Government Politics- unit 3 (US elections)

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Analyse the significance of midterm elections:

Mid terms have a major impact on US politics because depending on the outcome of midterms, the authority of president can be affected, can indicate who will win the next presidential race and can shift the tone of politics. The authority of the president can be affected because often they are like a referendum of the executive branch of government so therefore if the presidential party does not win the majority in Congress then the mandate to implement his ideas is limited. This was the case in Bill Clinton’s presidency where he was almost destroyed by the republican victory in 1994 due to the “conservative revolution by Newt Gringrich, whereby the republicans made a contract with America and this strengthened republican’s popularity rather than the presidential party at the time however this did not affect the following presidential election as the democrats won. This is also the case which at the moment where Obama’s presidency is now in jeopardy as he has not performed to his promises therefore has let down the electorate loosing 6 seats in senate and 63 in the house consequently leading to Republicans taking over the house which has led to divided government creating a gridlock which was also the case in 1994 and 2006. This can be countered as Bush was strengthened by republican success in mid terms in 2002. In the UK because there are not midterm elections, only opinion polls and general elections (every 4/5 years) show how the public feel about the prime minister. In UK gridlock is less of a problem because there upper chamber is unelected therefore even if the House of Commons and House of Lords had opposing majorities in each House, this would not significantly change the amount a prime minister can do. This is also because there are fewer checks on the prime minister in the UK who is more commonly referred to as an “elective dictator.”

Midterms in the USA can also indicate who will win the next presidential election as midterms usually imply the result of the presidential election because they can highlight the popularity/unpopularity of the president; however this argument of midterms being significant is limited. They are usually known as referendums on the incumbent president as voters as punishing/rewarding the president on the policies of government. For example the midterms in 2002 was a referendum on Bush and his dedication to the “war on terror” and in 2006 where he was judged on the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina and the economy. More generally, in 1978 Jimmy Carter lost in the midterms and the Democrats also lost in the following presidential elections. This was also the case in 2006 where the Republicans lost 30 house seats and 6 senate seats in midterms and also lost in the presidential election in 2008 to Obama. Similarly, in 2002 success for republicans in the midterms mean victory for them in the 2004 election. However this can be countered because Bill Clinton…



Naynaa very good notes :P :) x

Nayna Bhudia

hahahahaahahahahahaha :) arent i nice

Nayna Bhudia

hahahahaahahahahahaha :) arent i nice

Lauren Smallman


Grace Turner

Part of th text is cut off at the end, do you have the rest of it?

Old Sir

This is a wide-ranging and useful (but unfinished) set of notes covering various elements of US federal elections. Many of the points are arguable and there is some odd phraseology, (I think that "the party runner up to the election" means the chosen candidate, rather than the one who came second), but students might find this stimulating and a good starting point for their own note-making and further reading.



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