American Government
Azusa Pacific University
Mr. Jonathon Pyles
October 14, 2004
"Campaigns and Elections"

I.   Popular Participation in Elections
A.   Forms of political participation
1.   Voting
2.   Join political organizations
3.   Contribute money to candidates
4.   Write members of Congress
5.   Talk politics with friends and neighbors
6.   Volunteer in political campaigns
7.   Post signs or bumper-stickers
B.   More than 40% of Americans either do not participate in politics at all or limit that participation strictly to voting
C.   Why?
1.   Few rewards
a.   It's a hassle (registration, going to poll place, understanding long ballot, choosing Ôthe lesser of two evils," all candidates are the same, etcÉ)
2.   Sense of civic duty (voting)
3.   Caring a bout issues (greater participation)
D.   Who participates
1.   Higher education and higher income
2.   Older people more than young
3.   Men more than woman
4.   Blacks less than whites overall, but higher for same education and income levels
E.   Low voter turnout
1.   Between 49-60% of voting-age population (VAP) voted in presidential elections in last 30 years
2.   Why?
a.   Difficulty of registration
i.   Among registered voters, almost 87% vote
ii.   Many Americans do not register – burden on individuals to register
b.   Political parties not as strong in the U.S.
c.   Basic agreement – many people do not feel that it makes much difference for their lives who wins
II.   Kinds of Elections
A.   General election: to fill an elective office
B.   Primary election: select a party candidate
1.   Closed primary – only party members may vote
2.   Open primary – you can choose on election day which party primary you want to vote in
3.   Blanket primary ("free love") – select from among both parties
III.   Political Campaigns
A.   Largely run by personal followers of candidates rather than parties
1.   Primary elections weaken party power
2.   Public financing
3.   Voting for individuals rather than parties
4.   Weak commitment to parties in U.S.
B.   Assembling a staff
1.   Core group – Small number of paid professionals, political consultants
2.   Unpaid senior advisers
3.   Citizen volunteers
C.   Strategy
1.   To win the primary – mobilize relatively small number of enthusiasts
2.   To win the general election – attract broader range of supporters
3.   Dangerous to take strong positions – risk of alienating voters
4.   Strategy: Choices
a.   Positive vs. Negative campaign
b.   What themes to run on
c.   Build up or hit the ground running
d.   Who do you target
e.   How to spend the money
D.   Television: voters get more of their political information from television that any other source
1.   Spots: paid advertisements
2.   Visuals: free exposure through nightly news broadcasts
E.   The importance of polls
1.   Most people make their selection based on party identification
2.   Candidates aim at undecided voters – Who are they and what do they want?
F.   Information technology
1.   Computer databases with voter information
a.   Name
b.   Party
c.   Phone numbers
d.   Addresses
e.   Birthdays
f.   Race
g.   Income level
h.   E-mail address
2.   Republican: Voter Vault
3.   Democrat: Demzilla
4.   Each holds about 165 million entries