New User Special Price Expires in

Let's log you in.

Sign in with Facebook


Don't have a StudySoup account? Create one here!


Create a StudySoup account

Be part of our community, it's free to join!

Sign up with Facebook


Create your account
By creating an account you agree to StudySoup's terms and conditions and privacy policy

Already have a StudySoup account? Login here

POLI 360, Week 3

by: runnergal

POLI 360, Week 3 POLI 360 001


Preview These Notes for FREE

Get a free preview of these Notes, just enter your email below.

Unlock Preview
Unlock Preview

Preview these materials now for free

Why put in your email? Get access to more of this material and other relevant free materials for your school

View Preview

About this Document

These notes cover what was discussed during the week of 1/25/16.
American Political Parties
David C. Darmofal
Class Notes
political science, Government
25 ?




Popular in American Political Parties

Popular in Political Science

This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by runnergal on Sunday January 31, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POLI 360 001 at University of South Carolina taught by David C. Darmofal in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 40 views. For similar materials see American Political Parties in Political Science at University of South Carolina.


Reviews for POLI 360, Week 3


Report this Material


What is Karma?


Karma is the currency of StudySoup.

You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!

Date Created: 01/31/16
POLI 360: Lecture 3     Two­Party Competition across the United States th o There was lots of two­party competition in the United States during the 19   century. This changed, however, after the 1896 election between William  McKinley (Republican) and William Jennings Bryan (Democrat). o McKinley had traditional, moderate Republican policies that were antagonistic to  immigrants while still representing northern corporate interests. o Bryan ran a populist campaign, focusing on rural issues against corporate  interests. He promoted the idea that cities were corrupt, and so were the Catholics  that lived in those cities.     McKinley Won the Election of 1896 o That election ushered in a large Republican majority in the North. Republicans no longer needed to compete in the South to win the presidency. o In return, the South became just as completely Democratic, though it was still  controlled by southern conservatives. o System of 1896: a competitive two­party system is replaced by a sectional system, with one­party Republican dominance in the North and one­party Democratic  dominance in the South. o The result was a declining voter turnout and lack of issue competition in national  elections.     50 State Party Systems o Two­party competition at the state and local levels increased with the New Deal  readjustment in the 1930s, and Democrats became much more competitive in the  North than they had been in the System of 1896. o Since then, local and state party competition has continued to change over time.  Ranney Index of State Party Competition o This index examines competitiveness between parties. o Three indicators of party strength:  Percentage of popular vote for parties’ gubernational (governor)  candidates.  Percentage of seats held by parties in each house of the state legislature.  Length of time and percentage of time that parties held both the  governorship and majority in state legislature. o Five categories of states:  One­Party Democratic State and One­Party Republican State: the  dominant party has complete control over the respective states.  Modified One­Party Democratic State and Modified One­Party  Republican State: the dominant party has control over the respective state  although the minority party does win some elections.  Two­Party States: both the Democratic and the Republican parties are  competitive in elections. o Trends Over Time  The One­Party Democratic State essentially no longer exists.  The Ranney index investigates party competition at the state level. o Local Presidential Voting Competition  Ranney Index analyzes party competition using voting for only the  gubernational and state legislative races.  The Ranney Index can also analyze how presidential election competition  differs across the United States.  Some people say that American are moving to counties consistent with  their political preferences; many counties, however, are actually more  competitive now than in the Election of 1920.  Why Does the United States Have a Two­Party System? o Many democracies in other nations have multi­party systems. o Most political scientists argue that the main reason for the difference is  institutional, since parties are ingrained into the American election and voting  process.      Duverger’s Law: single­member (for example, the House of  Representatives) election districts with plurality elections tend to produce  two­party systems.      Single­Member Districts: only one person is elected to represent a district. This  is the system we have the in the United States.      Multi­Member District: multiple individuals are elected to represent a district.      Plurality Elections: the candidate with the most votes wins the election.      Proportional Representation Elections: the seats in the district are apportioned  to different parties, depending on each party’s share of the vote. This occurs only  in multi­member districts.      Incentives for Minor Parties in These Systems:  Single­member plurality election systems are winner­take­all systems.  Potential minor parties are incentivized to support a major party candidate, rather than risking the least preferred candidate winning the election.      Proportional Representative Systems Are Not Winner­Take­All Systems  In this system, minority parties can still get elected, and proportional  representation gives minority parties an incentive to truly compete in the  election.  This system also implies that minority parties do not have to fear throwing the election to the least­preferred candidate.     Alternative Theories of Two­Party Systems      Dualist Theories  Dualist theories argue that American political conflict is naturally divided  into two choices, like eastern commercial interests vs. western  frontiersman and agrarian interests; North vs. South; urban vs. rural; and  upper­income vs. lower­income.  Another dualist argument is that all politics are inherently focused on  binary choices, like incumbents vs. challengers; change vs. status quo; and conservatives vs. liberals.  In the latter view, the multi­party system in other countries is a façade for  a dualist system that eventually emerges once parties form coalitions to  govern. Essentially, European parties only have trivial differences that  vanish once coalitions are needed.      Social Consensus Theories  There is a broad consensus in American politics on the Constitution,  government structure, and a regulated free enterprise system. This broad  consensus allows America politics to come together in a two­party system.  This broad consensus may have been encouraged by the fact that political  rights came early to the United States, in contrast to the rest of the world. All white males had the right to vote in the United States before  the Industrial Revolution, regardless of property holdings or  financial status. This allowed them to fight for economic rights as  members of a two­party system. White males could also bring women and minority votes into this  two­party system once their political rights were recognized.  