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attaches is the journal instructions and the chapters as well as a link to a video that will help you with this

paper. Also, I am attaching a discussion from the beginning of the course which will help you with this paper. here is the link to the video: https://fod.infobase.com/OnDemandEmbed.aspx?Token=58628&aid=18596&Plt=FOD&loid=0&w=640&h=480&ref=

10 Elections and Public Opinion Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Thinkstock Learning Objectives By the end of this chapter, you should be able to • Describe the purpose and functions of elections in the United States. • Analyze the relationship among elections, participation, and the democratic process. • Distinguish between types of elections and analyze the circumstances surrounding realigning elections. • Analyze the role of public opinion in elections. © 2016 Bridgepoint Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution.
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Section 10.1 Purpose of Elections In the 1994 midterm election, the Democrats lost control of the U.S. House of Representatives to the Republicans for the first time in 40 years. Republicans picked up 54 seats in the House; they also took control of the U.S. Senate as well as many state governorships. Pundits viewed this as a defeat for President Bill Clinton and were quick to say that the election represented a rejection of his efforts to bring about health care reform. Others claimed it was due to the inability of the Democrat-controlled Congress to accomplish anything substantive, including health care reform. Still others interpreted the change as a sign that the people had changed their party loyalties. Not only were people voting for Republican candidates, but they were increasingly identifying as Republicans. The 1994 election was indeed significant. Republi- cans would control the House of Representatives until the 2006 midterm election, and they would control the Senate until 2001. In this chapter, we explore this and other elections in the context of their time and what they tell us about the contemporary American population. We also examine the role that elections generally play in the American political process. Elections are more than a matter of choosing individuals to govern. Elections tell us about what the people think is important, and they say something about the political values of a nation. Through elections, the people participate in the democratic process and hold public officials in constitutional government accountable. But the shifting winds of public opinion can also lead to unpredictable results. 10.1 Purpose of Elections The United States uses elections to choose its leaders. Voting is the most basic form of political participation and is assumed to be a basic right in a democracy. However, elections are impor- tant for other reasons as well. In the United States, elections serve three basic functions: 1. They provide an essen- tial basis for democratic expression. 2. They provide for a peaceful transfer of power. 3. They allow citizens, as a political community, to offer their tacit acceptance of the American constitu- tional tradition. By vot- ing, citizens reaffirm their commitment to the social contract that the Constitu- tion represents. Democratic Expression People express themselves in a democracy by casting ballots either in person or by mail. Cast- ing a vote allows them to express their preferences, which is an extension of human agency. When people vote for candidates who currently hold office, they affirm their support for the Stock Connection/SuperStock Through elections, American voters offer their tacit acceptance of the constitutional tradition. Elections also provide for the peaceful transfer of power and are the basis of democratic expression. © 2016 Bridgepoint Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution.
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