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Presidential Elections
Election every 4 years
Elected by Electors (no. of Senators + no. of Representatives of each State)
If no candidate gets 270 votes, it goes to the House to decide. (1824 election)
President must be an American Citizen & been a resident within the United States…

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These events help in the primaries
Clinton spoke before Obama attacking Republicans, Obama just laid out his plan.
o Normally the frontrunner in the invisible primaries becomes the nominee.
2008 Clinton 15% ahead of Obama in polls
McCain 3rd after Giuliani & Huckabee ­ Huckabee ran out of…

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Increase in public participation (1968 11% 2008 30%)
More choice of candidates (1968 5 candidates ­ 2008 15 candidates)
Opened up to `outsiders' i.e. Clinton & Obama
Party bosses lose their power, less opportunity for corruption
Primaries seen as test for resilience and presidential talents
Widespread voter…

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o The elections are not just for one legislative chamber.
o The general election campaign lasts 9 weeks & they have the primaries.
o No free TV time.
Until 1970's campaign finance was largely unregulated.
o Personal wealth was important (JFK 1960)
o `Fat Cats' gave huge sums of…

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o 9 elections between 19802012 African Americans gave at least 83% to Democrats
2008 95% African American voters voted Obama
o Bush spoke Spanish which raised Hispanic support from 20% 1996 to 43% in 2004
2012 Obama held 44% advantage with Hispanic voters
o Protestants give majority…

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Proportional System ­ allocate EC votes proportional to the popular vote (unlikely to gain an absolute
majority, more 3rd parties)
Direct Election (Small states would be needed for constitutional amendment)

Congressional Elections
House chosen every two years by the people, Senate 1/3 chosen every two years
Must be…

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Local issues ­ farm subsidies decide votes in Iowa but not New York
Record of incumbent, attendance, how they vote ­ Maryland House members (R ­ Gilchrest &D
Wynn) lost their seats in 2008 because they voted for troops to go to Iraq
Mid Term Congressional Elections
President's party…


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