Monthly Archives: December 2012

Chris Christie in 2013

Current Events Quiz

This week’s quiz is live in MySearchLab.  Good Luck!

Prospects for Victory

From the 1964 Ralph G. Martin book, Ballots and Bandwagons, a compilation of events from five political conventions in the early half of the twentieth century:

“Political Axiom Number One says that the brighter the presidential prospect of victory, the greater the crop of available candidates.”

It is a pretty simple rule, but can such a rule be applied not only the Presidency, but to a House, Senate, or Gubernatorial race?  Do you agree with such an axiom?

Realignment in America

Are the two major political parties in the United States currently realigning themselves?  Realignment or a realigning/critical election, has been defined by Walter Dean Burnham, as an event that occurs every 30-36 years.  When realignment does occur, the political parties tend to reinvent themselves in order to stay relevant.  They do this by adjusting their political party platforms while the country or the political electorate changes.  Sometimes, however, it is the critical election that adjusts the way the voting behaves.  For the most part, political scientists agree that the United States has had five party systems.  The first party system somewhere between the creation of American political parties to the time of Democratic-Republican Party dominance (1789-1828).  The second party system occurred during the height of the Democratic Party strength and the somewhat competitive Whig Party (1828-1860).  The third party system took place with the emergence of the Republican Party and the election of Abraham Lincoln and lasted until the late 1890s (1860-1896).  In fourth party system, the parties aligned themselves based on the economy, as Democrats became the party of unions and an agrarian mindset, while the Republicans captured big business and industry within their ranks (1896-1932).  With the fifth party system, the Democrats took on the role of supporting the New Deal, while the Republicans opposed the FDR platform.  From the time of the New Deal, Democrats have supported public policy solutions created by the federal government.  Republicans supported solutions initiated by state governments.  This party system has lasted since 1932 (1932-Present).    The two major parties have continued to promote their party platforms from a federal vs. state government angle.  Since both parties have not changed since 1932, what would it take for the American party system realign once again in a sixth party system?

Current Events Quiz

This week’s quiz is live in MySearchLab.  Good Luck!

What Do You Look For In A Presidential Candidate?

From the Boston Globe via The Hill:

Tagg Romney on his father, Mitt, running for President.  “He wanted to be president less than anyone I’ve met in my life.  He had no desire to … run. If he could have found someone else to take his place … he would have been ecstatic to step aside.”

With that in mind, what do you look for in a Presidential candidate?

The Politics of Appointments

In a previous post, I spoke to the issue of special elections and political appointments when an open seat to the United States Senate or House of Representatives arose.  With the death of Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) on December 17, his seat will be filled by Governor Neil Abercrombie (D) in the form of a political appointment.  Under Hawaii law, the Democratic Party recommends three candidates to the governor.  He, then makes, the final decision.  Inouye was a kingmaker in Hawaiian political circles.  Even in his death, this still holds true.  Inouye sent a letter to Abercrombie before his passing, urging the Governor to appoint Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa (D) as his replacement after his death.  Hanabusa is up to the Senate position, but if she were approved by Abercrombie, her seat would then open up and lead to a special election.  Since Democrats out number Republicans in Hawaii, it is safe to assume that many Democrats would run to replace Hanabusa.  If that is the case, then it is possible that a Republican might win the open seat due to a divided Democratic vote.  The last Republican to hold that Congressional seat was Charles Djou, who won the seat in a special election after Abercrombie, then a Congressman himself, resigned to run for Governor.  Now it is up to the Democratic Party of Hawaii to decide on three possible replacements for Senator Inouye.  Who would you select to replace Senator Inouye?  Hanabusa?  Lt. Governor Brian Schatz?  Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann?

Stricter Gun Laws

Senator Scott

Governor Nikki Haley (R-SC) is set to appoint Representative Tim Scott (R) as a replacement for Jim DeMint (R) to the United States Senate.  Scott will become the first African-American Republican Senator from the South since Reconstruction.  Since Reconstruction, only six African-Americans have held the position of United States Senator.  Hiram Revels (R-MS), Blanche Bruce (R-MS), Edward Brooke (R-MA), Carol Moseley Braun (D-IL), Barack Obama (D-IL), and Roland Burris (D-IL) all served in the United States Senate.  Scott will be the seventh.

Iowa Straw Poll in Perspective

Now that the final vote total for the Presidential race has given President Obama a 4 point victory rather than a 2 point margin, it might be time to give some perspective on when the Presidential race truly began.  In August 2011, the Republican Party of Iowa held a straw poll where Presidential candidates met with party faithful and gauged where they stood in the state of the first caucus in the nation.  This non-binding vote gave Michele Bachmann the victory and some momentum for her Presidential bid.  The momentum was short-lived.  Here are those results and what happened to those who competed in the straw poll after it was held.

1.  Michele Bachmann — 28.6% (Finished fifth in the Iowa Caucus, dropped her bid for the Presidency soon after, ran for re-election to Congress and won)

2.  Ron Paul–27.7% (Finished third in the Iowa Caucus, lost bid for Republican nomination to Mitt Romney, retired from Congress)

3.  Tim Pawlenty–13.6% (Dropped his bid for the Presidency after the straw poll)

4.  Rick Santorum–9.8% (Won the Iowa Caucus by 8 votes, served as main conservative opponent to Mitt Romney in primaries)

5.  Herman Cain–8.6% (Dropped his bid for Presidency before Iowa Caucus amid allegations of marital infidelity, works as a political commentator)

6.  Rick Perry (write-in)–4.3% (Finished fifth in the Iowa Caucus, dropped his bid for President soon after, current Governor of Texas)

7.  Mitt Romney–3.4% (Finished second in Iowa Caucus, became Republican nominee for President, lost to Barack Obama in November 2012)

8.  Newt Gingrich–2.3% (Finished fourth in the Iowa Caucus, competed strongly in some southern primary states, continues to work as commentator and author)

9.  Jon Huntsman–0.4% (Finished seventh in the Iowa Caucus, dropped bid after New Hampshire primary)

10.  Thaddeus McCotter–0.2% (Dropped his bid for nomination before Iowa Caucus; dropped his bid for re-election to Congress after petition foul up)

Source:  Iowa Caucus