Elections and Voting 3C Topic 1

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  • Created on: 25-12-13 19:55
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Presidential elections-
They occur every 4 years
On the Tuesday after the first Monday in November
Requirements of a US president:
Requirement Explanation and Examples Constitutional Rank
American You must be an American citizen like Obama. Yes 1
35 years of That is the minimum age you can be president. Theodore Yes 1
age Roosevelt was the youngest president at 42.
Residency Must have been living in the US for at least 14 years. Yes 1
Political Three groups of politicians are good pools of recruitment No 3
experience for the president and VP's. Members of the house struggle
to gain credibility and been seen as serious candidates.
Candidates in 2008 were either senator or state governor.
Major party Vital to be chosen as candidate for one of the two parties. No 2
endorsement Pat Buchanan 2000- 3rd party candidate or independents
don't work.
Personal Advantage to be married- only 1 single president. There No 2
Characteristic have been no female presidents or VP's.
Ability to Crucial for successful bid. Very few finance own campaigns- No 1
raise large 2007 Hilary Clinton raised $90 million.
sums of
Effective During candidate selection process party cannot endorse No 3
organisation candidate and they must create their own organisation. In
2008 Barack Obama has superior organisation to Hillary
Oratorical Ability to speak well and look good on TV is crucial. Barack No 1
skills and Obama is a very good public speaker.
Sound and Danger that presidents are all style and no substance. Bill No 2
relevant Clinton 1992 economy.

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What are the candidates trying to achieve?
Sometimes referred to as the `money primary' the invisible primary is critically important for raising
enough money and name recognition to sustain an election.
Hillary Clinton 2007 ­ announced her intention to run one year before the first primary.…read more

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Since 1988 3/6 invisible primary winners for democrats has become candidate
2008- rep. Rudy Giuliani got almost double $ than McCain but McCain still won the primary
Hillary Clinton won 2008 invisible primary- lost primary
A presidential primary is an election to select a party's candidate for the presidency. Smaller states
with small but spread out population holds caucuses instead of a primary.
They provide 2 main functions-
1. To show the popularity of the Presidential candidates
2.…read more

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Increased level of interest- Democratic race in Voters are unrepresentative of typical general
2008 election voters- more elderly, more ideological,
better educated and wealthier
Increased choice of candidates- 14 in 2008 Makes the process too long, which may
discourage some better-qualified candidates
from running
Opening up the process to outsiders- bill Too expensive and media orientated
Clinton and Barack Obama
Removing power of the party bosses Bitter personal battles- 2008 Clinton v.…read more

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This would stop frontloading, cut down the amount of travelling by candidates and less
money spent.
Or split into 4 groups according to population- smaller going first
Weighting votes for elected politicians at National Party Convention- members of Congress, state
governors have a weighted vote at conventions. This would increase the opportunity for
knowledgeable politicians to peer review. This would also increase the role of the party- they can
identify presidential qualities.…read more

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Obama was certain of nomination 2 months before the Democrat National
2. Choosing the Vice-President- not since 1956 has a national party convention chosen the
vice-presidential candidate, known as the running mate. In recent years the running-mate has
been announced before the National Party Convention. In 2008 both Obama and McCain
announced their running-mates just before the Convention met. The convention merely
confirms rather than chooses the VP candidate. The presidential candidate often looks for a
balanced ticket.…read more

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Us elections are criticised for spending vast amounts of money each election cycle.…read more

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Newspapers- there are no national newspapers in the US except for the USA today and the Wall
Street Journal. The Washington post and the New York Times have a national reputation. The most
important role they play is the columnist's opinion page and the endorsements they make near
Election Day. These are useful because they are free publicity for a candidate, although they are not
as widespread as TV and not always complementary.…read more

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In 2008 it was 95%. The Hispanics are a growing group and there
importance grows each election cycle. In 2004 43% voted bush but this fell in 2008 to 31%.
Religion- protestant voters tend to vote republican- majority of votes to bush in 2000/4 and McCain
in 2008. Catholic voters tend to vote Democrat but are at odds with their `pro-choice' stance. In 2008
obama won 54% of votes, McCain 45%. Jewish population vote solidly democrat, although they only
represent 3% of the electorate.…read more

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Is Obama a successful president?
Being re-elected for a second term is deemed a prerequisite for being considered a
successful president. Obama managed to get elected again in 2012.
Inflation fell under Obama, down to 0 when Obama entered office.
Petrol prices were also under $2 a gallon by the time Obama took over from Bush.
By the end of the decade and extra 30 million Americans will be covered.
Race to the top programme for education reform invested heavily in.…read more


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