POL S 354: Elections and Voting in the U.S.
Tuesday & Thursday, 1:30 - 3:20 pm, Parrington 108
Professor: Matt A. Barreto
This class examines political participation and political behavior in the United States, focusing specifically on voting and elections, and asks many important questions about the practice of voting. We will cover the factors that contribute to voter turnout and vote preference in multiple types of elections including city, state, and national contests. Voter participation rates differ greatly for younger and older voters, why is this the case? In addition, the course will explore campaign tactics and strategies employed in each of these elections. Why do candidates reach out to some voters, but not all, and have different messages for different parts of the electorate? We will discuss recent election results as well as look ahead to the 2006 and 2008 elections. You will be required to stay abreast of current events and happenings related to campaigns for the U.S. House and Senate as well as state and local offices here in Washington state. A research project is required and final paper in lieu of an in-class final exam.
Each week there will be required readings from one or more of these books. Readings should be done for the day they are assigned. For some weeks, the required readings are posted online. The complete, week-by-week reading list is posted on this website.
Verba, Sidney, Kay Schlozman, and Henry Brady. 2002. Voice And Equality: Civic Volunteerism In America. Harvard University Press.
Popkin, Samuel. 1994. The Reasoning Voter. University Of Chicago Press
Semiatin, Richard. 2004. Campaigns In The 21st Century. McGraw-Hill
Short paper 15 points Research Project / Presentation 20 points Midterm Exam 25 points Final Exam 40 points ---------------------------------------------------- TOTAL 100 pointsExtra Credit:
Throughout the quarter, there will be opportunities to attend various events, talks, and symposiums on campus that are related to American government which will count for small, but important, extra credit points.
Important Dates: (subject to change)
March 28, 2006 (TODAY) First Day of Class April 20, 2006 Short paper due by 10:30 a.m. April 27, 2006 Midterm Exam (10:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.) May 16, 2006 Election Day (local & school board) May 30, 2006 Research Presentations June 1, 2006 Research Presentations (Last Day of Class) June 8, 2006 Final paper due by 5:00 p.m.