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

Assess the factors that determine the outcome of US Presidential elections

Extracts from this document...


Assess the factors that determine the outcome of US Presidential elections? (60) When looking at the factors that determine the outcome of Presidential elections we must first look at the credentials a candidate needs in order to even consider running for office. As affirmed in Article II of the Constitution they need to be a natural-born US citizen, at least 35 years of age, and have been a resident in the US for at least 14 years. (After 1951, an amendment was passed stating that a person cannot serve more than 2 terms as president). US Presidential elections are used to choose representatives for a fixed-term period in office (of four years). There are always held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November and the system employed is FPTP, a simple majority system. A presidential election can be split up into two distinct stages; the first being concerned with choosing the candidates; and the second is concerned with electing the President. Because the parties in the US don't have 'leaders' in the way UK parties do, and it is therefore necessary for them to choose a suitable candidate to carry forward into phase two of the process stand in the presidential election. ...read more.


(Another purpose of the campaign is not only to reach out to as many people as possible, but also to ensure that those people actually turnout and vote - the parties and PAC's play an important role in trying to rectify this problem). Sources of income for Presidential elections come from the individual candidate, interested individuals, interest groups operating through PAC's and political parties. The role of money in US Presidential elections has long been a controversial, as have the sources of funding. Concerns that money is too influential in determining election outcomes and that individual donor's might expect political favors in return for their money have come to head in the 1970's. Since FECA in 1974, there have been various attempts of further reform. Senators McCain and Feingold tried unsuccessfully for a number of years, and finally got the 2002 Bipartisan Act (banning 'soft money') passed on the basis that restrictions on how money is spent is unconstitutional as it is an infringement on the right to freedom of expression. ...read more.


Traditionally, Presidential candidates have chosen a running mate who compliments himself both in background, style and policy - i.e. so that they are a 'balanced ticket' (e.g. GWB and Cheney). This is important (although not essential as seen with Clinton and Gore) as it helps the candidate ascertain the political 'middle ground' in conjunction to the concept of 'Triangulation'. (Hence, the Democrats need to show 'social conservatism' as much as possible and similarly the Republicans need to pursue 'compassionate conservatism'). This can also be achieved through projected policies and political stances on certain issues. It has been proved that the candidate, who occupies the political 'middle ground' the best, wins elections. In conclusion, those who do vote, do so in the light of various influences, of which their long-term party identification has traditionally been the most important. However, in a television age, in which campaigning is conducted in a more visible way then ever before and in which the amount of information available has dramatically increased, the merits of the candidate and issues of the time have become particularly relevant, and ultimately decides elections. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics 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 GCSE Politics essays

  1. The United States uses a presidential system of government and is a stable democracy; ...

    In terms of a parliamentary government system, unlike the presidential system the executive is organically linked to the legislature. The three main features would include that the governing parties emerge from the assembly. Government ministers are usually drawn from, and remain members of the legislature.

  2. The United States uses a presidential system of government and is a stable democracy; ...

    This plural executive differs greatly from the focus on a single chief executive in presidentialism. It should be noted that the post of the prime minister is separate from that of a ceremonial head of state while presidents are the head of government aswell as the head of state.

  1. Albert Arnold Gore.

    Al Gore was one of the strongest advocates to protect the environment. On March 3rd 1993 Clinton announced the National Performance Review, in which Al Gore would be in charge of the entire effort. Gore reported that over five years the government would save $108 billion- this was in

  2. In what ways are U.K. & U.S. elections similar? In what ways are they ...

    decide on whom to vote due to their party ties. In the U.K. voter registration occurs automatically once a citizen comes of voting age, whereas in the U.S. the initiative resides with the individual. Although innovative techniques such as 'motor-voting' have been introduced it is still harder to register to vote in the U.S.

  1. How many forms of 'Conservatism' are observable between 1945-1980?

    All parties had a duty not to repeat this mistake, and so the Postwar Consensus, up to the late 1970s, can be seen as arising from a sense of obligation towards the men who fought in World War Two. This does not mean that there was no debate or dissent.

  2. Civil Service Reform.

    every five years under a 'Prior Options' scheme whereby fundamental questions are asked, including whether the government needs to perform the particular task at all or whether it can be privatised. Claims made on behalf of the agencies are that they have greatly increased efficiency, meeting around 75% of their targets.

  1. What is the purpose of elections and do they guarantee a democracy?

    This is in stark contrast to coalition governments, which give enormous power to smaller coalition partners. A minority party, with a relatively small electoral mandate, has enormous power in frustrating the major party's manifesto commitments and policy. This can be seen in the Israeli government, where the minor party 'tail' often ends up 'wagging' the major party 'dog'i.

  2. Tobacco Regulations in Canada and the US.

    He sent copies of a major tobacco company's internal communications from a law firm to Stan Glantz at the University of California at San Francisco who then published The Cigarette Papers. This analysis of what the tobacco companies knew and how they concealed it from the public was also published

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