Political Science | Election 2000
Y200 | 4560 | Streb
The 2000 elections promise to be some of the most important in
recent history. Not only will we elect a new President, but the partisan
makeup of Congress may change drastically as well. We will study these
elections in great detail and examine what their results could be and how
their results could influence the American political landscape.
In a representative democracy, elections are essential. Citizens
must vote in order for our political system to truly work. It is important
then for us to understand voting and elections. This course will start out
by examining theories of voting. We will discuss who votes, why people
vote, and how people vote. Next we turn to the main focus of the class:
national elections in the United States. The course will examine
congressional elections first, and then presidential elections. We will
cover topics including candidate recruitment, the impact of party
organizations and interest groups on elections, the electoral process, the
impact of money on elections, the incumbent advantage, and campaign
strategy. We will relate all of these topics to the 2000 elections.
Finally, we will analyze elections as institutions and how they affect
representation and policy-making.
Each student will be required to read a major national news source
(The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, etc.) to
keep up with recent developments in both the presidential and congressional
elections. Students will take a midterm and a final exam as well as write
two five page papers as well.