AP American Government
Unit 3: Political Culture (1) Public Opinion (5)Parties (7) Elections (8)
Mr. Andrew Conneen email@example.com
Unit 3 Syllabus: .......................................................................... 2
Political Ideology Quiz ............................................................... 2
Ch. 1, Pages 19-24 Assignment: ................................................. 2
David Brooks: One Nation Slightly Divisible ............................ 2
Ch. 5, Pages 143-157 Assignment: ............................................. 2
Born Political Identity ................................................................ 2
Are You My Mother? ................................................................. 2
With Libya's Megalomaniac 'Philosopher-King' .......... 2
Ch. 5, Pages 158-181 Assignment: ............................................. 2
From The Party’s Over ................................................. 2
Ch. 7, Pages 219-239 Assignment: ............................................. 2
The Endless Campaign ................................................. 2
Ch. 7, Pages 239-247 Assignment: ............................................. 2
Ch. 7, Pages 247-253 Assignment: ............................................. 2
Notes--Political Parties: .............................................................. 2
Why Tuesday? .............................................................. 2
Make voting easier. Weekend elections would be a
start ............................................................................... 2
Five myths about turning out the vote .......................... 2
Ch. 8, Pages 257-271 Assignment: ............................................. 3
Unit 3 Syllabus:
Political Culture (1) Public Opinion (5) Parties (7) and
For Monday, September 26: Complete Ideology quiz
In class on Tuesday, 9/27: Bring textbook for Ch.1, pages 19-24 questions; Complete Are you my
Mother? Part 1
For Wednesday, September 28: Read “One Nation, Slightly Divisible” and complete grid
For Friday, 9/30: Watch “So Goes the Nation”
For Monday, 10/3: Ch.5, pages 143-157 questions. Read Libya’s Megalomaniac “Philosopher
For Tuesday, 10/4: Born Political Identity due
For Wednesday, 10/5: Complete 2008 Presidential election data (in class assignment)
For Thursday, 10/6: Ch. 5, Pages 158-181 Assignment
For Tuesday, 10/11: Read “The Party’s Over” Questions + reading quiz
For Wednesday, 10/12: Are you my Mother? Part 2
For Thursday, 10/13: Bring textbook. Complete Ch. 7, Pages 219-239 in class
For Friday, 10/14: Read “The Endless Campaign” Complete Ch. 7, Pages 237-247
For Monday, 10/17: Complete Ch. 7, Pages 247-253
For Tuesday, 10/18: Read “Why Tuesday?” “5 Myths about voting”
For Wednesday, 10/19: Complete Ch. 8, Pages 257-271
For Thursday, 10/20: Complete Ch. 8, Pages 271-299
TKO To Know Objectives
3. PARTICIPATION: Public Opinion, Political Parties and Campaigns/Elections
are either Democrats or Republicans (T.9)
1. Define public opinion. Explain why public Democrat issues: global warming; tax the
policy often differs from public opinion. rich; gay marriage; guest-worker programs
What the public thinks about government and Republican issues: pro business tax policy;
politics (T.1) against gay marriage; stricter immigration
People do not have well-formed opinions on policy (T.13)
most issues (T.3) African Americans most consistent
Typical Americans do not carry around well- DEMOCRATS (MT.1) (MT.4)
formed opinions about all aspects of politics
(T.14) 6. Identify which demographic groups have the
highest voter turnout.
2. Identify the factors that affect the validity of
public opinion polls. Must be 18 to vote (T.40)
Lowest turnout among least educated (T.57)
RANDOM SAMPLE: is a carefully chosen
subgroup from a larger group of people (T.6) 7. Explain the relationship between
Push poll is used to affect, rather than socioeconomic status and participation in
measure, public opinion (T.7) politics.
Mass survey a set of questions asked of a
random sample of people (T.16) The higher ones socioeconomic status, the
greater the probability of active involvement
3. Describe where Americans get their political (MT.6)
values and explain the concept of political
socialization. 8. Evaluate the various forms of political
participation. What are grassroots?
The influence of parents on people’s values
and opinions (T.4) (T.15) People with strong party identification
TRUST in government institutions has volunteer for a party and its candidates (T.26)
dramatically declined since 1950 (T.10) Grassroots involves mobilizing local
Americans tend to dislike government, they supporters; ground game (T.53)
are relatively happy with their Congressman
(T.11) 9. Explain the relationship between increasing
Political Socialization = political values are suffrage rights since and voter turnout.
passed to the next generation (MT.15)
Giving young people, 18-20, the right to vote
4. Define what it means to be a LIBERAL did not translate into high turnout rates
10. Discuss voter turnout patterns in American
No significant increase among liberals, today.
moderates, or conservatives in the last 30
years (T.8) Votes cast by citizens called ‘the popular
5. Identify which demographic groups vote New trend is EARLY VOTING (T.42)
consistently for Democrats and Republicans. College graduates more likely to vote (MT.5)
Young people turn out at lower rates (MT.7)
Most Americans are neither strongly Majority of electorate do not vote (MT.8)
conservative nor strongly liberal (T.2) Men and women vote at about the same rate
There are now more Independents than there (MT.9)
Party Identification is an important influence Family still an important factor but less so.
when voting for President (MT.22)
19. How has the ability of the family to promote a
11. Discuss the type of voters that vote in partisan identification changed in recent
primaries compared to those that vote in years?
Family most important factor but declining
More affluent (MT.10) (MT.16)
12. Explain the significance of ‘split-ticket’ 20. Explain why party identification has declined
voting. in recent years.
Voting for candidates of different parties on Party identification is loyalty that people have
the same ballot (MT.12) to one party (T.25)
13. Define referendum. 21. Explain the effect of attending college on
Determine whether citizens support an action
by their state legislature (MT.13) Vote on an In most cases, a college degree makes one
issue more conservative
14. Define political efficacy. 22. Discuss the affects of cross-cutting cleavages
in public opinion.
Citizens’ belief that their vote matters;
government is responsive to the will of the Issues that split political party coalitions
people (MT.14) (T.20)
15. Identify the most common form of political 23. Explain why voters in the South have become
activity in American politics. progressively less attached to the Democratic
Voting in Presidential elections (MT.20)
Southern Dixiecrats, conservatives who votes
16. Identify which positions (i.e. President, for Democratic candidates, dealigned in the
Supreme Court, Senate, House of Reps) 1960s and joined the Republican Party due to
registered voters directly elect. civil rights issues. States rights was an issue
adopted by Republicans in the 1960s. We
Original Constitution gave voters a direct now talk about the “solid South” for
choice in HOUSE elections only Republican candidates.
President chosen by Electoral College;
Federal judges appointed 24. Explain the significance of the Motor Voter
House and Senate only (MT.21) Bill (1993). Define critical realignments and
explain why they have occurred [also known
17. Discuss differences between elections in the as critical elections].
US and elections in Europe. (i.e. voter
turnout). Motor Voter Bill was passed to address the
difficulty of voter registration; little impact.
Lower than most Western democracies When a large number of people change from
(MT.11) identifying with one political party to
identifying with the other (T.5) (MT.35,36)
18. What percentage of adults adopt the party When issues that divide the political parties
preference of their parents and which partisan change in a way that cuts across existing
identification is most often transferred from political coalitions (T.19)
parent to child? The increase in people who identified as
independents was initially considered as
evidence of dealignment, a more recent
interpretation is that many of these voters do 29. Explain the primary and caucus process, as
have weak partisan attachments (T.27) well as the shift from party control over
candidates to voter control.
25. Define political parties and factions. Be able
to differentiate between parties and interest A primary election is a ballot vote to select a
groups. What did the Founding Fathers think party’s nominee (T.28)
about political parties? What does the Selecting presidential candidates: caucuses,
Constitution say? primaries, nominating conventions (T.29)
Citizens vote for delegates at a national
Political parties are an organization that nominating convention which then selects the
supports candidates for public office and tries candidate (T.30)
to unify elected officials behind common Open primary is an election in which any
goals (T.17) registered voter can participate in selecting a
Parties have brand names that evoke certain party nominee (T.41)
positions or issues (T.21) Closed primary requires registration as a party
Loosely connected groups with similar goals affiliate to vote (MT.32)
(T.23) Increasing importance of presidential
Parties help voters keep the government primaries rather than state conventions
accountable (T.32) (MT.33)
Career politicians motivated by interest in
careers, policy goals, and winning office 30. Discuss the origin and function of party
(T.36) conventions. What is a super delegate?
Party caucus is an organization within
government that meets to discuss party Democrats nominating convention
positions on issues (T.24) proportional; Republicans winner-take-all
Pol. parties seek to gain control of (T.45)
government; interest groups seek to influence Attract attention; develop party platform;
public policy (MT.29) select party’s presidential nomination (T.49)
Voters identifying themselves as either
Democrats or Republicans has been in decline 31. Identify the key functions and purpose of the
(MT.38) party chairman.
26. What are party platforms? Oversee and manage party functions
Written by delegates at national convention; 32. Define party machines and explain their role
party’s objectives; influences party’s brand in a democracy.
Spoils system rewards party supporters with
27. Discuss differences between political parties benefits, like government jobs (T.18)
in the U.S. and Europe. Where would Organization that uses unofficial patronage to
political parties be the most decentralized? secure political power for a group of leaders
and workers (T.22)
U.S. parties are loose coalitions; more Local party organization that is tightly
decentralized disciplined and well staffed and relies on
European parties, in parliamentary systems, patronage to create party loyalty (MT.34)
are more centralized and rigid ideologically
33. Discuss the two-party system. What factors
28. Explain the difference between unified and dissuade third parties from influencing
divided governments. American politics?
