POLI 325   Political Parties and Elections

This is an upper-level elective course in political science, designed to familiarize students with the electoral process and party politics.  While the course focuses primarily on the American political system, it also makes frequent and systematic comparisons with other electoral democracies.  The course also introduces students to contemporary political science research at a moderately advanced level and to some theoretical and normative concerns of political science with respect to the electoral process and party systems.  Particular attention will be paid to the potential role of third parties. 

Course Syllabus   (Fall 2004)

Revised Outline of Topics and Readings

Bulletin Board (Question & Answer)

Tests and Exams

        Guide to Midterm Test   (updated for Fall 2004)    Histogram
        Midterm Take-Home Assignment
        Guide to Final Exam   [Updated for Fall 2004]


Class Handouts  (and links)

        Forecasting Presidential Election Outcomes
                            Data for Question 3
                            Graph 1: Vote By GDP Change
                            Graph 2: Vote by Pres. Job Approval
                            Graph 3:  Vote by "Time for a Change"
                            Graph 4: Vote By GDP Change with "Time for a Change"
                            Graph 5:  Vote by Pres. Job Approval with "Time for a Change"
                            Predictive Equations with Predictions for 2004
                            Incumbency Advantage Crosstabulation
                            "Time for a Change" Crosstabulation
                                        Related Links 
                                        Summary Paper by Randall  J. Jones, Jr. (with links)  
Bureau of Economic Analysis 
                                        PollingReport.com: Bush Job Ratings          
                                        Roper Center: Presidential Job Approval Ratings
                                        Political Forecasting
                                        Fair Model                          
                                        Forecasting U.S. National Elections (Lewis-Beck & Tien)

            Questions to Think About (for Topics #4 and #5)

            Criteria for and Consequences of Free Elections: Overview

            Origin and Nature of Political Parties: Overview

            Varieties of  National Party Systems

            Voting To Elect a Single Candidate        Transparencies        Exercises Pertaining to Voting Rules    Answers & Discussion to Exercises

           N. R. Miller, Voting (The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics)                                       
           N. R. Miller,  "The 2002 French Presidential Election: Instant Runoff Voting, Monotonicity Failure, and Spoiler Effects"

           Arnold Uken, "An Introduction to Voting Theory: History and Procedures" [PowerPoint --- click here and then on this item]

                    Web Sites:  The Center for Voting and Democracy            
                                        Election Methods Education and Research Group       
                                        Accurate Democracy: Electoral and Legislative Voting Rules
                                        Approval Voting Home Page
                                        Instant Runoff Voting 
                                        Presidential Democracy Project: Instant Runoff Voting
                                        Voting System Reform
                                        Instant Runoff Voting Animation

            Voting To Elect Several Candidates (MMDs)

            Seats and Votes in Districted Elections     Figures 1-6        Figures 7-8

            Stratetigic Effects in Voting Systems and Duverger's Law

            Party Competition for Votes: Electoral Divergence and Convergence

                                            Bernard Grofman, "Downs and Two-Party Convergence"
                                            [Note: this link will work only if you are using a UMBC computer]
            Presidential Election Material

                                     Closest Elections in Marginal and Pivotal States
                                     Closest Popular Vote Margins, Closest Electotal Vote Margins, and "Tipability"
                                                    2004 Presidential Election Data
                                                    2004  Popular Votes => Electoral Votes Chart
                                                    2004  Zoom-In Chart

            British Election Administration (BBC Q&A)

            Caltech-MIT Voting Technology Project               

            Legislative Districting Chart

            The Evolution of American Political Parties

General Links

        Instructor's Homepage (bio, research, other courses, etc.)
        UMBC Political Science Department
        American Political Science Association

Guidance on Plagiarism and Academic Integrity

        UMBC:  Overview of  Academic Integrity
               Resources for Students
        Guidance on Plagiarism (Prof. Roy Meyers)
        "Plagiarism" by Prof. Earl Babbie

2004 Presidential Election

        Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections       
        Electoral Vote Predictor 2004
        PBS Vote 2004 ---  Politics 101: Electoral College Map
        Rasmussen Reports: Electoral College Projections
        Election Projection:  2004 Edition
        Electoral College: Meta-Analysis of State Polls
        USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll
        Washington Post Tracking Poll
        Presidential Trial Heats: A Daily Time Series (James Stimson, UNCH)
        2004 Presidential Electoral Collge Predictions
        Weekly Electoral College Status       
        Larry Allen's Election Prejection
        Probability of Winning the Electoral College Vote
        Electoral College Calculator

Media and Current Events

        Washington Post On Politics
        New York Times on the Web (requires free registration)
        The Times (London)
        The Guardian (UK)
        CNN All Politics
        BBC World Service
        PBS Newshour 

Political Parties, Candidates, and Campaigns

       World Political Parties (including 68 U.S. Parties)
       Democratic National Committee
       Republican National Committee
       History of Presidential Campaign Commercials
       Polical Party Material (LSU)
       Campaign Reform: Insights and Evidence
       Campaigns & Elections (magazine)
       PBS Democracy Project
       Voter Turnout: A Global Report

Resources for Political Science Research on Voting and Elections

POLI 423 Links for Research on Presidential Elections