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Notes from Midterm to April 13

by: Amber Notetaker

Notes from Midterm to April 13 PSC 311

Amber Notetaker
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Covers all outside reading and in-class lectures
Political Parties and Elections
George Hawley
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This 11 page Bundle was uploaded by Amber Notetaker on Wednesday April 13, 2016. The Bundle belongs to PSC 311 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by George Hawley in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 20 views. For similar materials see Political Parties and Elections in Political Science at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.


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Date Created: 04/13/16
Retrospective Evaluations  Book by Morris Fiorina o In order of flattering of electorate to less flattering:  Downs, Fiorina, Hunter Sowell, The American Voter, Partisan Hearts and Minds, Converse  Introduces concept of a running tally o We keep tabs on political parties in order to determine which party best serves our interests  Two types of retrospective voting o Simple  Things that you have direct experience—war, economic crises o Mediated  Economic Voting o Pocketbook Voting  Based on state of personal finances o Sociotropic Voting  Based on state of the economic situation of the entire country  Single Issue Voter o Vote based of a candidates stance on just one issue Do Campaigns Matter?  Campaigns typically matter negatively for candidates o Persuasion: Not very important o GOTV: very important  Targeted registration  Canvassing Ch. 4: Money in Politics  Public Funding: funds provided to candidates by the federal government in exchange for agreeing to restrict fundraising from private donors o Rejected by all serious candidates in 2012  $7B spent overall  John McCain had a hard time raising money in 2010 because in the 1990s one of his main platforms in the Senate was campaign finance reform, so he had to accept the public funds  Romney: 845 M  Obama: 875 M  Campaign spending has increasing exponentially since 1996 o Relatively stable in the house, but steady increase in Senate (peaks during Presidential election years)  Average House spending is $1M  Average Senate Spending is $7.6M  Incumbents spent average of $9M  Over half of campaign expenditures go to persuade and mobilize voters  Rules for Donors o Who Can Give  Individuals  Free to donate as long as you are a citizen or permanent resident  Public Interest Groups  Can donate as long as they aren’t tax exempt  Corporate Donations were banned with the passage of the Tillman Act  Labor Union donations were banned with Taft- Harley o Instead, unions and corporations must form Political Action Committees  Individuals still contribute more money than PACs  Leadership PACs are raised by Congressmen to invest in others campaigns  Federal Election Campaign Act required requires that donors and receivers file regular reports to the Federal Election Commission o How much money can they give, and to whom?  Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act adjusted donation limits upward and indexed them to inflation  Current max is $5,400 for an individual donation  PACs can only give $5,000 per candidate  Where can the leftover money go?  Donate to party committee  Refunded to donors  Gifts to non family members  CONTRIBUTION LIMITS FOR 2015-2016 FEDERAL ELECTIONS DONORS RECIPIENTS Candidat PAC 1 State/District/LNational Additional (SSF and e cal Party Party National Party Committ Nonconnecte Committee Committee Committee ee d) Accounts 2 * $2,700* $10,000 $100,200 $5,000 $33,400* Individual per per year per year per year per account, election (combined) per year $2,000 $5,000 Unlimited Candidate Committee per Unlimited Transfers election per year Transfers $5,000 $5,000 $45,000 PAC - $5,000 $15,000 per per year per account, Multicandidate per year per year election (combined) per year $2,700* $10,000 $100,200 * PAC - $5,000 $33,400* per per year per account, Nonmulticandidate per year per year election (combined) per year $5,000 State, District & Local $5,000 per Party Committee per year election Unlimited Transfers $5,000 National Party $5,000 per Committee per year election o Political Parties and Soft Money  Soft Money can be used for registering and mobilizing voters but not express advocacy  Magic words like “vote for” cannot be used o Many times, they can get around this stipulation through crafting ads around issue advocacy  Independent Groups which are unaffiliated can raise soft money without contribution limits  See table on p. 93  Examples include o Independent Expenditure Committees (Super PACs) can pool resources from many PACs thanks to Citizens United o 527 organizations are designated political organizations o 501 c organizations are non profits  3 denotes an educational, charity, or church org (i.e. March of Dimes)  Prohibited from participating in political elections  4 denotes social welfare like the League of Women Voters  Allowed to participate in politics as long as it isn’t their “primary purpose”  5 includes agriculture institutions and labor unions  6 includes business leagues and chambers of commerce o Rules for Spenders  How Much Can they spend?  