Test 2 Notes - Presidential Elections Government 310L...

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Presidential Elections Government 310L Professor Andrew Karch I. Presidential nominations A. American primary system is unusual for its length and participatory nature – Convention delegates pledged to particular candidates are chosen in primary elections and caucuses. Voters decide the nominee unlike in other countries, where they are chosen by due paying, card carrying parties. It is much more democratic. Regardless of your history, if you are a card carrying member of the democratic party, if you have given money to the democratic party, you can still vote. Primaries and caucuses are equivalent basically. A caucus however is more like a town meeting, a much more intensive process. It involves a lot more organization. Democratic Delegates: 1. There are 3,253 “pledged” delegates – elected or chosen at the state level with the understanding they will support a particular candidate at the convention. 2. There are 796 “superdelegates.” – Usually Democratic members of Congress, governors, national committee members, or party leaders. All has to do with who you are. 3. Democrats use proportional representation to award pledged delegates. 4. Candidates must win at least 15% of the vote to win any pledged delegates. 5. Superdelegates can vote for whomever they please, so there is no official process to win their support. 6. A Democrat has to win 2,025 delegates to win the presidential nomination. Where things Stand: Republicans: 1. A Republican has to win 1,191 to delegates to win the presidential nomination 2. Individual state parties decide how pledged… B. Recent emergence of the primary system – Grew out of the bitter Democratic nomination process of 1968 1. Divisive Democratic nomination process in 1968 – It was a disaster. Party elites controlled everything. Happened during Vietnam War and had to with anti-war protests. Occurred in Chicago and ended up with police beating on protesters in the street. It convinced the party that it had to change its ways. 2. McGovern-Fraser Commission: This transformed the way the nominee was chosen. They wanted to process to look more democratic. It made primaries binding. Before this nominees were chosen only by the party elites. Republicans were already thinking about these same types of reforms. A. Alters Democrats’ nominating process B. Delegates chosen in primaries C. Women, younger members, minorities D. Power shifts from elites to voters C. Emphasis on early primaries, attempts to build momentum II. Pros and cons of the nominating process A. More democratic and participatory – Voters have much stronger say in who the nominee becomes B. Achieves four other desirable objectives 1. Leads to informed voters – The process goes on for such a long time because you really get to know a lot about the candidates. 2. Produces qualified nominees – Whoever survives this demanding, rigorous process, will certainly have
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This note was uploaded on 04/11/2008 for the course GOV 310L taught by Professor Kieth during the Spring '07 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Test 2 Notes - Presidential Elections Government 310L...

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