Unified government = President and Congress Single-member districts; rules for getting on
from the same political party ballots; lack of clear dissatisfaction (T.35)
Divided government = President and (MT.30)
Congress from different political parties Duverger’s law – only select one official per
Winner-take-all elections (MT.37) 39. Define presidential coattails and their impact
34. What is the difference between a majority and
a plurality? Apply these concepts to U.S. When a popular president generates additional
elections. How do plurality elections and the support for legislative candidates and helps
winner-take-all system influence our two them gain office (T.58)
party system? What is a popular vote?
40. Define incumbency. Assess incumbency rates
Plurality elections mean the candidate with for the House and the Senate.
the most votes wins (T.43) (MT.39)
An open seat is when there is no incumbent
35. Describe the role of third parties in U.S. (T.51)
elections. Incumbency wards off competition; easier to
raise money (T.52)
Examples: Libertarian Party, Reform Party; Incumbent senators are less likely to be
Green Party (T.34) reelected than are incumbent members of the
36. Explain the differences in voters in primary Most important factor in Congressional races
elections versus general elections, as well as (MT.28)
the different approaches that candidates take
to appeal to these voters. Define frontloading. 41. What are the potential problems for
candidates with televised debates?
Critical players – political parties; interest
groups; private consultants (T.44) Verbal slip ups
Super Tuesday = day in February when many
state primaries take place (T.46) 42. Describe the different ways that presidential
Frontloading is the increasingly early and congressional campaigns are funded.
scheduling of primaries and caucuses (T.47)
N.H. (T.48) Federal Election Commission regulates
Frontloading is the tendency of states to elections (T.55)
choose an early date on the primary calendar Hard Money = funds that are subject to clear
(MT.31) limits on how much can be raised but not on
how much is spent (T.56)
37. Identify the elections with the highest voter PACs raise campaign funds to support
turnout. favored candidates; frequently represent
Presidential elections Public monies are used to help finance
Presidential campaigns only (MT.25)
38. Summarize the differences between Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002
presidential and congressional campaigns and (McCain-Feingold) banned soft money
elections. Assess the difference between (MT.26)
normal and nationalized elections.
43. Differentiate between red and blue counties.
In normal elections there are high reelection
rates and local issues are important; in Red = Republican
nationalized elections reelection rates are Blue = Democrat
relatively low and important issues are the
same across legislative districts (T.39)
House determines winner if no candidate wins The following Illinois SEL goals will govern our
a majority in the Electoral College (T.50) classroom:
Key is mobilizing supporters; ground game 1. Develop self-awareness and self-
(T.53) management skills to achieve school and
When behind momentum gained through life success.
attack ads (T.54)
2. Use social-awareness and interpersonal Additionally the following values will be
skills to establish and maintain positive nurtured in all citizens entering this academic
3. Demonstrate decision-making skills and Self Discipline; Compassion; Responsibility;
responsible behaviors in personal, school, Friendship; Work; Courage; Perseverance;
and community contexts. Honesty; Loyalty; Faith
Political Ideology Quiz
(1.) Read the following statements and rate your approval: 0 for strongly disagree; 1 disagree; 2 not sure; 3 agree; 4 strongly agree.
(2.) Add up all of your point totals that you placed next to the odd numbered statements (Liberal).
(3.) Add up all of your point totals that you placed next to the even numbered statements (Conservative).
(4.) What is the difference between the two?
(5.) Place yourself on the political spectrum based on your score.
Liberal Moderate Conservative
1._____ The economy benefits more from tax cuts on working class people.
2._____ If a majority of students agree, a public high school should give students an opportunity to pray during the
3._____ Government spending can help grow the economy more than tax cuts.
4._____ The economy benefits more from tax cuts on the wealthiest people.
5._____ Failing schools will improve if the government gives them more money.
6._____ It should be illegal to burn the American flag.
7._____ To make up for past discrimination, the government should require companies to hire women and
8._____ Law abiding citizens should be able to carry guns in public with a minimal amount of training.
9._____ Immigration helps the country more than it hurts the country.
10.____ Marriage should be reserved for heterosexuals.
11.____ Abortions should be legal for women throughout all 9 months of pregnancy.
12.____ The government should not be allowed to tax sales on the internet.
13.____ The U.S. should try to negotiate peace deals with militant Islamic groups.
14.____ Individuals should be allowed to invest the money they pay in Social Security.
15.____ The American government should pay reparations to the descendants of former slaves.
16.____ The problem with the death penalty is that it doesn’t occur as quickly or as often as it should.
17.____ The government should allow gay couples to adopt children.
18.____ Health insurance companies do a better job of providing health coverage than the government could do.
19.____ Government should spend significant money to save the American auto industry.
20.____ The government lets too many immigrants into the country.
21.____ Even accused terrorists deserve full Constitutional rights.
22.____ The government should regulate abortions to make them more rare.
23.____ Decriminalizing drugs would solve more problems than it would create.
24.____ The government should be allowed to use waterboarding when interrogating suspected terrorists.
25.____ Public school students should be required to do 40 hours of community service before graduation.
26.____ Colleges should have the same standards in admitting students of different racial groups.
27.____ The government should provide more educational opportunities to prisoners to reduce the chance of repeat
28.____ Failing schools should be held accountable by forfeiting government funding.
29.____ The government should take extreme measures to get companies to reduce carbon emissions.
30.____ The government can solve the drug problem by getting tougher on drug dealers.
31.____ The government should make health coverage more equal for all Americans.
32.____ The best way to deal with militant Islamic groups is with force.
33.____ The government should work to reduce the total number of guns that are sold.
34.____ The government does a pretty good job of protecting the environment.
Class notes-- Define the following:
Economic Issues—belief in … Economic Issues—belief in …
Social Issues—belief in… Social Issues—belief in…
Ch. 1, Pages 19-24 Assignment:
Directions: Read Ch. 1, pages 19-24 in the textbook and answer on a separate
sheet of paper. (Be sure to restate the vocabulary of each question.)
1. Define free market:
2. Define economic individualism:
3. Define redistributive tax policy:
4. Explain how Democrats and Republicans tend to differ when it comes to these economic
(Class discussion and notes) Define political culture.
5. Define culture wars:
6. Describe the how the gender gap has changed over time.
7. Define ideology:
8. Define conservative:
9. Define liberal:
10. Define libertarian:
(Class discussion and notes) Define Red + Blue America
(Class discussion and notes) Define social capital, Bowling Alone, civic society
David Brooks: One Nation Slightly Divisible
The Atlantic Monthly | December 2001
The electoral map of the 2000 presidential race became famous: big blocks of red (denoting states that went for
Bush) stretched across the heartland, with brackets of blue (denoting states for Gore) along the coasts. Our Blue
America correspondent has ventured repeatedly into Red territory. He asks the question—after September 11, a
pressing one—Do our differences effectively split us into two nations, or are they just cracks in a still-united whole?
napkins, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer collectible
Sixty-five miles from where I am writing this thimbles and spoons, and little snow-covered villages.
sentence is a place with no Starbucks, no Pottery
Barn, no Borders or Barnes & Noble. No blue New We in the coastal metro Blue areas read more books
York Times delivery bags dot the driveways on and attend more plays than the people in the Red
Sunday mornings. In this place people don't complain heartland. We're more sophisticated and
that Woody Allen isn't as funny as he used to be, cosmopolitan—just ask us about our alumni trips to
because they never thought he was funny. In this China or Provence, or our interest in Buddhism. But
place you can go to a year's worth of dinner parties don't ask us, please, what life in Red America is like.
without hearing anyone quote an aperçu he first heard We don't know. We don't know who Tim LaHaye and
on Charlie Rose. The people here don't buy those Jerry B. Jenkins are, even though the novels they
little rear-window stickers when they go to a summer- have co-written have sold about 40 million copies
vacation spot so that they can drive around with over the past few years. We don't know what James
"MV" decals the rest of the year; for the most part Dobson says on his radio program, which is listened
they don't even go to Martha's Vineyard. to by millions. We don't know about Reba or Travis.
We don't know what happens in mega-churches on
The place I'm talking about goes by different names. Wednesday evenings, and some of us couldn't tell you
Some call it America. Others call it Middle America. the difference between a fundamentalist and an
It has also come to be known as Red America, in evangelical, let alone describe what it means to be a
reference to the maps that were produced on the night Pentecostal. Very few of us know what goes on in
of the 2000 presidential election. People in Blue Branson, Missouri, even though it has seven million
America, which is my part of America, tend to live visitors a year, or could name even five NASCAR
around big cities on the coasts. People in Red drivers, although stock-car races are the best-attended
America tend to live on farms or in small towns or sporting events in the country. We don't know how to
small cities far away from the coasts. Things are shoot or clean a rifle. We can't tell a military officer's
different there. rank by looking at his insignia. We don't know what
soy beans look like when they're growing in a field.
Everything that people in my neighborhood do
without motors, the people in Red America do with All we know, or all we think we know, about Red
motors. We sail; they powerboat. We cross-country America is that millions and millions of its people
ski; they snowmobile. We hike; they drive ATVs. We live quietly underneath flight patterns, many of them
have vineyard tours; they have tractor pulls. When it are racist and homophobic, and when you see them at
comes to yard work, they have rider mowers; we have highway rest stops, they're often really fat and their
illegal aliens. clothes are too tight. ..
