A2, Unit 3C - Elections and Voting

I'm resitting this exam - these are updated notes! 

This powerpoint includes notes on: 

The electoral process, the advantages and disadvantages of the process, the Electoral College, Voting behaviour, camoagin finance, Congressional Elections, Direct Democracy and voting parcipation. 

I'm using this particulary for Unit 3C but it may be helpful for A Level overall!

This was all done by me, feedback and comments would be appreciated!


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Elections and Voting :…read more

Slide 2

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Election Process : Invisible
· Invisible Primaries ­
· This is the period before the Primaries ­ starts pretty
much straight after the last election.
· There are three main aims of candidates during this
time ;
· Media Coverage ­ they want to achieve widespread
name recognition ­ to gather media airtime and
­ They will want to present themselves to potential
voters (especially unknown candidates) Eg. Following
the 2008 election Sarah Palin wanted to strengthen her
foreign policy position ­ taking trips to India and Israel
in 2011.…read more

Slide 3

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Election Process : Invisible
· Endorsements ­ after the formal announcements ­
candidates will look to gather support from key
individuals. Eg. In the 2000 Democratic nomination
race ­ Al Gore made huge efforts to win over the super
delegate votes (key party members such as; governors,
mayors who are sent to the NPC to choose the party's
presidential candidate).
- They will also look to gain the support of influential
pressure groups. ­ thus will provide important
grassroots support in their campaign. Eg. 7 months
before the 2012 primary ­ Michele Bachmann spoke at
the Faith and Freedom Conference in Washington.…read more

Slide 4

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Election Process : Invisible
· Finance ­ this could be seen as the most important
function of invisible primaries.
· They need to raise enough money to last them
throughout the presidential campaign. Eg. Ex-Iowa
governor Tom Vilsack had to pull out of the 2008
Democratic race because he wasn't able to raise
enough funds and couldn't finance his campaign.
· Candidates will look to court pressure groups and PACS
who will provide them will valuable funding.…read more

Slide 5

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Election Process : Primaries and
· Primaries and caucuses ­
· This is the first official stage of the election process ­
taking place between January and June of the election
· Voters in each state vote for delegates to go to the
NPC and formally select the party's candidate. ­ Each
state is given delegates depending on population.
· Candidates who win the primaries/caucuses in a state
are given some or all of that state's delegates who
then pledge to vote for that candidate at the NPC.…read more

Slide 6

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Election Process : Primaries and
· Types of primaries :
· Open primaries ­ any registered voter can vote in
either the Republican/Democrat primary but not both
(regardless of their party affiliation). Eg. this is the case
in 16 states ­ including Texas.
· Advantages : increases participation, encourages
politicians to have wider appeal, usually moderate
voters ­ filtering extreme candidates and good
preparation for election.
· Disadvantages : can favour candidates with lots of
money and high media profile, voters may be ill-
informed.…read more

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Old Sir


There is a huge amount of information in this wide-ranging survey of US elections. In addition to clear explanation students will find reference to issues and factors affecting outcomes with mention of recent noteworthy examples to use in evaluation and analysis. A very useful resource.

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