Tag Archives: Candidates

The Path to 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 do you agree with such an axiom?

Message Approved

The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) of 2002, also known as the McCain-Feingold Act, includes a provision where political candidates, running for public office at the federal level, must identify their own political advertisements with the phrase, “I approve this message.”  This idea was intended to discourage candidates from running negative ads on television or radio.  However, when ads are produced and aired by outside organizations, such as interest groups or political parties, they acknowledge that their ads are not affiliated with any candidates or campaign committees.  In effect, the interest group or political party is letting the audience know that the ads are independent of any candidate.  Candidates for state office are not required to have an “approval” message included in their ads.

Does it matter to you if an ad is run by a candidate or by an outside political organization?  Did you even know there was a difference between the two?

Again and Again…

Did you know that there is something called, “The Commission on Presidential Debates”?  Did you also know that this Commission determines which Presidential candidates get to debate each other before the general election.  More over, the Commission on Presidential Debates has a criterion that has excluded third party candidates from the debates since Ross Perot was invited in 1992.  In order to be invited to a Presidential debate, a candidate must have a composite average of 15% of popular support from nationally administered polls.   One problem with the requirement is that most national polling companies do not include any third party candidates as a choice in their polls.  Another problem is how subjective the 15% requirement is.  Why not 5% as a requirement?  How about 1%?  What about ballot access requirements as a criterion?  If you are not included in a poll as a choice, then how can a candidate receive any show of public support, let alone 15%?

What are your thoughts?

The Race Has Begun?

Recently, C-Span, the cable channel devoted to covering federal government affairs, began covering the 2016 Presidential race for its Sunday evening series entitled, “Road to the White House.”  For political junkies, this could not have started soon enough.  To casual political observers, the race for the White House does not begin in 2013, but in 2016.  However, imagine yourself as a political insider for either the Democratic or Republican Parties (or for that matter, the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, or other third parties/Independents).  What would you be looking for in a candidate at this time in 2013?

Party Activism

Stanley Verba, et al. (1995), came up with three criteria as to why people get involved in party politics.  Whether or not someone has the financial resources to participate is one factor.  The second factor deals with whether or not someone is interested in a particular issue or candidate.  If a person has financial resources and is interested in an issue/a candidate, then they are more likely to participate in party politics.  The third factor deals with whether or not someone has asked an individual to participate.   Whether it is via phone or online, the ways that a party to a connect with a potential participant are vast.  It is that personal connection that can make individuals want to contribute their time and energy for a candidate or party.  If you fall into any of these three categories, then you are more likely to be identified as a “party activist“.

What has your involvement been in party politics?  Have you ever participated by working for a candidate or a political party?  What made you want to participate in that political campaign?