Different sorts of institutions dominate life in these Crossing the Meatloaf Line
two places. In Red America churches are everywhere.
In Blue America Thai restaurants are everywhere. In Over the past several months, my interest piqued by
Red America they have QVC, the Pro Bowlers Tour, those stark blocks of color on the election-night maps,
and hunting. In Blue America we have NPR, Doris I have every now and then left my home in
Kearns Goodwin, and socially conscious investing. In Montgomery County, Maryland, and driven sixty-five
Red America the Wal-Marts are massive, with miles northwest to Franklin County, in south-central
parking lots the size of state parks. In Blue America Pennsylvania. Montgomery County is one of the
the stores are small but the markups are big. You'll steaming-hot centers of the great espresso machine
rarely see a Christmas store in Blue America, but in that is Blue America. It is just over the border from
Red America, even in July, you'll come upon stores northwestern Washington, D.C., and it is full of
selling fake Christmas trees, wreath-decorated
upper-middle-class towns inhabited by lawyers,
doctors, stockbrokers, and establishment journalists Red America makes social distinctions that Blue
like me—towns like Chevy Chase, Potomac, and America doesn't. For example, in Franklin County
Bethesda (where I live). Its central artery is a there seems to be a distinction between those fiercely
burgeoning high-tech corridor with a multitude of independent people who live in the hills and people
sparkling new office parks housing technology who live in the valleys. I got a hint of the distinct and,
companies such as United Information Systems and to me, exotic hill culture when a hill dweller asked
Sybase, and pioneering biotech firms such as Celera me why I thought hunting for squirrel and rabbit had
Genomics and Human Genome Sciences. When I gone out of fashion. I thought maybe it was just more
drive to Franklin County, I take Route 270. After fun to hunt something bigger. But he said,
about forty-five minutes I pass a Cracker Barrel— "McDonald's. It's cheaper to get a hamburger at
Red America condensed into chain-restaurant form. McDonald's than to go out and get it yourself."
I've crossed the Meatloaf Line; from here on there
will be a lot fewer sun-dried-tomato concoctions on There also seems to be an important distinction
restaurant menus and a lot more meatloaf platters. between men who work outdoors and men who work
indoors. The outdoor guys wear faded black T-shirts
Franklin County is Red America. It's a rural county, they once picked up at a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert and
about twenty-five miles west of Gettysburg, and it wrecked jeans that appear to be washed faithfully at
includes the towns of Waynesboro, Chambersburg, least once a year. They've got wraparound NASCAR
and Mercersburg. It was originally settled by the sunglasses, maybe a NAPA auto parts cap, and hair
Scotch-Irish, and has plenty of Brethren and cut in a short wedge up front but flowing down over
Mennonites along with a fast-growing population of their shoulders in the back—a cut that is known as a
evangelicals. The joke that Pennsylvanians tell about mullet, which is sort of a cross between Van Halen's
their state is that it has Philadelphia on one end, style and Kenny Rogers's, and is the ugliest hairdo
Pittsburgh on the other, and Alabama in the middle. since every hairdo in the seventies. The outdoor guys
Franklin County is in the Alabama part. It strikes me are heavily accessorized, and their accessories are
as I drive there that even though I am going north meant to show how hard they work, so they will often
across the Mason-Dixon line, I feel as if I were going have a gigantic wad of keys hanging from a belt loop,
south. The local culture owes more to Nashville, a tape measure strapped to the belt, a pocket knife on
Houston, and Daytona than to Washington, a string tucked into the front pants pocket, and a
Philadelphia, or New York. pager or a cell phone affixed to the hip, presumably in
case some power lines go down somewhere and need
I shuttled back and forth between Franklin and emergency repair. Outdoor guys have a thing against
Montgomery Counties because the cultural sleeves. They work so hard that they've got to keep
differences between the two places are great, though their arm muscles unencumbered and their armpit hair
the geographic distance is small. The two places are fully ventilated, so they either buy their shirts
not perfect microcosms of Red and Blue America. sleeveless or rip the sleeves off their T-shirts first
The part of Montgomery County I am here describing thing, leaving bits of fringe hanging over their BAD
is largely the Caucasian part. Moreover, Franklin TO THE BONE tattoos.
County is in a Red part of a Blue state: overall,
Pennsylvania went for Gore. And I went to Franklin The guys who work indoors can't project this rugged
County aware that there are tremendous differences proletarian image. It's simply not that romantic to be a
within Red America, just as there are within Blue. bank-loan officer or a shift manager at the local
Franklin County is quite different from, say, distribution center. So the indoor guys adopt a look
Scottsdale, Arizona, just as Bethesda is quite different that a smart-ass, sneering Blue American might call
from Oakland, California. Bible-academy casual—maybe Haggar slacks, which
they bought at a dry-goods store best known for its
Nonetheless, the contrasts between the two counties appliance department, and a short-sleeved white Van
leap out, and they are broadly suggestive of the sorts Heusen shirt from the Bon-Ton. Their image projects
of contrasts that can be seen nationwide. When Blue not "I work hard" but "I'm a devoted family man." A
America talks about social changes that convulsed lot of indoor guys have a sensitive New Age
society, it tends to mean the 1960s rise of the demeanor. When they talk about the days their kids
counterculture and feminism. When Red America were born, their eyes take on a soft Garth Brooks
talks about changes that convulsed society, it tends to expression, and they tear up. They exaggerate how
mean World War II, which shook up old town sinful they were before they were born again. On
establishments and led to a great surge of industry. Saturdays they are patio masters, barbecuing on their
gas grills in full Father's Day-apron regalia. Another big thing is that, according to 1990 census
data, in Franklin County only 12 percent of the adults
At first I thought the indoor guys were the faithful, have college degrees and only 69 percent have high
reliable ones: the ones who did well in school, school diplomas. In Montgomery County 50 percent
whereas the outdoor guys were druggies. But after of the adults have college degrees and 91 percent
talking with several preachers in Franklin County, I have high school diplomas. The education gap
learned that it's not that simple. Sometimes the guys extends to the children. At Walt Whitman High
who look like bikers are the most devoted School, a public school in Bethesda, the average SAT
community-service volunteers and church attendees. scores are 601 verbal and 622 math, whereas the
national average is 506 verbal and 514 math. In
The kinds of distinctions we make in Blue America Franklin County, where people are quite proud of
are different. In my world the easiest way to their schools, the average SAT scores at, for example,
categorize people is by headroom needs. People who the Waynesboro area high school are 495 verbal and
went to business school or law school like a lot of 480 math. More and more kids in Franklin County are
headroom. They buy humongous sport-utility vehicles going on to college, but it is hard to believe that their
that practically have cathedral ceilings over the front prospects will be as bright as those of the kids in
seats. They live in homes the size of country clubs, Montgomery County and the rest of upscale Blue
with soaring entry atriums so high that they could America.
practically fly a kite when they come through the
front door. These big-headroom people tend to be Because the information age rewards education with
predators: their jobs have them negotiating and money, it's not surprising that Montgomery County is
competing all day. They spend small fortunes on dry much richer than Franklin County. According to some
cleaning. They grow animated when talking about estimates, in Montgomery County 51 percent of
how much they love their blackberries. They fill their households have annual incomes above $75,000, and
enormous wall space with huge professional family the average household income is $100,365. In
portraits—Mom and Dad with their perfect kids Franklin County only 16 percent of households have
(dressed in light-blue oxford shirts) laughing happily incomes above $75,000, and the average is $51,872.
in an orchard somewhere.
A major employer in Montgomery County is the
Small-headroom people tend to have been liberal-arts National Institutes of Health, which grows like a
majors, and they have liberal-arts jobs. They get scientific boomtown in Bethesda. A major economic
passive-aggressive pleasure from demonstrating how engine in Franklin County is the interstate highway
modest and environmentally sensitive their living Route 81. Trucking companies have gotten sick of
containers are. They hate people with SUVs, and feel fighting the congestion on Route 95, which runs up
virtuous driving around in their low-ceilinged little the Blue corridor along the northeast coast, so they
Hondas, which often display a RANDOM ACTS OF move their stuff along 81, farther inland. Several new
KINDNESS bumper sticker or one bearing an image distribution centers have been built along 81 in
of a fish with legs, along with the word "Darwin," just Franklin County, and some of the workers who were
to show how intellectually superior to fundamentalist laid off when their factories closed, several years ago,
Christians they are. are now settling for $8.00 or $9.00 an hour loading
Some of the biggest differences between Red and
Blue America show up on statistical tables. Ethnic The two counties vote differently, of course—the
diversity is one. In Montgomery County 60 percent of differences, on a nationwide scale, were what led to
the population is white, 15 percent is black, 12 those red-and-blue maps. Like upscale areas
percent is Hispanic, and 11 percent is Asian. In everywhere, from Silicon Valley to Chicago's North
Franklin County 95 percent of the population is Shore to suburban Connecticut, Montgomery County
white. White people work the gas-station pumps and supported the Democratic ticket in last year's
the 7-Eleven counters. (This is something one doesn't presidential election, by a margin of 63 percent to 34
often see in my part of the country.) Although the percent. Meanwhile, like almost all of rural America,
nation is growing more diverse, it's doing so only in Franklin County went Republican, by 67 percent to
certain spots. According to an analysis of the 2000 30 percent.
census by Bill Frey, a demographer at the Milken
Institute, well over half the counties in America are However, other voting patterns sometimes obscure
still at least 85 percent white. the Red-Blue cultural divide. For example, minority
voters all over the country overwhelmingly supported
the Democratic ticket last November. But—in many should have the right to fire homosexual teachers, but
respects, at least—blacks and Hispanics in Red only 21 percent of minorities in Blue states do.
