Political Science The American Presidency Notes

Political Science The American Presidency Notes - Political...

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Political Science 108-The American Presidency 9/2/08 Consequences of the Electoral College 1.Winner of the popular vote can lose the E.C. vote. 2. Winner take all aspect of the EC is extremely bad for 3 rd parties. 3. Creates battleground states. -there are fewer now than there has been in the past -once it becomes clear which states are battle-ground, there is little incentive to spend money & time in states that aren’t battleground. These consequences makes the presidential election largely undemocratic. In the real world, conservatives misuse the word ‘liberal’ in a very serious way. There is an assumption that you are either a liberal or a conservative. Once you start asking the real questions, like “what do you think of tax cuts to oil companies,” “should everyone have healthcare” etc—the lower income white people are more socially conservative. Upper income is more liberal on social issues (like abortion and gay rights right now). The question for the politician is what do you do when the suburban voters are liberal on social and conservative on fiscal and lower income are the opposite. If democrats campaign only on economic issues, they will lose votes in the Arlingtons—where people are more wealthy but socially liberal. If economics and taken off the table—voters will only vote on social issues. McCain is trying to use Palin to make social issues the main focus-not economic issues. In the beginning, when there were equal numbers of northern and southern states, there was always a northerner and southerner on the ticket so that neither region had to worry that something would come out. If the northerner was president, then he had the power to veto anything out of congress and the VP could veto things in the Senate since it was split evenly there. Palin and Biden as VP choices do not coincide with Down’s model. They do not balance the ticket in terms of going to the middle. 9/4/08 Political Science 108-The American Presidency Down’s model—there is a spectrum—usually economic, and the distribution of the population is an even distribution---like a bell curve. Where the top of the bell is different in the 1920s than it was in the 1930s. The center now is to the left of where it was in 2004. Its not a permanent bell curve—it may shift. Obama is playing a perfect Downs game—McCain is emphasizing the base and is violating the Downs model. The first obvious problem with Downs is that there is no obvious thing called a simple party. The question is whether the party nominated candidates who play the Downs game. Does the nominating process distort who ends up slightly to the opposite side of
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their party’s base so to get the independents? The dems have moved from the left side to the right--? Downs assume that the parties are going to nominate the optimal placement. The only contested primary that really mattered was Iowa, New Hampshire, Wisconsin,
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This note was uploaded on 02/23/2012 for the course POSI 1310 taught by Professor Arnold during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.

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Political Science The American Presidency Notes - Political...

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