Work Together For 2012 Primary Rules
  • RNC and DNC banded together for 1st time to
    establish set of rules for scheduling 2012
    Presidential Election primaries.
  • Committees set new policies requiring states to
    push primaries back as far as Feb., punish states
    that host primary before set timeframe
  • Penalties include state losing up to 1/2 or more
    of delegates.

Primary Changes in Primary System in 2012
  • Democrats in 2012
  • DNC penalize candidates who campaign in
    non-compliant states before primaries in states.
  • Candidates lose any delegates to convention won
    in that state. If candidates not visiting state,
    neither is media, rendering contest meaningless.
  • Republicans in 2012
  • Instead of winner-take-all-new rules state if
    primary before April delegates have to be awarded
  • Can be winner-take-all when April begins. Will
    likely extend primary season for Republicans

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The Basic Structure of American Political Parties
  • National Conventions
  • Every 4 years, national committees put together
    presidential nominating conventions.
  • Until 1984, got gavel-to-gavel coverage by media
  • Today, coverage more selective.
  • Conventions allow parties to nominate candidates,
    also to discuss party organizational matters.

2009 Walton Graduate Ryan Gibson and President
Clinton at 2008 DNC in Denver
National Party Conventions
  • Both major parties hold conventions during summer
    of presidential election year.
  • Presidential conventions come long way since
    smoke-filled rooms, battle weary after hours of
    negotiating over platforms and presidential

Decline of Party Conventions
  • Before 1960s, National Conventions important
    events that did more than promote candidate and
  • Delegates met to promote party unity, establish
    platform, vote for presidential and vice
    presidential nominee
  • More of Pep Rally and media event

Recent National Convention Sites
  • 2012 Tampa
  • 2008 St. Paul
  • 2004 New York City
  • 2000 Philadelphia
  • 1996 San Diego
  • 1992 Houston
  • 1988 New Orleans
  • 1984 Dallas
  • 1980 Detroit
  • 1976 Kansas City
  • 1972 Miami Beach
  • 1968 Miami Beach
  • 1964 San Francisco
  • 1960 Chicago

DEMOCRATIC 2012 Charlotte 2008 Denver 2004
Boston 2000 Los Angeles 1996 Chicago 1992 New
York 1988 Atlanta 1984 San Francisco 1980 New
York 1976 New York 1972 Miami Beach 1968
Chicago 1964 Atlantic City 1960 Los Angeles
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The Basic Structure of American Political Parties
  • States and Localities
  • Parties structurally based at state and local
  • Much of work of party carried out at precinct,
    city, county, and state levels.
  • At state level, voters more ideological,
    resulting in larger number of factional splits
    than at national level.
  • Inter-party competition remains relatively high
    at state level.

The Basic Structure of American Political Parties
  • States and Localities
  • Do not always follow national party rules
  • Recently some state parties overruled national
    party guidelines concerning primary elections
  • Super-Duper Tuesday (Feb. 5, 2008)
  • FL and MI bypassed SC, in trouble with DNC


The Basic Structure of American Political Parties
  • Party-In-The-Electorate
  • Mass of potential voters who identify with party
  • Group self-identified, seems to exhibit ever
    lower levels of party loyalty.

The Party-In-The-Electorate
  • Declining Loyalty??
  • New issues have cut across traditional party
    lines and weakened party affiliation.
  • Pollsters find that many self declared
    independents often 'lean' quite strongly in one

The Party-In-The-Electorate
  • Party Identification
  • American voters identify with party, but rarely
    belong to it.
  • Tend not to physically join and pay dues instead
    assert are Rep. or Dem.

  • Change in a political party that occurs after a
    critical election
  • Change includes platform, demographic support,
    and change in majority
  • Change is national/local, permanent
  • Examples
  • Older voters replaced with younger voters
  • Formerly Solid South Democratic states have
    become more Republican
  • Northeast shifted from Republican to Democratic

Party Realignment and Critical Elections
  • Party Realignment voters change parties during
    election, change permanent and abrupt.
  • Called critical elections (electoral earthquake
    in which election results produce surprising
  • Occurred 4 times in American history
  • Jeffersonians in 1800
  • Republicans (Lincoln) in 1860
  • Republicans (McKinley) in 1896
  • Democrats (FDR) in 1932

Political CoalitionsMajor political groupings
that shape American policy
  • Last Important Coalition
  • New Deal CoalitionDemocrats
  • Labor union members
  • Poor people
  • Southern whites
  • most minorities
  • and most socially conscious individuals voted for
    FDR in 1932
  • Became root of todays Democratic party
  • As Southern whites began to abandon Democratic
    party in 1968 and 1972, party began to change to
    accommodate remaining members of coalition