America are more traditionalist than blacks and
Hispanics in Blue America, just as their white From Cracks to a Chasm?
counterparts are. For example, the Pew Research
Center for the People and the Press, in Washington, These differences are so many and so stark that they
D.C., recently found that 45 percent of minority lead to some pretty troubling questions: Are
members in Red states agree with the statement Americans any longer a common people? Do we have
"AIDS might be God's punishment for immoral one national conversation and one national culture?
sexual behavior," but only 31 percent of minority Are we loyal to the same institutions and the same
members in Blue states do. Similarly, 40 percent of values? How do people on one side of the divide
minorities in Red states believe that school boards regard those on the other? …
Red v. Blue America
Directions: After reading the above excerpt by David Brooks, complete the following grid.
Red America Blue America
Describe difference in
Describe the difference
in shopping habits
Describe the difference
in career aspirations
Describe the difference
in outdoor hobbies
Describe the difference
Ch. 5, Pages 143-157 Assignment:
Directions: Read Ch. 1, pages 143-157 in the textbook and answer on a separate
sheet of paper. (Be sure to restate the vocabulary of each question.)
1. Describe three factors that can cause a person’s political opinions to change:
2. Summarize the data from Figure 5.2. Explain what this indicates about who will win the
next presidential election.
3. Research the latest approval ratings for the President. Describe how these ratings compare
and contrast with the data from Figure 5.3.
4. Define political socialization:
5. Describe 7 factors that can shape political socialization.
6. Using the data on Table 5.2, explain which group characteristics create the widest
differences in public opinion. Then explain which group characteristics create the least
differences in public opinion.
(Class notes--define political efficacy)
Born Political Identity
An Exercise in Intergeneratonial Social Studies
Directions: Talk to an adult family member and type a 1 page analysis of their
political ideology, party affiliation and political efficacy.
Your analysis should include the following:
• A description of this person’s political ideology and three factors that
influenced the development of this person’s political ideology. (Ideology is the
person’s beliefs about what government should do...i.e. liberal/conservative.)
• A description of this person’s association (or non-association) with a political
party and a description of the factors that influenced this association.
• A description of this person’s political efficacy and the factors that influenced
this person’s political efficacy (Efficacy is the person’s belief that voting and
other involvement matters.
--Focus on HOW the person interviewed developed their beliefs.
Are You My Mother?
Directions: You will chart and explain the political ideology of political parties and current
• Read the 1996 Party Platforms (Dems + GOP)
-- Underline 3 liberal stances (one must be from the GOP)
-- Circle 3 conservative stances (one must be from the Dems)
• You should research the political viewpoints of four candidates using their websites or
President-- • Mitt Romney • Rick Perry
• Michelle Bachman • Ron Paul • Barak Obama
10th Congressional District--
• Bob Dold • Brad Schneider • Ilya Sheyman
1. Chart the (2) names on an ideological chart to accurately depict the officials’ political
• Alan Keyes
2. For each official, cut and paste 2 quotes from a website or publication that clearly indicate
each official’s ideology. Then briefly describe why these quotes are liberal, conservative or
moderate. (Cite each source!)
Example: Alan Keyes
• “I will do everything in my power to overthrow Roe vs. Wade and get us back where we belong in the
acknowledgment of God.”
• “If they tell us that we cannot pray in the classroom, we should pray.”
Explanation: Both quotes indicate that Alan Keyes should be placed on the far right of the political spectrum. His
quotes demonstrate that he supports government promotion of traditional social values like making abortions illegal
With Libya's Megalomaniac
and returning prayer to public schools.
In a tent in the desert, Gadhafi explained why he could never tolerate
any challenge to his supreme will
By Robert D. Putnam
The Wall Street Journal February 26, 2011
discussing sociology and political theory. It was
a strange encounter at the time, and after the
On Jan. 19, 2007, my wife, Rosemary, and I
horrific events of the past week in Libya, it
spent several hours with Col. Moammar Gadhafi
seems stranger still.
in his tent in the Libyan desert, sipping tea and
Several months earlier a former student of a palm frond to shoo flies. The tableau gave the
mine, working for an international consulting impression that we were seated in a pastoral
firm that was advising the Libyan government on Bedouin landscape, guests of a local chieftain.
economic and political reform, had called to see
Col. Gadhafi looked ill at first. With his
whether I might be interested in traveling to
lined and pockmarked face, he resembled the
Libya to discuss my research on civil society and
aging Mick Jagger, and he mumbled. But as the
democracy, particularly "Making Democracy
conversation progressed, he became more
Work," my book on why democracy functions
animated. He clearly understood some English,
well in northern Italy but not in the country's
occasionally saying "Yes" or "I agree" before the
south. My hosts were willing to pay my standard
translator had spoken.
consulting fee, and to be honest, I was curious.
Col. Gadhafi fancied himself an intellectual, I We had a lively conversation for two hours
was told, and considered his own "Green Book" about his political ideas, my own writings, and
an original contribution to political philosophy. how the development of civil society might be
applied to democratic reform in Libya. Col.
We were kept waiting for more than 24
Gadhafi is inordinately proud of his Green Book,
hours in a dormitory outside the provincial town
an archaic mixture of primitive socialism, 1960s-
of Sirte, Col. Gadhafi's birthplace. But early the
style "people power" rhetoric, and traditional
next morning, in a caravan of Mercedes
Bedouin values; it has been the touchstone and
limousines, we raced at 90 miles per hour across
straightjacket for politics in Libya for nearly four
the Libyan desert to a walled enclosure
containing a one-mile square patch of desert,
populated by some Land Rovers, a few I noted his emphasis on social solidarity in
communications vans and motor homes, lots of the Green Book, but added that in the modern
men with guns, and several tents set amid fields world, he needed to extend his ideas to include
of wildflowers. We were quickly ushered to the civil society, voluntary groups and freedom of
entrance of the largest tent, and there, standing association. I drew examples from my own
just inside, was Col. Gadhafi, wearing a black childhood in small-town Ohio, but my argument
skull cap and a brown blanket thrown over what gave the translator problems. Libyan history
looked like black pajamas. includes nothing remotely analogous to Rotary
or Little League or the Knights of Columbus, so
We all shook hands and sat down, with Col.
we settled on "veterans' associations" as the only
Gadhafi behind a table, the translator to his left,
intelligible illustration of my argument.
me to his right, and Rosemary and a note-taker
to my right. Nowhere at the camp did we see the Students of Western political philosophy
scurrying aides that accompany heads of state in would categorize Col. Gadhafi as a
more institutionalized regimes; Col. Gadhafi quintessential student of Jean-Jacques Rousseau:
seemed curiously alone. It was a modest setting. He made clear that he deeply distrusted any
We sat in white molded-plastic patio chairs of political group that might stand between
the sort familiar in any American suburb. Inside individual citizens and the "General Will" as
the tent were four radiators, several neon lights interpreted by the Legislator (i.e., Col. Gadhafi
and a television. The floor was covered in layers himself). When I argued that freedom of
of carpet over the desert gravel. association could enhance democratic stability,
he vehemently dismissed the idea. That might be
Col. Gadhafi faced out the entrance of the
so in the West, he insisted, but in Libya it would
tent, overlooking eucalyptus trees, lavender
simply strengthen tribalism, and he would not
wildflowers, a wood fire and a small herd of
stand for disunity.
camels. Throughout the discussion he idly waved
Throughout, he styled our meeting as a on the underlying social order, so to ask "who
conversation between two profound political will rule?" is to ask "who is best organized?" In
thinkers, a trope that approached the absurd Russia in 1917 the answer was the Bolsheviks, in
when he observed that there were international Iran in 1979 the answer was Khomeini's Islamic
organizations for many professions nowadays, militants, and in Egypt in 2011 the answer
but none for philosopher-kings. "Why don't we appears to be the military.
make that happen?" he proposed with a straight
The saddest legacy of Moammar Gadhafi
face. I smiled, at a loss for words. Col. Gadhafi
and his brutal revolutionary philosophy may be
was a tyrant and a megalomaniac, not a
that, in Libya in 2011, the answer seems to be
philosopher-king, but our visit left me convinced
"no one at all."
that he was not a simple man.
—Mr. Putnam is a professor of public policy
Was this a serious conversation or an
at Harvard. His books include "Bowling Alone:
elaborate farce? Naturally, I came away
The Collapse and Revival of American
thinking—hoping—that I had managed to sway
Community" and "Making Democracy Work:
Col. Gadhafi in some small way, but my wife
Civic Traditions in Modern Italy."
was skeptical. Two months later I was invited
back to a public roundtable in Libya, but by then
I had concluded that the whole exercise was a
public-relations stunt, and I declined.
In reflecting today on the future of
democracy in Libya and the rest of North Africa,
I'm drawn to the work of two influential
sociologists, Moisey Ostrogorsky and Robert
Michels. They taught generations of political
scientists that power in the modern world rests
Ch. 5, Pages 158-181 Assignment:
Directions: Read Ch. 1, pages 158-181 in the textbook and answer on a separate
sheet of paper. (Be sure to restate the vocabulary of each question.)