Contributions are limited, spending is not (established by Buckley v. Valeo due to saying spending limits would limit free speech) o Can be limited in presidential races if both candidates agree o BRCA established a new category of electioneering communications that cannot be expressed 60 days before a Presidential primary or 30 before a primary  Citizens United vs. FEC in 2010 has st weakened this limit o 1 Amendment?  John McCain’s bill, BCRA wanted to close the soft money loophole  Citizens United vs. FEC  Led to rise of Super PACs o Must be absence of coordination Ch. 5: Campaign Strategies  Campaign Strategy o Formed by considering the candidate’s base, the opponent’s base, and the undecided o Also look at vote targets from previous recent similar elections o Take weaker years as the base vote—those that will remain loyal and are dependable for a vote  Profile undecided voting targets o Probability samples will determine general opinions held through the population o Then the strategy shifts to focus groups (introduced in the 1980s)  Typically not representative of total population, but instead the swayable groups  Microtargeting involves isolating voters based on persuadeability (began in 2000 election) and can avoid voter ID calls where everyone is contacted  Much easier to target people in an open seat race where no incumbent is competing  In areas with a strong party preference, more likely winning candidates will focus on partisan appeals and the assumed loser will focus on candidate appeals  Strategic Campaign Decisions o The decision to run is influenced by  Motivation  Resources  Campaign Organization (enthusiastic rallying base)  Opportunity  More of a “when” rather then “whether” they will run o Issue Priorities  Most campaigns will choose to frame or focus on two issues and encourage the debate to center on their strengths in these areas  Parties tend to be associated with certain issue areas, known as issue ownership  Candidates try to position their policy preferences near the median voter according to the median voter theorem o Whether to attack  Contrast Advertisements are a blend of positive and negative campaigning to highlight differences between candidates in a race  The person who is ahead is less likely to attack (therefore, incumbents are normally less likely to employ negative advertising) o Where to campaign  Bush Model focuses on mobilizing partisans  Typically used by more known candidates because they have less flexibility to reach unaligned voters  Clinton Model focuses on independent and weakly partisan voters  3 goals of campaigns o Bring out your supporters o Attract new supporters from other side o Discourage opponent’s supporters  Persuadable Voters o Partisans that disagree with party on one or more important issues  Cross-pressured voters o Few consistent conservatives (LESS THAN 5%)  60% of Republicans said yes to higher taxes on millionaires  42% would support higher taxes on corporations  49% of tea partiers would oppose higher taxes  47% want federal spending on education to go up  90% want SS spending to remain the same or go up  18% would ban abortion in all cases  64% favored some form of legal recognition for gay couples   Federalist 10 o Discusses the US as an extended republic  Representative Republic is ideal opposed to system in which people are voting on every single issue o Talks about how to avoid factions in society  Faction is any group that unifies for their own interests and not those of the whole  Must do one of two things  Remove causes o Either by restricting liberty or giving everyone the same ideas o Money interests cause factions to exist due to economic inequality  Control effects  Argues that you can combat factions by making the republic incredibly large so that there are constantly powerful competing factions o Most people argue that interest groups developed after WWII in the 1950s  Author argues they developed during the Progressive Era  Started around 1890 with anti European immigration reform groups  Post New-Deal focused on more material aspects of society  Characterizes interest groups by  Number  Variety  Nationalization  Professionalism  Organization and opportunities CH.7: Interest Groups  Interest Group: collection of people acting on the shared goals of influencing public policy o Do not run their own candidates o Not always aligned with just 1 party o Some do not get involved until after elections  Largest chunk of interest groups is businesses (3,000)  Next chunk is professional organizations  Why has there been such a large growth in interest groups? o Growth of government o Improved strategies for organizational maintenance o Prominent social movements have served as models for others to mobilize o Campaign and finance laws encourage groups  Create names to appeal and deceive the electorate  Largest increase in PACs occurred in late 1970s and early 80s  Ideological PACs have shown a recent increasing trend  Unions are more supportive of Democrats than any