16-Campaigns.pdf - Elections Campaigns and Voting GOV310L...

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Elections, Campaigns, and Voting GOV310L - Brendan Apfeld April 10, 2017 1
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Current Events 2
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North Korea Figure 1 3
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Giant Bomb in Afghanistan Figure 2 4
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Trump on NATO Figure 3 5
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White House Visitors Logs Figure 4 6
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Today’s Class 7
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Today’s Puzzle Why does anybody bother voting if a single vote really never makes a difference? Given what we know about voters and parties, do campaigns even matter? Politicians are often unwilling to take action during campaign season to avoid hurting their chances or their party’s chances during the election. But campaigns seem to last for years. Is this bad for democracy? 8
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Today’s Outline Elections as Institutions The Paradox(es) of Voting Campaigns Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Campaigns Congressional Campaigns Campaign Spending 9
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Elections as Institutions 10
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Electoral Institutions Elections are run through a combination of federal and state laws These laws determine everything from the timing to who can vote, how votes are counted, what it takes to win, etc 11
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Who can vote Most citizens over the age of 18 This has changed since the founding 12
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Other restrictions on the vote Registration Registration is atypical in a democracy Only about 80% of the electorate is registered Helps determine precincts “Motor voter” law has helped since 1993 Voter ID laws Being challenged in the courts 13
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The ballot Today, voting viewed as a private matter Voting is done by secret ballot Only the case since the end of the 1800s as a way to end vote buying and voter intimidation Not all votes in the US are secret - for example, town halls and (some) caucuses 14
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Districts The US mostly employs single-member districts The House, most state legislatures, most local governments One representative per district All districts have equal population 15
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House elections - single member districts House members elected by different rules Some states used single-member districts Others elected all at large Most states from the 1840s onward use single member districts In 1967, Congress mandates single-member districts 16
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House elections - equal population The Supreme Court mandates beginning in the 1960s that House districts must be equal in population 1972 is the first election with single-member districts with equal populations Eventually, civil rights groups and the courts extend this to most other elections (city councils, school districts, etc) 17
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The Senate Not single-member districts Two senators per state But they act like single-member districts because they are elected on separate cycles States don’t have equal population California ˜ 39 million people Wyoming ˜ 0.6 million people 18
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Senate elections Senators originally elected by state legislatures 17th amendment changes this 19
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President Electoral college Number of votes is number of Senators plus number of representatives 20
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