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U.S. Political Parties


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Title: U.S. Political Parties

U.S. Political Parties
George Washington
  • If we had listened to George, there would be no
    political parties in the US today.
  • Let me warn you in the most solemn manner
    against the baneful effects of the spirit of

What Are Political Parties?
  • A Political Party is a group organized
  • To Nominate Candidates
  • To Win Political Power through elections
  • To Promote Ideas About Public Policies

Two Main Political Parties
  • Democratic Party
  • More Liberal
  • Republican Party
  • More Conservative

Democratic Party (DNC)
  • Swept into Congress in the 2006 election
  • Held a Super Majority until 2010
  • Represented by the Donkey
  • President Barack Obama

Republican Party (RNC)
  • Former President George W. Bush
  • Represented by the Elephant
  • Also known as the Grand Ole Party (GOP)

What Do the Parties Stand For?
  • Democrats
  • Core Belief A strong government provides needed
    services and remedies inequalities
  • Biggest Exception Government should stay out of
    peoples moral decisions, e.g. abortion

What Do the Parties Stand For?
  • Democrats
  • Issue Agenda
  • Education
  • Health/social services
  • Environmental protection
  • EmphasizesFairness, especially for disadvantaged
  • Relations with Labor Unions Close and supportive

What Do the Parties Stand For?
  • Democrats
  • Core Supporters
  • Lower Income People
  • East West Coasts
  • Minority groups
  • Secular (nonreligious) individuals
  • Teachers Mr. Green???
  • Trial Lawyers

What Do the Parties Stand For?
  • Republicans
  • Core Belief A strong government interferes with
    business threatens freedom
  • Biggest Exception Government should regulate
    peoples moral decisions, e.g. abortion

What Do the Parties Stand For?
  • Republicans
  • Issue Agenda
  • Strong Military
  • Tax Cuts
  • Property Rights
  • EmphasizesIndividual success, not group rights
  • Relations with Labor Unions Distant hostile

What Do the Parties Stand For?
  • Republicans
  • Core Supporters
  • Higher Income people Mr. Green???
  • South, Mountain West
  • Whites
  • Conservative Christians
  • Businesspeople

Party Identification
  • What Influences Party Identification?
  • Family 1 Indicator of which party you will vote
  • Exception If one parent sides with one party
    and the other sides with another

Party Identification
  • What Influences Party Identification?
  • Religion
  • Catholics tend to vote Democratic, however, this
    is changing because of Right to Life
  • Jews traditionally vote Democratic
  • Christian Evangelicals Republican
  • ¾ supported George W. Bush

Party Identification
  • What Influences Party Identification?
  • Socioeconomic Status (Income)
  • Lower Income Democratic
  • Higher Income Republican

Party Identification
  • What Influences Party Identification?
  • Regional Differences
  • East and West Coasts Democratic
  • South and Mountain West - Republican

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Party Identification
  • What Influences Party Identification?
  • Other Indicators
  • Women tend to voteDemocrat, esp. single women
  • Minorities tend to voteDemocrat, except for
    Cubans Republican more anti-communist
  • Trend is for CollegeEducated to voteDemocratic
  • More women and minorities are getting college

Voter Turnout, 1992-2010
Year Voting-agepopulation Voterregistration Voter turnout Turnout of voting-age population (percent)
2010 235,809,266 NA 90,682,968 37.8
2008 231,229,580 NA 132,618,580 56.8
2006 220,600,000 135,889,600 80,588,000 37.1
2004 221,256,931 174,800,000 122,294,978 55.3
2002 215,473,000 150,990,598 79,830,119 37.0
2000 205,815,000 156,421,311 105,586,274 51.3
1998 200,929,000 141,850,558 73,117,022 36.4
1996 196,511,000 146,211,960 96,456,345 49.1
1994 193,650,000 130,292,822 75,105,860 38.8
1992 189,529,000 133,821,178 104,405,155 55.1
Influences on Voter Turnout
  1. Socioeconomic Status lower the income, the less
    likely you are to vote
  2. Education the higher you are educated, the more
    likely you will vote

