06 Political Participation - National Government Political...

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1 National Government Political Participation Mystery of Nonvoting Why don’t more people vote? Who benefits and who is hurt when massive numbers of people stay away from the polls? More than four in ten people do not show up at the polls Voter Turnout - President
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2 Voter Turnout - Congress Four Major Social Characteristics Divide Voters and Nonvoters • Age • Income • Race • Education
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3 Low Efficacy Feeling that you can have an effect. Not Apathy Classic Example • Anthony Downs’ An Economic Theory of Democracy • Median Vote Theory • Cost of Voting Rational Choice Theory Homo economicus Key Assumptions Outcomes can be assigned value, if their value is not obvious; and are complete and ordered. Strategic: Maximize the net value of their expected returns Individuals are calculating • Complete information: Costs and Benefits
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4 Elite Theories of Nonvoting Why worry?
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