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Chapter 9 notes

by: Peter Gong

Chapter 9 notes 110

Peter Gong

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This set of notes covers Chapter 9
POS 110 Government and Politics
David Wells
Class Notes
political science, voting and elections, elections
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Peter Gong on Monday September 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 110 at Arizona State University taught by David Wells in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 42 views. For similar materials see POS 110 Government and Politics in Political Science at Arizona State University.


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Date Created: 09/12/16
CHAPTER 9: ELECTIONS DISCLAIMER: MY SET OF NOTES IS ONLY MEANT TO HELP YOU AND CLARIFY THINGS IN A WAY YOU CAN UNDERSTAND IN AN ORGANIZED FASHION. I ALSO TRY TO HELP YOU UNDERSTAND AND MAKE SENSE OF ACADEMIC MATERIALS BY INTEGRATING ALL LONG AND COMPLEX MATERIALS INTO SHORT BUT EASY TO UNDERSTAND MATERIALS. THIS IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR A TUTOR. ALSO, DUE TO TIME CONSTRAINTS, I MIGHT NOT GET TO ALL OF THE INFORMATION. SO PLEASE REFER BACK TO YOUR TEXTBOOK JUST TO BE SURE. THREE WAYS TO SELECT A NOMINEE: Primaries Caucuses State Conventions This is the most common Sometimes done. Done in State conventions is rarely way to select a nominee. In some states. This has some done. In fact, state fact, primaries have the participants BUT not to be conventions have the least most participants. confused with the least participants. But they do participants. They do have one large meetings. however have small local meetings. In primaries, there are three For Caucuses, it's different Conventions are different: types of elections: from Primaries: 1. Comprised of elected 1. Open – anyone 1. A political party runs officials and party regardless of their the Caucuses precinct committee political affiliation 2. Most of the time,it's people can vote in either closed. But primary like for sometimes, example, a independents are republican voter can allowed to vote vote in the 3. There are meetings democratic primary every evening with 2. Semi-open OR caucuses which Modified open – means that you have ONLY open to to show up at every independents. meeting Independents can 4. You stay at the vote in either caucuses for more democratic or than 1 hours republican primary 5. At the voting site, 3. Closed – ONLY party there are rules and members in a specific regulations that must party can vote like be followed for example, Republican primary is only open to Republican voters and only Republican voters can vote in the Republican primary KEEP IN MIND: It varies from state to state for details when it comes to translating primary and caucuses into convention delegates. All three ways to select a nominee can pick a nominee. The voting continues until the candidate is chosen especially if the first round of voting results in no candidate receiving a majority. To become a nominee: they need the support of a majority of the delegates. After they nominate a presidential candidate, a Vice President candidate is chosen who is selected by a presidential nominee. IMPORTANT CONCEPTS: There are two stages of elections: 1. Open OR closed primaries – Usually held by the State. 2. General elections – political parties needs to choose the nominee for the general election. Campaigns begins in early September and candidates campaign officials uses a way to get people to vote or make sure their supporters vote called GET OUT THE VOTE or the ground game. It's held on the FIRST Tuesday of November. Determining the winner of the candidate by the voting system: Plurality voting Majority voting Runoff election  Doesn't matter who  Either candidate  Done in a majority wins the majority. MUST win more than voting system.  A candidate wins the 50% of the votes.  This is the last resort election by plurality  If neither wins more meaning it's the voting when a than 50% of the second election for candidate receives votes, it goes into candidates who didn't the most votes in a runoff election win the majority of specific geographical between the top two the votes. area candidates.  Applies to the FIRST general election.  Only top two candidates compete in the runoff election. Voting methods: 1. Electronic voting like touch screen voting 2. Ballots  Punch card where you keypunch your preferred candidate  Paper where you have to mark an X to your preferred candidate  Mechanical such as pulling a lever next to their preferred candidate Advantages/disadvantages for voting methods: Electronic Ballots via punch card Ballots via paper and lever Advantages: Advantages: Advantages:  Could possibly be  Good technique  For lever - Could faster reduce the amount of  Cost-effective  It's becoming popular  Can easily be time needed to count recounted manually the votes as necessary  For Paper - Convenient for voters who could not make it to a polling station Disadvantages: Disadvantages: Disadvantages:  Can be costly, even if  Can be complicated.  