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Presidential Elections Overview:
o Occurs every 4 years (Article II of the constitution)
o Occurs on the Tuesday after the first Monday in
o First one occurred in 1788
Can only be President if;
o You're a natural born US citizen
o You're 35 years…

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Hillary Clinton in 2008 because he had
superior organisation.
o Oratorical skills and being Telegenic
Reagan is a key example as he was previously
a Hollywood actor.
o Sound and Relevant policies
Its not all style and no substance. Policies
have to be practical and relevant

Stage Functions Occurs

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in-depth political discussion on serious TV shows. Candidates
declare their intentions up to a year before the

Support for the candidates is demonstrated principally by opinion
polls. Sometimes these polls are inaccurate, as Hillary Clinton
found out in 2008.

Some events are not actually invisible, these include;
Televised debates…

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How to conduct the Primary? (some states have
experimented with postal voting and electronic voting)
Who can vote in the primary?
o Closed Primary ­ only registered Democrats can
vote in the Democratic Primary and only registered
Republicans can vote in the Republican Primary.
o Open Primary ­ allow any…

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Weeding out candidates Lacks significant input from
without stamina to survive the professional politicians

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Primary Reform
Primary system was reformed in 1968 under the McGovern-Fraser
Commission, as the original system was deemed undemocratic,
elitist, non-participatory and potentially corrupt. Even now, people
are disillusioned with the current system and propose changes;
National Primary
A series of four regional primaries
Further limits on fund raising and…

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o However, this function has almost entirely been lost
to the primaries
o To win the presidential nomination a candidate
must receive an absolute majority of the votes from
the delegates
o In 2008, there were 4,418 delegates attending the
Democratic National Convention therefore Barack
Obama needed 2,210 votes

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o Media can ruin a disunited party
Enthusing the party faithful
o Party faithful = the delegates
o It is important they are `enthused' because;
They are the people who will be carrying out
campaigns and state and local level
They need to communicate their enthusiasm
to ordinary voters

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Many questions raised about how money for election
campaigns was being spent and the amount
Some Presidents, such as Nixon, formed ridiculous
committees in order to raise extortionate amounts
Nixon formed a re-election committee (CRP) and raised so
much money that Democrat George McGovern couldn't
Watergate affair
`The Watergate…

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o There are only 2 national titles ­ USA Today and
The Wall Street Journal ­ however, there are local
papers that have national reputations ­ Washington
Post and New York times ­ what is most important
is what the columnists say on their opinions page
o `Weeklies' are important…


Old Sir


A detailed and extensive set of notes, it also includes examples or case studies which students can research in greater depth in order to address assessment objective 2. Very useful.

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