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Election to select a parties candidacy for president
Open primary: A primary for any registered voter, democrat or
republican. E.G. Texas
Closed: A primary for democrats and a primary for Republicans.
(Separate one's)
Invisible primary: candidates try…

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Informal functions:
Enthuse the party (they organise the campaign and enthuse voters
Promote party unity (heal divisions created in the primaries)
Enthuse ordinary voters (through tv and the acceptance speech)

Campaign finance:
Before 1970 reforms:
Personal wealth was important (JFK)
Not limited in what you could donate to a candidate…

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Party affiliation:
Find gender, race etc... figures for 2012 election &
geographical locations

Congressional elections:
Take place every 2 years (mid-terms)
Whole of HoR & 1/3 of senate are elected

Trends in congressional elections:
Incumbents (currently hold the seat) are usually not defeated. (2004,
93% of seats were safe seats)…

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Remove someone from office before term is up, direct form of
2003-Gray Davis removed from office & Arnie was appointed


National organisation:
Each party has a national committee
Party chairman, day-to-day running of the party
Meet in full twice a year
National convention every 4…

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Ethnic minorities
Republican support came from WASPS (White Anglo Saxon Protestant)
5. Civil rights
Democrats favoured civil rights
Used federal resources to support
Brought an end to the solid democratic south
6. Role of the federal government
1930's reversed earlier positions
Republicans now favoured decentralisationsed government
Democrats favoured…

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Increased Partisanship:
Previous `solid south' associated with the Democrat party
1960-90, slow breakdown of the south, mainly due to Nixon's southern
strategy in 1972, in 1980 took 10 out 11 southern states
1960 House of the south, 99Democrats-7Republicans
2012 House of the south, 77Democracts-48 Republicans
This has caused:
Wider difference…

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2000 election hinged on Florida, result took a month of recounts
2012 hinged on Florida for a while
Parties are very decentralised
Only become united at election time
Even the election is at state level and under state laws
However there is a national party platform that they vaguely follow…

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Third Party difficulties:
Electoral system winner-takes-all
o All elections ­ presidential, congressional or state ­ use this
o Can work for regional parties ­ Wallace won 45 EC votes with
13% of the vote
o But Perot (1992) won no EC votes with 19% of the popular vote ­…

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o Candidates from the Constitution, Libertarian or Socialist parties
are not different to paint as ideologues
o Given the fear of political extremism (particularly on the left),
this is the end of many candidates
o When a third party candidate overcomes all the other issues and
does well...

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A pressure group is an organised interest group in which members share and
actively pursue common views and objectives to influence government.
Pressure groups are therefore quite distinct from political parties.

Pressure groups vary considerably in terms of size, wealth and influence.
Pressure groups in the USA operate at…


Old Sir


A very detailed and comprehensive set of notes. This will be useful to students whose own notes might have gaps, but should be used in conjunction with their own note making skills.

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