On the Road to the White House Information Resources

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					On the Road to the White House:
Information Resources on Presidential Nomination
John Hernandez Politics & U.S. Documents Librarian February 25, 2004

On the Show This Morning…
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Background on Presidential Nomination Information Resources (Current & Historical)
Primary Debates & Campaign Advertising  Primaries & Caucuses  Party Platforms & Conventions  Public Opinion
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Third Parties

Eligibility to Run for President
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Article II, Section 1
Natural-born citizen  At least 35 years of age  U.S. resident for at least 14 years
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22nd Amendment
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No one may serve more than two full terms

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No official requirement of previous elective office or military service

Pre-Nomination Phase
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Raise money Test the waters via exploratory committees Formally name campaign committees File with the Federal Election Commission http://www.fec.gov/ Publicly announce candidacy

Campaign Advertising
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Positive public image of candidate Negative image of opposition Sources for ads & public statements
Running for President: The Candidates and Their Images, 1789-1992  Candidate statements via Project Vote Smart http://www.vote-smart.org/  Campaign announcements & ads via C-SPAN http://www.c-span.org/vote2004/profiles.asp http://www.c-span.org/vote2004/campads.asp
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Primary Debates
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Held between candidates of the same party Initial fight for popularity Opportunity to set campaign rhetoric, issues and agenda First debate held 1948 in Oregon between NY Gov. Thomas Dewey & former MN Gov. Harold Stassen

Sources of Debates
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Newspaper coverage
Proquest Historical Newspapers  LexisNexis  NewsBank
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Videos
Vanderbilt University Television News Archive http://tvnews.vanderbilt.edu/  C-SPAN Archives http://www.c-spanarchives.org/
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History of the Primary/Caucus
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Congressional caucuses were the traditional method of selecting nominees until 1824 Multi-tiered nominating caucus-conventions began in the 1830s to reflect popular will Primaries began about 1910 in state elections
Pressure from Progressives  Applied to national elections as of 1948
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U.S. Presidential Primaries and the Caucus-Convention System: A Sourcebook

Primary vs. Caucus
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Election to nominate party candidates for the general election Voters elect delegates to national convention Voting can be closed (only registered party members) or open (non-registered)

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Meeting of party members or leaders to select nominees Delegates to national convention are chosen Often used with state convention Support for a candidate registered by public declaration

Delegate Scorecard
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Number of delegates & assignments defined by national parties As candidates drop out, delegates are redistributed Unpledged delegates are aligned as the process continues

Iowa & New Hampshire
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First in the nation
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Iowa Caucus/New Hampshire Primary Six-week period between February & March

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Front-loading
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Winners here often take the convention

Super Tuesday
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Began with Southern Legislative Conference 1988 Provides over half of the needed delegates This year is March 2, 2004
CA (370), NY (236) & OH (140)  MA (93), GA (86), MN (72) & MD (69)  CT (49), RI (21), & VT (15)
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Primary & Caucus Results
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Official state tallies
State Departments of State  Federal Election Commission
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Unofficial compiled sources
America at the Polls, 1920-2000  America Votes (1956-present)  United States Presidential Primary Elections, 1968-1996  CNN.com American Votes 2004 http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/
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National Party Conventions
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National party platform is finalized and announced Delegates tallied to determine the party’s nominees Nominees for President and Vice President are announced Acceptance speeches are made Race for the general election begins

Party Platforms
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Statement of the party’s agenda and positions Comprised of “planks” or specific issue statements Platform sources
Official proceedings of party conventions  National Party Platforms, 1840-1976
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1980 supplement

National Party Conventions, 1831-1992  The American Presidency Project http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/
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Public Opinion Polls
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Began in earnest circa 1972 Used to project winners & losers
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“Horse race” coverage

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Largely consist of exit polls & surveys Conducted by major news networks, papers & pollsters
ABC, CBS, CNN, New York Times, L.A. Times  Gallup, Zogby, Harris, Roper
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Public Opinion Sources
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Opinion poll indexes/databases
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Polling the Nations iPoll Databank American Public Opinion Index

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News sources NES Guide to Public Opinion & Electoral Behavior
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Evaluation of Presidential Candidates http://www.umich.edu/~nes/nesguide/gd-index.htm#7

Third Parties
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Often not reported due to relative size, influence, and non-mainstream focus Spoilers may get better coverage (i.e. Green Party) Generally necessary to research the parties individually Third Party Presidential Nominating Conventions, Proceedings, Records, Etc.
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Microfilm good for historical coverage of select third parties PUL does not own, Penn State & NYPL do.

Tune in Next Time When John Says…
Don’t blame me, I voted for the other guy!