Presidential Election (Primary Process (Iowa is always the first state to…
Definition of Caucus: a meeting at which local members of a political party register their preference among candidates running for office or select delegates to attend a convention.
Pros: gets people to participate and make a decision together on which candidate they want as their nominee
Cons: usually only very partisan members of the party participate
Since they have multiple stages in the caucus in order to go to the next round of it in the Democratic Party there is the viability rule which means you have to have at least 15% of the people there in the corner for that candidate
Definition of Primary: a preliminary election to appoint delegates to a party conference or to select the candidates for a principal, especially presidential, election.
Open primary election: any registered voter can vote in any party's primary
In open primaries, if your party has a strong incumbent, unopposed, they may vote for the weakest candidate on the other party so that the incumbent does not have to compete against as strong of an opponent
Closed primary election: voters can only vote in their own of party's primary
Closed primaries are made to thwart the strategy voting for the weakest candidate on the other party
The Challengers of the incumbent (the opposing party) are usually very competitive in the competition of their own primary
Some states, only registered party members are allowed to vote, some allow any registered voters to vote in any party’s primary, and in North Dakota, you do not even have to be registered
In the presidential primaries, voters do not directly vote for their candidates, they decide on how many delegates each nominee will have
The number of delegates each candidate gets corresponds with the proportion the party receives from those groups
Earlier primary election states have more of a say in their nominee since candidates tend to drop out if they lose in the early stages of the primaries
Super Tuesday: the Tuesday in early March on which the most primary elections are held, many of them in Southern States
Runoff election: a follow- up election that is held when no candidate receives the majority of votes cast in the original election
Instant runoff election: specific runoff election in which the computerized voting machine simulates the elimination of last-place-vote-getters
National Party election: the end of the primary process where they tally up all the delegates votes and find the nominee
Brokered convention: When no candidate has the majority vote in the primary the delegates decide together who will become the nominee
Iowa is always the first state to go in the primary process
Con: Iowa does not look like the rest of the country and puts a very specific group forward, it has almost no diversity and does not show the opinions of many other groups of people around the country
Pro: Since Iowa is a much smaller population state it is very useful to getting less known candidates to grow and become more popular, so that they do not have to be very well known straight from the start
Pro: Iowa is a very good indication of how your campaign will go, along with the other first few primaries and caucuses. It helps you know what works and does not work and saves you from putting in hard work for nothing if it does not work out so well since it is a good indicator and you can usually tell if you should go on or not
Con: It gives Iowa an unfair advantage of picking who will go on because they are before everyone else, and candidates that tend not to do too good there tend to drop out
General Election/Electoral College
Definition of Electoral College: Indirect method for popularly electing a president and vice-president through gaining/winning the majority of the electors
There are 538 electors
To win presidency you must receive 270 electoral votes
Since it is possible for their to be a tie or if a third party does good and no one reaches the 270 majority then each state gets one vote
Winner-take-all system, if you win the majority vote of a state, you get all the electoral votes
Exception of Maine(ME) and Nebraska(NE), the party gets the two bonus electors, it they win the majority of the districts
It discourages third party, making it so that the main parties can do better and be the highlight
The amount of electors per each state is decided by the number of HOR+the number of senates and
Faithless electors decide to vote any way they want even if the state did not vote that way
General Election campaign is held from September, directly after the party elections through to early November
Election day is held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November
Definition of General Election: The election in which the president is selected
Main Jobs in the Election Process
Fundraising consultant: A professional who works with candidates in identifying likely contributors to the campaign and arrange events and meetings with donors.
Campaign manager: A professional whose duties as a variety of strategic and managerial tasks, from fundraising to staffing a campaign.
Media Consultant: A professional who brings the campaign a message to voters by creating handouts and all forms of media ads.
Campaign Consultant: A paid professional who specializes in the overall management of political campaigns or an aspect of campaigns. It used to be that volunteers who believed in the party's ideals and in the candidate ran most campaigns. In contrast, professional Consultants dominate modern campaigns for federal Offices many State offices, and some municipal offices. Typically, these advisors generous compensation for their services.
No person except a natural born citizen
have attained to the age of thirty-five years
been fourteen years a resident within the United States.
Money in the election
Supreme Court cases
Buckley v. Valeo
A majority of the justices decided that limitations on the amount an individual candidate could spend on their own campaign in Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 were unconstitutional
They ruled that expenditure limits violate the First Amendment. on freedom of speech because a restriction on spending for political communication necessarily reduces the quantity of expression
The Magic Words that appeared in this case meant that if you did not have these words, your ads were exempt from campaign finance laws
Words: "vote for," "elect," "support", "cast your ballot for", "Smith for Congress", "vote against", "defeat", "reject", or any variations thereof.
Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971
The Court upheld limits on contributions to candidates.
The Court struck down limits on expenditures by candidates.
The Court struck down limits on independent expenditures.
The Court upheld mandatory disclosure and reporting provisions, but it narrowed the types of speech to which they could apply.
The Court upheld a system of voluntary government funding of campaigns, including limits on spending by candidates who choose to accept government subsidies.
The Court struck down the system by which members of Congress directly appointed Federal Election Commission commissioners.
Buckley v. Valeo later negated part of this law
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
The United States Supreme Court held (5–4) on January 21, 2010 that the free speech clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution prohibits the government from restricting independent expenditures for communications by nonprofit corporations, for-profit corporations, labor unions, and other associations
PACs and Super PACs
a political action committee (PAC) is a type of organization that pools campaign contributions from members and donates those funds to campaign for or against candidates, ballot initiatives, or legislation
An organization becomes a PAC when it receives/spends more than $2,600 on influencing a federal election.
Super PACs (independent-expenditure only committees) cannot donate to candidates or parties. They can, however, spend an unlimited amount independent of those two entities