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1. Key concepts:
a) New Deal Liberalism
In 1932 Franklin D Roosevelt (FDR) forged a New Deal coalition of white Southerners, urban working class (especially in
poor northern cities), ethnic groups, trade unionists and liberal middle classes, which has been the basis of Democratic
support ever since.…

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Out of the 50 state governors, 49 are either Republicans or Democrats.
The Republicans and Democrats dominate politics and elections in the USA to a startling extent.
The reasons:
There are two main reasons why the USA has a twoparty system:
The firstpastthepost, winnertakesall electoral system.
The diversity and allembracing…

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who believe that only by presenting a clear alternative to the right will the party galvanise supporters and attract
floundering voters disillusioned with the Republicans.
Note the fact that in recent years the trend has been towards increasingly ideological cohesion within each party.

3. Explain who supports each party and…

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a) Blue Dog Democrats (conservative). Note their emergence in 2006 Congressional elections (see 2 above). This
faction argues that Americans have become increasingly conservative and that Democrats have to respond to this
trend by presenting an agenda which protects the interests of the vulnerable while respecting traditional Christian…

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ii. Guidance from the Catholic church hierarchy to support candidates, often Republican, who oppose abortion and
gay rights
iii. A drift towards the party of low taxation (as Catholics become wealthier they tend to become more likely to support
Republicans). However, Obama won 51% of the Catholic vote in 2012.…

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of the vote he won was almost certainly pivotal in denying Al Gore the presidency in the 2000 presidential election
campaign. Even in the 2004 Presidential Election, when Ralph Nader won only 0.38% of the vote, his participation in the
campaign diverted time and funds of both major parties as…

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2000 Ralph Nader Green 2.8m 2.7% 0

2004 Ralph Nader Independent 0.4m 0.4% 0

2008 Ralph Nader Independent 0.67m 0.6% 0

2012 Gary Johnson Libertarian 1.2m 1% 0

3. There are 2 types of 3rd parties:
a) Ideological. Usually radical, survive for a long time, permanent, get little support (e.g.…

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i) Television and opinion polls have bypassed parties as the medium by which candidates communicate with voters. The party
used to be the most important vehicle of communication between politicians and voters through meetings and rallies etc.
Nowadays politicians increasingly talk to voters through the medium of television and voters…

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Social security reform, introducing market forces to welfare benefits
Forcing government to live within its means through a balanced budget amendment
c) Although the Democratic Party is a broader church than the Republicans, its activist base is dominated by liberals
(internetleft) whose policies focus on fighting threats to hardwon rights…

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The history of the GW Bush presidency ­ tax cuts, probusiness legislation, `partialbirth' abortion ban, muscular foreign policy.
United Republican opposition in Congress to the Obama stimulus package, health care reform and budget. Led by
conservative John Boehner.
Mitt Romney's choice of Paul Ryan as running mate in 2012.


Old Sir


Very detailed and comprehensive revision notes relating to US presidential elections. In addition to the factual detail these notes highlight some of the issues that students might possibly expect to come up. Useful examples and case studies are also referenced.



notes are very useful, and detailed :) thanks for contributing. 



you are a life saver thank you so much



^^ second that comment, bless up these notes

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