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PSC 305: Presidency and Congress, Timetable

Revised 8/23/18 with removal of reporters, by Dr. Jeremy Lewis.
No classes, Spring 2018: M 1/15, F 1/26, F 2/16, F 2/23, F 3/9, 3/26-30, F 4/13.
Presidential campaign 2016 videos, debates and advertising
Week: [01] [02] [03] [04] [05] Test 1] [06] [07] [08] [09] [Spring Break] [10] [Test 2] [11] [12] [ePaper] [13] [14] [Final]

Week, Author, Reading: Topic
Week 1

Edwards 1: Presidential Leadership: An Introduction [PPT]
Wadsworth Publishers' Site | Book Description - What were the original dilemmas over the design of the presidency?
- How has the president grown into the presidency?
- What are the contemporary problems of running the presidency?
- How, and to what degree, do the media and interest groups pressure the presidency?
- What types of presidential leadership does Edwards discuss?
- What is Edwards's approach to the subject?

US constitution, Article II, the enumerated powers | C-in-C | Diplomat [Lecture notes]
Presidential clauses, inherent powers and constraints [PPT]

Edwards 2: Nomination Process [PPT] - How did the US nomination system evolve?
- What have been recent changes in the political arena?
- How have these affected nominations: party reforms; campaign finance; public relations?
- What strategies work for each type of candidate?
- Who makes a successful candidate?
General discussion:
- How is the US nomination process unique?
- What are the stages of the nomination process?
- Who should be allowed to select the party's nominee, and in what forum?
- What role do the states play in nominating candidates?
What qualities come to the fore of the nomination process?

GoogOlympics: readings on Trump's fitness for presidential office, from Gdrive [reporters assigned for week 1]

Check for current opinion polls in early caucus and primary election states, at - What does the sample size tell us?
- What is the Margin of Error? - Can the media really tell who is ahead?
- What does "LV" signify?
- Are the timelines of individual candidates across different polls really meaningful?
- Are IA and NH typical of the rest of the country?
Week 2
Edwards 3: Presidential Election [PPT]
- What shapes the strategic environment?
- How does the electoral college set rules for the game?
- How do finances shape the race?
- Do the media improve the competition?
- How can one shape a candidate's image?
- How can one create a winning coalition?
- How can a candidate use the media?
- What can a candidate use polls for, before and after the election?
- Have candidate centered campaigns actually weakened governance?
General discussion:
- How are presidential elections organized?
- What are the stages of the general election?
- Do presidential elections guarantee executive leadership?

Edwards 4: President & Public [PPT]
- How are presidential relations with the public organized?
- How informed is US public opinion?
- With what instruments can a president persuade the public?

Edwards 5: President & Media

- How useful are press conferences?
- Does it matter if the president's approval ratings drop?
- Which presidents are more effective with the media?

GoogOlympics: readings on Fake News and Truthiness, from Gdrive

Presidential debates

- To what extent do televised debates influence elections?
Week 3 Week 4
Week 5

Week 6

Week 7 Week 8 Week 9

Week 10

Week 11 For Spring Break, see Dates page

Week 12 Week 13
Illustrated briefings by students of their research projects, followed by interrogation and critical thinking discussion
Course evaluations

Nivola 6: #26: Nelson Polsby, "Institutionalization of the US House" [Reporter]
- Does it matter if Congress is more institutionalized and professionalized?
- Do we need turnover in Congress, instead of seniority?
- Is meritocracy advantageous in Congress instead of seniority?
- Has the congress become too bureaucratized?

Nivola 6: #27: Richard Fenno, "Congressmen in Committees" [Reporter]
- How do committees operate in Congress, and how do they differ?
Week 14
Loomis 6e, Ch. 9: The Competitive Congress: Centrifugal Forces in a Partisan Era
Notes of Loomis 5e, Ch.10: Partisanship, Individualism, & Contemporary Congress
- How has the Congress changed since 1994, and what has driven that change?
- Why do representatives commonly run against Congress?
- What binds representatives together to pass needed but unpopular policy?
- If everyone follows district interests, how is the common interest supported?

Briefings timetable | Illustrated briefings by students of their research projects, followed by interrogation and critical thinking discussion [Reporters]
See Dates page for Comprehensive Exam.