  • Dealignment general decline in party
    identification among electorate
  • Increased over past 2 decades
  • At least 1/3 of population doesnt identify with
    political party
  • For time being, parties still control American

Different Roles of the Party
  • Which is most important on election day?
  • Parties at National Level
  • National Convention
  • RNC and DNC
  • Parties at State Level
  • State committees
  • Party in the Electorate
  • Activists
  • The actual voters

Different Roles of the Party
  • Which is most important on election day?
  • The Parties at the National Level
  • National Committees
  • RNC and DNC
  • Runs National Convention
  • The Parties at the State Level
  • State committees
  • The Party in the Electorate
  • Activists
  • The actual voters

The Modern Transformation of Party Organization
  • Republican Strengths
  • Until 1992, Republicans outclassed Democrats in
    most categories of campaign service and
  • Have developed particularly effective direct mail
    fundraising organization, and party often has
    trouble legally spending all money it collects.
  • Supports large array of activities and services
  • party staff
  • voter contact
  • polling
  • media advertising
  • campaign staff training and research

The Modern Transformation of Party Organization
  • Democratic Party Gains
  • Remained weak/disorganized until it suffered
    defeats in 1980s.
  • Democrats trailed Republicans in most campaign
    and fundraising functions until 2008 (Obama
    campaign changed this).
  • Dem. now have own direct mail program and
    multi-million dollar media center for producing
    TV and radio spots at very low rates.
  • Democratic party campaign committees in Congress
    now raise significant amounts of money from
    congressional incumbents.

The Basic Structure of American Political Parties
  • Party in Government
  • Consists of party members who are elected or
    appointed to office
  • Includes
  • Congressmen and Senators
  • The President and Appointees
  • The Federal Judges and Justices
  • Elected officials at the state and local level

The Party in Government
  • Congressional Party
  • Party unity and cohesion seem to be growing
  • Electoral insecurity caused by increasing
    competitiveness of party system seems to be
    partially cause.
  • Also parties may be more homogeneous than earlier
  • Carrot and stick of party money as well as growth
    of party-based advertising and polling also play
    a role.

The Party in Government
  • Congress Party
  • Party highly important, very visible in Congress.
  • Party groups select leadership of both houses,
    arrange committees, and organize and operate
  • Have methods of enforcing party discipline (good
    committee assignments, prime office assignments,
    fund raising help, legislative assistance,
    favorable treatment for a pork barrel project,
    endorsements, electoral help by popular party
  • Party discipline not terribly effective in most
  • Most elections candidate centered and
    individualistic, many party sanctions cannot have
    that much influence.

The Basic Structure of American Political
Parties-The Party in Government
  • The Presidential Party
  • Important party leader. Successes and failures
    reflect on party.
  • Raises money, campaigns, and sometimes his
    "coattails" help party nominees.
  • Some presidents very interested in party
    building and very helpful to party organization
    and candidates.
  • Called pro-party presidents.
  • Other presidents act as if they are 'above the
    fray' and are almost nonpartisan.

2010 Midterm Election Cartoons
The Party in Government
  • Parties and Judiciary
  • Members of judiciary do follow election returns,
    influenced by public opinion.
  • Products of own party identification and have
    same partisan perceptual screens as rest of us.
  • Many judgeships are electoral positions and
    officially nonpartisan, usually undercurrent of
    party affiliation.
  • Judges are appointed.
  • Positions are patronage and usually go to judges
    who agree politically with elected official (an
    active party member) who appoints him/her.

The Party in Government
  • Parties and State Government
  • Governors have more patronage available to them
    than president does.
  • Material rewards and incentives help governor
    maintain party discipline and promote his/her
  • 41 governors have line-item veto that gives
    considerable powers
  • In legislatures, state legislatures generally
    have more party unity and cohesion than national
  • State legislative leaders generally have more
    power than federal counterparts.

The Party in Government
  • Parties and State Government
  • Most of same logic of party's relationship to
    national legislature, executive, and judiciary
    apply at state level as well.
  • Occasionally, 3rd party will dominate state
  • Bernie Sanders Vermont Senator- Independent
  • Jesse Ventura Minnesota Governor- Reform Party

The Basic Structure of American Political Parties
  • Informal Groups
  • Parties supplemented by number of other groups
    such as National Federation of Democratic Women,
    Young Republicans, State Governor's Associations,
    interest groups, PACs, and many more.
  • Think tanks such as Heritage Foundation for
    Republicans and Progressive Policy Institute for

So, if we have so many different viewpoints,
Why Does America only have Two Main Political
Parties, then??
  • Any theories out there??

