five terms from the following list and
briefly (in 2 or 3 sentences) explain the meaning
of each and its relevance to party politics. (Each
correct answer counts 2 points for a maximum of 10 points
for this Part.) Allow about 20 minutes to
1. Republican Revolution of 1994
Republicans victory in the 1994 congressional
elections, which resulted in their winning the House
for the first time in 40 years and controlling both
houses of congress.
R: The Republicans ran a party-centered
campaign and then carried out much of their platform,
The Contract with America, once in Congress.
delegate selection rules
Rules pioneered by the Democratic party that specified
how states must select delegates to the presidential
Because the rules specified "openness" and demographic
representation in delegate selection, most states
adopted primary elections to select
Measuring technique used in the national election
studies to measure affect toward political figures and
the political parties.
As Wattenberg reports, the public, which felt hot and
cold to the parties in the 1950s, tended to become
more lukewarm to parties by the 1990s.
The Federal Election Commission, created to oversee
the campaign finance laws of the early
The FEC collected and disseminated information on
contributions to candidates and political parties
involved in national elections. This provided reliable
data on campaign financing for the first
Buckley v. Valeo
1976 Supreme Court decision that struck down limits on
campaign expenditures by a candidate for national
office as a violation of freedom of expression.
R: By raising constitutional barriers, the
Court made campaign finance very difficult to
The seven-point scale of psychological attachment to a
party used in all national election
Data collected on party identification since 1952
shows considerable stability, but some rise in
Independents at the expense of Democrats.
interest aggregation v. articulation
Aggregation refers to the collection of different,
even conflicting, interests, while articulation refers
to the clear expression of interests.
Political parties are more likely to aggregate
interests than interest groups, and American parties
are especially aggregative.
parliamentary constituency selection
The body in British parties that interviews candidates
for parliament and chooses one to contest the election
for the constituency.
Demonstrates the centralization of power in a party,
in contrast to the decentralized method of candidate
selection in the U.S.
argues that American parties can best be understood by
determining the external factors which shape them. What
are these external factors and what is their effect on
the characters of the two major political
factors: Federal structure of government.
Separation of powers Divided legislative branch. In
general, fragmented government authority.
facile answer: Not unified national parties, but
50+ parties. Thorough answer: Party organizations
characterized by autonomy, lack of hierarchical
chain of authority, NO central policy-making
System factors: Direct primaries or caucus.
Gerrymandering of districts. Staggered and varied
terms for different offices. Single member districts.
Third parties largely excluded. OR Representation
by persons elected with only a
minority/Non-proportional representation in
legislatures. OR cube rule distortion of popular
Culture factors: catchall term for: Political
socialization. Habits/Custom of two-party thinking.
Low expectations of politicians/ political
institutions. Undercurrent of suspicion in American
Low turnout/parties represent their activists not
general public. OR Candidates, no matter how
Beltway in character, claim to be the "outsider"
who will challenge the establishment. OR
Demagogues/Rogues/true outsiders sometimes sweep
into power or at least thresaten to: Wallace, Perot
of USA factors: Religion. Race. Region.
Urban/suburban/rural or dense/sparse.
big tent parties that must, at least nomiallly,
appeal to every demographic. OR Centrist
parties/Downsian median-voter oriented parties. OR
Comprehensive Parties that have a position on every
possible political issue, not just a few issues
that appeal to a narrow base (aggregative parties
2.The nature of the quadrennial conventions of our two
major parties has changed since World War II. Briefly
describe how they had functioned and how they function
now. State succinctly the circumstances that initiated
the changes and how change impacted on both parties. Draw
the implications of these changes for winning the
parties' nomination for president in recent party
circumstances: 1968 Democratic Convention,
reaction to nominating Humphrey, who had not
campaigned in a single primary, creation of the
McGovern-Fraser Commission to revise delegate
selection rules; state legislatures reacted by
requiring primaries to select delegates, which
affected both parties.
before and after 1972 (mention any three for
party-dominated to candidate-dominated
few primaries to many primaries
short campaigns to long campaigns
easy money to difficult fund raising
limited media coverage to media focused
late decisions to front-loaded decisions
open conventions to closed conventions
for party politics: Some of the above points could
go here, but I'm really looking for reducing the
impact of party leaders in candidate
3.Considerable time was spent in lecture on defining a
political party and squaring different definitions with
Wattenberg's book, The Decline of American Political
Parties, 1952-1996. Select two different definitions to
discuss and compare both definitions with V.O. Key's
advice to view parties from three different aspects. What
do the definitions and Key's views have to do with
definitions: Parties as like-minded people (Burke,
Reagan); parties as organizations to contest and win
elections (Schattschneider, Epstein, Schumpeter,
three views: (1) party in the electorate, (2)
party in government, (3) party as
for Wattenberg: He presents data on the decline of
party in the electorate and interprets the data as the
decline of political parties, but that would be
problematic for the first definition and contrary to
the second. The evidence from national party
fund-raising is that parties have grown stronger since
nature of financing campaigns for election to national
office has changed greatly since 1972. Name two laws or
institutions created since 1972 that affect campaign
finance today and describe how they have altered
campaigning for national office.
of these can be named and discussed: Political
Action Committees, Federal Election Commission,
disclosure laws, public financing of presidential
elections, limitations on direct contributions to
federal election campaigns.
2.Low voter turnout in the United States is not just
an unfathomable mystery. What factors help to explain why
voter turnout is so low in the US? What are some factors
that contribute to its variation from state to
US Low Turnout
US puts the burden of registering to vote on
citizens themselves, as opposed to other
industrialized states which automatically register
citizens of voting age.
Multiplicity of elections/fatigue. US citizens
don't just face a voting choice once every four or
even two years, Rather several times a year, we are
called to the polls for local and state primaries
and elections for various boards, commissions
judgeships and offices. And sometimes we face both
candidates choices and referendum
Motor Voter bill has registered many people who
previously were unregistered precisely becaus of
their lack of interest: they don't show up to
Weak linkage between parties and groups, Unlike in
class-based European parties, big tent American
parties not very good at turning out
In the past, restrictions on blacks in South, women
everywhere and 18-21 years olds. But these barriers
have fallen and inclusion of these factors should
not be the main basis of answer
State -to- State variation
Some states have very liberal restriction laws, a
few even allowing registration on election day,
others much more strict about such things as
residence requirements and closing dates long
Primaries encourage higher turnout than caucuses.
Closed Primaries discourage turnout, which is
further influenced by closing date for party
declaration. Open primaries encourage
States with lower education levels and lower SES
aspects of whatever sort have lower
related to/similar to c. South had traditionally
One-party states may have lower turnout due to the
lack of competition: competitive elections tend to
draw higher turnout
3.Keefe opens chapter 3 with this statement: "It is
probably that no nation has ever experimented as fully or
as fitfully with mechanisms for making nominations as has
the United States." He then discusses three principal
methods that parties have used for nominating candidates
to run for public office. Briefly describe each of these
methods. Then identify which one dominates today in
nominating candidates to run for congress and discuss the
consequences for party politics of relying on this
The three methods: (1) caucus, (2) conventions,
and (3) primaries.
today in nominations for congress: primaries, which tend
to weaken the influence of political parties. To some
extent, the weakening is related to whether the state holds
open, closed, or blanket primaries.