pos cht 8 - Chapter Eight Political Parties Candidates and...

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Chapter Eight Political Parties, Candidates, and Campaigns: Defining the Voter’s Choice Chapter Outline I. Party Competition and Majority Rule: The History of U.S. Parties A. The First Parties B. Andrew Jackson and Grassroots Parties C. Republicans Versus Democrats: Realignments and the Enduring Party System D. Today’s Party Alignment and Its Origins E. Parties and the Vote II. Electoral and Party Systems A. The Single-Member-District System of Election B. Policies and Coalitions in the Two-Party System 1. Seeking the Center 2. Party Coalitions C. Minor (Third) Parties III. Party Organizations A. The Weakening of Party Organizations B. The Structure and Role of Party Organizations 1. Local Party Organizations 2. State Party Organizations 3. National Party Organizations i. Structure of the National Parties ii. Money and the National Parties IV. The Candidate-Centered Campaign A. Campaign Funds: The Money Chase B. Organization and Strategy: Hired Guns C. Voter Contacts: Pitched Battle 1. Air Wars 2. Ground Wars 3. Web Wars V. Parties, Candidates, and the Public’s Influence Chapter Summary Political parties serve to link the general public with its elected leaders and to organize political conflict. In the United States, this linkage is provided by a two-party system; only the Democratic and Republican parties have any chance of winning numeric control of government. The first political parties were organized by Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson and later evolved through Andrew Jackson’s grass-roots framework and then Abraham Lincoln’s Republican party emerged. Since that time, the Democrats and Republicans have monopolized the system, alternating through victory and defeat. SG – 8 | 1
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Most other democracies have a multiparty system. The fact that the United States has only two major parties is explained by several factors; an electoral system—characterized by single- member districts—that makes it difficult for third parties to compete for power; each party’s willingness to accept political leaders of differing views; and a political culture that stresses compromise and negotiation rather than ideological rigidity. America’s two major parties are also maintained by laws and customs that support their domination of elections. Minor political parties (there have been more than a thousand in the nation’s history) have mainly been short- lived, although they have been responsible for raising issues that have been neglected by major parties. Minor parties can be classified as single-issue (e.g., the Prohibition Party), ideological (e.g., the Libertarians), reform (e.g., the Progressive Party), and factional (e.g., Theodore Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Party in 1912). A realignment occurs when new and powerful issues emerge and disrupt the normal pattern of party politics. Realigning, or critical elections, offer voters the opportunity to have a large and lasting impact on national public policy. In responding to these issues and then by endorsing the
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