• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Does public participation in the presidential nomination process advance or hinder democracy?

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Diggers Rogers ?G? Does public participation in the presidential nomination process advance or hinder democracy? Nationwide public participation in the presidential nomination process has only been in action for a few years, since the 1970?s, after the recommendations from the commission for the Democratic Party, which republic party also use as well. These led to the use of primaries in almost every state, and caucuses in a few states. There are many arguments to say that this does not advance democracy, however there are also numerous that say that public participation does in fact advance democracy. To begin, the new system established in the 70?s means that there is an increased level of participation by ordinary voters. By 1988 the number of Americans who took part in this process was 35 million and in 2008, 54 million Americans took part. This clearly shows that participation has and is increasing thus advancing democracy. ...read more.


For example, in 1996 it was 17.5% when President Clinton was running for re-election, and 17.2% in 2004 when George W Bush was running for re-election. Even when no incumbent was running in 2000; participation was still only 19%. Further focussing on the electorate, the primary voters and caucus participants are unrepresentative of the population; primary voters tend to be older, better educated, wealthier and more ideological than the voting age population as a whole, thus typically voting for the democrats. For example in 1988 where there was a 25.5% turnout: 16% voted democrat and 9.1% voted for the Republican Party. Also, more ideological candidates do better in primaries than they are expected to; in 2008, Ron Paul ? a libertarian republican ? won at least 10% of the vote in 14 primaries and caucuses and in three of those contests his vote exceeded 20%. Seven of these 14 contests were caucuses illustrating the unrepresentative turn-out in those kinds of contests. ...read more.


Finally, the early states especially Iowa and New Hampshire have disproportionate influence. The Iowa caucuses are noteworthy for the amount of media attention they receive during U.S. presidential election years. Since 1972, the Iowa caucuses have been the first major electoral event of the nominating process for President of the United States. Although only about 1% of the nation's delegates are chosen by the Iowa State Convention (25 Republican delegates in 2012, assigned proportionately), the Iowa caucuses have served as an early indication of which candidates for president might win the nomination of their political party at that party's national convention, and which ones could drop out for lack of support. In conclusion, since the change of the system since 1968 i believe that the system has become far more democratic, however I believe that there are still many flaws in the current system that if corrected could make the candidate selection process more efficient, interesting and most importantly it could further advance democracy. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level United States section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level United States essays

  1. Free essay

    Presidential Candidates

    demanding activity but also one that is very important as many candidates that have had poor organizational structures have gone on to lose in either the party presidential candidate election or the general election. 8. Bennett refers to speaking skills and being telegenic - How do Obama and McCain score here?

  2. Invisible Primaries, USA.

    The primary elections can also be seen to interfere with day-to-day politics in Washington, owing to the so called "electioneering", that they are more or less compelled to follow. As previously stated, the candidates more or less start the process after the mid terms occur, (such as in November 2010),

  1. Consider whether the growth of primary elections in the Presidential nomination process has reduced ...

    If all states were to adopt this system, then there would be an ever clearer indication of the winning candidate prior to the convention. In "open" primaries, however, as the new suggests voters can vote in both parties' elections. This can lead to a cross-over voting and a great deal of tactical voting.

  2. Consider whether the activities of pressure groups help or hinder the operation of a ...

    It could be argued that the freedom to set up such groups could easily lead to activists influencing decision makers to the detriment of those who don't agree with their views. However, no group operates without opposition from another interest group meaning that potentially exclusive views can't be left unchallenged;

  1. Explain the significance of the New Hampshire Primary and the Iowa Caucus in the ...

    The New Hampshire primary of 1968 was of particular significance, especially for Johnson. He fell behind McCarthy by seven points, and as a result, withdrew from the campaign, announcing that "I shall not seek, and will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president".

  2. To what extent is the American Constitution an elitist document?Why then did the framers ...

    The result was a building economic recession. * The national government did not have exclusive control over the money supply. Each state and the national government had its own money supply. In the face of these crises, the elites (for want of a better word), of the thirteen states decided

  1. Evaluate the role of Televised debates in US presidential campaigns

    With election day less than a week away, he managed to shape the way voters would make up their minds in these vital last days of the campaign. Support for President Carter fell away badly following the debate, and on election day he won less than six states, plus the

  2. How significant are the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries?

    However, the opposite can be true for losers of the earlier primaries/caucuses, in fact one of the most famous instances of this was in

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work