Political Science 305-1††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† David M. Dolence

Political Parties and Elections†††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Office: Du461

Spring 2004†††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Phone: 753-1818

TTh 8:00-9:15 (DU 252)†††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† E-mail:

Hours: TTH 9:30-1200, WF 12-2




POLS 305: This course examines political parties and elections in the American system.James Bryce wrote, ďParties are inevitable.No large, free country has been without them.No one has shown how representative government could be worked without them.They bring order out of chaos to a multitude of voters.ĒJames Madison in discussing the securities to liberty in the new constitution wrote, ďAll these securities however would be found very insufficient without the restraint of frequent elections.ĒPolitical parties and elections have been and continue to be a vital part of American political life and freedom.†† Parties and elections have not been stagnant in American history.Both parties and elections have changed and continue to change as society and the political system adjust to changing times.This course will look at where parties and elections have been, are now, and where they may be heading in the 21st century.




All students are expected to have full access to a copy of the following texts.They are available in both bookstores on campus.


Party Politics in America, 10th edition, Marjorie R. Hershey and Paul Allen Beck, Longman

Publishing, 2003.


Campaigns and Elections: Contemporary Case Studies, Editors Michael A. Bailey, Ronald A.

Faucheux, Paul S. Herrnson, and Clyde Wilcox, CQ Press, 2000.


American Elections: The Rules Matter, Robert L. Dudley and Alan R. Gittelson, Longman

Publishing, 2002.


Occasionally students may be asked to do additional readings that may be found on the internet or provided by the instructor.NIU students have access to the internet from their assigned NIU.EDU account. If you do not already have your Z-ID number and access to an NIU account, you should make an early effort to acquire one (a personal account is adequate).The instructor is working under the assumption that everyone has access to the internet from some source.If this is a false assumption, it is the studentís responsibility to let him know.





Week 1 (13/15 January)††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Reading/Assignments


What are Parties?†††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Hershey/Beck Chap 1

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††

Week 2 (20/22 January)

Party Eras and Realignment†††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† H/B Chap 7

Iowa Caucus

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††

Week 3 (27/29 January)

American Two-Party System ††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† H/B Chap 2

Third Parties††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Campaigns and Elections Chap 7, 11

New Hampshire Primary

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††

Week 4 (3/5 February)

Party Organization††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† H/B Chap 3-5

The Machine††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† C/E Chap 6, 10


††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††

Week 5 (10/12 February)

Responsible Party System†††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† H/B Chap 15

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Presidential Presentations 1, 2

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††

Week 6 (17/19 February)

The Party in Government†††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† H/B Chap 13

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Presidential Presentation 3

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †† Directed Essay One Due

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††

Week 7 (24/26 February)

Party in the Electorate††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† H/B Chap 6

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† C/E Chap 5, 13

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††

Week 8 (2/4 March)

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Presidential Presentation 4

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††† *** EXAM #1 ***

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††


Week 9: Spring Break

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††

Week 10 (16/18 March)

Electoral Districts††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† H/B pp. 207-10

Gerrymandering ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Rules pp. 14-28

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† C/E Chap 8, 9†††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Presidential Presentations 5-8

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††

Week 11 (23/25 March)

Registration and Voting†††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† H/B Chap 8

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Rules Chap 1

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††

Week 12 (30 March/1 April)

Primaries and the Nomination†† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Rules Chap 2

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† C/E Chap 12, 14

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††

Week 13 (6/8 April)

Types of Elections†††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† C/E Chap 1, 4, 16-19

California Recall

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††

Week 14 (13/15 April)

The Electoral College††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† H/B Chap 10

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Rules Chap 6

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††

Week 15 (20/22 April)

Money and Elections†††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Rules Chap 3

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† C/E Chap 2, 3

††††††††††† ††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Directed Essay Two Due

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††

Week 16 (27/29 April)

Parties, Elections, and democracy?

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††


Tuesday May 4: Final 8-950††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† *** Exam #2 ***

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††




1. Classroom Behavior and Attendance: Courtesy and regard for one another should guide classroom behavior.Differences in opinion will inevitably arise in good discussions. Absolute agreement is NEVER required, but respect is ALWAYS required.Attendance at each class is both expected and necessary for success in this class.Being in attendance is defined as being present at the beginning of class and remaining in class until the instructor dismisses the class for the day.Students who are having difficulty arriving on time may be barred from class.Occasional difficulties do arise and are understandable if an appropriate explanation and apology are offered after class.If there are any scheduling problems that cannot be avoided, please consult with the instructor immediately

Students are expected to be attentive to the lectures and class discussions.Students who sleep, read the paper, persistently talk with other students or are otherwise inattentive will be asked to leave the class and will be subject to administrative dismissal from the course.All cell phones must be turned off when class begins.If a cell phone rings during class, the owner will be asked to leave and the absence will be unexcused.Students who have extended absences due to illness should notify the instructor as promptly as possible during the absence and produce a doctorís note indicating the nature and duration of the illness.This note should be presented at the first class upon returning.Extended absences are regarded as not fulfilling course requirements and, unless justified with appropriate documentation, will adversely affect the final grade.


2. Class Preparation and Note Taking: The best way to prepare for each class is to do the readings at least once (some require more than one reading) prior to class.You will be much better able to participate in and to grasp the class discussions if you have done so.Note taking is an important ingredient to success in this course.Learn to listen carefully to the arguments made and write them down as best you can.Good discussions will move beyond the readings and are likely to return on a test. Studentsí questions frequently lead to important points and essential discussions.You will be evaluated on your understanding of important material, regardless of who specifically brings it into the discussion.In other words, if it is discussed in class or in the readings, it is acceptable test material.


