PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS by b83N142

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									PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTIONS

    Nomination Process
   and General Election
NOMINATION PROCESS
The (Traditional)
Caucus/Convention Method
1830s-1910s
• Initiated during Jacksonian Era
• Multiple layers of caucuses electing
  delegates
• Culminating in national convention,
  which selects nominee
• Delegates formally uncommitted,
  many actually controlled by party
  bosses
• Convention would actually decide
  nominee; sometimes multiple
  ballots
• Old-style presidential campaigns
NOMINATION PROCESS
The “Mixed” Method
1910s-1968
• How Progressives’ “Ideal”
  Primary would work
• Methods by party bosses to
  subvert primary
  a.) “beauty contest” primary
• b.) “blind” primary
• c.) “favorite son” and “stalking
  horse” candidates
NOMINATION PROCESS
The “Mixed” Method cont’d
• Percentage of national convention
  delegates selected thru primaries
• 1912 Dem 32.9, Rep 41.7
• 1916 Dem 53.5, Rep 58.9
• 1924 Dem 35.5, Rep 45.3
• 1948 Dem 36.3, Rep 36.0
• 1960 Dem 38.3, Rep 38.6
• 1968 Dem 40.2, Rep 38.1
• 1972 Dem 65.3, Rep 56.8
• 1992 Dem 66.9, Rep 83.9
NOMINATION PROCESS
1968-1972 the big reforms
• 1968: LBJ withdraws, RFK and Eugene
  McCarthy win primaries, HHH wins
  nomination, protests
• 1968-1972: McGovern-Fraser Commission
  recommends democratized caucuses:
  open, public, timely, w/clear rules,
  affirmative action, encouraging delegates
  to state candidate preferences
• Unintended result: many states switched
  to primary for presidential elections
• What if states didn’t comply? – Cousins v.
  Wigoda, 1975
NOMINATION PROCESS:
THE ERA OF ENDLESS
REFORM (1972-present)
• 1972: McGovern victory followed by catastrophic
  general election loss
• 1976: Unknown Carter parlays early “victory” in
  Iowa to nomination, using “Big Mo”
• EARLY CRITIQUES OF NEW SYSTEM
• a.) excluded party bosses
• b.) voters too extreme and/or not sufficiently
  informed (“momentum” too important)
• c.) too long and divisive
• d.) Iowa and NH too important
• e.) too many, or too few, candidates (depending on
  who you ask)
• ---the issue of proportionality
NOMINATION PROCESS:
THE ERA OF ENDLESS
REFORM (1972-present)
IMPACT OF CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORMS
1.) Federal matching funds in primaries (how
  to qualify), coupled with overall and state-
  by-state spending limits
2.) Big Federal subsidies for convention and
  general election campaign, coupled with
  spending limits
Do proportionality and $$ encourage
  “nuisance” candidates to stay in the race?
Candidates (Bush, Kerry) increasingly
  “opting out” of some or all Fed. funding
NOMINATION PROCESS:
THE ERA OF ENDLESS
REFORM (1972-present)
• COUNTER-REFORMS OF THE 1980s
  (Democrats)
• a.) “superdelegates”---to bring Dem.
  Officeholders back
• b.) “Super Tuesday”-----to shorten
  the process and incr.
• Southern importance
• c.) Democrats back and forth on
  proportionality: GOP tends to
  reward primary winners more
NOMINATION PROCESS:
THE ERA OF ENDLESS
REFORM (1972-present)
• MOST RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
• More and more frontloading
• % of delegates selected by the 7th
  week of the primary/caucus season
• 1972 D 17%, R 17%
• 1980 D 43%, R 37%
• 1992 D 43%, R 46%
• 1996 D 74%, R 77%
• 2000 D 65%, R 68%
NOMINATION PROCESS:
THE ERA OF ENDLESS
REFORM (1972-present
• Front-loading continued
• Dates on which winning candidates clinched
  nominations
• 1972 Democrat July 11th (during convention)
• 1976 Democrat June 24th, Republican August 16th
  (during convention)
• 1980 Democrat June 3rd, Republican May 24th
• 1984 Democrat June 6th
• 1988 Democrat June 7th, Republican April 26th
• 1992 Democrat June 2nd, Republican May 5th
• 1996 Republican March 26th
• 2000 Democrat and Republican, March 14
• 2004 Democrat March 13
• 2008 Democrat June 3, Republican March 5th
NOMINATION PROCESS:
THE ERA OF ENDLESS
REFORM (1972-present)
• Possible Effects of Frontloading
• 1.) Quality and quantity of voter
  information bad
• 2.) Candidates forced to drop out before
  becoming known
• 3.) “Invisible primary” and media
  interpretation more important
• 4.) Multiple races on each day means
  “tarmac” campaigning
• 5.) Locking in early front runner
• 6.) Long interregnum period
• --bad news for candidates dependent on
  Federal funds
PROPOSED REFORMS TO
NOMINATION PROCESS

•   COMPREHENSIVE
•   1.) National primary
•   2.) Regional primary
•   3.) Delaware plan (small states first)
•   4.) Reversing order of convention,
    primaries
GENERAL ELECTION:
Criticisms of Electoral
College
• 1.) The “faithless elector” problem
• 2.) The “wrong winner” problem---
• Happened only in 1824, 1888, and 2000
  (1876 was a different story)
• 3.) Distorts candidate decisions of where
  and how to campaign
•   Following 18 states got no visits from pres. Candidates in
    2000:
•   WY, AK, VT, ND, SD, MT, RI, ID, HI, NE, UT, KS, MS, OK,
    CT, CO, SC, VA
•   Following 10 states got double-digit visits from pres.
    Candidates:
•   IA, TN, WI, MO, MI, OH, IL, PA, FL, CA
•   NY only got 7, GA only 6, TX only 3
GENERAL ELECTION: C
Criticisms of EC continued
• 4.) The turnout problem (may
  affect other races?)
• 5.) The discouraging third party
  problem (related to the negative
  campaigning problem and the
  narrow ideology problem)
ELECTORAL COLLEGE:
Alternatives?
• 1.) Eliminate winner take all
  ---congressional district plan
• ---proportional plan
• 2.) Direct election
• ---how to determine winner?
• ---plurality? Runoff? Instant
  runoff?
TRANSITIONS

• Arguments for and against
  bringing campaign veterans into
  governing team
 FOR: passion, loyalty, intimate
 knowledge of new pres., sense of
 public mandate
 AGAINST: combat mentality,
 arrogance, distance from DC, lack of
 technical expertise
TRANSITIONS

• What will need to be done first
  1.) Appointments to WHO, EOP,
  and Cabinet
  2.) Get them confirmed
  3.) Own budget for new FY
  4.) Joint session
  speech/proposals
  5.) National security handoff
TRANSITIONS

• Collective wisdom from
  transition veterans:
  1.) Fill WH staff first, even though media
  likes Cabinet better
  2.) Don’t commit to staff cuts
  3.) Even though anything can happen, set
  1st year priorities and focus appts.
  Accordingly
• 4.) The dangers of “friendly” transitions
  5.) Listen to the outgoing folks, even
  though you think they hate you and they’re
  stupid!

								
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