Presidential Campaigns and Elections in the 21st Century POLS 329 Prof. Noah Kaplan Paper Assignment #1
The paper should be 10-12 pages in length. Please use 12 point font, leave one inch margins and make certain that the lines are double spaced. Write the essay based upon one of the three options provided below.
The paper is due at the beginning of class on March 17th. You must submit a copy of the paper online by the specified date via the course’s blackboard SafeAssign option. You should also submit a hardcopy to me at the beginning of class on Thursday, March 17th.
Remember, you will have an opportunity to revise/rewrite this paper before the end of the semester.
This is a think piece, and does not require any reading beyond that specified by the syllabus. You should cite the readings per standard academic practice. Though you are not required to do any outside research, you should feel to illustrate an argument or point by using newspaper articles, website content, candidate ads etc… that have been published/posted/aired since the beginning of the year (1/1/16). In your bibliography, please include a citation and URL link to any such non-course assigned material.
This is an opportunity for you to show me that you have digested and thought about the assigned readings (including the readings assigned for next week). I also look for a clear argument that is stated at the beginning of the paper and which is supported systematically throughout the paper.
Option 2 In The Party Decides, Cohen et al. argue that in the post-reform period the party continues to dominate who is nominated to be its candidate via the “invisible primary.” They tell a story in which the acknowledged front runner at the end of the “invisible primary” always wins the party’s nomination. The book was written and published before Obama was elected President. Yet neither Obama in 2008 nor Trump in 2016 were the acknowledged front runners for their respective party’s nomination at the end of the invisible primary.
Discuss the extent (if at all) to which the nomination of Obama in 2008 and the likely nomination of Trump in 2016 undermine Cohen et al.’s argument. How might Cohen et al. respond to such a critique?
What structural factors may have changed since Cohen et al. wrote The Party Decides? When thinking about structural changes, think about change(s) in the electoral rules, regulatory environment, changes in the economic environment, change(s) in the media environment, change(s) in the political environment etc…. How might such structural changes effect/change Cohn et al.’s argument? You may also wish to consider election specific factors that may not be consistent with the assumptions made b