Primary and General Elections

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The merging of primary and general elections

The merging of the primary and general elections as methods for selecting the winning candidate results in two different forms of presidential elections in the United States. This section's emphasis is on highlighting the differences between primary and general elections while also providing examples of each.

Primary elections

First off, a primary election is a political contest to determine a party's nominee for a position in government. It should be noted that the primary elections are the first steps towards choosing the president of the United States. It is obligatory for each political party to engage in the primary election before the unveiling of the winner as the representative of the party in the important presidential elections. Following the execution of the primary election, each party nominates the winner during its national convention as the official meeting for the political party (Jewell and Sarah 82). It is obligatory for each party to field one presidential candidate during the election. There are different types of primary elections concerning the case of the United States. These include open primaries, closed primaries, runoff primaries, and semi-open primaries.

General elections

Alternatively, general elections come out as the official public elections in which it is essential to determine the office holder. Notably, the public rather than the state and county governments have the tendency to administer this general election. In the primaries, there is the demand for the majority 50 percent vote. In the case of the general election, there is the use of the plurality vote. In this system, the winning candidate has the legal obligation to attain the largest number of votes cast for the candidates for the specific presidential office. Based on this illustration, primary elections precede the general election between winners of the various primary elections. General elections come after every four years.

Question 2: Political Socialization

Political socialization refers to the lifelong political process in which people conceptualize their ideologies and beliefs on politics while adopting the desired political values. In this process, various societal institutions such as the family, educational systems, peer groups, and the mass media have large roles and implications to play in the achievement of the goals and targets of the political socialization. Political researchers and practitioners highlight the influence of various factors working together in the generation or production of the political belief systems among individuals within the society. In this question, the focus will be on two critical factors concerning the race and ethnicity, as well as family.

The role of family in political socialization

In the first instance, the family is a critical attribute in the political socialization. In this context, in spite of the family disagreements, as well as the generation gaps, children have the tendency to develop into adopting their voting practices similar to their parents. Based on this, families come out as the first and enduring influence of the people's development of the political beliefs and perspectives (Lee, Dhavan, and Jack 672). Nonetheless, as individuals grow, there are other influences crisscrossing families, thus, influences on their political attitudes. From a logical perspective, the political activeness of the parents has enormous implications on the capability of their children to adopt similar beliefs.

The impact of race and ethnicity in political socialization

Secondly, there is the issue of race/ethnicity in the political socialization. In the past 50 years, African Americans have been able to demonstrate loyalty to the Democrats in comparison to other existing identifiable groups. According to various political practitioners, this element of loyalty proves to be weakening. Nonetheless, the recent elections have been able to confirm the strong propensity of the black Americans to engage in voting for the Democrats based on their views and beliefs on the political issues in the context of the United States. From this perspective, race and ethnicity have been able to play critical roles in the conceptualization of the political beliefs.

Question 3: 'Fourth Branch'

In the context of the United States, there are three official branches concerning the executive, legislative, and judicial. Nonetheless, there is a notion among the Americans entailing Mass Media as the 'fourth branch.' The objective of this question is to facilitate effective and efficient understanding reasons why the Mass Media is the 'fourth branch.'

The power of Mass Media

The media tends to have immense power through demonstration of how their network wants, thus, the platform for influencing how citizens perceive or look at the actions of their government. In the context of the democratic society like in the United States, the public view proves to be an important aspect. Notably, the media has the desired power to engage in supporting, destroying, and informing the society (Esser, 163). For instance, the legislative branching might be voting on laws, but one scandalous issue concerning a senator might be a critical determination of the passage of the legislation. The media has enormous implications on the perceptions of the public through agenda setting and priming.

The role of Mass Media as the 'fourth branch'

Agenda setting refers to the approach by the media to engage in influencing or dictating the salience concerning the issues within the society. On the other hand, priming comes out as the approach by the public to utilize and exploit the salient issues in the evaluation or assessment of the public figure, especially in the voting exercise. From this perspective, it is the duty of the Mass Media to keep the other three branches in check in agreement with the constitution. The Mass Media contributes to enhancing the awareness of the public on numerous issues through agenda setting, thus, the platform to enable the public to influence government on its operations and activities in agreement with the expectations. Categorically, it is the duty of the media to inform the public of the events within the society while monitoring the actions and activities of other branches of government.

Works Cited

Esser, Frank, "Mediatization as a challenge: Media logic versus political logic," Democracy in the Age of Globalization and Mediatization. Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2013; 155-176.

Jewell, Malcom E., and Sarah M. Morehouse, “Political parties and elections in American states,” Cq Press, 2001

Lee, Nam-Jin, Dhavan V. Shah, and Jack M. McLeod, "Processes of political socialization: A communication mediation approach to youth civic engagement." Communication Research 40.5 (2013): 669-697.

March 02, 2023


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