Exam 2 Study Guide(17 pages)
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Exam 2 Study Guide
- Study Guide
- Texas A&M University
- Pols 207 - State & Local Goverment
Unformatted text preview:
POLS 207 1st Edition Exam 2 Study Guide: Lectures 8 - 14 Lecture 8 POLITICAL PARTIES Political Parties In a Nutshell: 3 Dimensions of Political Parties o 1) Party in the Government = all elected officials who identify with a party o 2) Party in the Electorate = all voters and supporters of a party o 3) Party as an Organization = the employees who work to further the cause of the party The Responsible Party Model o 1) Parties should present clear policy choices and platforms to voters o 2) Voters should choose candidates based on the party policy and platform o 3) Parties thus should recruit candidates who agree with the party platform o 4) Parties should organize and direct candidate campaigns o 5) The winning party and candidate should carry out the platform once in office Factors that weakened party control in the US o 1) Politics are more candidate centered due to reliance on mass media o 2) Decreased party identification, Increased number of independent voters Rise of split ticket voting = pick different parties on voting day Decline of straight ticket voting = vote completely for one party o 3) Candidates are now chosen through primaries by voters instead of party leaders at conventions o 4) Less patronage, Greater use of merit system Patronage = winning party rewards supporters with jobs Merit System = handing jobs out based on education, experience, skills, etc. o 5) Candidates can get support from PACs & Interest Groups rather than just parties Big Flaws in the Responsible Party Model o 1) Parties do not present clear policy choices when trying to appeal to majority of voters o 2) Most voters do not vote based on platforms & issues, but based on the candidate o 3) Parties cannot discipline their members in legislative votes because legislators just need primary votes to get reelected Party Competition in the States o Unimodal distribution = when majority of voters are in the middle between liberal and conservative, so parties try to be more moderate to appeal to most voters Parties have little impact on public policy o Bimodal distribution = two peaks of voters, one peak more liberal and one more conservative, so greater distance between the two parties because they are appealing to different peaks Parties have a greater impact on public policy since voters are looking for different policy Role of Party Organizations in the States o Political Parties are actually decentralized organizations – exist at state & local level Instead of 2 large parties, it is more like 50 state party organizations o Both parties do hold a national convention every 4 years to select presidential candidate Functions of State Party Elections Structuring Elections – help narrow candidate choices Candidate Recruitment – political parties help encourage leaders to run for office o Contested races = more than 1 party ...
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