Chapter 8

Chapter 8 - Chapter 8 Political Parties Candidates and...

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Chapter 8- Political Parties, Candidates, and Campaigns: Defining the Voter’s Choice Political party An ongoing coalition of interests joined together in an effort to get its candidates for public office elected under a common label Party-centered politics The Republican and Democratic parties compete across the country election after election Candidate-centered politics Individual candidates devise their own strategies, choose their own issues, and form their own campaign organizations Political competition in the US has centered on two political parties To win an electoral majority, candidates of the 2 major parties must appeal to a diverse set of interests; leads to advocating moderate and sometimes overlapping policies US party organizations are decentralized and fragmented The ability of the US’ party organizations to control nominations and election to office is weak, which enhances the candidate’s role Candidate-centered campaigns are based on the media and utilize the skills of professional consultants Party Competition and Majority Rule: The History of US Parties Party competition Narrows options to two and in the process enables people with different backgrounds and opinions to unite behind a single alternative Competition among parties that gives popular majorities a chance to influence how they will be governed Allows the principle of self-government to be realized in practice The First Parties Enabled like-minded people to exercise collective power Jefferson (Republican) Supported states’ rights Hamilton (Federalists)
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Promoter of strong national government and commercial interests Republican party of Jefferson is the forerunner of today’s Democratic party Andrew Jackson and Grassroots Parties Competition between parties is the only system that can regularly mobilize collective influence on behalf of the many who are individually powerless against those few who have extraordinary power and wealth Grassroots party Built from the bottom up Whigs Catchall party United by opposition for one reason or another to the policies of Jacksonian Democrats Republicans versus Democrats: Realignments and the Enduring Party System Durability of these two parties due to their remarkable ability to adapt during periods of crisis Party realignment Four elements The disruption of the existing political order b/c of the emergence of one or more unusually powerful and divisive issues An election contest in which the voters shift their support strongly in favor of one party A major change in policy brought about through the action of the stronger party An enduring change in the party coalitions, which works to the lasting advantage of the dominant party RARE Civil War realignment Republicans replaced Democrats as the nation’s majority party Rep. dominated the larger and more populous North Democratic party left with a stronghold in “Solid South”
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This note was uploaded on 03/31/2008 for the course POLI 100 taught by Professor Rabinowitz during the Fall '07 term at UNC.

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Chapter 8 - Chapter 8 Political Parties Candidates and...

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