Newest Assignments and Dates (If assignment is online it shall be stated below)

  • 03-17-2008 - 03-21-2008 -Spring Break (FREEDOM)
  • 03-21-2008 -Art History Outline and images
  • Still during spring break: Read Lord of the Flies for techniques/devices, 3 allusions due.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Government -Chap 5-Module 3

The Electoral College
-Deciding how the president would be elected caused a lot of debate:
-Information was too hard to disseminate to the entire country
-Did not want congress to directly elect the president
-Believedelections held in each state assembly would just result in nominating a "favorite son"
-All led to electoral college
-Constitution says that a group of representatives, electors, from each sates and the District of Columbie shall assemble every fours years for presidential election
-Number of electors is electors is equal to the number of congressman for each state
-Supposed to vote according to the will of their constituents
-Constitution originally required each electors to vote for two separate candidates
-The highest one would be president the second place winner would be VP
-12th ammendment in 1804 changed this
-All but two states have a winner-take-all system
-Main and Nebraska split their votes based on the candidates statewide performance
-Electors meet six weeks after the popular vote to vote
-There are a total of 538 votes
-If no candidate gets 270, the House determines the winner
-Has happened only two: 1800 and 1824
2000 Election:
-Al Gore won popular vote, but Bush got the electoral vote
-Criticism of Electoral College:
-Large states have more influence
-Small states feel ignored
-States that have a dominent political party have greater power
-Easy to find a winner
-Recounts are rare
-Maintains a two-party system
-Popular Vote:
-Many candidates
-The winner would be unlikely to receive more than half all votes
-The president would hardly be one that could clam his election was a "mandate" from the people


Primaries, Caucuses, an the Conventions

    • Process is done through primary election:
      • Most common:
      • Three types:
        • Open: Voters can cast ballots for a candidate from any political party
        • Closed: Voters may only vote for candidates representing the political party with which the voter is registered
        • Blanket: Candidates from both parties are listed on the same ballot
    • Caucuses:
      • Selected members of a political party represent the voters will
        • Only 12 states use
        • Corrupt wrought by political machines stopped
  • Primaries and Caucuses:
    • Iowa Caucus/New Hampshire Primary:
      • Held in late January or early Feb.
      • Those who do well will gain momentum and get a boost in support
      • Critics believe that the two states hold too much power the elections
      • Elections suffer because many candidates withdrawn after doing poorly at these elections
    • Super Tuesday:
      • Second Tuesday in March
      • Clear favorite in front
      • Trailing candidates will usually withdraw
      • Critics:
        • Early timing: Extends the length of the campaign forcing candidates to need more money
        • Voters lose interest with the extended election time
        • Voters will their vote is worthless because those voting at the end will already have a single candidate singled out
  • National conventions:
    • Held for two reasons:
      • Party platform: Set of directions, values, and tenets the party believes in, and intends to promote during the remainder of th campaign
        • Create unity
        • Establish agenda
      • Candidate selection:
        • Official nomination of party's presidential and vice presidential candidates:
          • Vote taken among delegates, which cast a vote for the candidate selected in the states primary of caucus
          • If the vote does not get a winner a second vote is taken in which the delegates can vote for who ever they want
          • A mere formality


General Elections:
  • After convention the candidates are ready to go
  • Tuesday after the first Monday in November
  • Debates, maneuvering, posturing, and posing takes place
  • Most elections feature an incumbent against the challenger
  • Incumbents Presidents:
    • Advantages:
      • Free press coverage
      • Acting presidential at national and international conferences and meeting to present themselves as confident and capable
      • The can improve image through crisis management
      • Credit claiming, when they get credit for positive events they may or may not have influenced
    • Disadvantage:
      • Blame for economy
      • Endure policy criticism
      • Approval rating decreases over term of office
  • Challengers:
    • Advantage:
      • Able to attack the presidents policy record
      • Promote their own political record
      • Momentum from primaries and caucuses hat can fuel a challenger's surge in polls
      • Extensive media exposure in the true primary
      • Claim of being Washington outsider to get the trust of those who don't trust the government
        • Carter and Clinton
    • Disadvantage:
      • Difficult to raise money for campaign because people are less willing to sponsor an uncertain campaign
      • Have not been able to prove they can succeed at a national and international level
      • Regionalism: Identified with where they come from
      • Third party candidates


Horserace reporting: Practice that occurs in the media where candidates must finish in the top three of the primary to continue to receive media attention

No comments: