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Question

As you all are aware, the U.S. political system is in the process of selecting a new President. As discussed in the readings and lectures, the process has evolved to open up each party’s nomination process to the general public through the electoral mechanism of primary elections. Please write an essay about the June 7 Republican and Democratic presidential primary elections in California answering the following questions (use these three questions to structure your essay):
1. In general, outline how the Republican Party differs from the Democrat Party in the way each party allocates delegates among the contending presidential candidates according to their share of the primary vote.
2. How perhaps might California, with its late primary, play a decisive role in determining which candidate wins their party’s nomination at the Republican and Democratic national conventions later in the summer?
3. Overall, how do primary elections perhaps make it more difficult for a party’s nominee to win the general election in November (use the diagrams below to help explain your answer)?

Answer

The Republican and Democratic Party

Political culture forms the basis of differentiation between the Democratic and Republican Party. Political culture encompasses a set of beliefs which characterize a political process and which provides the framework of operation and guidelines for a political system. Political culture is a manifestation of the members’ ideologies and the historic events leading up to and following a political system.

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The Republican and Democratic Party record different approaches in social beliefs, tax policies, trade policies, health policies, education, foreign policies, punishment policies and religious beliefs. It is liberal, highly opinionated, and embraces diversity of opinion. In contrast, the Republican Party is conservative and believes in a centralized system of governance.

These points of difference between the two parties contribute to their respective campaign strategies and party nomination processes. It is also the basis of differences of opinion within the American ruling class. Democrats favor tax cuts for middle and lower-income earners and higher taxes on corporations while the Republicans hold the view that tax cuts should be imposed on everyone regardless of level. The Democrats then favor trade and labor restrictions while the Republicans view free trade as more profitable in the long run.

The American Presidential Nomination process is very complex in both the visible and underlying procedures. It ideally sets the allotment for each state. The three types of delegates are: Congressional Delegates, At-Large Delegates, and Republican National Committee Members. This is followed by allocation through Proportional methods, winner-take-all method and a combination of the two methods. The Presidential aspirants then announce their candidature and undergo a long process before the delegates choose a final nominee for the party. The winning nominee has to have the highest number of states in the caucus and primaries and support from a majority of the delegates. For the Republican Party, the nomination process is highly influenced by the in-house politics with much power being owed to the party’s leaders and bureaucracy. In addition, the Republican National Committee has narrowed the proportionality requirements to make the process shorter and quicker. The Democratic Presidential Nomination Process is also similar in terms of primaries and caucus but has maintained the huge proportionality gap. In addition, the nomination process experienced less internal control and more of external control from stakeholders who are not directly related to politics but have underlying influences.

California is one of the most populous States of America. Most of the times, the state is usually a point of focus after presidential elections but is now an important point in the race. The June 7 primaries are severely unpredictable for both the Republican and Democrats. All the candidates have strained odds of trying to reach the threshold for nomination. The affiliations in California show stronghold counties for both the Parties in different counties.

The primaries and general election outcomes can never been mutually exclusive with the outcome of the primary contributing to the outcome of the general election. Depending on the state and form of primaries, some states require that a voter is registered with a particular political party in order to vote in the primaries. The primary election is the process to find the party’s flag-bearer on a national level before final election of the president in the general election. The primaries serve as an indication of the party’s strongholds while still influencing and exposing people to the candidates for evaluation and interaction.

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