Q. 1. Describe the micro targeting tactic. How do parties use this strategy, and how successful has it been?A. Micro targeting is described as creating a look-a-like mode, which involves the use of statistical algorithms to extract a pattern from an existing one. For example, people from a church list can be used to people that resembles the same in other population. Political parties use this strategy to broaden their perspective in political behavior in relation to decision-making of voters during elections. It has been successful thus far because the current United States President Barack Obama used the same strategy twice, which resulted to his two consecutive terms.
Q. 2. Outline five different characteristics of people who voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, and explain why those characteristics likely made them vote for Obama. Of those five aspects, which one was the most significant? Why?
A. In 2008 Presidential election, the majority of Obama’s vote came from young voters. These voters from the younger age group possess five common characteristics and those are being diverse, more secular in religious orientation, enthusiastic, politically liberal and less social conservatism. Such characteristics put Obama into office because they could greatly relate to Obama as an ideal leader based on their common standards set by their relative characteristics. For example, being enthusiastic helped the young voters to persuade their parents to vote for Obama and the persuaded votes have helped increase Obama’s lead over the other candidates. However, the most important aspect is the young voter’s sense of political liberalism, which entails greater support to an activist government similar to what Obama is trying to depict.
Q. 3. Based on what you have learned, what are at least three significant obstacles to the electoral success of third-party candidates in the United States? If you were an adviser to a third-party candidate, how would you attempt to overcome these limitations? Be specific in your answer.
A. The third-party candidates faced three major obstacles during the election. One is plurality-takes-all, major party marginalization and ballot access laws. If I were an adviser to the third-party candidate, these barriers can be brought down by collaborating political candidacy together with a strong party-list. This is because party-lists can present their list of candidate, which may include the name of the third-[arty candidate as a strong contender. As a result, the third-party candidate would be able to gain proportional representation and will have the chance of getting a majority vote. Once the candidate has gained significant number of representation through the help of the party-list the chance of getting ballot access in key states is possible and marginalization can be alleviated.
Q. 4. Apply what you have learned about political socialization to your own political development. What are at least four different factors that have affected your own political views? At least one of them should be a larger event that transcends your immediate environment. Use the textbook, slides or other material to support your answer.
A. In political socialization, the four factors that affected my political views are media, religion, race and social status. Race in particular is a created an enormous impact to my political views because during childhood, I thought only white Americans can be president. However, the elections of Obama change my political view that politics in America was meant for a single race. Having the first African-American in the White House is a major turning point of my political ideologies. There was a thought of racial marginalization in me back before Obama was elected.
Q. 5. What do major political parties do?
A. The function of major political parties evolves around contesting election, at some point a political party may feel that the recently held election was compromised and would call for recounting of the ballots or file for a re-election. Other function also includes putting forward political programs and policies, which the representing candidate will defend during debates. Political parties are also largely involved in law making and when holds majorities seat in Congress may also increase their influence in governance. They are also likely to form public opinion, which is mostly done by opposition parties.
Q. 6. Do you believe that interest groups in America adequately represent the broader interests of American society? Which issues—if any—do you consider overrepresented, and which do you believe are currently underrepresented? Why?
A. The United States has several interest groups that represent a particular sector. For example, the American Federation of Teachers is one of the two biggest teacher’s union in the country that has a large influence in the government. Their creed includes representing the interest of the teachers in the country in terms of tenure and other policies that are in contrast to their advocacies. However, the battle between the union and the education system is undermining the biggest issue at hand and it is the reality of the failing education system in the country particularly in the public sector. The exchange of arguments always comes down to the game of the adults against one system to another. However, the interest of the students and the children are being deprived of a quality education that is constantly neglected and underrepresented. It is apparent that despite the world super power title vested into the United States, its education system on the other hand is getting behind in the world due to the lack of representation of a real concerned group for the sake of the students that rely on the system for a quality education. If there would be a real concerning body that will take the student’s interest to the level that the unions are in at the moment, there would be hope for a better education system in the country.
Q. 7. Please describe the major argument by Shelby County, Alabama officials to repeal provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
A. Shelby County in Alabama have petitioned to abolish the Section 5 of the existing 1965 Voting Rights Act that provides an equal right to vote regardless of color. However, the said state repeals the law as unconstitutional based on the adopted arguments about the on-going need for such law in the time of dramatically improved conditions of the state wherein the minorities are also enjoying the equal rights with the rest of the Americans.
Q. 8. The authors of the textbook point out that, despite their large number, an interest group does not represent the poor in America. What are three main reasons for this? And what does this mean for the success of pluralism in the United States?
A. An interest group does necessarily represents the below poverty sector of the American population and there are three main reasons for this. First, interest groups represents only a particular sector that constitutes a major concern that will impact the country and the poor is not part of it. Secondly, interest groups are narrowly focused on putting pressure to the government about a single issue and poverty is a general economic issue. Lastly, interest groups although non-partisan in nature is most of the time driven by political initiatives. Given the reasons why the poor sector in America is not represented by interest groups, it appears to have stained the success of pluralism in America. The poor sector is still a piece of the society that demonstrates a real and specific problem. The problem is that there is interest groups are driven by political ideologies that at most cases undermines larger picture of the general issue.
Q. 9. Political participation varies considerably across demographic groups. Please explain the differences between groups (according to age, gender, race) and what you believe accounts for the differences.
A. Political participation varies according to demographics; one of the determining factors is the prevailing law. Politics involvement is less likely to be a concern to children, obviously their age is also inappropriate for a crucial decision making such as voting and the law sets age legality in order to participate in any political engagements. On the other hand, gender is not much of a concern when it comes to political involvement because gender equality have long been a victor in its fight for social equality. Females are not actively involved and politics and the law do not stipulate specific provision that would hinder females to join within the party. As with race, it is a very controversial issue that has rooted from the colonial era that anyone that is not white in skin is not worthy to enjoy the privileges provided by the constitution. Contemporary laws are still even being contested at this modern day America. Therefore, what accounts most in political involvement is race and age.
Q. 10. What are the important factors that are driving the attempted sugary drink ban by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg? What is the position of the sugar industry on the proposed ban? Please describe the inside and outside lobbying that took place in the last four weeks that pertain to the sugar ban.
A. The reason for Mayor Bloomberg to ban sugar drinks in the state is because of the public health concern regarding increasing number of New Yorkers that are overweight or obese. The position of the sugar drink industry regarding the ban is that drinking the product is a choice and so is being obese. Therefore, there is no reason for the mayor to blame the sugar drink maker for the health deterioration of the public because the company did not force the public to buy their products it is the choice that the people made and the outcome of their health is the result of such choices. In the last four weeks after the proposal, inside and outside lobbying pertaining to the sugar ban can be seen in a form of advertisements highlighting the dangers of sugar drinks that are high in calories. On the other hand Mayor Bloomberg is already on the move to bring the proposal to the State’s Board of Health to obtain a decision.