US Elections and Campaigns

Deciding on the party’s nominee

2008 Democratic Party delegate count

  • What factors affected the outcome of this race?
Reforming the primaries…

Electing the President

Why only two parties?
Two-party vs. multi-party/proportional system
Duverger’s law
1992 Presidential election

Should we abolish the Electoral College? What would be the consequences of doing so?

How would you redesign the US electoral system/electoral college system?

  • What criteria should electoral systems be evaluated on?
  • How does US electoral system perform based on these criteria?
  • What could be changed and how?
  • What are the consequences you expect these changes will have on the criteria stated above?

Campaign finance


Why focus on the negative? Is it fair?


How well are we, the millennials, represented?!?
Age of members of Congress

Who voted in 2014?

Hint: Not young people! Also see effects of moving to a new state. Oh the woes of voter registration laws!

Hint: Not young people! Also see effects of moving to a new state. Oh the woes of voter registration laws!



Class Survey Results!


About 36.4% of the voting-eligible population cast ballots in 2014 (

  • What’s the deal with midterm elections?
  • What motivates people to vote in elections? How can we encourage participation in elections?

How will changes in US demographics affect voting in the future?
10 Maps That Explain the Next Election







Ideology and Partisanship

Political Party Identification
Party ID by age, race, gender – Pew: Trends in Party Affiliation
Strong Groups for the Democratic and Republican Parties

DW NOMINATE places ideologically similar legislators (e.g., liberal Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.)) closer to each other, and farther from dissimilar legislators (e.g., conservative Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.)) based on the degree of agreement between their roll call voting records.

Party Polarization – DW Nominate & DW Nominate video

Also see– southern realignment

Does media drive polarization among voters?
Political polarization & media habits
Where News Audiences Fit on the Political Spectrum
Jon Stewart– Media bias on Ferguson
Ferguson & partisan polarization on twitter


1992 Clinton Campaign documentary

The War Room (1993)

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