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POLI 360 - Final Exam Study Gudie

by: runnergal

POLI 360 - Final Exam Study Gudie POLI 360 001


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This study guide is a comprehensive overview of everything discussed in class concerning the final exam.
American Political Parties
David C. Darmofal
Study Guide
Government, American Government
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This 7 page Study Guide was uploaded by runnergal on Friday April 29, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to POLI 360 001 at University of South Carolina taught by David C. Darmofal in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 92 views. For similar materials see American Political Parties in Political Science at University of South Carolina.


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Date Created: 04/29/16
POLI 360 – Final Exam Study Guide  Lecture 16 o Campaign Spending  Total spending has increased over the last few years.  Types of Party Expenditures 1. Direct expenditures: money given to candidates by parties. 2. Coordinated expenditures: money given to candidates by parties  for a specific use. 3. Soft money: money that is to be spend on party­building activities.  Political Action Committees (PACs): political groups that fundraise and  spend money to influence different elections.  Types of PACs 1. Sponsored PACs: set up by labor unions, trade associations, or  corporations. 2. Nonconnected PACs: no sponsoring organizations. 3. Leadership PACs: set up by incumbent congresspeople to  distribute funds to other candidates.  Other Sources of Fundraising 1. Super PACs 2. Public funding 3. Individual contributors 4. The candidates themselves o Campaign Finance Reform  Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA, 2002): reduced soft money  donations, parties’ roles in campaign fundraising, and eliminated soft  money usage for campaign ads. Unsuccessful because soft money is still  active in outside groups that are even less accountable than political  parties.  Citizens United vs. FEC (2010): defined soft money as a form of free  speech and individuals could donate unlimited amounts of money to PACs as such and reduced parties’ roles in campaign fundraising.  Reforms for the Reforms 1. Bring soft money back to political parties. 2. Allow candidates to receive unlimited donations from individuals.  Lecture 17 o Parties in Congress  Separation of powers was designed to limit the factions’ abilities to enact  policies easily and to undermine party unity, so parties must form policies  across different branches of government. o Parliamentary Systems  Party unity is essential to parliamentary systems, where the cabinet is  rearranged or the government is dissolved if the majority party cannot get  a majority for their policies. o Congressional Systems  Congress can vote against the president, the Speaker, the majority leader,  or any other leader without threat of government dissolution, and  congresspeople are therefore freer to vote the preferences of their  constituents or their campaign contributors. o Party Unity  Congressional parties are now much more unified than before.  Party unity is highest at the beginning of party systems because new  political issues produce realignments with the governing party intending to act on those new political issues.  Party Voting: proportion of roll call votes on which most Democrats  oppose most Republicans.  Czar Cannon Period (1903­1911)  He centralized power in the Speaker position by chairing the Rules Committee, controlling the floor, and controlling the rules under  which legislation was debated, but he eventually became too  autocratic and he was removed from leadership.  Soon after Cannon’s reign, Congress took power away from party  leaders by taking away the Speaker’s ability to appoint committee  members and chairs, leading to a decline in party unity.  Conservative Coalition (1940s­1980s)  Party unity declined even more when this coalition formed.  Speakers during this era had little party influence.  During the 1960s­1970s, legislators tried to further their careers  and increase their power by spearheading legislation in  unaddressed but developing policy areas. o Rise of the Post­Reform Congress  A young Democratic Congress that was voted into office after the  Watergate scandal revised the seniority rule; this rule now allowed the  majority caucus to challenge and remove committee chairs. This enabled  the caucus to remove old, conservative Southern Democrats from their  chairs and allowed the liberal Democrats to advance their agenda.  The power to assign committee members was given to the Steering and  Policy committee, which is chaired by the Speaker.  The Speaker was also given the power to choose the chair and party  members of the Rules Committee.  The whip system was made more responsive to the party leaders.  