AP UNIT 4: POLITICAL PARTIES, INTEREST GROUPS, &

AP UNIT 4: POLITICAL PARTIES, INTEREST GROUPS, &

AP UNIT 4: POLITICAL PARTIES, INTEREST GROUPS, & ELECTIONS PART I: POLITICAL PARTIES (chp12) Political Party: A team of men [and women] seeking to

control the governing apparatus by gaining office in a duly constituted election Parties can be thought of in three parts: Party in the electorate Party as an organization Party in government

The Meaning of Party The Meaning of Party Tasks of the Parties Linkage Institution: the channels through which peoples concerns become political issues on the governments policy agenda.

Parties Pick Candidates Parties Run Campaigns Parties Give Cues to Voters Parties Articulate Policies

Parties Coordinate Policymaking The Meaning of Party Parties, Voters, and Policy: The Downs Model Rational-choice theory Assumes that individuals act in their own best interest, weighing the costs and benefits of possible alternatives. Anthony Downs tells us the decision to vote is a function of 4 factors: Probability of affecting the outcome (P), the benefits of your candidate or party

winning (B), the costs of voting (C) and the value of Democracy (D): Downs Model Voters maximize chances that policies they favor are adopted by government. Parties want to win elected office. The Meaning of Party

The Party in the Electorate Party image A voters perception of what Republicans or Democrats stand for. Party identification A citizens self-proclaimed preference for one party or the other. Republican, Democrat, or Independent

The Party in the Electorate Ticket-splitting Voting with one party for one office and with another party for other offices Independents are most likely to split tickets. No state or race is completely safe due to split tickets. The Party in the Electorate

The Party Organizations: From the Grass Roots to Washington These are the people that work for the party. Local Parties Party Machines: a type of political party organization that relies heavily on material inducements to win votes and to govern. Patronage: a job, promotion or contract given for political reasons rather than merit; used by party machines.

Due to progressive reforms, urban party organizations are generally weak. Revitalization of party organization at county level. The Party Organizations: From the Grass Roots to Washington The 50 State Party Systems Closed primaries: Only people who have registered with the party can vote for that partys candidates. Open primaries: Voters decide on Election Day whether they want to vote in the Democrat or Republican primary.

Blanket primaries: Voters are presented with a list of candidates from all parties. State parties are better organized in terms of headquarters and budgets than they used to be. Florida has a Closed Primary system, independents cant vote The Party Organizations: From the Grass Roots to Washington

The National Party Organizations National Convention: the meeting of party delegates every four years to choose a presidential ticket and the partys platform National Committee: one of the institutions that keeps the party operating between conventions(made up of state and national party leaders National Chairperson: responsible for day-to-day

activities of the party(Chief Strategist) fund raising/party unity/recruiting voters and candidates The Party in Government: Promises and Policy Party members elected to government. Which party controls government has policy consequences Coalition: a group of individuals with a common interest upon which every political party depends. Parties and politicians generally act on their campaign

promises. The Party in Government: Promises and Policy Party Eras in American History Party Eras Historical periods in which a majority of votes cling to the party in power, until the next wave.

Critical Election An electoral earthquake where new issues and new coalitions emerge Party Realignment The displacement of the majority party by the minority party, usually during a critical election Party Eras in American History

1796-1824: The First Party System Madison warned of factions Federalists: first political party. 1st Party Era - 1828-1856: Jackson and the Democrats Versus the Whigs Dem dominate Pres and Congress Modern party founded by Jackson. Whigs formed mainly to oppose Jacksonian

Democrats. Party Eras in American History 2nd Party Era - 1860-1928: The Two Republican Eras- Rep Era Republicans rose as the antislavery party 1896 election centered on industrialization 3rd Party Era - 1932-1964: The New Deal Coalition

Dem Era New Deal coalition: forged by the Democrats; consisted of urban working class, ethnic groups, Catholics, Jews, the poor, Southerners Party Eras in American History 4th Party Era - 1968-Present: The Era of Divided Party Govt Divided government: one party controls Congress and

the other controls White House Divided government due in part to: Party dealignment: disengagement of people from parties as evidenced by shrinking party identification. Party neutrality: people are indifferent towards the two parties. Party Eras in American History Party Eras in American History

Party Eras in American History Third Parties: Their Impact on American Politics Third parties: electoral contenders other than the two parties; rarely win elections. Third parties are important. Are safety valves for popular discontent

Bring new groups and ideas into politics Two-party system Discourages extreme views Contributes to political ambiguity Third Parties: Their Impact on American Politics Multiparty Systems in Other Countries Winner-take-all system:

legislative seats awarded only to first place finishers = U.S. Proportional Representation: legislative seats awarded based on votes received by the party - more votes, more seats = European Coalition Government: two or more parties join to form a majority in a national

legislature Barriers to Third Parties 1. Winner-take-all system winning isnt everything, its the only thing. Vince Lombardi 2. Electoral College System must win majority of the public

vote, must do it in states that allow them to win enough electoral votes. (270) Political Party Affiliation by State Understanding Political Parties Democracy and Responsible Party Government

Responsible Party Model 1. Parties have distinct comprehensive programs. 2. Candidates are committed to the program. 3. The majority party must carry out its program. 4. The majority party must accept responsibility. American political parties fall short of these conditions. No mechanism for party discipline American Political Parties and the Scope of Government Lack of uniformity keeps government small

Big programs like Health Care (1994) fail. But also makes cutting government programs difficult Individuals focus on getting more from government for their own constituents. Understanding Political Parties Understanding Political Parties

Is the Party Over? Political parties are no longer main source of information for voters; media are. Yet parties will play an important but diminished role in American politics. State and national party organizations have become more visible and active. Majority of people still identify with a party. Parties are a pervasive linkage institution in American

politics. Party in electorate, government, and as organization America has a two-party system. The decentralized nature of political parties makes major change difficult and encourages individualism in politics. Summary

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