In other countries, voting rights did not come until after the Industrial  Revolution. This meant that citizens were fighting for their political and  economic rights at the same time. These people often fought for their rights through Socialist and  Communist parties that challenged basic political and economic  structures of society.     The Two­Party System and Third Parties o Once the two­party system was established, both major parties had compelling  reasons to continue it by restricting minor party opportunities. It is easier to  manage competition with only one other competitor, and so the two­party system  became self­perpetuating.      Constraints on Minor Parties:      Ballot Access Laws: Major parties usually get placed on the ballots  automatically, while minor parties must petition to get on the ballot. Since  election laws are states’ responsibility, this implies that there are 51  different ballot access laws (including the District of Columbia). There are different numbers of signatures and different filing deadlines in all states.      Campaign Finance Laws: Major party candidates automatically get  public funding for presidential elections once their conventions are held,  whereas minor parties must get five percent of the national vote to get  public funding for the next national election. For example, if the Green  Party gets five percent or more of the national vote in 2016, then they will  get public funding for the 2020 presidential election.      Presidential Debates: Presidential debates after party conventions are  sponsored by a bipartisan commission between Democrats and  Republicans; they decide who is allowed to participate in the debates. For  instance, in 2000, Ralph Nader of the green Party and Pat Buchanan of the Reform Party were not allowed to participate in the presidential debates,  based on the relatively high threshold of potential votes. POLI 360 – Lecture 4  Other Minority Party Hurdles o Campaign Resources: Minor party candidates have little, if any, access to most  partisan donors. Moreover, minor party candidates do not have access to the  media support that majority party candidates have, such as advertising and media  consultants and partisan media coaching. o Media Coverage: The media reports on candidates that they think have a chance  of winning. Most minor parties do not get a great deal of media coverage since  they are usually unsuccessful; that coverage, therefore, would not draw large  audiences to media companies.  Opportunities for Minority Party Candidates     Financial Resources: Wealthy minority party candidates can buy some of the  resources that minority party candidates already use.     Existing Name Identification: It is easier to run a campaign when people already know who you are and what you stand for. Trump is an example of this  phenomenon.     Major Party Responses to Minor Parties o Major parties respond to minority challengers by absorbing the minor party’s  issues; this gives the majority party an opportunity to convert the minority party’s  supporters into their own supporters.  State and Local Organizations o Cadre Parties vs. Mass­Membership Parties  Cadre Parties: Cadre parties are run by leaders and activists with little  participation by the public. These few leaders and activists choose party  strategies and candidates. Their focus is on electing candidates, not  promoting issues or ideology. Party actions ramp up mainly at election  time.  Mass­Membership Parties: Mass­membership parties have large  numbers of dues­paying members. They are focused on ideology and  issues, not just elections. Members choose both the party’s policies and its  leaders. Therefore, members directly influence their party in government. o American political parties are modified cadre parties. American parties focus  more on election­winning than ideological purity. Additionally, American  political parties do not have large, dues­paying memberships that choose party  policies and leaders. o American political parties do diverge from the cadre party model in some ways.  For instance, there is some significant public participation, although not as much  as in European ideological parties. o American political parties are increasingly year­round, professional organizations.  Public Participation o Primary voting o Get­out­the­vote efforts: The Democratic Party coordinates with unions, and the  Republican Party uses the 72­hour plan, in which Republicans ask their families,  friends, and communities to vote for their preferred candidate. This plan is  effective because it has been proven that people are more likely to take a specific  action when someone they know asks them to perform that specific action.  Levels of Party Organization o Precinct, Ward, and Township Committees: Activity of local committeepeople is varied. These positions go vacant in many communities. In the late 19  century, however, these committees were the backbone of the party machines, such as  Tammany Hall and the Daily Machine, which focused on winning elected offices. o City Committees o County Committees o District Committees o State Central Committees  Party Machines o Hierarchically structured: Party bosses managed the ward leaders, who in turn  managed the precinct leaders. o Operated through material incentives: Party organizations provided jobs and  social services to immigrants in return for votes. In fact, some party machines,  like Tammany Hall, would meet immigrants on the dock and shuttle them directly to voter registration. o Patronage positions: These are jobs granted for party loyalty, as opposed to  merit. These positions were exempt from the civil service protection; essentially,  this means that employees could be fired for not supporting the party that gave  them their positions. o Party organizations provided business to local companies.  Famous Machines o Chicago’s Daily Machine o New York’s Tammany Hall o Philadelphia’s Republican Machine o Many cities, like Phoenix, Milwaukee, and Seattle, have never had party  machines. Despite elites’ incentives to form machines, they are not guaranteed to  exist.  The Decline of Party Machines o Opposition to corruption: Reform groups, and those created by Democratic  professionals, opposed corruption. o Civil service protection: job security (can only be fired for meritorious reasons)  and equal pay. o Changing ethnic makeup of cities: The flood of immigrants into the United  States as well as the African­American Great Migration from the South to the  North resulted in diverse cities. o Replacement of parties’ social welfare functions with federal social  programs: immigrants needed welfare from somewhere, as many of them came  to the United States with very few possessions or connections, and the federal  government began to provide that welfare. The New Deal, however, temporarily  strengthened party machines as FDR funneled social welfare through them. Party  machines were eventually rendered obsolete with President Johnson’s Great  Society social programs. o A survey conducted in 1979­1980 and again in 1992 showed that parties have  gotten stronger, regardless of the decline in party machines.  Changes in Local Parties’ Organization Strength: local Republican and Democratic  parties show noticeable increases in infrastructure between the late 1970s and the early  1990s. Local Republican and Democratic parties, however, shows less noticeable  increases in professional staffing over the same period of time.  State Committees: these committees have important powers, like… o Calling and shaping party conventions. o Choosing representatives for the national committee. o Selecting the party’s presidential electors. o Choosing some national convention delegates. o Diffusing campaign assets for state and local race.


