Resources for Week Three Discussion â€“ Presidential Leadership and the Electoral College
Before participating in this weekâ€™s discussion, â€œPresidential Leadership and the Electoral College,â€ review these
1. Read this chapter from the text, American Government:
a. Chapter 5 â€“ The Presidency.
2. Read the following articles from the ProQuest (Search All) database in the Ashford University Library:
a. Electoral College 101.
(2008, November 3). Electoral College 101. New York Times Upfront, 141(5), 6-7.
(This brief article presents a basic description of how the Electoral College works.)
b. Why the Electoral College is bad for America.
Madonna, G. T. (2005). Why the Electoral College is bad for America. Presidential Studies Quarterly,
(This brief article reviews a book of the same name which argues that the historical purposes of the
Electoral College are irrelevant to contemporary American politics.)
3. Read the following article:
a. What are the arguments made in favor â€“ and against â€“ the Electoral College?
Bates, N. (2004, October 26). What are the arguments made in favor â€“ and against â€“ the Electoral
College? History News Network. Retrieved from http://hnn.us/articles/8163.html
(This brief article reviews pro and con arguments about the Electoral College.)
4. Read one of the following articles from the ProQuest (Search All) database in the Ashford University Library:
a. The strategic president: Persuasion and opportunity in presidential leadership.
Canes-Wrone, B. (2010). The strategic president: Persuasion and opportunity in presidential leadership
[Review of the book The strategic president: Persuasion and opportunity in presidential leadership, by
G. C. Edwards, III]. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 40(3), 572-574.
(The book reviewed in this brief article argues that presidents can best achieve change when they exploit
existing opportunities rather than try to persuade others to alter their opinions or behavior. Effective
presidents are facilitators who recognize opportunities, prioritize among them, and, only marginally,
convince a few undecided actors to support certain goals.)
b. Who leads whom? Presidents, policy, and the public.
Eshbaugh-Soha, M. (2007). Who leads whom? Presidents, policy, and the public [Review of the book
Who leads whom? Presidents, policy, and the public, by B. Canes-Wrone]. Presidential Studies
Quarterly, 37(3), 567-568.
(The book reviewed in this article argues that presidents take advantage of current public support to
maximize their legislative influence rather than trying to motivate (from the â€œbully pulpitâ€) a generally
uninterested American public to support their policies.)
c. The provisional pulpit: Modern presidential leadership of public opinion.
Towle, M. (2011). The provisional pulpit: Modern presidential leadership of public opinion [Review of
the book The provisional pulpit: Modern presidential leadership of public opinion, by B. Rottinghaus].
Congress & the Presidency, 38(1), 126-128.
(The book reviewed in this article analyzes the circumstances in which presidents have the best chance of
leading and influencing public opinion.)
d. Presidential leadership in political times: Reprise and reappraisal.
Walcott, C. E. (2009, June). Presidential leadership in political times: Reprise and reappraisal [Review of
the book Presidential leadership in political times: Reprise and reappraisal, by S. Skowronek].
Presidential Studies Quarterly, 39(2), 426-427.
(The book reviewed in this article argues that presidential leadership is limited or expanded by their
political circumstances and that it is erroneous to assert that any president can be “great” if only he does
the job right.)
5. Read one of the following articles from the ProQuest (Search All) database in the Ashford University Library:
a. Selecting the nationâ€™s CEO: A risk assessment of the Electoral College.
Barnett, A. (2009). Selecting the nationâ€™s CEO: A risk assessment of the Electoral College. Journal of
Management Issues, 21(4), 443, 447-460.
(This academic article analyzes the probabilities that the winner of the Electoral College vote will not also
win a majority of the national popular vote.)
b. Support for nationalizing presidential elections.
Karp, J. A. (2010, December). Support for nationalizing presidential elections. Presidential Studies
Quarterly, 40(4), 771-793.
(This academic article discusses how reform proposals focus on a single national election in which the
nation’s interests, rather than state interests, are paramount. It analyzes 2008 public opinion data about
changing to a national election system.)
c. How the Electoral College influences campaigns and policy: The probability of being Florida.
StrÃ¶mberg, D. (2008). How the Electoral College influences campaigns and policy: The probability of
being Florida. The American Economic Review, 98(3), 769-807.
(This academic article analyzes how U.S. presidential candidates should allocate resources across states to
maximize the probability of winning the election, based on a model of political competition under the
Electoral College system.)
6. Read one of the following articles from the ProQuest (Search All) database in the Ashford University Library:
a. Courting every voter in America.
Durgy, E. (2011, October 10). Courting every voter in America. Forbes, 1.
(This brief article explains and justifies the National Popular Vote compact, describing the efforts of one
particular businessman to convince state legislatures and governors to support it.)
b. GOP leaders united in defense of the Electoral College.
Gizzi, J. (2011, May 30). GOP leaders united in defense of the Electoral College. Human Events, 67(20),
(This brief article critiques â€œliberalsâ€ who would create a de facto popular vote method of electing the
president without amending the Constitution.)
c. California votes to bypass Electoral College.
Loeb, M. (2011, August 9). California votes to bypass Electoral College. National Journal.
(This brief article describes a bipartisan movement to convince state legislatures to commit their electoral
votes to the candidate who wins the popular vote in order to avoid outcomes like the 2000 election when
George W. Bush won the presidency despite losing the national popular vote.)
d. The 2012 election will come down to seven states.
Sabato, L. J. (2011, September 6). The 2012 election will come down to seven states; National polls are
nice, but Electoral College math is what matters. Wall Street Journal (Online).
(This brief article analyzes the projected key battleground states for winning combinations of electoral
votes in the 2012 presidential election.)
e. Electoral College reform tilts presidential balance.
Will, G. (2011, October 15). George Will: Electoral College reform tilts presidential balance. San Gabriel
(This brief article critiques two proposals for changing the winner-take-all system for determining how a
state’s electoral votes are cast for a presidential candidate.)
f. Whatâ€™s wrong with the NPV?
Wolverton, J. (2011, September 19). Whatâ€™s wrong with the NPV? The New American, 27(18), 25-28.
(This short article critiques the proposed National Popular Vote compact that has been approved by
several state legislatures.)
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