other sector  Advertisements are more likely to be negative than those aired by candidates (77%)  Ballot Initiative Campaigns: voters decide to support or oppose specific policy changes o Interest groups replace candidates as the main actors o Spend money on policies and lobbying o Typically will support incumbent regardless of party if they support their interests  Early federalists thought that the majority would cause interest groups to be a problem o Extended republic with many competing factions will prevent tyranny of the majority  Examples of interest groups getting their way  NRA  Oil Industry  Higher drinking age  Medical interest vs. marijuana  Farm subsidies  Licensing laws  Tariffs o Diffused cost vs. concentrated gains o Interest Group activities  Lobbying  Awareness raising  Electioneering  Litigation o Public Goods  Non-excludability  Free-rider problem  “The Logic of Collective Action”; Mancur Olson o Problem of size  Material incentives  Compulsory membership (i.e. unions)  In the absence of these, collectively organizing will be relatively difficult o Challenged by Gunnar Trumbull  Claims that Mancur overstates how difficult it is to form groups  Loosely concentrated interests organize relatively easily  Consumer protection movement challenges Olson  Weakness in being very broad actually a political strength (appeal to public sentiments because they are viewed as being more trustworthy and representative)  Olson misses the importance of ideological motivations  Diffuse interests can be served without high levels of organization  Interests without interest groups o Consumers o Shareholders o Oppose more national debt  Daniel Tichenor o As the government gets more involved, interest groups will get more involved to influence legislation  More importance placed on post-materialistic values  Argues that this is wrong CH. 8: THE MEDIA  News Media: regular communicators of information designed to reach large audiences o Websites are the most popular source  20-25% of the most visited websites are from major TV stations or newspapers  Majority of original news stories come from newspapers  WSJ  NYTimes  USAToday o Average sound bite from presidential campaigns are only 9 seconds o Over 1500 talk radio stations o Those under thirty are half as likely as those over 60 to report that they watch the news  However, median age of the online news consumer is 20 years younger than the general population  In 2006 election, ¼ people watched at least 30 minutes of news per day  Government’s Limited Oversight of the News Media o FCC limits broadcast radio and television because there is limited space on the spectrum  These outlets must adhere to right to equal time for candidates  News interviews, debates, and Presidential press conferences are exempt from this rule  The Business of the Media o Often not profitable to cover campaigns and politics o Must increase readership or create a subscription fee  The Norm of Objectivity o Development of telegraph in 1830s created wire services like the Associated Press to quickly spread information to many outlets o Advances in technology have allowed niche-broadcasting (narrow-casting) to be financially viable through sources like blogs  Which Aspects of Campaigns get Covered? o News Values establish the criteria for newsworthiness  Novelty/newness  Personality  Conflict  Skepticism  Strategy  Horse Race Journalism says who is ahead and behind and what their strategies are for advancing in the election  Interpretive Journalism allows for commentary on strategy—not just narrate events but also provide context  Pack Journalism is when reporters who cover campaigns tend to travel together and build off each others’ stories o The media typically do not persuade consumers  More effective in changing what people think about  Agenda Setting  Priming o Example of Senator Gary Hart in 1988 Presidential Campaign and extra-marital affair primed moral values  Federalist 57 o Madison advocates the election of "men who possess most wisdom to discern, and ... pursue, the common good of the society." o “Duty, gratitude, interest, ambition itself, are the chords by which they will be bound to fidelity and sympathy with the great mass of the people  Transition to Higher Office o Few lower level legislators move up to U.S. Congress  Fear loss of current seat  Don’t want to move  Limited resources  Incumbent advantage and gerrymandered districts  Legislative Professionalism o Professional politicians vs. citizen legislators  How often meet?  Salary  Staff o Squire  Component  Salary and benefits  Time demands  Staff  Implications for legislator  More salary means more incentive to serve  More time focused on legislating  Reduce ability to pursue other opportunities  Gain experience more quickly  More job satisfaction  Implications for legislature  More experienced  Better members  More time for party development  More time for deliberation  Legislature will have more influence  National Conference of State Legislatures o Green: full-time, well-paid, large staff o Grey: Hybrid o Gold: Part-time, low pay, small staff


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