Buy Material

Are you sure you want to buy this material for

25 Karma

Buy Material

BOOM! Enjoy Your Free Notes!

We've added these Notes to your profile, click here to view them now.


You're already Subscribed!

Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'

Why people love StudySoup

Steve Martinelli UC Los Angeles

"There's no way I would have passed my Organic Chemistry class this semester without the notes and study guides I got from StudySoup."

Jennifer McGill UCSF Med School

"Selling my MCAT study guides and notes has been a great source of side revenue while I'm in school. Some months I'm making over $500! Plus, it makes me happy knowing that I'm helping future med students with their MCAT."

Jim McGreen Ohio University

"Knowing I can count on the Elite Notetaker in my class allows me to focus on what the professor is saying instead of just scribbling notes the whole time and falling behind."


"Their 'Elite Notetakers' are making over $1,200/month in sales by creating high quality content that helps their classmates in a time of need."

Become an Elite Notetaker and start selling your notes online!

Refund Policy


All subscriptions to StudySoup are paid in full at the time of subscribing. To change your credit card information or to cancel your subscription, go to "Edit Settings". All credit card information will be available there. If you should decide to cancel your subscription, it will continue to be valid until the next payment period, as all payments for the current period were made in advance. For special circumstances, please email


StudySoup has more than 1 million course-specific study resources to help students study smarter. If you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for, our customer support team can help you find what you need! Feel free to contact them here:

Recurring Subscriptions: If you have canceled your recurring subscription on the day of renewal and have not downloaded any documents, you may request a refund by submitting an email to

Satisfaction Guarantee: If you’re not satisfied with your subscription, you can contact us for further help. Contact must be made within 3 business days of your subscription purchase and your refund request will be subject for review.

Please Note: Refunds can never be provided more than 30 days after the initial purchase date regardless of your activity on the site.