1. Define random sample:
2. Define push poll:
3. Define sampling error:
4. Describe three factors in mass surveys that can cause problems in measuring public
5. Use figure 5.4 to describe how the ideological views of the American public have changed
over the last three decades.
6. Use figure 5.5 to describe three trends of party identification seen since the 1970s.
7. Use figure 5.6 to describe the trend of trust in government since the 1950s. Explain why
this trend seemed to happen.
8. Explain why Americans can have a favorable view of their “representatives” while having
a negative viewpoint of their “government.”
(Class discussion) What’s a strange implication that you can make about the polling
question in Figure 5.8?
8. Explain why it’s difficult to get an accurate measure of public opinion on an issue like
health care reform.
9. Link to
• Link to a specific opinion poll of the 2012 presidential election and find the following:
A. Describe the most significant result of the opinion poll data.
B. Identify how many people were surveyed.
C. Identify the number and type of people who were surveyed (Republican voters,likely
voters, any American, etc.)
D. Describe the methods used to conduct the interview (live callers v. robo calls, calls to land
lines v. calls to cell phones.)
E. Identify the margin of sampling error for this survey.
From The Party’s Over
by David Broder (Harper and Row, 1972)
As his book title cleverly implies, journalist
David Broder acknowledges the decline of
American political parties. Writing in the early Political parties in America have a peculiar
1970s, he mourns their weakening and holds out status and history. They are not part of our
hope for a reinvigorated party system. Broder written Constitution. The Founding Fathers, in
attributes many of America's governmental fact, were determined to do all they could to see
problems to the parties' problems, and he pleads they did not arise. Washington devoted much of
for stronger party unity in Congress and an his Farewell Address to warning his countrymen
expanded role for parties in the campaign against “the dangers of party in the state.” And
process. Turning to voters, Broder asks for less yet parties arose in the first generation of the
ticket-splitting and more partisan allegiance. As nation, and have persisted ever since. Their very
the decades have passed, Broder observations durability argues that they fill a need. That need
about the decline of the parties - dealignment, as is for some institution that will sort out, weigh,
scholars term it - have been borne out. His hopes and, to the extent possible, reconcile the myriad
for the rejuvenation of American political parties conflicting needs and demands of individuals,
have proved less promising. Among most voters groups, interests, communities and regions in
and even many office-holders, the Democratic this diverse continental Republic, organize them
and Republican parties are no longer the heart for the contest for public office; and then serve
of the American political process. as a link between the constituencies and the men
chosen to govern. When the parties fill their
My view is that American politics is at an mission well, they tend to serve both a unifying
impasse, that we have been spinning our wheels and a clarifying function for the country.
for a long, long time; and that we are going to Competitive forces draw them to the center, and
dig ourselves ever deeper into trouble, unless we force them to seek agreement on issues too
find a way to develop some political traction and intense to be settled satisfactorily by simple
move again. I believe we can get that traction, majority referendum. On the other hand, as
we can make government responsible and grand coalitions, they are capable of taking a
responsive again, only when we begin to use the need felt strongly by some minority of the
political parties as they are meant to be used. population and making it part of a program
And that is the thesis of this book. endorsed by a majority.
It is called The Party’s Over, not in prophecy, When they do not function well, things go badly
but in alarm. I am not predicting the demise of for America. The coming of the Civil War was
the Republicans or the Democrats. Party marked by a failure of the reconciling function
loyalties have been seriously eroded, the of the existing parties. Long periods of
Democratic and Republican organizations stagnation, too, can be caused by the failure of
weakened by years of neglect. But our parties are the parties to bring emerging public questions to
not yet dead. What happens to them is up to us to the point of electoral decision. When the parties
decide. If we allow them to wither, we will pay a fail, individual citizens feel they have lost
high price in the continued frustration of control of what is happening in politics and in
government. But, even if we seek their renewal, government. They find themselves powerless to
the cost of repairing the effects of decades of influence the course of events. Voting seems
governmental inaction will be heavy. The futile and politics a pointless charade....
process will be painful and expensive. Whatever
the fate of our political parties, for America the The governmental system is not working
party is over... because the political parties are not working. The
parties have been weakened by their failure to
... The reason we have suffered governmental adapt to some of the social and technological
stalemate is that we have not used the one changes taking place in America. But, even
instrument available to us for disciplining more, they are suffering from simple neglect:
government to meet our needs. That instrument neglect by Presidents and public officials, but,
is the political party. particularly, neglect by the voters. It is to remind
us that the parties can be used for positive parties or ad hoc political coalitions to pressure
purposes that this book is written. for change.... Is there not a better way to resolve
our differences, to move ahead on our common
Some students of government who share this problems? I believe there is.... The instrument
view of the importance of political parties in that is available to us ... is the instrument of
American government nonetheless think it futile responsible party government. The alternative to
to exhort readers on their behalf. Such political making policy in the streets is to make it in the
scientists as James L. Sundquist and Walter voting booth....
Dean Burnham, whose knowledge of American
political history is far deeper than my own, But, if that is to be more than a cliché answer,
believe we are simply in the wrong stage of the there must be real choices presented at election
political cycle to expect anything but confused time--choices involving more than a selection
signals and weak responses from the parties. between two sincere-sounding, photogenic
graduates of some campaign consultant's
The last major party realignment, it is generally academy of political and dramatic arts. The
agreed, took place in 1932, and set the stage for candidates must come to the voters with
the New Deal policies of government programs that are comprehensible and relevant
intervention in the economy and the to our problems; and they must have the kind of
development of the welfare state. We are, these backing that makes it possible for them to act on
scholars argue, perhaps overdue for another their pledges once in office.
realigmnent, but until an issue emerges which
will produce one, an issue as powerful as the The instrument, the only instrument I know of,
Great Depression, it is futile to complain that that can nominate such candidates, commit them
party lines are muddled and governmental action to a program and give them the leverage and
is all but paralyzed. Their judgment may be alliances in government that can enable them to
correct, but I do not find it comforting. The keep their promises, is the political party...
cyclical theory of party realignment is an easy
rationalization for throwing up our hands and . . . Where do we turn? To ourselves. Obviously,
doing nothing. But we do not know when the that must be the answer. There is no solution for
realignment will take place. Some scholars have America except what we Americans devise. I
thought there was a thirty-six-year cycle, with believe that we have the instrument at hand, in
1896 and 1932 as the last “critical elections.” the party system, that can break the long and
But 1968, the scheduled date, on this theory, for costly impasse in our government. But it is up to
another "critical election," has come and gone, us to decide whether to use it.
and our drift continues....
What would it entail on our part if we
... Basically, I believe that our guarantee of self- determined to attempt responsible party
government is no stronger than our exercise of government? First, it would mean giving strong
self-government; and today the central public support to those reform efforts which in
instruments of self-government, the political the recent past have been carried on entirely by a
parties, are being neglected or abused. We must small group of concerned political insiders,
somehow rescue them if we are to rescue aimed at strengthening the machinery of political
ourselves .... parties and government.
... Popular dissatisfaction with the two-party We should seek to strengthen the liaison between
system is manifested in many ways: by the the presidency and Congress, on a mutual basis,
decline in voting; by the rise in the number of and between the presidency and the heads of
voters who refuse to identify themselves with state and local government. We should elect the
either party; by the increase in ticket splitting, a President in the same way we elect all other
device for denying either party responsibility for officials, by direct vote of his constituents, with
government; and by the increased use of third high man winning.
operate with a fine disdain for the role of party
We should expand the role and responsibilities and policy in government. We need to devise
of the party caucuses and the party leaders in ways to make television the prime medium of
Congress. The caucus should choose the floor political communication - somewhat more
leaders and policy committee members, the sensitive to the claims of the parties to be a
legislative committee chairmen and committee regular part of the political dialogue, and to
members, not on the basis of seniority but on the protect the vital institution of the nominating
basis of ability and commitment to the party convention from being distorted by the demands
program. That leadership ought to be held of the television cameras.
accountable for bringing legislation to which the
party is committed to a floor vote in orderly and All these reforms would help, I believe, but they
timely fashion, with adequate opportunity for would not accomplish the invigoration of
debate and particularly for consideration of responsible party government unless they were
opposition party alternatives. But procedures for accompanied by a genuine increase in the
due consideration should not justify devices like participation by the public in party affairs. The
the filibuster, which prevent the majority party cure for the ills of democracy truly is more
from bringing its measures to a final vote.... democracy; our parties are weak principally
because we do not use them. To be strong and
We need to take every possible measure to responsible, our parties must be representative;
strengthen the presidential nominating and they can be no more representative than our
convention as the key device for making the participation allows. Millions more of us need to
parties responsible. The current effort to open get into partisan political activity.
the Democratic delegate-selection process to
wider public participation is a promising start, We need also to become somewhat more
and its emphasis on the congressional-district reflective about what we do with our votes. We
nominating convention offers corollary benefits need to ask ourselves what it is that we want
for integrating congressional and presidential government to accomplish, and which candidate,
constituencies. Both parties should experiment which party comes closest to espousing that set
with devices for putting heavier emphasis on the of goals. That may sound so rationalistic as to be
platform-writing phase of the convention's work, unrealistic. But this nation has more education,
including the possibility of a separate more communication, more leisure available to it
convention, following the nomination, where the than ever before. In the nineteenth century,
party's officeholders and candidates debate the James Bryce wrote of us, "The ordinary citizens
program on which they pledge themselves to run are interested in politics, and watch them with
and to act if elected. intelligence, the same kind of intelligence
(though a smaller quantity of it) as they apply to
Most important of all the structural reforms, we their own business. . . They think their own
need to follow through the effort to discipline the competence equal to that of their representatives
use of money in politics, not only by setting and office-bearers; and they are not far wrong"
realistic limits on campaign spending and by Are we to think less of ourselves today? Finally,
publicizing individual and organizational gifts, we need to examine some of our habits. It seems
but also by channeling much more of the money to me we should ask, before splitting a ticket,
(including, in my view, all general election what it is we hope to accomplish by dividing
spending) through the respective party between the parties the responsibility for
committees, rather than through individual government of our country, our state or our
candidates' treasuries. community. Do we think there is no difference
between the parties? Do we distrust them both so
We need to strengthen the party organizations thoroughly that we wish to set them against each
and their staffs, and recapture for them the other? Do we think one man so superior in
campaign management functions that have been virtue and wisdom that he must be put in office,
parceled out to independent firms which tend to no matter who accompanies him there? Why are
we splitting tickets? My guess is that, if we that neither can govern. If we were willing to
asked those questions, we would more often be risk this strategy, knowing that we would be able
inclined to give a temporary grant of power to to throw rascals out if they failed, we might even
one party at a time, rather than dividing discover to our amazement that they are not
responsibility so skillfully between the parties always rascals.
