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Unformatted text preview: Political Science 104-Intro to American Government Lecture March 20, 2007 Two Party System • Do we really have a two party system? • Where do all “Third Party” votes go? o Greens? o Ralph Nader o Ross Perot Third Parties • Do gain some votes in the presidential election, sometimes even up to 15-20% of the popular vote o However they do not gain any votes in the electoral college. Two Party System • Why 2 parties? o Characteristic of single-member electoral districts-Duverger’s Law (?) • SMD discourages minority parties o Tendency of major parties to coopt or capture large 3 rd party movements • Ballot access laws • Campaign finance laws Party Strength • General view that parties have become weaker over the past 50 years o Fewer people identify as members In 2004 more voters identified themselves as Independent than any of the two parties o Parties no longer control the nomination process – primaries o Candidates can run (and govern) outside of traditional party channels • Interest groups as alternative to party activism And yet… • Parties still provide important cues • Articulate coherent agendas with clear differences • Voters can assess accountability • Parties allocate funding in congressional elections Public Opinion • Ways of thinking about public opinion • Relationship between public opinion and government policy • Measuring Public opinion Definition •...
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This note was uploaded on 05/05/2008 for the course POLI SCI 104 taught by Professor Professor during the Spring '05 term at University of Wisconsin.
- Spring '05