Changes in elections and campaigns made parties more ideologically  distinct and therefore more unified. o Three Important Changes  Party activists became more policy­motivated and more ideological.  Southern Democrats were replaced by Southern Republicans.  Partisan gerrymandering became more complex, resulting in more safe  seats and fewer swing seats. o Party Unity Continued  The greatest increase in party unity came with the election of a  conservative freshman Republican majority in 1994.  Speaker Newt Gingrich used his powers dynamically to advance his  party’s agenda.  When the House turned Democratic in 2006, Nancy Pelosi continued the  pattern of powerful Speakership.  Lecture 18 o Parties in the Executive Branch  Presidents are their parties’ leaders, are responsible for party fundraising,  are responsible for choosing the chair of his/her party’s national  committee, and partially set his/her party’s foreign and national policy  agendas.  On Election Day, presidents influence voting for their respective parties  on the rest of the ballot because of the position’s conspicuousness.  Coattail Effect: When candidates for lower positions are voted  into office on the president’s popularity.  Theory of Surge and Decline: the idea that losing seats in the midterm  election reflects different agents of change in the midterm and presidential election years.  The president’s party usually loses seats in midterm elections,  possibly because the president is not on the ballot. o Presidents and Congress  Popular presidents and presidents without divided government are much  more likely to get their policies enacted through Congress.  Mayhew, a renowned political scientist, proposes that even if presidents  do not have respectable total success rates with Congress, those rates do  not affect the enactment of significant legislation. o Parties in the Executive Branch  One concern of presidents’ is getting their policies promoted through the  executive branch’s bureaucracy.  Bureaucracy exists because one person (the president) cannot implement  congressional policies by himself/herself.  Factors That Work Against Presidential Control of Bureaucracy 1. Staggered terms for top­level bureaucrats 2. Bipartisan control of executive agencies and departments. 3. Civil service protections for bureaucrats make it hard to fire  employees. 4. Cabinet members and new judges must be confirmed by Senate. 5. Principle­Agent Problem: bureaucratic experts can use their  knowledge to oppose the president’s policies. 6. Departments’ senses of self­preservation.  Lecture 19 o Parties in the Courts  Party affiliation shapes judicial decisions.  Party organizations, however, do not shape judicial decisions; rather, it  appears that partisanship shapes decisions because Republicans and  Democrats naturally have different views about different issues. o Responsible Parties  The American Political Science Association’s Committee on Political  Parties found that some people would prefer more effective party  government – the opposite of what the founding fathers would have  preferred.  It presented its findings in 1950 with a report titled “Toward a More  Responsive Two­Party System,” which promoted a move toward party  government with responsible parties that would allow more legislation to  get enacted. o Elements of Responsible Party Government 1. Parties develop specific statements of policies they pledge to carry out if  elected. 2. Parties nominate candidates loyal to the policies. 3. Parties campaign for office on their policies in order to make observable  distinctions to the voters. 4. Parties hold officeholders responsible for those policies’ enactment. o Advantages of Responsible Parties 1. Increased accountability 2. Increased effectiveness  Even if this model was enacted, the U.S. government would still need to  coordinate its actions across all three branches. Additionally, some  positions would still have staggered terms that are not governed by  elections, and all officeholders have different geographic constituencies;  both of these characteristics would create a lack of cohesiveness.  Essentially, this model would work best in a mass parties system, not the  American modified cadre party system. o Ideology: The responsible party system implies favoring ideological parties,  where parties are easily distinguishable from each other. All voters, however, are  not ideological. o Ideology in the U.S. Electorate  Later studies have shown that U.S. citizens are more ideological that  previously thought, especially as political parties have become more  distinct from each other.  It seems that U.S. citizens prefer moderate pragmatism (which focuses on  policy results) than the responsible party model. o Other Ways to Strengthen Parties: any changes that occur will have to occur  with the blessing of party elites. o The Party Era of the 1800s  The late 1800s was a period of the greatest party strength in the U.S.  Party identity was connected to religious identity.  