(2) Open and Closed Primaries

Marcus  Danvers
Mind Map by Marcus Danvers, updated more than 1 year ago
Marcus  Danvers
Created by Marcus Danvers over 5 years ago
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A level US Politics - 3C ((1) Election and Voting - Presidential elections) Mind Map on (2) Open and Closed Primaries, created by Marcus Danvers on 09/11/2014.

Resource summary

(2) Open and Closed Primaries
1 Closed Primary
1.1 Voters will have to declare support for a party somehow (this could be at the voters registration stage or it could be at the ballot box). Sometimes this will be a Closed Modified Primary - when people can vote for an independent candidate as well as either a Democrat or a Republican candidate.
1.2 += Less likely to have "raiding" - this is when supporters of a party vote for a weak candidate of the opposing party. Tea Party in 12 - used to try to gain support for pressure groups.
2 Open Primary
2.1 Voters are given 2 ballot papers and return the unused paper when they cast their vote. Voters are given a free decision over party they vote for.
2.2 += Wider participation in the nomination phase. Candidates who do well usually have policies, which reflect the electorate as a whole (not just the views of the Party Activists)
3 Significance and evaluation of Primaries/Caucuses
3.1 Primaries have determined presidential candidates over party selection since 1968 elections. Party selection of candidates is seen as un-American by the electorate (I.e. elitist, non-participatory, potentially corrupt).
3.2 Following the 1968 elections the Democratic Party established the McGovern-Fraser Commission - recommendations for reform. This Commission was significant for the reforms that changed the way presidential candidates were selected and can be seen starting in 1972 election cycle. Primaries determine the number of delegates to the National Party Conventions (Sometimes proportional sometimes winner-takes-all determined at a state-level).
3.3 Advantages of New system
3.3.1 More Democratric
3.3.2 Power of party leaders diluted (allows for a wider range of candidates)
3.3.3 Gives strong indication of electorate appeal (selection of who appeals the most).
3.3.4 Increases political participation
3.3.5 A good test of political mettle! Perhaps made Obama a stronger candidate 08 after winning initial against Clinton in Primaries
3.4 Disadvantages of new system
3.4.1 Electoral participation is non-representative (higher participation by ideological voters e.g. Ron Paul and Libertarian policies).
3.4.2 Too long (sometimes invisible primaries begin 2 years before election year e.g. John Kerry announced intention 423 days before 1st primary 04)
3.4.3 Very expensive. Process costs millions e.g. Al Gore 33.8 Million before primaries +15.3 million after first Primary. Elizabeth Dole 99 "Money has become the message". Clinton and Obama raised and spent almost $500 Million between Jan 07 and Apr 08.
3.4.4 Process too dominated by media esp. television. Media has replaced the Party as the new "King-Makers". (Loevy)
3.4.5 Can become too focused on personal battles -> Not about politics but about winning. Can create disunity within the Parties.
3.4.6 Lack of "peer-review". Cronin and Genovese:
3.4.6.1 "What it takes to become President may not be what is needed to govern the Nation. To win a Presidential election takes ambition, money, luck and masterful Public Relations strategies. To govern a democracy requires much more."
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