elections

elections - Voting Campaigns and Elections ...

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Unformatted text preview: 10/18/11 Voting, Campaigns, and Elections Campaigns and Elections •  We have elec1ons at many different levels – federal, state, and local. •  Some are par1san, some aren’t. Georgia judges, for example, are non- par1san. The county coroner. •  “I wouldn’t vote for him for dogcatcher.” •  You wouldn’t want a dogcatcher who only went aLer Republican dogs! Chapter 11 The Logic of Elections •  We func1on under a republican system of government. That is, we have a representa1ve democracy instead of a direct democracy. •  The sheer size of the USA makes direct democracy nearly impossible. •  There would be collec1ve ac1on problems galore! •  Coordina1on between so many people for one. •  But representa1ve democracy has its own problems. Principal agents problems are a big one, as are free riding and coordina1on problems of a different sort. The Logic of Elections •  Madison believed that regular, compe11ve elec1ons would control the problems of fac1on and check the power of all elected officials. •  Elec1ons therefore have mul1ple goals: •  To give ci1zens a say in the opera1on of government. •  To keep officeholders responsive to their cons1tuents. •  To give especially interested members of the public reason to provide informa1on to other, less informed members of the public. 1 10/18/11 History of the Vote •  Of course not just anyone could vote, and the restric1ons at first were more far- ranging than you might think: Catholics, Jews, blacks whether free or slave, non- property holders and women were all denied the vote. •  Only about half of free adult males could vote around the 1me of the Cons1tu1on. Who Votes? •  Just old people. History of the Vote •  In the wake of the revolu1on, men who fought in the war felt en1tled to the vote. Universal suffrage for the white male was not really obtained un1l the 1840s. •  It took much longer for everyone else… •  Many did not want women to vote for fear that it would lead to extension of the vote to black Americans as well. •  Women got the vote in 1920 with the 19th amendment. •  The Vo1ng Rights Act of 1965 finally made vo1ng rights universal, extending suffrage to black Americans. •  The 26th amendment lowered the vo1ng age to 18. Who Votes? •  Just kidding. •  Lots of different factors affect turnout! Age, sex, wealth, religion, region of the country, the weather, etc… etc… •  We dis1nguish between those who are registered and those who turnout to vote. •  We might first ask, why do people vote? Your vote probably doesn’t mafer. Except when it does. But people seem to like par1cipa1ng. And of course, there is more to it than vo1ng: volunteering, giving money, and other ac1vi1es can make an impact. •  It helps to have free 1me. •  •  •  •  2 10/18/11 Who Votes? Who Votes? •  So who you are affects whether or not you vote. For example… Who Votes? Who Votes? 3 10/18/11 Who Votes? Who Votes? Who Votes? Who Votes? 4 10/18/11 Who Votes? •  Because of the previous slide, voter registra1on laws are very conten1ous. •  Both Republicans and Democrats believe that higher turnout will generally help Democrats. •  This may or may not be true. •  Motor voter laws, student registra1on laws, same day registra1on laws, registra1on laws for former felons and so forth are frequent poli1cal footballs. Who Votes? Same Day Voter Registration •  asdf 5 10/18/11 "Over the past five years or so, have you done any of the following things to express your views about something the government should or should not be doing? ... Who Votes? Spain Japan •  Generally, turnout is low rela1ve to others na1ons. •  But Americans do par1cipate in the poli1cal process. Worked with others who shared same concern Poland Portugal Contacted politicians or government officials Czech Rep. Belgium Mexico France Switzerland Germany Sweden Netherlands Norway Finland Denmark New Zealand Ireland Australia United States Great Britain Canada 0 Current Events 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 How do Voters Decide? •  Acquiring the informa1on necessary to make a truly informed decision can take a great deal of effort. •  Quick: what are Paul Broun’s views on abor1on? •  How did you know? •  Most voters use cues as cogni1ve shortcuts and rely heavily on informa1on delivered to them by the media, in campaign adver1sing, and from their own experience. 