CHAPTER 8 OUTLINE AND LEARNING OBJECTIVES
ELECTIONS IN A DEMOCRACY
8.1 Evaluate the role of elections in American democracy. * Elections let people select among competing candidates and parties in result decide which one will hold office. * They also let people have opportunity to pass judgment on current officeholders. * Elections choose who is going to occupy public office. * Elections also give protection against official abuse. * So what statement: I think elections plays one of the most important roles in American democracy because it allows us to choose and decide what candidate we feel is the best person for the job.
POWER AND AMBITION
8.2 Characterize the various factors that motivate people to pursue a political career. * The driving force in politics is personal ambition. * Good communication skills is another reason. * Careerism and professionalism are other important factors. * Lawyers have also been dominant in American politics. * So what statement: In my opinion, power and ambition are the two forces that drives an individual to pursue a political career because of the amount of time and dedication that it takes.
THE ADVANTAGES OF INCUMBENCY
8.3 Explain the advantages of incumbency. * The reelection rates of incumbents for all elective offices are very high. * One reason is they begin the campaign with larger name recognition than the opponent. * Incumbents have a big advantage in raising money because individuals seeking access to those already in office make contributions. * Congressional incumbents take full advantage of using their offices to keep their names and faces in the public eye by interviews, speeches, public appearances, and press releases. * So what statement: I believe incumbents have advantages, but also can be a disadvantage if the voters are unhappy with their results and want someone new to do a better job.
8.4 Identify the main components of campaign strategies. * Media activity is greatly present in campaigning. * Choosing a theme is important. * Negative campaigning can be used but risks opponent’s counterattack charges of “dirty tricks” or “sleaze”. * The use of focus groups and polling is also used. * In media campaign news management is crucial. * Another important factor is paid advertising, and they take advantage of free airtime on talk shows and the news. * So what statement: Smart campaign strategizing is extremely important because it can “make them or break them”.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GET ELECTED?
8.5 Analyze the role of money in campaigns. * Money plays a huge role campaigning. * Getting elected is very expensive. * Media campaigning run the costs of campaigning very high in dollar amount. * In result they rely on financial help from organizations and individuals. * Fundraising takes up most of candidate’s time. * So what statement: Every year campaigning costs more money, and I think it is ridiculous and sad that the costs exceed $4 billion especially when our economy is in such bad shape.
RAISING CAMPAIGN CASH
8.6 Identify the major sources of funding for political campaigns. * High public office candidates use other people’s money, instead of their own, for their campaigns. * One source is public money, which is taxpayer money through an income tax check off system. * Another source is small donations. * Candidate self-financing is another source, and there are no federal restrictions on the amount of money individual can spend on their own campaign. * Issue ads are another one, which advocate policy positions rather than explicitly advising voters to cast their ballots for or against a candidate. * So what statement: Fund-raising to pay for campaigning is a major obstacle for a candidate, especially if they can’t pay their own way to make up the…