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In the PowerPoint there is a lot of information about how political parties work and why they exist.  The last few slides talk about the trends of Hispanic Party Politic and Participation over the years. Look at them carefully. Reflect on their meaning. What are they telling you? 

Make your 400 word entry and comment on two of your peers.  Make sure you use data and express a conclusion about the data.

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This is the second Unit so the expectations about the quality of your interventions are a bit higher!

Power Point Attached


Dr. Maria Luisa Picard-Ami [email protected]



Voting and Elections

Political Parties

Interest Groups

Key Elements in this Unit• Chapter 4 Voting and Elections – Voter Registration

– Why Vote?

– Types of Elections

– Voter Turnout

• Chapter 5 Political Parties – Why do we have political parties? – How are they organized? – What are the current political parties in the Country? In the State?

• Chapter 6 Interest Groups – What they are and why they matter

– Private interest vs Public Interest Groups. Free Riders and Selective Benefits

– Types of Interest Groups

Political Party Basics • Political Parties are Groups of citizens who

– Share ideology

– Organize to elect representatives to government positions

– Work towards a political agenda called Party Platform.

• Participating in a political party is a way of – Exercising citizens rights and

– Influencing political processes and outcomes

• Parties operate in three ways: – During Election

– In Government

– As an Organization

Nowhere does the US Constitution mention the word “party”

although they have become a normal part of government today.

What to Parties Do? • During the Electoral Processes – Recruit Citizens to Run for Office

– Mobilize Voters to get to the Polls and vote

– Simplify Electoral Choices by backing Candidates in an election process

• As Part of Government – Elected party member gather to discuss, form, and

implement policy in all branches and all levels of government

• As an Organization, – Parties articulate Ideological Positions into Policies

– Gather opinions and proposals from groups in society

– Prepare political platforms and agendas

Who do We Elect?

Federal and State and Local

Electoral Districts

• Local Executive Districts – County of El Paso Precincts – Mayor of El Paso and City Representatives – Other Mayors?

• Legislative Districts – Federal Congressional Districts – State Senatorial Districts – State Representative Districts – County Districts

• Special Government Districts – State Board of Education District – Region 19 Independent School Districts – Water Districts

• Judicial Districts – Justice of the Peace – Supreme Court of Texas – Texas Court of Criminal Appeals – Texas 8th Court of Appeals – Texas District Judges• https://epcountyvotes.com/elected_officials

• https://ballotpedia.org/City_elections_in_El_Paso,_Texas_(2019) • https://ballotpedia.org/Sample_Ballot_Lookup#address=3532+Lebanon+Ave+el+paso+tx+79930&election=2019-11-05https://epcountyvotes.com/maps/county_commissioner_districtshttps://epcountyvotes.com/maps/city_representativeshttps://epcountyvotes.com/maps/municipalitieshttps://epcountyvotes.com/maps/state_house_of_representatives_congressionalhttps://epcountyvotes.com/maps/school_districthttps://epcountyvotes.com/maps/water_districthttps://epcountyvotes.com/maps/justice_of_the_peacehttps://epcountyvotes.com/elected_officialshttps://ballotpedia.org/City_elections_in_El_Paso,_Texas_(2019)https://ballotpedia.org/Sample_Ballot_Lookup#address=3532+Lebanon+Ave+el+paso+tx+79930&election=2019-11-05

Partisan vs Non Partisan


• What are partisan elections? – Elections where the candidate is clearly identified on the ballot

with a specific party affiliation

• Non-partisan elections – Does not mean the candidates do not have a party affiliation. It

just means that the ballot does not identify this affiliation.