Check Your Understanding:
1. What remedy does David Broder prescribe for the apparent political malaise of his time?
2. What basic argument does Broder provide which suggests that political parties are in
their essence - needed?
3. According to Broder, list the basic responsibilities of our political parties.
4. “Popular dissatisfaction with the two party system is manifested in many ways.” said
Broder. List at least two (2) examples.
5. List two ways in which Broder suggested we strengthen political parties.
BONUS: Agree or Disagree with the following statement made by David Broder. Explain “The
cure for the ills of democracy truly is more democracy.” Ch. 7, Pages 219-
Directions: Read Ch. 7, pages 219-239 in the textbook and answer on a separate
sheet of paper. (Be sure to restate the vocabulary of each question.)
1. Define political parties:
2. Define spoils system:
3. Define realignment and describe 2 of the more recent party realignments in American
4. Define crosscutting:
5. Explain how the Republican and Democratic parties are an example of political
6. Explain how the organization of both American political parties is limited.
(Class discussion-- Describe the conflict that arose regarding the scheduling of presidential
primaries in 2008. How does that conflict compare to the most recent scheduling issues with the
7. Define political party machine and describe two factors that weakened the influence of
party machines in the last 40 years.
8. Define governmental caucus:
9. Describe 3 grassroots activities performed by party activists.
(Class discussion-- Describe the conflict that arose regarding the scheduling of presidential
primaries in 2008. How does that conflict compare to the most recent scheduling issues with the
10. Use Figure 7.4 to help identify 3 historical events that influenced party identification
among American voters.
11. Define political dealignment:
(Class notes-- Causes of political dealignment)
12. Use table 7.2 to explain two reasons why Barack Obama won in 2008.
The Endless Campaign
Karl Rove Wall Street Journal December 20, 2007
The Iowa caucuses are 14 days away, with the voting period Jan. 25 and South Carolina
New Hampshire primary five days later. And Democrats vote on Jan. 26. Florida goes to the
what follows from there won't be pretty. The polls Jan. 29 and Maine Republicans caucus on
way Americans are selecting our presidential Feb. 1. Then, in a rush, there will be 23 contests
candidates in 2008 is, frankly, a mess. on Tuesday, Feb. 5. What candidate can
effectively campaign in more than a handful of
The first problem is the overall length of the the 32 states voting in the first month?
campaign. There are few more demanding
physical activities than running for president, In the presidential 2000 race, 25% of the
other than military training or athletics at a very delegates were selected by March 7, 50% by
high level -- and this will be the longest March 14, and 75% of the Democratic delegates
presidential contest on record. The first by April 4 and 75% of the Republican delegates
candidate this season announced Dec. 12, 2006; by May 2. This time around, the 25% and 50%
virtually all the Democrats declared by late thresholds will be crossed on Feb. 5, and by
January, and almost every Republican by mid- March 4 over 75% of the delegates will be
March. So next fall we'll elect a president who's selected.
spent two years rocketing around the country in
an aluminum tube and sleeping in strange hotel Cutting the length of the primary season by more
rooms on a brutal, exhausting campaign trail. than half by jamming the contests together raises
the likelihood of a bandwagon developing for the
This gives America the longest leadership candidate who wins the first few contests. This
selection contest in the democratic world. would allow a candidate to sweep to victory in
the subsequent contests that rapidly follow
It wasn't always like this. Bill Clinton announced because all that voters will see is his (or her) face
for president on Oct. 3, 1991. At this point in the on the evening news and in the papers.
1992 presidential contest, he'd been a candidate
for 10 weeks. George W. Bush made his first Remember: Few Americans have seen these
campaign speech on June 12, 1999. At this point candidates up close, except voters in Iowa, New
in the 2000 race, he'd been a candidate for just Hampshire and South Carolina. In an
over five months. abbreviated primary season, the weight these
early state voters carry is even more exaggerated.
In 2008 voting will also begin earlier than ever. Both parties could end up with a candidate
In 2000, the Iowa caucuses were held Jan. 24. chosen in haste and repented of at great cost.
This time, they'll be Jan. 3. For the first time,
some New Year's partygoers will still be nursing If primaries and caucuses were spread out with
hangovers when they caucus. weeks, not days and hours, between them, then
voters in more states could learn more about the
Yet despite the seemingly endless campaign, the candidates. Candidates would have more time to
nomination contest will be settled quicker than come back from an early loss to a contender who
ever. In 2000, there were seven contests in five was briefly the flavor of the moment in one state.
weeks beginning with Iowa. This time here will
be contests in 32 states in roughly the same Candidates would also benefit from having more
amount of time. time to think about the big, important things they
want to do for the country. The process side of
Two days after Iowa's contest on Thursday, Jan. politics is now undermining the intellectual side.
3, Wyoming Republicans will caucus on It was revealing that at a health-care forum last
Saturday, Jan. 5. New Hampshire holds its March, Sen. Barack Obama admitted he didn't
primary on the next Tuesday, Jan. 8. On Jan. 15, have a health-care plan but promised to have one
Michigan votes, followed by Nevada's caucuses by this January.
and the South Carolina Republican primary on
Jan. 19. Hawaii Republicans start a two-week
In addition, the current process increases past) the American people. It will certainly work
pressure on candidates to narrowly focus on the to the disadvantage of the better-known
concerns of their party's activists in the early candidate, who could appear as yesterday's news
states. This crowds out other important things and uninteresting when compared to a fresh face.
that tell the voters who they are. It's hard for Some of the candidates already seem like overly
candidates to resist. For example, then Texas familiar figures -- and not a single vote has yet
Gov. George W. Bush spoke early in the primary been cast.
season about rallying the armies of compassion
to confront hopelessness of spirit and condition. The media will be partly to blame. By next
This wasn't a "base theme." Rather, it was an spring (at the latest), journalists will have tired of
appeal to all Americans. His primary opponents the candidates and their messages and demand
criticized his focus on compassion. But Mr. Bush they say or do something new, different and
rejected any retreat from the theme, an action controversial, or they will be made to suffer. The
that served him well in the general election. result of all this is that we're putting pressure on
Now, because of the calendar, many candidates candidates to act in ways that have nothing to do
feel forced to devote much of their rhetoric and with how well they will govern. The purpose of
time to appealing to a faction in their party. a campaign ought to be the opposite.
Is it really good or fair for so much of America It's too late to do anything about 2008, but
to outsource its candidate selection to activists in Americans deserve better next time. One answer
a handful of the states at the front of this clipped might be to create a series of days on which
process? states across the country could hold their
primaries or caucuses. These contest days would
A longer primary process would give more be spread out over the winter and spring. Each
Americans a chance to make a considered day would have a mix of states, representing
decision about who should be president. The different regions of the country. Rep. Sander
process could still honor the role of Iowa, New Levin (D., Mich.) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D., Fla.)
Hampshire and South Carolina, but give other have introduced legislation along these lines.
states the opportunity to more fully participate in There are also proposals from the state
the selection of our nominees. secretaries of state and groups of leaders in both
parties. Perhaps a reform structure could be
There will be a vast stretch of time between arrived at by the two major parties and their
when each nomination is likely to be secured rules, without requiring congressional action.
(early February) and the conventions where they
are ratified (Aug. 25-28 for the Democrats and Longer, earlier and shorter -- at least when it
Sept. 1-4 for the Republicans). Let's not kid comes to selecting our presidential candidates --
ourselves: Next year, the general election starts is not in the country's best interests. The
in earnest on Feb. 6. presidential primary mayhem and next year's
seemingly endless general election campaign
A general election campaign that lasts nine will be compelling evidence for reform.
months will bore (even more than it has in the
Ch. 7, Pages 239-247 Assignment:
Directions: Read Ch. 7, pages 239-247 in the textbook and answer on a separate
sheet of paper. (Be sure to restate the vocabulary of each question.)
1. Define primary election:
2. Define nominating convention:
3. Describe the differences between closed primaries, open primaries and caucuses.
4. Explain the positive and negative consequences of having party leaders select candidates
instead of primary election voters.
5. Use figure 7.6 to compare and contrast campaign fund raising between the Democrats and
Republicans in 2008.
