U.S_Political_Parties - U.S. Political Parties D. Jason...

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U.S. Political Parties D. Jason Berggren University of Georgia Spring 2008
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What is a Political Party? • It is fundamentally an electoral organization • field and finance candidates • educate and mobilize voters • win elections
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Party-in-the-Electorate ‘96 ‘00 ‘04 Democrats (37%) 84% 86% 89% Liberals (21%) 78% 80% 86% Women (54%) 54% 54% 52% African Americans (11%) 84% 90% 89% Hispanics (9%) 72% 62% 55% Jewish Americans (3%) 78% 79% 76% Northeast (22%) 55% 56% 56% Union Household (24%) 59% 59% 60% 18-29 (17%) 53% 48% 54%
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Party-in-the-Electorate ‘96 ‘00 ‘04 Republicans (37%) 80% 91% 93% Conservatives (33%) 71% 81% 83% Men (46%) 44% 53% 54% White Americans (77%) 46% 54% 57% White Protestants (53%) 53% 56% 58% Evangelicals (22%) 65% 80% 77% South (31%) 46% 55% 58% Married (63%) 46% 53% 56% 30-44 (28%) 41% 49% 51%
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What is a Political Party? • provides voters a shortcut to voting, a lens to interpret events • organizing government, a ready-made coalition for governing • implement party programs • if lose, be the loyal opposition
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American Political Parties • Comparatively & historically weak, undisciplined, decentralized, “big-tent”, confederated • anyone can be a member • anyone can run for office under Republican or Democratic label • party loyalty enforcement problem • candidates accountable to voters not the party • 2006--Case of Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman
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Authorization of Force Against Iraq 215 Needed for Passage House 296 133 69.0% House Republicans 215 6 97.3% House Democrats 81 127 38.9% Southern Democrats 32 21 60.4% NonSouth Democrats 49 106 31.6% October 10, 2002, Roll Call 455
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Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act 212 Needed for Passage House 281 142 66.4% House Republicans 218 4 98.2% House Democrats 63 138 31.3% Southern Democrats 31 26 54.4% NonSouth Democrats 32 112 22.2% October 2, 2003, Conference Report, Roll Call 530
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The Normalcy of Divided Government • For 40 years, Divided government has been the norm in American politics – Presidency--Republican (R-1) – Senate--Democratic (D 51-49; 49-49-2) – House--Democratic (D 233-202) • 1967-2007: Years of Unified Government – 1967-1969 – 1977-1981 – 1993-1995 – 2001 (6 months) – 2003-2007
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The Normalcy of Divided Government • In periods of divided government, who’s responsible for successes? Failures? • Who can the voters reward? Who can they hold accountable? • The Republican President or the Democratic Congress?
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The Two-Party System in the U.S. • It is the oldest in the world • quickly, first two-party system emerged in the 1790s • first as cadre parties; parties of “internal mobilization” • later as mass parties; parties of “external mobilization” • since 1856, its been the Democrats vs. Republicans
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The Democratic Party • Oldest party in the United States and the world • its beginnings were in the 1790s; the party of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, later--Andrew Jackson • dominant party in the antebellum period
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U.S_Political_Parties - U.S. Political Parties D. Jason...

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