• Mostly used at the municipal (city) level – El Paso City is non partisan

– School Districts are non partisan

– Water Districts are non partisan

– El Paso Judges are partisan

• Other Texas cities have partisan elections. • Read on your own and reflect:

– https://www.nlc.org/partisan-vs-nonpartisan-electionshttps://www.nlc.org/partisan-vs-nonpartisan-electionshttps://www.nlc.org/partisan-vs-nonpartisan-elections

The Role of Political Parties in Texas Politics: Public Attitudes about Parties

• Public attitudes about parties

– Political socialization occurs in our early years

• Agents of socialization: parents, religious leaders, teachers, others

– For many people, partisan affiliation is important when deciding how to vote

• Texans are increasingly identifying as independent, however

• The Tea Party is particularly strong in Texas

• Swing voters can ultimately decide elections

The Function of Parties Parties tend to identify people with a common political ideology The two main Political Ideologies in the US are:


– a political philosophy that believes in limited government, free markets, and individual entrepreneurship

– Tends to be identified with the Republican Party and similar

Liberal: – a political philosophy that emphasizes social equality and a large role for

government to protect liberties and alleviate social problems – Tends to be identified with the Democratic Party and similar

How are Parties Organized

Party members are mostly volunteers

Hierarchical but decentralized structure

• Precincts and Precinct Chairs

• County Convention and County Chairs

• State Conventions, State Platform, and State Chairs

• National Party Convention, National Platform, and Party Executive Committee

Party Competition Key Terms and Concepts to Remember

Party Competition:

• Electoral conflict that signals how successful one party is over another

• Best indicator of shift in party power is in legislature


• Redistribution of representation based on decennial recounting of residents, done by redistricting


• Redrawing of the legislative districts by the legislature to meet federal and state requirements,

• When legislature cannot agree Legislative Redistricting Board draws district lines

How are Parties Organized National Convention, Platform, and

Executive Committee

State Conventions,

State Platforms, and

State Chairs

County Conventions and

County Chairs

Precincts and

Precinct Chairs

Party Organization in Texas

Third Parties and Independents

• Traditionally, the United States has had two major political parties.

• Why only two parties?

– Winner-take-all elections: whichever candidate wins the most votes wins the seat

– Duverger’s Law: a winner-take-all electoral system generally leads to a two-party system

Main Political Parties in Texas • Democrats and Republicans are the dominant, but not the only parties in the State: • Democrats • La Raza Unida Party (1970-1978)

– In the 1970s, La Raza Unida tried to break the Democrats’ monopoly on local politics – Mexican Americans began defecting and voting for the new party.

• Republicans – Tea Party – fiscally conservative – Social Conservatives – Fiscal Conservatives

• Libertarian Party of Texas – The Libertarian Party of Texas emphasizes liberty as their main philosophy, encouraging

freedom of choice and the importance of individual judgment. • Green Party of Texas

– The Green Party of Texas emphasizes local control of communities, nonviolent resolution of disputes, and social justice.

• INDEPENDENT: candidates can run independent if so declaredhttps://www.texasdemocrats.org/https://www.texasgop.org/http://www.lptexas.org/http://www.txgreens.org/

Who represents Latinos? • Forty-one Hispanic members served in the 115th Congress — four in the Senate and 37 in the House.

• There were 59 Latino congressional candidates, incumbents and newcomers alike, on the general election ballot this cycle — 44 Democrats and 15 Republicans, The Associated Press reported.

• There are 43 Latinos serving in the 116th Congress. (2019-2021)

• Latinos will make up 12.7 percent of Congress. (They constitute 17.8 percent of the nation’s total population in July 2016, according to the Census Bureau.)

• Even though a record-setting number of Hispanics have been elected as lawmakers in Texas, the racial breakdown of the Legislature does not accurately reflect the diversity of the state’s general population.

• An Austin American-Statesman analysis of the Legislature’s demographics showed that in 1991, Latinos made up 14% of lawmakers and were slightly over 25% of the state population.

• By 2017, Latinos represented roughly a 25% of the Texas Legislature, but they were nearly 40% of the state’s population, the newspaper reported.https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/congress-will-have-more-latino-members-than-ever-beforehttps://www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2017/hispanic-heritage.htmlhttps://www.statesman.com/news/20190414/why-texas-legislature-doesnt-reflect-states-growing-diversity

Latinos and the future of Party

Politics in Texas

– In 2010, it was estimated that Hispanics constituted about 20 percent of the registered voters in Texas

– Latinos have not fully realized their potential voting strength; Latino voters have a significantly lower turnout rate than other groups

– The full impact of the Latino demographic surge may not be felt until the next generation


1 8

In the House of Representatives, some racial and ethnic groups are now on par with their share of total population. • 12% of House members are black, about equal to the

share of Americans who are black. • Native Americans now make up 1% of the House, equal

to their 1% of the population. Other nonwhite groups in the House are somewhat less represented relative to their share of the population. • The share of Hispanics in the U.S. population (18%) is

twice as high as it is in the House (9%). • Asians account for 6% of the national population but

3% of House members. • Non-Hispanic whites make up 78% of members in

Congress, and only 61% of the U.S. population overall. In 1981, 94% of Congress was white, and 80% of the U.S. population.