6. Define party platform:
7. Define back bencher:
8. Describe how developing agendas and coordination play roles in how parties governing
when they do get elected power.
9. Define unified government and responsible parties:
Define divided government and describe the benefits and detriments of divided government.
Ch. 7, Pages 247-253 Assignment:
Directions: Read Ch. 7, pages 247-253 in the textbook and answer on a separate
sheet of paper. (Be sure to restate the vocabulary of each question.)
1. Describe 3 reasons why minor parties still run for office.
2. Describe 3 reasons why the US has a two-party system.
3. Define single-member district:
4. Define plurality voting:
5. Define Duverger’s law:
6. Explain how American political parties are heterogeneous and explain how this impacts
the American political system.
(Comparative Government--Describe how western political party systems tend to differ
from the American party system.
Functions of Political Parties:
-- Most important part of American Government not mentioned in the Constitution.
(“Linkage institution” Citizens to government)
• Categorize and nominate candidates (labels)
--Conventions --> State Caucuses (Iowa)-->Primary elections (NH)
• Educate (Party label / campaign ads) and galvanize voters (GOTV)
• Govern as the party in power or critique (watch dog) the governing party.
Reasons for a two-party system:
History--Federalists v. anti-Federalists (power of central government v. states’
rights) Inter-governmental dispute = more consistent ideology
Winner-takes-all / single member districts (SMD)
Brits call this First Past the Post (FPTP) --
Bob Dold (GOP) 45% ---> plurality winner (most votes, but not necessarily
Dan Seals (Dem) 40%
Dave Elbaum (Green) 15% --> no incentive for finishing 2nd or 3rd
(Electoral College is the most dramatic example of winner takes all)
US does NOT have Proportional / Party List elections--
GOP 45% Dems 40% Green 15%
45/100 seats 40/100 seats 15/100 seats
--> coalition government needed to form majority in legislature
--> promotes existence of multiple parties
--> appointment of representatives promotes more loyalty to party leaders
--> coalitions can complicate policy making more than majority party rule
Reasons for unresponsible Parties (less party discipline than U.K.)
(i.e. The Party’s Over; parties and candidates not held accountable for policy failure):
Federalism = blame goes to various levels (more decentralized than Europe)
Separation of Powers = blame goes to other branches
Divided Government (President / House / Senate not all the same party) = blame
goes to other party
Growth of independent voters: split-ticket voting; single issue voters;
Single member districts: Election of personalities (not parties) to Congress
Primaries = party voters more powerful than Party leaders in nominating
candidates; candidates become more independent
Campaign costs = Congressional candidates rely on their individual fundraising
more than Party funds.
Big tents = American parties are more broad-based coalitions (many factions within
each party) than in Europe
Political Party dealignment
Party Realignment / critical elecitons = 1860; 1896; 1932
--when a vital issue cuts across party divisions (slavery / New Deal)
--Increased voter turnout ; sharp and enduring partisan changes
1968 -- Nixon but Democratic Congress
1980-- Reagan but Democratic Congress
1994 -- GOP Congress but Democratic President
Dealignment -- when a large portion of voters abandon a previous party identification without
1964 v. 1992
27% S.D. 18%
25% W.D. 18%
10% S.R. 11%
15% W.R. 15%
25% Ind. 37%
Divided government (president of one party/ Congress = the opposing party) is the new
1964 = political realignment in the South due to Civil Rights
-- Had been 6-1 Democratic officials in 1952; now 50/50
3rd Parties / Minor Parties
Bring new issues to the forefront = abolition; women’s suffrage; ending child labor; 40-hour
work week; balanced budget
-- Help provide a voice for the marginalized; voter venting
3rd parties as bumble bees = sting once and then they die (Major parties tend to borrow
popular platform stances after 3rd party success.)
Obstacles for 3rd parties
• state laws about ballot access to get names on the ballot
• federal laws about accessing public campaign funds (must get 5% of the presidential vote)
• rules by the national presidential debate commission (must have 15% support in polls to
get onto national debates.)
Presidential Election Process
2010 = Potential candidates form “Exploratory Committees” hire key staff, start raising
money; start visiting IA, NH, MI, NV, FL, CA + SC
Early 2011 = Make candidacy official, (Obama = Feb 10th, 2007) Retail Politics (shaking
hands) in IA, NH, + SC, raise money; create a personal following; develop
January, 2012 = Start Caucus (IA) and Primary (NH) season; raise money
--Frontloading...staging early nomination contests in IA and NH
--Horserace journalism...reporting campaigns as sporting events
March, 2012 = Secure unofficial nomination ; raise money
August, 2012 = Official nomination at National Conventions; raise money; campaign in
battleground (swing) states
Nov. 6th, 2012 = General Election (Obama, Democrat vs. ???????, Republican)
Jan. 20th 2013 = Inauguration Why Tuesday?
Make voting easier. Weekend elections would be a start
Norm Ornstein Roll Call November 9, 2005
We don’t have the numbers yet, but most likely the spectacularly high turnouts we see in countries like
elections Tuesday drew an average level of turnout Australia and Italy come because of coercive
for off-off-year contests — which means less than measures we would never accept — denial of
one-third of voters participating. government benefits if citizens don’t vote. But we are
at the other end of the scale: We throw all kinds of
Our turnout, which is basically the lowest among burdens and barriers in the way.
Western democracies, is pretty embarrassing. The
On Monday, I joined Andrew Young, the former U.S. had made this recommendation with a series of
ambassador to the United Nations, and pollsters Ed caveats. Under current federal law, there will be a
Goeas and Celinda Lake at a press conference for the requirement in a few years that a photo identification,
organization “Why Tuesday?” The question in the the REAL ID, be used for homeland security
organization’s title refers to Election Day — which in purposes. If such a requirement is to exist anyhow,
fact was set in 1845 as the first Tuesday following the why not use it as well for voting? At the same time,
first Monday in November, in order to fit agrarian the commission said that any photo ID requirement
schedules for farming, harvesting and going to must provide the IDs free of charge to everyone who
market. Tuesday was the day most eligible voters lacks them and make them readily accessible. The
traveled to their county seats if they had business to panel did not accept the noxious Georgia standard,
conduct, thus making it easier for them to vote at the which is a latter-day poll tax.
But leave the controversial ID requirement aside and
Young and I, along with former Rep. Jack Kemp (R- the other recommendations are important and
N.Y.), former Sen. Bill Bradley (D-N.J.) and others, necessary. These include moving rapidly to update
have been asking that question as part of a larger statewide voter registration lists, to make them
effort to rethink and reform our election interoperable across states, to make sure that polling
administration and system. Yes, I know Congress places have enough machines with adequate paper
engaged in a Herculean effort to pass the Help trails for validation and recounts, and to have enough
America Vote Act in 2002 — the first serious federal trained poll workers.
reform of elections ever. But HAVA has not been
fully implemented, much less fully funded (an even Election officials have their own interesting
more difficult goal now with budget cutbacks recommendation, building on successful experiments
looming). We did not have an election catastrophe in conducted in such places as Larimer County, Colo.,
November 2004 as we had in November 2000, but and Harris County, Texas: To consolidate voting
anyone who looks closely at elections knows we precincts into a smaller number of vote centers on
barely dodged a bullet. Election Day. Larger centers would permit
consolidation of equipment and a concentration of
Goeas and Lake conducted a poll of voters on election poll workers, thus accommodating more voters easily
issues, and they found that only 52 percent of and smoothly, saving resources and making voting
Americans believe our elections are fair and that easier. Of course, to do so would require things such
votes are actually counted and recorded. Only one- as mobile vans cruising neighborhoods to pick up
third of African-Americans are in that category. They voters and take them to the centers and back to their
also found that two-thirds of Americans want own neighborhoods, so that polling places are
Congress to make voting easier, and that 45 percent accessible to those without cars or alternate
would favor moving elections to the weekend. transportation options.
Weekend voting was especially popular among young
voters, African-American voters and working parents. So here is my Wal-Mart approach to voting. First,
Goeas noted that the lowest turnout comes from make Election Day a 24-hour period, from noon
women with small children at home — no great Saturday to noon Sunday, removing any Sabbath
surprise, perhaps, but also a sign that moving problems and eliminating the burden for working
elections to the weekend would not necessarily favor people who can vote only early in the morning or
Democrats. after the workday and who often face two-hour lines
at peak periods. Wal-Mart stores that stay open 24/7
Moving Election Day to the weekend is no panacea. It do not usually have huge lines at the checkout
ought to be done in conjunction with a series of other counters.
reforms, some of which have been suggested by
election officials and others of which were included Second, allow early voting on the Wednesday,
in the recommendations by the Carter-Baker Thursday and Friday before the weekend of Election
Commission on election reform, co-chaired by former Day, so that people who would otherwise be away for
President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State the weekend can go to the polls and vote. This
James Baker. eliminates the problem that absentee balloting has —
the extended period of several weeks that has far too
Their commission has been given a bum rap, heavily many people casting their ballots before they
criticized for one of its recommendations — that we assimilate the information from the final days of a
move to a required photo ID for voting. Carter-Baker campaign. It also curbs the expansion of voting by
mail, which erodes the civil culture of voting together computer provide a ballot that allows them to vote on
on Election Day and builds in far greater federal, state and local races to fit their residence.
opportunities for undue influence by removing the
zone of privacy that a voting booth provides. These reforms would entail some added expense, but
such outlays would be trivial in the context of a $3
Third, expand election centers to create a more trillion budget and a $12 trillion economy. If Wal-
efficient and pleasant environment for voting. Wal- Mart can stay open 24/7/365, surely our polling
Mart stores are large entities that consolidate places can stay open 24/1/once every two years.
products, provide adequate parking and have enough
people working there to answer questions and handle Our election system is a bit reminiscent of New
consumer needs. Orleans before Hurricane Katrina. We had made half-
hearted and underfunded efforts to put an adequate
Fourth, create the kind of registration system that system in place, but it was clear that a perfect storm
allows voters going to the election centers to give would overwhelm the system and create genuine
their names, addresses (and, I would add, the last four catastrophe. I hope, for the sake of our democracy,
digits of their Social Security numbers) and have a that the complacency disappears soon.
