The strategic parties hypothesis

Final Paper 

Instructions: Choose ONE of the following prompts and write a 5-8 page paper on that subject. The prompts provided are broad and can be addressed in several ways. Therefore, I am not looking for a right or wrong answer to the question but rather for you to think critically about the American political party system. Each question is multi-faceted which means that students have the opportunity to write in both an expository and a persuasive manner. While I encourage you to incorporate current events and your own perspective into the paper, note that this should not be a pure opinion piece. Demonstrate that you’ve learned from this class by clearly referencing theories, concepts, and examples from the required readings. Remember to cite all sources, including those within the syllabus. 

Paper formatting should be in the standard 12 point Times New Roman font, double- spaced, with normal margins. You may use any citation format (e.g., MLA, APA style). Papers should be uploaded to the Dropbox in D2L by 3pm December 28, 2018. 


The strategic parties hypothesis (Module 9) states that resources should be allocated to close elections, where such efforts could mean the difference between winning and losing. In what ways did the strategic parties hypothesis succeed and fail in the 2016 presidential election? Explain. How does negative campaigning (Module 9) alter Downs’ calculus of voting (Module 5) both in primaries and the general election? Justify your position. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the American primary system (Module 10). Provide examples from recent elections to support your arguments. To whom are primaries most beneficial: national parties, individual states, candidates, or voters? Why? 

Module 9 Readings:

– Hershey Chapter 11

– The dirty secret about negative campaign ads — they work (Ricci 2016)(Link Below) – Parties need to vet candidates—before the primary ballot is printed (Rauch 2018)(Link Below)

Module 5 Readings:

– Hershey pg. 131-148 (IN ATTACHMENTS)
– What ‘Culture War’? (Meyer 2008)
– Thinking About Political Polarization (Nivola 2005)
– Aldrich pg. 45-50

Module 10 Readings:

– Hershey Chapter 9 (IN ATTACHMENTS)
– Hershey Chapter 10(IN ATTACHMENTS)

– Presidential Nominating Conventions: Past, Present and Future (Panagopoulos 2008) (IN ATTACHMENTS)

– Our Broken Presidential Nominating System (Martin 2016) (Link Below)

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