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Flashcards in Unit 3 Test Deck (53)
1

Political party

Organization created to elect like-minded candidates to office in order to control public office

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Goal of political parties

Win elections and gain control of public agenda

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Functions of political parties (6)

Nominate candidates
Run campaigns
Inform voters
Linkage (connect citizens to govt) they increase political efficacy
Inform voters
Articulate public policy
Coordinate policymaking between branches and between levels of govt

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Five reasons we have a two party system

1. Winner take all election system
2. Single member voting districts - voters each district elect a single representative
3. Consensus political culture
4. Difficult for third parties to get on ballot bc of some state laws
5. Historical preference for two parties

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Two main categories of third parties

Those that are organized around:
Individual personalities
Long-lasting goals or ideology

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How third parties effect major parties:

1. Swinging election to another party (spoilers)
2. Innovators of new policy ideas that are often later accepted as parts of the major party platform

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To maintain coalitions in US...

The two major parties rarely deviate far from the center of ideology

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Main purpose of political party:

Win elections

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Coalitions:

Allied groups/ factions

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In parties: power flows from the- , often called a - organization

Bottom up, grassroots

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Grassroots organizations are very -

Decentralized

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The basic unit of primary organization at the bottom are the -

Precincts

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Precinct

Local voting districts to which voters are assigned to vote when they are registered, where most party activity takes place

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2 ongoing national level party institutions

1. The national committee
2. The national committee chairman

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What does national committee do

Organize party's national convention every 4 years

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What does national committee chairman do?

Runs day to day operations of national party

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Most powerful national party institution is:

National convention

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What are two main jobs of national conventions?

Write the party platform (party's 4 year policy agenda)
Nominate the officially presidential and vice presidential candidates

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Delegates to the national convention are chosen by:

Presidential primaries

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Era of political dominance

Periods in which one party has controlled the congress and the presidency

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Political realignment:

Occurs when majority party becomes minority party due to shifts in party conditions

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Coalition shifts are either:
And are usually caused by:
Elections making this shift are called:

Geographic regional shifts or economic social group shifts

Significant historical event

Critical elections

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Dem rep era of dominance began with

Ended with:

Jefferson

Corrupt bargain of 1824 (Jackson v Q Adams), led to dem party and 1st era of dem party dominance in 1828 election

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Eras in US history (4)

Era of dem dominance (Jackson), era of rep dominance (Lincoln, civil war),Era of Dem dominance (FDR coalition, Great Depression), Era of divided govt (1968-Present)

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Party dealignment:

Gradual disengagement of people and politicians from parties (movement towards party neutrality)

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Dealignment evidenced by: (4)

Declining party identification
Declining in straight ticket voting
Increase in split-ticket voting
Breakup of solid south

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Party polarization causes dealignment due to: (6)

1. Rise of mass media as new source of info
2. Rise of voter individualism (voters educated and knowledgable enough without aid of parties)
3. Rise of candidate centered campaigns (candidate individualism: candidate managing and financing own campaign)
4. Rise of interest groups (helps candidate with money and volunteers)
5. Rise of PACS, 527s, and 501c4's
6. Democratization of election process (people pick candidates when parties used to)

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Party machine

Local party organizations usually found in major cities, members recruited with material incentives (money, govt jobs, places to live, etc) and controlled by party bosses

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Initiatives

Started with petition, laws written by citizens

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recalls

Votes to remove elected official from office, petition

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Referendums

Laws written by legislatures, voters approve or reject laws

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Types of election reforms:

Reforms to election process
(Goal: democratization: making elections and nominations more accessible by the people)

Campaign finance reform (1970s to present, goals: limit influence buying, limit corruption money can bring, make campaign contributions and spending transparent)

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Almost all election law is under

"Local control" (states)

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McGovern-Frasier commission (1960s)

Democratic Party, more convention delegates, more representative, more minorities and women

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Super delegates

Democratic Party, able to vote conscience, more party leadership control

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Campaign reform act of 1974: (5)

1. Created Fed election committee (FEC)
2. Public funding of presidential elections (matching funds for primaries)
3. Limits on presidential campaign spending (if candidate accepts public funding option)
4. Contribution limits on individual contrib
5. Outlawed foreign contributions

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1976 amendment to Camp Reform Act of 1974)

Allowed PACs

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1979 amendment to Camp Reform Act of 74

Made it easier for political parties to raise soft money

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Bipartisan campaign reform act of 2002 (McCain feingold act) reforms (3)

1. Banned soft money contributions to national parties
2. Raised individual contribution limits to candidates and parties
3. Banned issue ads in fed elections (political ads ran by interest groups)

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Citizens United:

Defined issue ads as ads running within 60 days on an election that refer to a federal candidate and are not funded by PACs, led to rise of 527s (tax exempt non-partisan groups formed to raise money mainly for negative advertising)

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Honest leadership and open govt act of 2007, cause

Act requires more - to the FEC of -

Bundling of campaign funds: combining individual campaign funds by a PAC lobbyist for the benefit of a federal candidate

Public disclosure, bundled contributions

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2 party reform proposals to combat front loading

Regional approach (primaries scheduled by region)
The American system (primaries scheduled from biggest to largest state)

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Primaries are stage when candidates are - on issues and policy stances

Clearest

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1st presidential debate (televised)

Kennedy v Nixon debate

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Most expensive part of campaign

General election

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Citizens United v FEC (2010)

Corporations are people and no money limits can be placed on funds used by corps or organizations to campaign for a candidate as long as activities are not coordinated with individual campaign, led to growth of super PACs

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Campaign manager:

Plans and implements campaign strategy

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Campaign counsel

Lawyer of campaign finance law

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Media and campaign consultants

Media consultant designs ads, buys ad time, determines media resources)

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Campaign staff

Some paid, most volunteer

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Plan logistics

Effective use of resources

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Press secretary

Handles press media

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Incumbents

Generally get reelected (except for presidents)