Norman Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
Five myths about turning out the vote
The Washington Post October 29, 2006
If you're an upstanding U.S. citizen, you'll stand up presidential elections and 39.4 percent in midterm
and be counted this Election Day, right? Well, maybe elections for the past three decades. There has been
not. Just because Americans can vote doesn't mean variation, of course, with turnout as low as 51.7
they do. But who shows up is what decides the tight percent in 1996 and rebounding to 60.3 percent by
races, which makes turnout one of the most closely 2004. Turnout in the most recent election, in fact, is
watched aspects of every election -- and one that has on a par with the low-60 percent turnout rates of the
fostered a number of myths. Here are five, debunked: 1950s and '60s.
1. Thanks to increasing voter apathy, turnout 2. Other countries' higher turnout indicates more
keeps dwindling. vibrant democracies.
This is the mother of all turnout myths. There may be You can't compare apples and oranges. Voting rules
plenty of apathetic voters out there, but the idea that differ from nation to nation, producing different
ever fewer Americans are showing up at the polls turnout rates. Some countries have mandatory voting.
should be put to rest. What's really happening is that If Americans were fined $100 for playing voter hooky
the number of people not eligible to vote is rising -- on Election Day, U.S. participation might increase
making it seem as though turnout is dropping. dramatically. But in fact, many people with a ballot
pointed at their head simply cast a blank one or a
Those who bemoan a decline in American civic nonsense vote for Mickey Mouse.
society point to the drop in turnout from 55.2 percent
in 1972, when 18-year-olds were granted the right to Moreover, most countries have national elections
vote, to the low point of 48.9 percent in 1996. But maybe once every five years; the United States has
that's looking at the total voting-age population, presidential or congressional elections every two
which includes lots of people who aren't eligible to years. Frequent elections may lead to voter fatigue.
vote -- namely, noncitizens and convicted felons. New European Union elections, for instance, seem to
These ineligible populations have increased be depressing turnout in member countries. After
dramatically over the past three decades, from about 2 decades of trailing turnout in the United Kingdom,
percent of the voting-age population in 1972 to 10 U.S. turnout in 2004 was on a par with recent British
percent today. elections, in which turnout was 59.4 percent in 2001
and 61.4 percent in 2005.
When you take them out of the equation, the post-
1972 "decline" vanishes. Turnout rates among those Americans are asked to vote more often -- in national,
eligible to vote have averaged 55.3 percent in state, local and primary contests -- than the citizens of
any other country. They can be forgiven for missing through phone calls, door-to-door solicitation and the
one or two elections, can't they? Even then, over the like find that it does have some positive effect on
course of several elections, Americans have more turnout. But people vote for many reasons other than
chances to participate and their turnout may be higher meeting a campaign worker, such as the issues, the
than that in countries where people vote only once closeness of the election and the candidates'
every five years. likeability. Further, these studies focus on get-out-the-
vote drives in low-turnout elections, when contacts
3. Negative ads turn off voters and reduce turnout. from other campaigns and outside groups are
minimal. We don't know what the effects of
Don't be so sure. The case on this one is still open. mobilization drives are in highly competitive races in
Negative TV advertising increased in the mid-1980s, which people are bombarded by media stories,
but turnout hasn't gone down correspondingly. The television ads and direct mail.
negative Swift boat campaign against Sen. John F.
Kerry (D-Mass.) apparently did little to depress Republican get-out-the-vote efforts could make a
turnout in the 2004 presidential race. difference in close elections if Democrats simply sat
on the sidelines. But this year Democrats have vowed
Some academic studies have found that negative to match the GOP mobilization voter for voter. So it'll
advertising increases turnout. And that's not so take more than just knowing whether a prospective
surprising: A particularly nasty ad grabs people's voter owns a Volvo or a BMW for Republicans to eke
attention and gets them talking. People participate out victory in a competitive race.
when they're interested. A recent GOP attack ad on
Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.), a Senate 5. Making voter registration easier would
candidate, has changed the dynamic of the race, dramatically increase turnout.
probably not because it changed minds or dissuaded
Democrats, but because it energized listless Well, yes and no.
In 1993, the Democratic government in Washington
We'll have to wait to see whether the attack on Ford enacted "Motor Voter," a program that allowed
backfires because voters perceive it as unfair. That's people to register to vote when they received their
the danger of going negative. So campaigns tend to driver's license or visited a welfare office. Democrats
stick to "contrast ads," in which candidates contrast thought that if everyone were registered, turnout rates
their records with those of their opponents. When would increase -- by as much as 7 percentage points.
people see stark differences between candidates,
they're more likely to vote. But while many people registered to vote, turnout
didn't go up much. Subsequent studies found only
4. The Republican "72-hour campaign" will win small increases in turnout attributable to Motor Voter,
the election. perhaps 2 percentage points.
Not necessarily. You can lead citizens to the ballot, Sizable increases in turnout can be seen in states with
but you can't make them vote. Election Day registration, which allows people to
register when they vote. This may be related to the
Republicans supposedly have a super-sophisticated fact that lots of people don't make up their minds to
last-minute get-out-the-vote effort that identifies vote until Election Day, rather than months in
voters who'll be pivotal in electing their candidates. advance when they get a license.
Studies of a campaign's personal contact with voters
Cannot Voters Do Not Voters How to increase
State Regulations of Elections Federal Regulation of Elections
Ch. 8, Pages 257-271 Assignment:
Directions: Read Ch. 8, pages 257-271 in the textbook and answer on a separate
sheet of paper. (Be sure to restate the vocabulary of each question.)
1. Define the popular vote:
2. Define the electoral vote:
3. Define incumbent:
4. Define nomination:
5. Define open primary:
6. Define closed primary:
7. Define no-excuse absentee voting:
8. Define general election:
9. Explain how a a candidate seeking the party nomination might take a different campaign
strategy than that same candidate might make in seeking a victory in the general election.
10. Describe a runoff election and explain why a runoff election system is sometimes called
a two-round ballot system.
11. Define undervote and explain why technology can impact the undervote rate.
12. Describe what happens if no presidential candidate wins a majority of electoral votes:
• How 2008 primaries were different
-- Obama wins Iowa; Hillary finishes 3rd
-- Hillary wins New Hampshire but they split Super Tuesday
-- Hillary “wins” Michigan and Florida but delegates aren’t counted due to
violations of DNC scheduling rules.
-- Tie on Super Tuesday--regional primary (proportional allocation =
dividing the delegates proportionally the the primary / caucus
result. GOP has moved to this in 2012 away from winner-takes-
-- Obama wins string of post Super Tuesday caucuses and primaries
(Obama has superior caucus organization; caucuses tend to be held in
smaller GOP states so Democrats are more liberal)
-- Democrats split delegates proportionally so Obama is able to maintain
delegate lead despite loses in Ohio and PA.
-- Hillary loses “superdelegate” edge as Obama maintains lead in
delegates (Superdelegates --party leaders who can cast a
delegate vote (20% of the delegates in 2008) at the Democratic
National Convention for any Democratic candidate as a way to
ensure party leader influence in close contests.)
• State Primary Elections
-- Key step in nomination process since 1972 (36 states have primaries..rest =
-- Party voters express presidential preference
-- Party voters (base) select delegates to national conventions
-- Federal (Starts with Iowa Caucus / N.H. Primary in early January of election year)
– Frontloading = small less diverse states have large voice at beginning
-- Expensive -- state to state process = huge media buys / costly state organizations
-- Partisan -- Party voters (grassroots) tend to dislike moderate candidates
• National Conventions
-- Official step in nomination of party candidates for General Election
-- Have become rubberstamps of primary voters since 1972
-- Pep rally / fundraising parties for the parties
-- Party Platform (issue stances) unveiled
-- First chance for much of the public to see new candidates on national stage (Sarah
Palin 2008; Obama’s keynote speech in 2004) Ch. 8, Pages 271-
Directions: Read Ch. 8, pages 271-299 in the textbook and answer on a separate sheet of
paper. (Be sure to restate the vocabulary of each question.)
1. Define permanent campaign and explain how this can impact governing:
2. Define opposition research:
3. Is wholesale politics or retail politics more effective at voter mobilization to GOTV in the ground
game? Provide a full explanation as to why.
4. Define campaign platform:
5. Describe two campaign tactics a candidate who is losing in a race might use to gain momentum:
6. Define presidential coattails:
7. Define Federal Election Commission:
8. Define hard money:
9. Define soft money:
10. Describe three provisions of the original Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act:
11. Describe a 527:
12. Define PAC:
13. Describe the incentive and the drawback for presidential candidates receiving federal campaign
14. Describe the impact of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission on campaign finance
15. Explain how the 1st Amendment makes the regulation of campaign finance more complicated.