Political Parties, Interest Groups Part II

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Political Parties, Interest Groups Part II

Finishing political parties and moving on to look at interest groups and how they function to influence government.

Lecture number:
Lecture Note
Texas A&M University
Pols 207 - State & Local Goverment

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POLS 207 1st Edition Lecture 15 Outline of Last Lecture I. Political Parties introduction Outline of Current Lecture II. Why are the US parties so similar? III. Primary Elections IV. Responsible Party System V. Is the party over? VI. Political Party Competition VII. Interest Groups Current Lecture Why are U.S. Parties so similar?  Most people are on the center – then the rest are either on the left or right.  Politicians gravitate to the center in order to win votes.  Centrist voters are key.  During the primaries, however, politicians move to extreme views because strong Republicans are the ones who vote in primaries – not centrists.  Mitt Romney in 2012 didn’t have enough time to gravitate back towards the center and lost out.   Primary Elections  Closed o Only registered partisans can vote. Dems vote in Dem primary and Rep in Rep primary.  Open o Anyone can vote – but you can only vote in one of the two primaries. o Leads to strategic voting – A Rep will vote in the Dem primary for a bad candidate to try and affect the vote.  Not enough of these to make a difference.  Mixed o Registered Independents can choose to vote in one primary. o Some are open and some are closed.  Top two o Take the top two who had the most amount of votes. Louisiana – No primary Responsible Party System  America is NOT.  American political parties are not “responsible parties” – that is, they cannot completely control nominations, campaign financing, or party members’ adherence to the party platform.  No clear policy consequences.  Because you have to adhere to the party platform.   Is the party over?  Decline in party attachments  Primary elections – weakened parties

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