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Presidential Election System
Presidential Election System

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Best D vs Best R General Election History Mechanics Problems Presidential Election Best Dem vs Best Rep HISTORY The process for electing the President is one of the most misunderstood concepts in all of ID: 753573 Download Presentation

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Slide1

Presidential Election SystemBest D vs. Best RGeneral Election

History

Mechanics

ProblemsSlide2

Presidential Election: Best Dem vs. Best Rep.HISTORYThe process for electing the President is one of the most misunderstood concepts in all of

US

Govt

the

creation of the Electoral College by the founding fathers gave the nation an indirect method for selecting the chief

executive

keep

in mind the atmosphere of skepticism in 1787 Philadelphia surrounding the development of a singular executive, which did not exist under the

Articles

the

founding fathers were doubtful the mass public had the ability to make such an important decision, yet a commitment to a strict separation of powers would keep the Congress out of the

process

Created an intermediate body of the most educated and intellectual

in

many cases this group would be closely aligned with the state

legislatures

philosophically

, the system has evolved since its

origin--it

is now largely a tool of the major political

parties

Party leaders are chosen to vote for President, PARTY REGULARS, who in almost every instance vote for their parties nomineeSlide3

Presidential Election: Best Dem vs. Best Rep.PROCESS OVERVIEW

the Electoral College involves a progression that begins with the popular vote on general election day and ends with a tally of electoral votes in Congress in January following the election Slide4

general election day (Tuesday after the first Monday in November every four years)citizens cast their ballot for President and Vice President---this is called the popular votewhile theoretically one votedfor Barack Obama or John McCain, when they went to the polls in 2008,

the vote is actually cast for a slate of Republican or Democratic electors equal to the number of US Congressmen from that state (Georgia has 15

electors)

these

electors are committed party regulars determined at some point by some method during the election year by their respective parties (another party

task)

the popular vote is critical in that only the party electors receiving a plurality (the most votes) of the popular vote will cast votes in the electoral vote to be held in Decemberthis is a "winner take all" system in all states except Nebraska and Maine (District Plan)the winning party in all other states sends all its electors to the state capitol in Decemberit is all or nothing---losing parties send no electors to cast votes at the state capitol even though all parties have chosen electors in the event the party carried the state’s popular vote

Presidential Election: Best Dem vs. Best Rep.

Mechanics--POPULAR VOTESlide5

these electors are committed party regulars determined at some point by some method during the election year by their respective parties (another party task)the popular vote is critical in that only the party electors receiving a plurality (the most votes) of the popular vote will cast votes in the electoral vote to be held in Decemberthis is a "winner take all" system in all states except Nebraska and Maine (District Plan)

the winning party in all other states sends all its electors to the state capitol in December

it is all or nothing---losing parties send no electors to cast votes at the state capitol even though all parties have chosen electors in the event the party carried the state’s popular vote

Third parties with names on the ballot in the state choose electors in the unlikely event they should win the popular vote in that state

Presidential Election: Best Dem vs. Best Rep.

Mechanics--ELECTORSSlide6

the official vote for the President is held on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December following the general electionthis is called the electoral voteon this day the winning electors report to their respective state capitols to cast their vote for the President and Vice President (separate ballot….12th Amendment)while these electors are technically

free agents

and can vote for whomever they choose…..history proves them to be

party agents

, voting for the nominee of the

party

the system works because of this party loyaltythe electors vote for the same person that you vote for, the nominee of the party as determined by the nomination system that they were largely responsible for creatingwe determine what electors get to go and vote by our turnout in the general electionPresidential Election: Best Dem vs. Best Rep.

Mechanics—ELECTORAL VOTESlide7

for a candidate to be elected president they must receive a majority of the electoral vote, or 270 of a possible 538 (435 House; 100 Senators, 3 DC)this majority of 270 becomes the target number for the presidential campaignsit is the basis for the development of the strategies each campaign makes in trying to capture the presidencyefforts will be focused on a handful of

states with the largest number of electoral votes that are determined to be

winnable---these are called “battleground” states

if

no candidate receives the required majority, the election is thrown into Congress---the House of Representatives elects the President and the Senate chooses the VP

Presidential Election: Best Dem vs. Best Rep.