Pietism vs. liturgists = Baptists and Methodists that focused on  personal purity were more likely to identify as Republican, while  Catholics that focused on church services (liturgy) were more  likely to identify as Democrats.  Democrats favored limited government; they did not want to use  the government to enforce moral codes, such as drinking.  (Catholics did not regard drinking as a moral sin.)  Republicans wanted to use the government to enforce moral codes; they supported the temperance movement and Protestant prayers in public schools.  The U.S. probably will not return to semi­religious party identification. o Partisan Mobilization  Voter mobilization strengthened parties.  Party contacts increased voters’ attachments to parties.  Party mobilization and partisan strength in government, organizations, and voters has increased recently  Lecture 20 o Decline of Parties  The recent party revitalization contrasts with the 1960s­1970s party  decline, especially in regards to party organization.  Why Did That Decline Occur? 1. Changing demographics 2. Loss of patronage jobs 3. Use of primaries  4. Party machines had lost most of their power and strength by this  point 5. Creation and development of the conservative coalition 6. Rise in policy entrepreneurship 7. Rise in independents o Resurgence of Parties  The decline may have been overstated.  Bartels (2000)  This political scientist examined the effects of partisanship on  voting in the U.S.  He found that the proportion of voters that were partisan identifiers increased in the 1990s to a point higher than any point since 1968.  Additionally, the proportion of non­voters that identified as  partisans decreased from 1950s­1990s, signifying that non­voters  are increasingly disenchanted with government.  Party identification is increasingly important for voters’ vote  choices; this importance results in increasing partisan voting.  Partisan voting includes both the percentage of partisans and the  effect of partisanship on vote choice.  Party identification increased less in congressional elections  (midterm elections).  Parties also grew in strength in government by the 1990s; the Post­Reform Congress gave more power to congressional party leaders.  Party organizations also grew in strength during this time period by  becoming more professional and refining their mobilization techniques.  It is doubtful that U.S. government will return to the 1800s era of party  strength because nonpartisan government bureaucracy is now responsible  for social programs instead of party machines.  Parties usually adapt to fill different roles in different eras. For example,  modern parties are increasingly polarized parties in service to candidates  that use sophisticated mobilization techniques.  Schattschneider (1960)  He focused on mobilization of conflict vs. privatization of conflict.  Mobilization of Conflict: parties mobilize political conflict and  expand it to include additional citizens.  Privatization of Conflict: the interest group system survives and  thrives on privatization of conflict. o Privatization of Conflict  Pluralism: this theory argues that the interest group system can represent  diverse interests and would not be problematic for accurate representation, since anyone can create an interest group.  If all political interests had equal chances of forming interest groups,  pluralism would work. Unfortunately, interests would be narrower in this  system than a partisan system.  Schattschneider argues that upper­class interests, such as business or  corporate interests, tend to be better represented than middle­ or lower­ class interests, such as working or consumer interests, because of  organizational resources, economic incentives, and the collective action  problem.  Lecture 21 o Resurgence of Parties  Thriving parties require active citizen participation; if that participation  ceases to exist, an iron triangle interest group system will tend to  dominate.  Iron Triangle: interest groups, government, bureaucracy, and the  connections between them. The people in these triangles promote  their own narrow interests in specific policy areas.  The party system works against iron triangles.  Parties have increasingly contacted voters more often because: 1. More refined voter targeting 2. Investment in party organization 3. Parties­in­service to candidates  Increasing party identification suggests increasingly willing targets for  party mobilization.  Citizens are more likely to consider themselves partisans when they see  and understand recognizable differences between the parties.  Government, organizations, and the electorate influence each other.  To prevent polarization, we could implement nonpartisan redistricting,  which would result in more moderate/swing districts. However, this could  weaken distinctions between parties, and people would be less inclined to  identify with a party and vote.  Aldrich proposed that parties are the creations of political elites. Parties  adapt to changes in the political environment to serve the needs of political elites.


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