Party Decline vs Party Renewal Theory

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  • Party Decline          vs           Party Renewal Thesis
    • Party Decline Thesis
      • "The Party's over" by David Broder argues for the Party Delcine Theory
      • Nomination
        • Now is carried out mostly by the public not the party in primaries
          • For example the Iowa primary 2016 which voted in favour of Ted Cruz for the Republican Party and Hilary Clinton for the Democrats
          • Primaries lead to disunity among the parties as they don't work in a collegiate manner to elect a candidate
            • E.g reported Republican Party split over current candidacy according to the New York Times
        • Can select mavericks that upset the party
          • E.g Ron Paul who is never invited to the presidential debate because he is seen as too much of a maverick
      • Campaigning
        • Carried out by individual campaign teams not the party as a whole
          • E.g CREEP or Obama's team with campaign leader David Axelrod and the use of Sam Power
      • Fundraising
        • Most money for candidates now does not come from the party it comes from individuals
          • Obama raised $750m in 2008 from small donations and Bernie Sanders has raised nearly $95m in individual contributions (Feb 2016)
      • Communication
        • Role of media has taken away the power of the parties
          • Obama spent $288 million on 504,623 ads (to end of Oct), 82% spent on negative ads. 
    • Party Renewal Thesis
      • Superdelegates/ unpledged delegates
        • In 2008, 800 Democrat delegates were superdelegates (20 % of all delegates)
        • In 2000 nearly all superdelegates backed Bush helping him beat McCain to the candidacy
      • Legal rulings
        • Have strengthened the role of parties
        • For instance, US supreme court Cousins v Wigoda (1975) favoured national parties over regional ones
      • Pro-active leadership
        • Greater fundraising programmes and direct mail programmes
      • Soft Money
        • Money donated to the party in a way in which it cannot be regulated
        • Because soft money is not regulated by election laws, companies, unions and individuals may give donations in any amount to a political party for the purpose of "party building."
          • However since the McCain-Feingold act there has been a growing decline of soft money. For example the DNC has lost roughly $50m in soft money donations in the election after the act
            • Party Decline Thesis
              • "The Party's over" by David Broder argues for the Party Delcine Theory
              • Nomination
                • Now is carried out mostly by the public not the party in primaries
                  • For example the Iowa primary 2016 which voted in favour of Ted Cruz for the Republican Party and Hilary Clinton for the Democrats
                  • Primaries lead to disunity among the parties as they don't work in a collegiate manner to elect a candidate
                    • E.g reported Republican Party split over current candidacy according to the New York Times
                • Can select mavericks that upset the party
                  • E.g Ron Paul who is never invited to the presidential debate because he is seen as too much of a maverick
              • Campaigning
                • Carried out by individual campaign teams not the party as a whole
                  • E.g CREEP or Obama's team with campaign leader David Axelrod and the use of Sam Power
              • Fundraising
                • Most money for candidates now does not come from the party it comes from individuals
                  • Obama raised $750m in 2008 from small donations and Bernie Sanders has raised nearly $95m in individual contributions (Feb 2016)
              • Communication
                • Role of media has taken away the power of the parties
                  • Obama spent $288 million on 504,623 ads (to end of Oct), 82% spent on negative ads. 
        • Microsoft gave $1,890,000 of soft money to the Republicans in 2002
      • Polarisation
        • Since the 1960s there has been a growing partisanship
        • The pew research recorded a record breaking 8 point difference between parties
        • In 1994, 49% of Americans had mixed political views whereas in 2014 only 39% of Americans held mixed political views
          • But those holding mixed political views are less likely to vote
        • In 2014 36% of Republicans viewed the Democrats as dangerous to the nation's well being
        • The arguments over planned parenthood, Obamacare and the Economic Stimulus Package highlight this
        • Shows growing Party politics
      • Partisanship
        • Means loyalty to party
        • John Kerry has a 97% voting record of voting in line with the party
        • Party support in Congress
        • No support from Republicans in the house over Oamacare

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