3. Class Participation:Participation in class is expected, required, and rewarded.Participation means that students demonstrate that they are trying to understand the arguments being made both in the reading and in the discussions, by asking questions or making comments which show problems with the arguments and by responding to questions which the instructor raises.Merely talking does not fulfill the expectation set for participation.The kind of participation expected is one which shows that you are trying to understand what the whole picture looks like, what each part looks like, and how the parts fit into that whole.


4. Grading:Final grades will be based on a studentís performance in the following areas:


TWO (2) EXAMS (25% x2): There will be two exams that cover the two main divisions in the course.The exams will consist of essays, short answers, and identification.The exact exam format will be discussed as the class progresses.The second exam will be taken during finals week, but will only focus on material discussed after the first exam.


††††††††††† TWO DIRECTED ESSAYS (15% x2): Each student will be responsible for two directed essays that will be provided by the instructor.These are likely to be internet based.These are formal essays and not research papers.Your opinions and thoughts are as valuable as any research you may pursue. These essays will be 1250-1500 words (approximately 4-5 pages) in length.Each student will be responsible for one essay focusing on political parties and one focusing on elections, but there may be some choice within those general topics.More information will be provided as the course progresses.


††††††††††† FOUR CHOICE ESSAYS (10%):Writing and articulation of thoughts is a critical part of any study in political science.Therefore, less formal writing will be required.Every week different topics and issues will be discussed that may not be fully explored or topics on the edge that are of interest to you will be mentioned.These informal writing assignments will allow you to explore more fully your position and thoughts on these topics.These essays will be 800-1000 words in length (approximately 3 pages).A topic or idea may be provided every week by the instructor or may simply come up in discussion.The topic may be entirely the studentís interest, but must be approved by the instructor.Each student must turn in four of these weekly writing assignments, although as many as ten may be available (NO EXTRA CREDIT for more than four!).They will be graded on a ÷ and ÷+ basis.All four papers will earn 8 points in the class and if at least two of them are ÷+ís, 10 points will be earned.More information will be provided as the class progresses.


PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY/CAUCUS PRESENTATION (10%): Since the presidential primaries will be in full swing during the semester, it seems fitting that we maintain a close watch on the events as they proceed.To this end, the class will be divided into groups (dependent on the class size) and each group will be responsible for reporting the results of a set of primaries.These reports must be on PowerPoint and will be due according to the schedule provided elsewhere in this syllabus.The instructor will present the Iowa and New Hampshire results as an example and further information will be provided.


††††††††††††††† ATTENDANCE and PARTICIPATION:Attendance will be taken and the instructor throughout the course will monitor participation.The instructor reserves the right to raise a studentís final grade if that studentís attendance and participation has been exceptional (0-1 absence and regular voluntary participation).Do not count on it, but it is an option.See class attendance policy for grading penalty related to absences.


Grading % summary:††††† ††††††††††† 25% (x2)††††† Exams

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† 15% (x2)††††† Directed Essays

10%††††††††††† ††††††††††† Presentation

10%††††††††††† ††††††††††† Choice Essays


††††††††††† *Final grades are on a standard ten point scale for A (90%) through F (<60%).†††††††††††


5. Syllabus: The syllabus is a tentative schedule for the course.Each course progresses at a unique pace and it is inevitable that changes will be necessary.The instructor will announce any changes in class.In other words, one more reason for regular attendance is to stay up to date on important assignment and test dates.


6. Attendance Policy: Attendance will be taken daily using a seating chart.A documented, excused absence will allow a student to make up class work missed, but still counts as an absence.Four absences will be allowed with no questions asked.The fifth and sixth absence will result in a half-letter grade reduction each in the final course grade; however, these penalties may be nullified if the student completes a course related 300-500-word essay of the instructorís choosing.The absences are still recorded, but the penalty will be removed.The seventh absence and any subsequent absences will each result in a full letter grade reduction in the studentís final grade Ė no exceptions.


7. Make-up Exams: Make-up exams will be given only with adequate documentation that the absence was unavoidable.The make-up exams are sufficiently more difficult than the original that prudent people will avoid them where possible.


8. Late Papers and Assignments: There will be a three day grace period on all written assignments IF that grace period is requested by the student.Grace periods are not automatic and papers turned in late without requesting the grace period will be lowered one letter grade per day.Students not present on their scheduled presentation day for documented and unavoidable reasons may discuss possible written substitutions at the instructorís discretion.


9. Statement Concerning Students with Disabilities

Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, NIU is committed to making reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Those students with disabilities that may have some impact on their coursework and for which they may require accommodations should notify the Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR) on the fourth floor of the Health Services Building. CAAR will assist students in making appropriate accommodations with course instructors. It is important that CAAR and instructors be informed of any disability-related needs during the first two weeks of the semester.


10. Department of Political Science Web Site

Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to consult the Department of Political Science web site on a regular basis. This up-to-date, central source of information will assist students in contacting faculty and staff, reviewing course requirements and syllabi, exploring graduate study, researching career options, tracking department events, and accessing important details related to undergraduate programs and activities. The website may be reached through the NIU website.


11. Appointments: The instructor will make every reasonable effort to be available to students.If you cannot come during scheduled office hours, please call or e-mail to schedule a mutually convenient appointment.