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/02/08/for-the- fifth-time-in-a-row-the-new-congress-is-the-most-racially- and-ethnically-diverse-ever/https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/01/18/blacks-have-made-gains-in-u-s-political-leadership-but-gaps-remain/org/fact-tank/2019/02/08/for-the-fifth-time-in-a-row-the-new-congress-is-the-most-racially-and-ethnically-diverse-ever/”>https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/02/08/for-the-fifth-time-in-a-row-the-new-congress-is-the-most-racially-and-ethnically-diverse-ever/

Percentage of Texans Affiliated to Each Major Party. Changes Since 1952

The Texas Delegation to the U.S. House, 1845–2016

Turnout by Race: 2012 Presidential Year versus 2014 Statewide Election Year


According to National Election Pool exit poll data. in U.S. congressional races nationwide, • an estimated 69% of Latinos voted for the

Democratic candidate and • 29% backed the Republican candidate, a more

than two-to-one advantage for Democrats, • These results largely reflect the party affiliation

of Latinos. In a Pew Research Center pre-election survey, • 62% of Latinos said they identify with or lean

toward the Democratic Party compared with • 27% who affiliated with the Republican Party. Among other racial and ethnic groups, • whites (44%) voted for Democrats in

congressional races compared with • blacks (90%) and • Asians (77%). https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/11/09/how-latinos-voted-in-2018-midterms/https://www.cnn.com/election/2018/exit-polls/https://www.pewresearch.org/hispanic/2018/10/25/hispanic-voters-and-the-2018-midterm-elections/https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/11/08/the-2018-midterm-vote-divisions-by-race-gender-education/https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/11/09/how-latinos-voted-in-2018-midterms/

8/21/2020 25 https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/11/09/how- latinos-voted-in-2018-midterms/https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/11/09/how-latinos-voted-in-2018-midterms/

Latinos made up a notable share of eligible voters in several states with competitive races for U.S. Senate and governor, including Texas (30%), Arizona (23%), Florida (20%) and Nevada (19%).

In these states, Democrats won the Latino vote, sometimes by a wide margin.

In the Texas Senate race, 64% of Latinos voted for Democrat Beto O’Rourke while 35% voted for Republican incumbent Ted Cruz.

In the state’s race for governor, about half of Hispanics (53%) voted for Democrat Lupe Valdez and 42% backed the Republican, Greg Abbott.https://www.cnn.com/election/2018/exit-polls/texas/senatehttps://www.cnn.com/election/2018/exit-polls/texas/governor

  • Texas Government 2306
  • Unit 2. The Processes:��How We the People Participate in Politics
  • Key Elements in this Unit
  • Political Party Basics
  • What to Parties Do?
  • Who do We Elect?��Federal and State and Local Electoral Districts
  • Partisan vs �Non Partisan Elections
  • The Role of Political Parties in Texas Politics: Public Attitudes about Parties
  • Slide Number 9
  • How are Parties Organized
  • Key Terms and Concepts to Remember
  • How are Parties Organized
  • Party Organization in Texas
  • Slide Number 14
  • Main Political Parties in Texas
  • Who represents Latinos?
  • Latinos and the future of Party Politics in Texas
  • Slide Number 18
  • Slide Number 19
  • Slide Number 20
  • The Texas Delegation to the U.S. House, 1845–2016
  • Turnout by Race: �2012 Presidential Year versus 2014 Statewide Election Year
  • Slide Number 23
  • Slide Number 24
  • Slide Number 25
  • Slide Number 26
  • Slide Number 27

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