Mechanics—RACE FOR 270Slide8

following the vote of electors, sealed electoral votes are sent to the US Congress by state officialsthe official tally of electoral votes is taken immediately after the newly elected Congress convenes in January following the November electionsthis is done in a joint session (both House and Senate members) and presided over by the Vice President, who acts as President of the Senatethe votes are recorded in alphabetical order by two tellers

The

results are announced by the Vice President and entered into the official records of the House and

Senate

the

inauguration of the President takes place on January 20 in Washington, D.C.

Presidential Election: Best Dem vs. Best Rep.Mechanics—TALLY of ELECTORAL VOTESSlide9

Popular Vote Winner does NOT win the Electoral Vote“Faithless Electors”House VotePresidential Election: Best Dem vs. Best Rep.

PROBLEMSSlide10

Popular vote winner does not win electoral vote---this is certainly possible though not probablethe previous three were: Andrew Jackson in 1824, Samuel Tilden in 1876, Grover Cleveland in 1888generally, this happens when one candidate wins small states by significant popular vote margins while gaining little ground in electoral votes while his opponent wins large "swing" states by small popular vote amounts yet amasses huge electoral vote totalsthe 2000 Bush/Gore election became the fourth time for this to happen and the first in modern political history

Al

Gore won the popular vote by some 337,000 votes, but lost the presidency using a different scenario---Gore won the large urban and minority vote in the Northeast and states like California by significant percentages---Bush won a multitude of more rural, less populated states in the heartland and the South by significant percentages---the election was determined

electorally

in a handful of states (Florida, New Mexico, Wisconsin) with razor thin popular vote differences

Presidential Election: Best Dem vs. Best Rep.

PROBLEMSSlide11

Makes very unusual the idea that the popular vote winner will loseeach candidate of a major party is all but assured of 35% of the vote in each state---roughly 35% of the population considers themselves Democrat and 35% considers themselves Republicanthe actual vote "up for grabs" is 30% and any candidate is fortunate and unlikely to get 60% of this votepopular

vote totals in states will be reasonably close, due to effectiveness of campaigning by each

party

a

popular vote

difference of 55% to 45% in a state is considered a landslide---generally popular vote differences are much closer

Presidential Election: Best Dem vs. Best Rep.PROBLEMS— “35/35 Rule”Slide12

"Faithless electors"—any elector that casts a vote for someone other than the official party nomineenothing in the Constitution prohibits this independent casting of the ballotthe potential is certainly there for this to impact an electionhistory tells us it is unlikely in that only 9 "faithless electoral" votes have been cast in all of Electoral College

history

note

and interesting dynamic to faithless electors---that Republican electors cast a vote for another Republican other than the nominee and a Democratic elector did likewise in West

Virginia

Republicans

don’t go vote for Democrats and vice versa; they vote within their parties for another nomineenever has this potential flaw changed the results of an electionPresidential Election: Best Dem vs. Best Rep.PROBLEMSSlide13

House vote---a House vote for President is problematicthe rules involved in a House vote make it very undemocraticeach state casts one vote (California 35mil. vs. Alaska 600,000)the Senate chooses the VP, creating the possibility of a split ticket

the

potential exists for states to lose their votes and no one receives a majority to be elected

President

the

House has chosen the President twice in history (I800, 1824) and has not done so in modern political

historythe presence of a strong third party candidate makes this a possibility that many House members would just as soon not have to considerPresidential Election: Best Dem vs. Best Rep.PROBLEMSSlide14

Presidential politics is ultimately about winning the election and capturing the White House---to do this, the candidate/party must receive a majority of the 538 total electors, or 270270 is the most high profile and important number in presidential politicseverything the campaigns do once the nomination is secured is driven by the quest for 270

the

finite resources of the campaign (money, time, candidate, volunteers, staff) are all dedicated to the race for

270

to

get to 270 each candidate and campaign staff carefully take polls, study the map of the US and then do the

mathWhere do we go? What do we say? What issues do we focus on? to persuade voters in the right combination of states to total 270 electors (remember that all electors in a state go to the winning candidate)some states stack up better for Republicans and some for Democrats----thus the well known tags of “red” and “blue” states---Presidential Election: Best Dem vs. Best Rep.

RACE for 270Slide15

Presidential Election: Best Dem vs. Best Rep.

RACE for 270

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