For Lever – total votes it reduces paper For example: the can possibly be  Could potentially punch card has manipulated. cause voters to take caused controversy  For Paper – paper longer to cast their about the election ballots have the votes via electronic results for who won potential of being lost potentially causing Florida in 2000 or altered. There is delays, even on  Can be hard to follow also a possibility that Election Day through sometimes. paper ballots can be In Florida, the stolen  This type of method could have a butterfly punch card possibility of being caused some voters manipulated to to mistakenly vote for change the outcome Pat Buchanan instead of elections of Al Gore  Computer glitch could create a degree of uncertainty in voting results AND can cause more complexity to ballot recounts Problems with voting methods: 1. Unmarked ballots, ballots that can't be counted and a person voting in some races but not the other races can result in undervotes. That can be caused by different methods of voting (see above). 2. Election outcomes can be changed by errors. 3. Counting the ballot can cause even a greater degree of complexities. While state laws can allow recounts if a race is too close to call (usually, it's by one percent), it's impossible to determine the winner of a candidate on a particular election, EVEN if a recount occurs. 4. Voter eligibility varies in different states. The constitution limits the age to people who are at least 18 years old. State requirements varies. People with criminal history will have a challenge when it comes to registering to vote. IMPORTANT TO NOTE: People claim that officials guarantee a win for their favored candidates by manipulating election rules. Some also fears voter fraud. Some states address this issue by passing a legislative bill that requires voters to authenticate their identity by showing officials a form of proper ID such as a passport or a driver's license. However, very little evidence can be found to support claims of voter fraud. Voter ID laws can also create a barrier for individuals who don't have ID. Those of them are mostly non whites and poor and votes democratic. Republicans have made based voter ID frauds as justification for enacting laws about requiring voters to authenticate their ID's General rules apply when it comes to translating primary and caucus votes into convention delegates: Proportional allocation or voting Winner-take-all  Determines the number of  Assigns all given delegates to a convention delegates that's candidate who receives the most allowed to each candidate based on popular votes. the percentage of popular votes.  Some Republican states and caucus  This divides the delegates seat uses this. among candidates. Votes are approximately proportional to the  Or another way is that a candidate vote in a state’s primary. can take the most plus the rest by the person who wins each  It may have a minimum percentage congressional district. of threshold.  While plurality wins, more  ALL DEMOCRATS USES THIS and delegates can get a lead to winner- they contest proportional with take-all if they get a majority. delegates. Some Republican uses this system. Confusing concept: It's true that some Republicans uses proportional allocation, but some may also use winner-take-all. What? Yes but the Republican Party uses some winner-take-all and some proportional voting. You may be wondering, what does the Republican Party use the most? Maybe both equally. Votes that are being counted: even if you chose the candidate by name, you didn't vote directly for president. You're choosing that candidates slate of pledged supporters from your state that serves as the electoral college, a body that selects the president. Number of electors for each state equals the number of house members from a state. KEEP IN MIND: It's possible that a candidate can win the election, even if he or she doesn't win the popular votes. It depends on the amount of electoral college won from a state. The election cycle is a two-year period that is between general elections. WHAT HAPPENS EVERY ELECTION: The day after the election, candidates, party officials and interest groups all begins to think about the election cycle. What they consider: 1. Which incumbents might retire, this creates an open seat. More candidates will run with open seats when the incumbent finally announces retirement. Candidates also thinks that they have a more likelihood of winning. 2. Which candidate could be vulnerable to losing the election to their opponent. 3. If the election returns reveals new information about the campaigns or issues that could increase the turnout of voters or support. What can: Help a candidate: Hurt a candidate: 1. Candidates will use various ways to 1. Internet can facilitate efforts for confront their opponents. popularizing damaging information. 2. They contrast their own records. 2. Opposition groups, interest groups and 3. Position with those of opposing opponents can dig into a opponents candidates. past for embarrassing incidents. It can 4. Make claims designed to lower the be conducted by the candidate, family citizens opinions of their supporting members or staff and it can backfire if opponent. found. 