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POS1041 lecture notes week of 4/11-4/15

by: Jessica Ralph

POS1041 lecture notes week of 4/11-4/15 POS 1041

Marketplace > Florida State University > POS 1041 > POS1041 lecture notes week of 4 11 4 15
Jessica Ralph
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These notes cover the lecture slides and talking points from this past weeks lecture
American Government: national
Bob Jackson
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jessica Ralph on Sunday April 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POS 1041 at Florida State University taught by Bob Jackson in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 27 views.


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Date Created: 04/17/16
4/11/16 presidential election strategies continued 2. Presidential general election stage (strategy) (continued)  Must win majority of electoral votes (270/538) to be elected  Strategic implications o Focus on states o Winner take all, plurality system for allocating electoral votes in each state (except Maine and Nebraska)  Doesn’t matter fundamentally on what a candidates populous vote is o Candidates will focus on big population states because they have the largest number of electoral votes  Unless these big states are consistently voting for same party  California has the most delegates but campaigns wont spend any time there because they always vote democratic. New York has a ton of delegates but candidates don’t spend time there because they always vote democratic.  Most important states: large population swing states  Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, north Carolina, Virginia, Nevada, new Hampshire etc.  7-10 swing states are the only ones that truly matter how are presidential candidates able to finance their campaigns? 1. Their own campaign organization can raise $ from individual citizens ($2,700 maximum from any 1 citizen) 2. Spend their own $ 3. Rely on super PACs o Technically independent of the candidate and his/her organization  Wealthy strategic actors inject massive amounts of money into presidential elections  2 federal court cases in 2010 fundamentally changed “the rules”  super PACs o Case 1: Citizens United v. FEC (2010)  allowed TV ads, continued to ban direct contributions  Struck down a ban on corporations and labor unions using their money to air campaign ads including “express advocacy” ads (ex. “Vote Bernie sanders, don’t vote Ted Cruz) and can now finance and air ads on their own  Kept a ban on contributions from corporations and labor unions going directly to candidates  “Independent expenditures”  Citizens United ruled that corporate political spending is protected under first amendment right to free speech, and that corporations are like citizens, therefore have rights.  Justice Anthony Kennedy said that “independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption”  Justice john Paul Stevens argues, on behalf of four justices, that the ruling “threatens to undermines the integrity of elected institutions across the nations”  Entities trying to buy out elections and election outcomes o Case 2: v. FEC (2010)  SpeechNow was a nonprofit formed by wealthy individuals who sought to pool their money to make independent expenditures expressly advocating the election or defeat of federal candidates  In light od supreme courts decision on citizens united, the appeals court ruled that “contributions to groups that make only independent expenditures cannot corrupt or create the appearance of corruption” – thus the government has no anti- corruption interest in limiting contributions to an independent group such as SpeechNow 4/13/16  What are super PACs? o Can raise unlimited contributions from wealthy donors (individuals, corporations, unions) o Can engage in unlimited independent expenditures (including express advocacy) o Cannot give money directly to or coordinate with candidates  To avoid this, campaign workers will “remove themselves” to fundraise because fundraisers cannot have ties to campaign strategies o They can talk to media and discuss campaign strategy even though they “don’t know” the candidates strategy 4/15/16 Voter turnout Rationality  Is it “rational” for anyone to vote?  Anthony Downs’ An Economic Theory of Democracy o Rational choice and economics perspective: look at cost and benefit of voting o If benefits (B) > costs (c), then you will vote  Costs of voting: time (think opportunity cost), information  Benefits of voting: say in policy, self fulfillment o Free-rider problem- collective benefits without bearing costs. You may be able to receive the benefits of voting without actually voting. o Downs argues that you have to discount the benefits unless you are the deciding vote  “rational” actor discounts (collective) benefits by probability (P) that his/her one vote will make the difference  P~= .0000000000001 ~= 0  If PB > C, vote, but PB~=0  No “rational” actor should vote o So why do people vote? To fulfill civic duty and receive psychological betterment  Perhaps (PB + D) > C, then will vote. D represents selective psychological benefits from doing civic Duty Socio-demographics  Education: more educated people are more likely to vote  Income: higher income people are more likely to vote  Age: younger people make up more of the voting population  Gender: women are more likely to vote than men in last 3 decades  Marriage: married couples more likely to vote than singles  Race/ethnicity: 2012 first time African Americans outnumbered whites in voter turnout  Mobility: people who recently moved are less likely to vote  Homeowner status: homeowners more likely to vote than renters (no evidence why)  Parental status: having children decreases likelihood of voting especially in midterms Psychological attitudes  Political interest  Concern over election outcome o Short-term reasons for voting  Political efficacy o Public officials don’t care what people like me think “people like me don’t have any say in what the government does”  Less likely to vote  Civic duty o “good citizens vote”  strong party ID ties Legal Environment  some states have stricter registration laws o ~ 70% of potentially eligible voters are registered—Why?  Of this, 90% of those registered actually do vote. So essentially, anyone who is registered will vote. o Focus on making it easier to register Campaign environment  States like florida have higher voter turnout because campaigns focus in swing states


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