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Elections

Presidential Elections
Constitution:
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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Elections
These events help in the primaries
Clinton spoke before Obama attacking Republicans, Obama just laid out his plan.
Frontrunners
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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Elections
Advantages:
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
Weaknesses:
Widespread voter…

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Elections

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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Elections
Race
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
Religion
o Protestants give majority…

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Elections

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

Page 7

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Elections
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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