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Chapter 10: Elections and Voting Behavior pg.

298 -elections institutionalize political activity, provide regular access to political power, & guide the policy direction of government -legitimacy-a characterization of elections by political scientists meaning that they are almost universally accepted as a fair and free method of selecting political leaders. When legitimacy is high, as in the U.S., even the losers accept the results peacefully How American Elections Work: -three kinds of elections: primary elections, general elections, and elections on specific policy questions -two methods for getting items on a state ballot: referendum and initiative petition -referendum-a state-level method of direct legislation that gives voters a chance to approve/ disapprove proposed legislation or a proposed constitutional amendment -initiative petition-a process permitted in some states whereby voters may put proposed changes in the state constitution to a vote if sufficient signatures are obtained on petitions calling for such a referendum -initiative petitions allow citizens to force a decision on an issue upon which state legislatures have failed to act-often stem from actions of a dedicated political entrepreneur-shows how ordinary people can change public policy pg. 299 A Tale of Three Elections: ~1800: The First Electoral Transition of Power~ -John Adams v. Thomas Jefferson - not much of an election at all -newspapers ran down the oppositions candidate pg. 300 -focus on campaign was on state legislatures (who chose members of the electoral college), rather than voters -in original constitutional system, top vote getter was president and runner-up became VPSince Jefferson didnt want Adams to be his vice president, he made his electors vote for Aaron Burr as well; as a result, Jefferson and Burr tied for first. In the end, the Federalists supported Jefferson. March 4, 1801 marked the first peaceful transfer of power between parties via the electoral process in world history ~1896: A Bitter Fight over Economic Interests~ -largely fought over economics -Republicans nominated William McKinley -Republicans supported gold standard and high tariffs -Democrats nominated William Jennings Bryan, who supported silver rather than the gold standard pg. 301 -Bryan traveled everywhere, while McKinley ran a front-porch campaign -McKinley won 271-176 -80% of eligible electorate voted ~2004: The Ratification of a Polarizing Presidency~ -in 2004, George W. Bush became 4th Republican president since McKinley to win a second term-he also led Republicans to majorities in House/Senate -Bushs re-election-important and hard-fought

pg. 302 -in 2000, Bush won Florida with a narrow margin -Gores supporters wanted the votes recounted, but Bushs supporters were against it -Bush v. Gore (2000)-ruled that there was not enough time to recount all the ballots in an orderly fashion by the time the electors were to vote and held that more precise and consistent standards for evaluating ballots would have to be applied in all counties -Bush cut taxes and striked enemies before they could use weapons of mass destruction -Kerry raised more money than Bush in 2004 election -peoples major reason for voting for Bush was strong leadership in the war on terrorism; voters who were concerned about taxes also favored him -Kerry won votes from ppl that were concerned about the Iraq war, economy, health care, and education -Bush ran strong in South and Mountain West, while Kerry ran strong in Northeast and Pacific Coast -Bush won by electoral margin of 135,000 and popular vote by 3% pg. 311 How Americans Vote: Explaining Citizens Decisions: -Americans vote for the candidate whose policy promises they favor-->mandate theory of elections -mandate theory of elections-the idea that the winning candidate has a mandate from the ppl to carry out his/her platforms and politics. Politicians like the theory better than political scientists do. pg. 312 -three elements of voters decisions: 1) voters party identification 2) voters evaluation of the candidates 3) the match between voters policy positions and those of the candidates and parties-policy voting ~Party Identification~ -party identifications provide a regular perspective thru which voters can view the political world -voters can rely on their party identification to guide them pg. 313 -due to modern technology, voters can evaluate and make their own decisions about candidates -voting along party lines is less common -voting choices have become a matter of individual choice pg. 314 -young ppl more likely to be Independents ~Candidate Evaluations: How Americans See the Candidates~ -it is possible to manipulate a candidates appearance in a way that affects voters choices pg. 315 -three most important dimensions of candidate image: integrity, reliability and competence -educated voters are most likely to view candidates in terms of their personal attributes ~Policy Voting~ -policy voting-electoral choices that are made on the basis of the voters policy preferences and on the basis of where the candidates stand on policy issues pg. 316

-candidates handle controversial issues by clouding their positions in rhetoric-obstacle to policy voting -in todays world, its easier for voters to vote according to policies since candidates are regularly forced to take clear stands to appeal to their own partys primary voters The Last Battle: The Electoral College: -electoral college-a unique American institution, created by the Constitution, providing for the selection of the president by electors chosen by the state parties. Although the electoral college vote usually reflects a popular majority, the winner-take-all rule gives clout to big states. -how it works: each state, according to the Constitution, has as many electoral votes as it has U.S. senators/representatives. The state parties select slates of electors, positions they use as a reward for faithful service to the party aside from Maine and Nebraska, each state has a winner-take-all system. Electors vote as a bloc for the winner, whether the winner got 35 or 95 percent of the popular vote in their state. electors meet in their states in December, following the November election, and then mail their votes to the vice president (who is also president of the Senate). The vote is counted when the new congressional session opens in January, and reported by the vice president. Thus, Dick Cheney had the duty of announcing the reelection of George Bush in January of 2005. if no candidate receives an electoral college majority, then the election is thrown into the HOR, which must choose from among the top three electoral vote winners. A significant aspect of the balloting in the House is that each state delegation has one vote, thus giving the 1 representative from Wyoming an equal say with the 53 representatives from California. Though the Founders envisioned that the House would often have to choose the president, this has not occurred since 1828. -electoral college important for two reasons: 1) introduces a bias into the campaign and electoral process (small states are overrepresented) 2) winner-take-all system means that candidates will necessarily focus on winning the states where the polls show that there appears to be a close contest pg. 317 Understanding Elections and Voting Behavior: -elections: 1) select the policymakers 2) shape public policy ~Democracy and Elections~ -the greater the policy differences between the candidates, the more likely voters will be able to steer government policies by their choices pg. 318 -policies affect elections -retrospective voting-a theory of voting in which voters essentially ask this simple question: What have you done for me lately? -in pres. elections, ppl unhappy w/ the economy tend to blame the incumbent pg. 319 ~Elections and the Scope of Government~ -threat of electoral punishment increases generalized support for govt and its powers

-citizens in a democracy seek to benefit from the state