So, if we have so many different viewpoints,
Why Does America only have Two Main Political
Parties, then??
The answer is the way the Framers set up the
For Example..
  • 1. The Electoral College
  • 1 candidate per state gets all votes
  • In 48/50 states
  • 2. American Election rules
  • Winner-take-all elections.
  • AKA first past the post
  • 3. 2 parties control primaries and election rules
  • Set ballot requirements
  • Set voter registration requirements

More reasons.
  • 4. Our Single-Member Congressional districts
  • Congressmen run in single-member districts
  • Only 1 winner in SMD
  • 1 representative can be elected per Congressional
  • Compare to multi-party systems in Europe,
    India, and Israel where many opinions and ideas
    can have a voice in government.
  • Most parliaments use proportional
    representation, more inducements to compromise
    because of large number of parties.

Minor (or Third) Parties
  • Third parties are generally niche parties that
    have their roots in
  • Sectional issues
  • Dixiecrats
  • Economic protest
  • Populists protest of the late 1800s
  • Specific issues
  • Green Party and the environment
  • Specific ideologies
  • Libertarian Party
  • Failures of the major parties
  • Ross Perot arose out of the major parties'
    failures to deal with the deficit and debt as key
  • Charismatic personalities
  • TR and the Bull Moose Party
  • Ross Perot in 1992
  • Or a combination of the above!

Why Third Parties Tend to Remain Minor
  • Institutional Reasons
  • most states allow Democrats and Republicans an
    automatic place on the ballot, but have laws
    requiring third parties to gather signatures and
  • state and national legislatures are organized on
    a party basis and aim to perpetuate that

Why Third Parties Tend to Remain Minor
  • Institutional Reasons
  • public funding of campaigns is more generous for
    the two major parties, third party candidates
    must get more than 5 of the vote and major party
    candidates do not
  • the news media ignore minor parties since they
    are perceived as 'non-winners.'
  • Do not participate in debates

Why Third Parties Tend to Remain Minor
  • Institutional Reasons
  • We have a"single-member plurality" electoral
  • this system, also called first-past-the-post,
    means that only the winner gets elected.
  • In proportional representation systems, there
    tend to be more parties because parties are
    rewarded (with seats in parliament for example)
    for as little as 1 or 5 of the vote.

Why Third Parties Tend to Remain Minor
  • Other Reasons
  • dualist theory states that there is a binary
    nature to American politics
  • we have non-ideological, centrist politics
  • Third parties play a valuable role in American
    politics. They popularize new ideas, serve as
    vehicles of popular discontent, induce change in
    the major parties, assist party realignments, and
    allow the expression of dissent and opposition.

Why Dont Third Parties Win?
  • FYI
  • Third parties appear sporadically and generally
    not a threat to the two major parties.
  • Only eight third parties have ever won any
    electoral votes in a presidential contest, and
    only five have ever won more than 10 in a
    presidential election.

The Importance of Third Parties
  • Third parties play a valuable role in American
  • They popularize new ideas
  • Serve as vehicles of popular discontent
  • Induce change in the major parties
  • Assist party realignments
  • Allow the expression of dissent and opposition.

Important Third-Parties
  • 2000 Ralph Nader and Green Party
  • 1992 and 1996 Ross Perots Reform Party
  • 1968 George Wallaces American Independent Party
  • 1948 Dixiecrats
  • 1924 Robert LaFollettes Progressive Party
  • 1912 Teddy Roosevelts Bull Moose Party
  • 1870-1912 The Populists/Progressives
  • 1860 The Republican Party Not considered a
    third party today!
  • 1856 Millard Fillmore's American Party

Other Third Party Successes
  • Rep. Bernie Sanders of Vermont
  • Vermont Socialists
  • Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut
  • Independent Democrat
  • Minor, or third, parties more successful at the
    state and local levels than at the national

Websites of Major Parties
  • Major Parties
  • Democratic National Committee
  • www.democrats.org
  • http//www.democrats.org/a/party/platform.html
  • Republican National Committee
  • www.gop.com Or www.rnc.org
  • http//www.gop.com/2008platform/
  • Third Parties
  • Green Party
  • http//www.gp.org
  • Libertarian Party
  • www.lp.org
  • Reform Party.
  • www.reformparty.org

Who is in the drivers seat today?
  • Republicans
  • Conservative Coalition
  • Neo Cons
  • Tea Party
  • Democrats
  • New Deal Coalition
  • Third Parties
  • Independents
  • Moderates
  • Ticket Splitters
  • Single People
  • The Political Elite

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