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Wilson Ch 10 - Elections and Campaigns

Wilson Ch 10 - Elections and Campaigns - Elections and...

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Elections and Campaigns 1. two phases: getting nominated and getting elected 2. at one time, parties played a much larger role in elections in the US than they do now a. in the early 19 th century, the members of congress from a given party would meet in a caucus to pick their presidential candidate 3. replaced by national nominating conventions – the real power over presidential nomination was wielded by local party leaders Presidential Versus Congressional Campaigns 1. differences between the two: a. more voters participate in presidential races b. presidential races are more competitive c. a much smaller proportion of people vote in congressional races during off years (when there is no presidential contest) than vote for president i. means that candidates in congressional races must be appealing to the more motivated and partisan voter d. members of congress can do things for the constituents that a president cannot e. a candidate for congress can deny that the or she is responsible for the mess in Washington even when the candidate is an incumbent i. an incumbent president cant get away from this ii. not completely free ride: members of congress who belong to the same party as the president often feel voters’ anger about national affairs, particularly economic conditions (if dem for president, loose dem votes in congress) f. members of congress can get reelected even though their party’s leader in the white house has lost popular support, and non-incumbent candidates for congress may lose despite the fact that a very popular president form their party is in the white house Running for President 1. need to get “mentioned” if you have presidential caliber or do it yourself a. need to let it known to reporters that you are going to run b. travel around the country making speeches c. already have a famous name d. be identified with a major pierce of legislation e. be the governor of a big state 2. after being mentioned, set aside lot of time to run 3. voters prefer those with experience as governor or military leaders rather than those that just come from congress Money 1. takes so long to raise the necessary money and build up an organization of personal followers 2. need to have contributors, PACs Organization 1. need a staff of fundraisers, lawyers, and accountants, press secretary etc
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2. volunteers, advisors Strategy and Themes 1. when choosing a strategy, much depends on whether you are the incumbent a. if so, must defend their records 2. if no incumbent, each announce their own programs 3. questions: what tone should the campaign have, what theme can I develop, what should be the timing of the campaign, whom should you target Getting Elected to Congress 1. can serve unlimited number of terms, so chances are you will run against an incumbent 2. two senators (two year terms), reps by population 3. initially, some states did not create congressional districts – all reps elected at large a. how they were drawn affected the outcomes of elections: i.
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