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Understand the Prospective (or Responsible Party) Voting Model.
- responsible party: notion that a political party will take clear and distinct stands on the issues and enact them as policy once elected to office
- prospective voting model: a theory of democratic elections in which voters decide what govt will do in the near future by choosing one or another responsible party
Understand the Electoral Competition Voting Model.
- a form of election in which parties seeking votes move toward the median voter or the center of the political spectrum
- both parties can end up standing for the same thing when this happens
Understand the Retrospective Voting Model.
a form of election in which voters look back at the performance of a party in power and cast ballots on the basis of how well it did in office
Are we "election happy", if so, why?
- no other country holds so many elections covering so many offices and public policy issues
- we fill about 500,000 offices through elections
Define suffrage. Understand how suffrage expanded.
- the legal right to vote
- by 1829 all white males could vote regardless of property or religion
- african americans gained right in 1870 but didn't really go into effect until voting rights act of 1965
- women won the right in 1920
- 18-20 year olds won right in 1971
Does the US have low voter turnout in comparison to other countries?
Know the causes of low voter turnout.
- barriers to voting (difficult registration)
- ballots are complex (must vote on multiple things)
- decline in competitive elections
- weak voter mobilization by local parties
What is the most important factor which will determine if someone will vote?
level of formal education
Which group has the lowest voter turnout rate?
Who runs for the Presidency?
whoever wins the nomination of one's own party
What is a primary election? Understand the significance of the New Hampshire Primary.
- statewide elections in which voters choose delegates to the national party convention
- it is always the first primary
Describe the advantages of being an incumbent.
- they already have machinery of govt working for them and a unified party behind them
- easier to get campaign contributions
- campaign on the job, taking credit for their successes and blaming congress for failures
What is hard money?
refers to contributions to and spending by candidate and party committees that fall under the jurisdiction of the Federal Election Committee
What is the significance of the Citizens United ruling?
court ruled that corporations and unions may not be limited on what they spend on advertising in support of or opposition to a candidates
Describe public funding.
- money from the federal treasury paid by taxpayers
- can check off box on tax returns to donate $3
In terms of 527s, are there limits on how much money can be contributed?
Understand the electoral college and its consequences.
- made up of the all the states senators and representatives. gen public votes and however they decide is how the electors will vote for the presidency
- it magnifies the popular support of winners
- it may let the less popular candidate win
- it discourages third parties