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Why are US Presidential Elections campaigns so long?

Candidates should demonstrate an awareness that the following factors contribute to the length of US presidential
· The invisible primary, lasting at least a year, with preparation for running in elections being made even earlier
(the 2012 website for Mike…

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Super Tuesday

In the United States, Super Tuesday, in general, refers to the Tuesday in February or March of a presidential election
year when the greatest number of states hold primary elections to select delegates to national conventions at which
each party's presidential candidates are officially nominated.

More delegates can…

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Before they announce their candidacies, plant a yard sign, or rent storefront space in Des Moines, Republican Presidential
hopefuls, including former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, and Mississippi
Governor Haley Barbour, are building high-powered fundraising teams. Every four years a number of preliminary contests
"occur before…

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early contests. Alternatively, some observers have suggested that the short timeframe could create a situation where an
outsider or long shot is able to pull a surprise showing in one or two early contests and then ride a wave of good press
through the crush of primaries without receiving a…

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With the race virtually over by the end of March, any battles which erupt between members of the same party will
be short, reducing the damage to the party ahead of the general election campaign and preserving resources for
that phase.
Backing from the most prominent leaders of the party…

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Q) Why might it not be worth having a primary at that point?

Q) Which party is this more likely to affect?

The National Conventions

Both Democrat and Republican parties have them
Occur every 4 years

National conventions combine three important functions:

Nomination of candidates for office of President…

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Permanent Chair. Although conventions of both parties are opened by a temporary presiding officer, election of a
permanent chair is usually one of the first points in the order of business. The Permanent Chair, who presides for the
balance of the convention, is usually a senior party figure, most often…

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Factors which limit the electoral impact of minor parties include:
· All US elections use first past the post, which tends to produce a two party system
· Many states have restrictive regulations, which make it difficult for candidates to be on the ballot
· Many states allow `straight ticket'…

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Narrative: Obama and `Change'

ABC news: 8% of Americans think that the country is heading in the right direction.
President Bush approval rating of 23% is the lowest since records started (mid 70s)
Will it therefore make this a retrospective election?
Obama = change while McCain = Bush III…

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Obama: 39%

McCain: 55%


Obama: 46%

McCain: 50%

Lecture 2: The Electoral Process and the 2008 Presidential election

Edward Ashbee

Textbooks assumptions and claims ­ are they still true for this 2008 election?

1) "Successful presidential candidates are not drawn from the Senate ­ they are usually…


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