6 10/18/11 How do Voters Decide? •  Voters may engage in retrospec1ve vo1ng, which is to say that they look at a party’s or candidate’s performance in the past to make their decision. •  Others may engage in prospec1ve vo1ng. They think about which candidate is likely to enact policies that will benefit them or that they prefer. •  Some voters are single issue voters. How do Voters Decide? •  The single most important informa1on shortcut voters use to make predic1ons is party label. •  Party iden1fica1on is the best single predictor of the vote in federal elec1ons. How do Voters Decide? •  Voters oLen make judgments based on the candidates’ personal characteris1cs. •  Competence, experience, honesty, knowledge, leadership skills, looks. Campaigns •  A good campaign manager knows that voters rely on low cost informa1on and cogni1ve shortcuts, and they devise strategies for winning votes accordingly. •  Campaigns are pragma1c and opportunis1c. They must adapt quickly to new developments. •  They tend to vary a lot, but some features are common to all campaigns. 7 10/18/11 Campaigns •  The basic necessi1es are a candidate, a message, and a way to inform voters about both. •  A candidate needs to be portrayed as sufficiently qualified and trustworthy for the job. •  This is a difficult posi1on to achieve, and many are loathe to compete unless they have very good chances of success. •  It’s expensive to lose. Informing Voters •  •  •  •  Ads are used to inform voters. Biographical: Inform voters about qualifica1ons. Fear: convince voters you will keep them safe. Nega1ve: show that the opponent is no good. The Challenge of the Image •  Acquiring and maintaining a public image appropriate to the office sought is a par1cular challenge for presiden1al candidates. The media likes to pick on the frontrunners. •  Debates: during a debate, candidates need to meet the expecta1ons of the media and the public in order to maintain an image of being prepared to be president. Informing Voters •  Voters claim to hate it when candidates go nega1ve, but it appears to be extremely effec1ve. •  SwiLboa1ng •  Willie Horton •  Consequently, going nega1ve is prefy common. Candidates employ ‘rapid response’ teams to try to squelch or defuse afacks. 8 10/18/11 Successful Campaigns •  Remember that the goal is to win a majority of votes, not every vote. Poli1cians need to figure out where their 1me is spent best. •  Find out who is certain to support the candidate (get them to turn out), who is up for grabs (convince them) and who is certain to vote against the candidate (get them not to turn out?) •  The campaign is designed to appeal to the first two groups. Campaign Money •  Contributors tend to favor likely winners. •  The Supreme Court has generally ruled that the 1st amendment guarantees the right to spend money to support the candidate of your choosing. Most recently it invalidated parts of the McCain- Feingold campaign finance reform bill in Ci1zens United v. FEC. •  Does money win elec1ons? Not by itself… but it definitely helps. Successful Campaigns •  Another necessity: money. •  A good candidate and a good message are not enough. Without money, the voters don’t see the candidate or hear the message. •  Candidates for na1onal office tap four basic sources for funds: •  •  •  •  Individuals Poli1cal Ac1on Commifees Their own pocketbooks Party organiza1ons Campaign Money •  How money is spent depends on the candidate’s electoral strategy. What regions of his district does he think he can win? •  A presiden1al candidate needs to think about the electoral college. What are the important states? •  Remember a president needs 270 electoral votes. Concentrate on: •  Compe11ve states •  Large states •  We never see campaign ads in Georgia! 9 10/18/11 Campaign Money •  The average House campaign in 2006 cost $950,000. The average Senate campaign in 2006 cost $7.9 million. •  In 2012, total expenditures on the presiden1al race will top $1 billion and could approach 2. •  Ul1mately, money can’t subs1tute for the other things that a campaign needs to do effec1vely. •  Direct contact is very effec1ve. •  But gets harder as the geographic area gets bigger. Think about the congressional district vs. the presidency. Campaign Money •  In 2008, Obama spent $745 million. •  McCain spent $370 million. •  Most of this money goes to funding commercials and other media efforts. •  The rest goes to campaign administra1on and campaign event funding. Campaign Money •  Should campaign spending be reformed? •  Tell that to the Supreme Court. •  People have suggested: •  Spending ceilings •  Limi1ng dona1ons and elimina1ng PACs •  Public funding •  The barrier is the first amendment. 10 ...
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This note was uploaded on 01/10/2012 for the course MIST 3000 taught by Professor Kim during the Fall '11 term at UGA.

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