Influences on Voter Turnout
  • Age 18-25 year olds have the lowest turnout
  • Who has the Highest???
  • -The Elderly 60 and older

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Influences on Voter Turnout
  1. Social Connections the more you have, the more
    likely you are to vote more interested in
    whats happening
  2. Attitude those who find it to be a dirty
    profession, dont vote

Third Parties
  • Third Parties in the US are Secondary Political
  • Historically, the US has a Two Party system
  • Some say the Electoral College with its Winner
    take all award of electors has done this
  • Should we just use Popular Vote instead???

Third Parties
  • Third Parties rarely win elections but do play an
    important role in Democratic Governments
  • Third Parties draw attention to issues that may
    be ignored by the Majority Parties force them
    to adopt the issue(s) as part of its platform.
  • Referendum referring and issue to popular vote
    of the people for approval or rejection

Third Parties
  • Third Parties also help increase Voter Turnout.
  • Example?
  • Same-Sex Marriage Amendment in Ohio (2004)

Major Third Parties
  • Libertarian
  • Support maximizing liberty, especially in the
    economy and in social codes of conduct
  • Small government

Environmental Third Parties
  • Green Party of the United States
  • Ralph Nader
  • Environment
  • The Greens/Green Party USA
  • Smaller fringe party

More Third Parties
  • American Independent Party
  • Key Issue segregation
  • American Nazi Party
  • Racist often with shaved heads
  • Has not fielded a candidate since Rockwell

Socialist Parties
  • Socialist Party USA
  • Socialist Equality Party
  • Socialist Labor Party
  • Socialist Workers Party
  • Democratic Socialists of America

Major Third Parties
  • Reform Party
  • Emphasize
  • Reform
  • Especially in the economy

Briefly successful Parties
  • Prohibition Party
  • Against the sale of alcohol
  • Peace and Freedom Party
  • Against Vietnam War

Thats a party?
  • Pansexual Peace Party
  • Left-wing
  • Free love
  • Pot Party U.S. Marijuana Party
  • Advocate the legalization of Marijuana

Important 3rd Party Movements
  • Bull Moose Party (1912) Teddy Roosevelt also
    called the Progressive Party
  • Womens suffrage, banking reforms, social welfare
    assistance for women and children

Important 3rd Party Movements
  • Socialist Party (1900s) Eugene Debs
  • Ran for president from jail

Important 3rd Party Movements
  • Dixiecrats (1948) Strom Thurmond
  • Segregationist Platform race was a major issue
  • Significance First splits in Democratic Party
  • South used to be all Democratic

Important 3rd Party Movements
  • American Independent (1968) George Wallace
  • Continuation of Dixiecrat segregationist
    Segregation today, segregation tomorrow,
    segregation forever
  • Opposed to racial integration
  • Receives 46 southern electoral votes
  • Shot and paralyzed (1972) by Arthur Bremer (in
    order to gain fame)

Important 3rd Party Movements
  • Independent/Reform Ross Perot
  • Key focus was the economy
  • 1992 Election received almost 20 million votes
    -19 of popular vote
  • NAFTA giant sucking
  • sound heading to
  • Mexico

Important 3rd Party Movements
  • Green Party (2000) Ralph Nader
  • Stole votes from Al Gore
  • The reason Bush won???

3rd Party Important Roles facts
  • 3rd Parties tend to exist to promote a Specific
    Issue or Personality
  • Growing trend is for a major party to help a 3rd
    Party with the idea of taking votes that would
    likely go to a major party This is the classic
    Divide Conquer tactic

3rd Party Important Roles Facts
  • Currently, the Green Party is viewed as pulling
    more from the Democrats while the Libertarian
    takes more votes from the Republicans
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