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POLI 360 - Week 10

by: runnergal

POLI 360 - Week 10 POLI 360 001


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These notes cover what was discussed in class during the week of 3/21/116.
American Political Parties
David C. Darmofal
Class Notes
political science, Government
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by runnergal on Friday March 25, 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 29 views. For similar materials see American Political Parties in Political Science at University of South Carolina.


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Date Created: 03/25/16
POLI 360 – Lecture 14  Video Notes: Let the People Rule o This video primarily concerns the 1912 Republican primary nomination, what led  Teddy Roosevelt to break away from his party, and the effects that the break had  on the Republican Party. o Geoffery Cowan, one of the primary speakers in this video, wrote the book Let  the People Rule; most of his speech in this video is based on this book. o Jessica Yellin, a previous Senior White House Correspondent, directed the  discussion with pointed questions. o Roosevelt encouraged primaries in 1912 to increase his chances of winning after  he realized that his friends, the current party bosses, would not support his  candidacy for the Republican nomination. o Selection of Nominees:  Stage 1 (1789­1832): party nominees were chosen through the King’s  Caucus, where party delegates choose the party nominee. There is no input from the popular vote.  Stage 2 (1833­1912): Conventions comprised of delegates and prominent  public officials choose the party nominees. There is no input from the  popular vote.  Stage 3 (1913­1968): some states began to offer primaries due to  Roosevelt’s support for primaries. This allowed voters to have a say in the  primary process for the first time.  Stage 4 (1969­now): was referred to but not discussed directly in the  video. Probably refers to the Democratic change in primaries, where the  outcomes of primaries must be held accountable to the voters during the  Democratic convention. o Theodore Roosevelt lost the first three primaries, but he won the 4  primary in  Illinois; that win allowed him to gain enough momentum to win the popular vote. o The 1912 Republican caucus was very raucous, with all sorts of hysterics and  problems.  A credentials challenge argued a winner­take­all delegates approach over  a proportional representation of voters in primary states. Roosevelt’s  delegates intended for Roosevelt to lose the credentials challenge, get the  public opinion on their side, and leave the Republican Party to create the  Bull Moose Party.  While the Republicans were considering a different challenger, a lady in  white stood up and unfurled a large banner with Roosevelt’s face on it;  directing attention away from the challenger. o Roosevelt tried to convince African­Americans to join his side at the caucus, but  he failed with the exception of eight delegates. Those eight that supported him  were not allowed in the new party because Roosevelt was a racist and he also  knew that he had no chance of winning any Southern elections anyway. o African­Americans faced many voter suppression measures, such as literacy tests  (interpreting the Constitution), poll taxes, and the grandfather clause (if your  ancestors registered to vote pre­1865 [pre­Civil War], then the first two measures  did not apply to you). o Primaries allowed some fringe candidates to become president. For example, the  Catholic former president John F. Kennedy probably would not have won the  Democratic nomination and won the presidency if he had not shown that he could  win Protestant votes, which he did in the primarily Protestant state of West  Virginia. o Primaries are a mess, but they are the best possible mess. o “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all of the others.” –  Winston Churchill o Primary and party rules are dependent on parties, not the government. This allows parties to change the rules as they go through the primary process, since they are  private bodies that are not governed by the federal government. o Brokered Convention: this occurs when 1) the candidate with the most delegates does not have at least 50% of the delegates or 2) when a candidate has at least  50% of the delegates, but not all of those delegates vote for that candidate. These  outcomes could lead to a rules challenge or a credentials challenge. The party  could suspend the rules in order to ensure a certain candidate is elected. Link to Video: POLI 360 – Lecture 15     The Dynamics of Nominations Campaigns o The only important facets of campaign fundraising are increasing a candidate’s  standing in national polls as well as a candidate’s standing in Iowa and New  Hampshire. o Pre­election year fundraising has no direct effect on the likelihood of winning a  party’s presidential nomination. o Positive Influences on Candidates’ Vote Shares:  Support in New Hampshire before the Iowa caucus, which is determined  by the last poll taken in New Hampshire before the Iowa caucus.  Finishing second in the Iowa caucus. o Finishing first or second in the New Hampshire primary increases a candidate’s  likelihood that he/she will get his/her party’s presidential nomination. o A candidate’s standing in national polls can increase his/her likelihood of winning his/her party’s presidential nomination. o Money buys influence in national polls, the Iowa caucus, and the New Hampshire primary, and therefore influences nomination selection in those ways when it is  spent correctly.     Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA) o This act was sponsored by John McCain of Arizona and Russ Feingold of  Wisconsin in the Senate and by Christopher Shays of Connecticut and Marty  Meehan of Massachusetts in the House; it was signed by President George W.  Bush. o This act restricted soft money: unregulated money that individuals, corporations,  and labor unions donated to parties. o Soft money was intended to be used for party­building activities, but Bill Clinton  in 1996 used that money for issue advocacy ads – that trend continued. o This act also required that issue advocacy ads be funded through contributions  subject to campaign contribution limits. o This act raised the individual campaign contribution limit from $1,000 to $2,000  and is subject to inflation. o This act also prevented interest groups and corporations from buying issue  advocacy ads that mention any candidate’s name 60 days before a general election or 30 days before a primary election. o This act was intended to force campaigns to primarily raise money from small  donors since soft money was now essentially illegal.     Citizens United v. FEC (2010) o This decision by the Supreme Court essentially allowed corporations and labor  unions to spend as much money as they want on supporting candidates, including  spending money on the election or defeat of a specific candidate. o This decision was based on free speech rights and Buckley v. Valeo; basically,  spending money is a form of free speech and therefore should be unregulated. o Regulations still exist, but they only apply to campaigns, not Super PACs.     Super PACs o Super PACs allow for unlimited corporation and union spending. o Super PACs can spend money on advocacy, including the supporting the election  or defeat of a certain candidate. o However, Super PACs cannot coordinate directly with a campaign. o Super PACs extended the 2012 Republican presidential nomination race, but they  were not very influential in the 2012 general election. o Super PACs have not been very effective in 2016; Jeb Bush raised the most  money through Super PACs but was still forced to drop out of the Republican  race, and Trump and Sanders have both profited from an anti­Super PAC strategy.     Choosing Presidential Nominees o Campaigns have developed effective small donor bases through the internet. o This internet strategy was pioneered by Howard Dean (2004) and continued by  Barack Obama (2008 and 2012) and Bernie Sanders (2016). o The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has a matching funds program, which  helps fund primary campaigns using taxpayer dollars in exchange for candidates  building grassroots support among small donors. o Matching Funds Program  Matches individual contributions up to $250 with taxpayer funds; this can  comprise about 25­30% of major candidates’ funds.  To qualify, candidates must raise at least $5,000 in $250 donations or less  in each of at least 20 states.  Candidates must also limit personal contributions to his/her campaign to  $50,000 and agree to abide by spending limits.  All of these spending limits are subject to inflation. o As a result of these restrictions and profitable internet fundraising campaigns,  many candidates have chosen to reject these funds. o Other Reasons Candidates Opt Out of the Matching Funds Program:  Independent wealth allows candidates to spend more money than they  could following the program’s rules.  Ideological reasons, i.e. taxpayers should not fund campaigns.     Front­Loading of Primaries o Front­loading: primaries are increasingly schedules earlier in the presidential  election year. o Front­loading makes early fundraising even more important, especially during the invisible primary period: the year before primaries. o However, fundraising has not been especially important in the 2016 race,  especially in the Republican race, possible because of Trump’s massive media  coverage both before and during the presidential race.


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