POLS Chapter 9 - Ch 9 Nominations and Campaigns Politics in...

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Ch 9: Nominations and Campaigns - Politics in Action o Anthony King argues that American politicians do little governing because they are always running scared in today’s perpetual campaign. The campaign process does not allow politicians the luxury of trying out solutions that might be initially unpopular but would work well in the future. Politicians are usually too concerned with the next election to risk fundamental change. o Campaigns in American politics can be divided into two stages: first, nominations and second, campaigns between two nominees. - The nomination game o A nomination is a party’s official endorsement of a candidate for office. Success in the nomination game usually requires money, media attention and momentum. Campaign strategy: the way in which candidates attempt to manipulate each of the elements to achieve the nomination. o Deciding to Run In most countries, campaigns last no more than two months according to either custom or law. In America, a presidential candidacy needs to be announced or an open secret at least a year before the election. o Competing for Delegates The goal of the nomination game is to win the majority of delegates’ support at the national party convention -the supreme power within each party. From February to June of each election year, the state parties busily choose their delegates to the national convention via caucuses or primaries. Candidates try to ensure that delegates committed to them are chosen. The Caucus Road Before primaries existed, all state parties selected their delegates to the national convention in a meeting of state parties called a caucus. Now caucuses are different. They are now open to all voters who are registered with the party. Pyramid organization: Small caucuses are held initially where delegates are chosen to attend county caucuses. Then in congressional district caucuses delegates are chosen to the state convention. At the state convention, delegates are chosen to go to the national convention. Iowa has held the first caucus since 1972. It is the first test of the candidates’ vote-getting ability so it becomes a full-blown media extravaganza. The Iowa caucus winnows down the number of viable candidates for the primaries to come. The Primary Road Most of the delegates to the national conventions are selected in presidential primaries in which voters go to the polls and vote for a candidate or delegates pledged to that candidate.
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The primary was promoted around the turn of the century by reformers who wanted to take nominations out of the hands of party bosses. The increase in # of primaries occurred after the Democratic Party’s disastrous 1968 national convention where Demonstrators against the war in Southeast Asia battled Chicago police. Result: committee of inquiry. o
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POLS Chapter 9 - Ch 9 Nominations and Campaigns Politics in...

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