5. Emphasize their understanding of the concerns of citizens and show their willingness to address them. 6. Raise doubts about their opponent such as citing unpopular past behavior or damaging statements. KEEP IN MIND: Political scientists expects that a party insider will have a disproportionate say. Getting noticed: When it comes to Campaign advertising, it's conducted indirectly. Campaigns can be conducted through:  Social media like Facebook, Twitter and other sources of social media  News coverage of events and the attention of News Media  Paid campaign advertising Political advertising has evolved over the last generation. In the early years of TV, political advertisements either consisted of speeches by candidates or supporters that endorse the candidate. Values and limitations with political campaign advertising or political ads: Values: Limitations: 1. Campaign ads can get a candidates 1. Ads can depress voters as some words out observers witnessed 2. Can get people to be more interested 2. Can possibly backfire if an ad causes in the campaign and get them controversy which results in involved when exposed to the ad. decreased turnout and supporters 3. Can highlight real differences driving away from a candidate between the candidate and the 3. Ads are always interpreted differently opponent, can also highlight by the audience. Some may not even differences between political parties believe the ad depending on their political affiliation Keep in mind: Election laws including a very complicated regulation that states how campaigns can spend money is administered by the Federal Election Commission Funding campaigns: 1. Hard money – Donations received by individuals are used to help elect a candidate or used to defeat an opponent or candidate. Donations that are made to general elections and primaries count separately) 2. Soft money – Donations that doesn't get used to help a specific candidate. They are mostly used by a 527 organization (not affiliated with any candidates). They can't advocate for a defeat or election of a specific candidate or political party.. There's no limit on soft money for contributions. They are mostly raised by individuals or corporations but cannot be coordinated with a candidate or a party For organizations other than Candidates as contributors: 501(c)(4)s (As described by the IRS code) 527s 1. They don't have to disclose the name 1. Can accept unlimited amounts of soft of the contributor. money Deciding to vote: Paradox of voting: Questions why people votes even if their vote stands little chance of changing the outcome of the election and voting costs more money Voter turnout is higher for whites than minorities or non-whites Keep in mind: Some people are very informed about politics and very passionate about it. They are well informed about policy preferences and are knowledgeable about the candidate. They use this information in deciding who to vote for and how to vote. This is called issue voters. Maybe that could be related to differences between educated and uneducated voters Voting cues: Pieces of information that are available on the spot about a particular candidate. It's easy to interpret and can lead a person to decide to vote for a candidate based on voting cues. I can get information from a candidate like an incumbent governor and be informed about him. The preference: Voters prefer to cast split tickets over straight tickets. Split tickets: Straight tickets: 1. Allows voters to select candidates 1. Allows voters to select candidates from more than one political parties. from ONLY one political party. Local contests in which a candidate's chances of winning depends on what the voters thinks of the candidate. NOT the president, national issues or Congress which could explain the reason why Coattails are weak in a typical American election. Coattails is the idea that a popular president gets additional support for candidates who are affiliated with the party that the president is affiliated with. FEEDBACK: All questions below are just open responses. You may answer some or all of the questions as you wish. Please respond to the following questions. That way, you can freely express your opinion and provide coherent feedback. Please e-mail your feedback to so that I can improve my notes and better serve you. Thank you. Your feedback is a very big deal to me and will help me make my notes better. Participation in this survey is completely OPTIONAL. How organized do you think my notes are? Do you think my notes are too short or too long? How do you think I can make it simpler? Do you have a great understanding as a result of looking at my notes? Is there any other concepts that you believe I could have covered in this note and what suggestions do you have so that I can make my notes better in the future? Is there anything I need to add to my notes? Do you think I could do better to make the concepts clear? Is there anything you want me to eliminate? Is there any information that you think is unnecessary? Is there anything else that you would like to say? Any other suggestions?


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