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2002 Vermont gubernatorial election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vermont gubernatorial election, 2002

← 2000 November 5, 2002 (2002-11-05) 2004 →
Jim Douglas-2009 (cropped).jpg
No image.svg
No image.svg
Nominee Jim Douglas Doug Racine Cornelius Hogan
Party Republican Democratic Independent
Popular vote 103,436 97,565 22,353
Percentage 44.9% 42.4% 9.7%

Vermont gubernatorial election 2002.svg
County results

Douglas:      40-50%      50-60%      60-70%

Racine:      40–50%      50–60%

Governor before election

Howard Dean

Elected Governor

Jim Douglas

The Vermont gubernatorial election of 2002 took place on November 5, 2002. Incumbent Democratic Governor Howard Dean did not run for re-election to a sixth full term as Governor of Vermont. Republican Jim Douglas defeated Democratic candidate Doug Racine and independent candidate Cornelius Hogan, among others, to succeed him. Since no candidate received a majority in the popular vote, Douglas was elected by the Vermont General Assembly per the state constitution.[1]

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  • ✪ The Future of Political Parties


>> From the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. >> Colleen Shogan: Good afternoon. Welcome to the Library of Congress. My name is Colleen Shogan, and I'm the deputy director for National and International Outreach here at the Library. We're the division responsible for public programming, and the Kluge Center plays an important role in that respect. We'll soon hear introductions of our esteemed panel, but I'd like to take a moment to briefly talk to you about the John W. Kluge Center directed by Dr. John Haskell who is on stage. It is our scholarly center at the Library of Congress but has a unique mission, namely, bringing top minds to Capitol Hill with the goal of informing Congress and the larger Washington D.C. community. In short, the Kluge Center aims to bridge the division between knowledge and power. The Kluge Center supports visiting scholars each year, both at the junior and the senior levels. We want our residential scholars to utilize the Library's vast collections and spend time with our knowledgeable experts and curators. We also want our scholars to share their discoveries and insights. The Kluge Center does that through a variety of programming for the general public, for members of Congress and for congressional staff. In that regard, I would be remiss if I did not make you aware of some terrific Kluge programming in the near future. Tomorrow, Dr. Bruce Jentleson, a former Kluge Kissinger Chair, will discuss his new book, The Peacemakers. That event will take place in room 119 of the Jefferson Building just across the street. Additionally, there is a wide variety of programs scheduled for the coming weeks ranging from Italian opera to the Bible's role in American history. Please check the Kluge Center website for more information. Finally, we are proud to cosponsor this event today with the University of Denver. I'd now like to welcome Dean Daniel McIntosh to the stage who will provide introductory remarks for our panel. >> Daniel McIntosh: Hi, I'm Danny McIntosh. I'm the dean of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Denver, and it is a real pleasure to be cohosting this with the Kluge Center and the Library of Congress. The University of Denver is a private university dedicated to the public good. As such a university, we hope to engage scholars and the community across the nation and across the world. We believe there should be no barriers between scholarship and practice, no barriers between campus and the community. Therefore, we encourage and we support our students, faculty and staff to engage with the wider communities to share their scholarship and to be in conversation with scholars, staff people and the community across the country. We want to model this integration not only in our work but also in our students' experiences. From psychology students who prepare research reports and plans for nonprofits in the city of Denver to religious study students who work as interns in faith-based organizations across the country. And from anthropology students who work with rural Coloradans and Japanese-Americans interpreting the events and the remnants of the Amache Internment Camp, our students go from the classroom to the field to the lab understanding how to integrate and tie together scholarship and application. One example of this effort at the University of Denver is the Center on American Politics. The Center on American Politics is a new organization that is interdisciplinary that ties together scholars from the law school, from arts, humanities and social sciences, political science, sociology and international studies, all working to understand the very basis of politics in America. Politics are the way that people's voices are heard. It's important for us to understand how this works. One of the speakers today is Professor Seth Masket, professor in the Political Science Department and director of our new Center on American Politics. We want to be part of the conversation. We want to be a part of applying our scholarship to issues that are important to critical issues of the time, and as such, we are pleased to be cosponsoring this even with the Kluge Center and the Library of Congress. With that, I'd like to introduce our moderator, John Haskell, who's the director of the Kluge Center here at the Library of Congress. Thank you. >> John Haskell: Thank you, Dean McIntosh. [ Applause ] And as Colleen pointed out a minute ago, we're really happy to work with the University of Denver because we're doing what we both want to do, which was to bring our scholars, to bring scholarship to the wider community. And in this particular case, we have Seth and also two other scholars. And I'll say a couple of other things about Seth that weren't mentioned. He's already, he is the chair in American Law and Governance here at the Kluge Center. He just started in May, and he'll be here through the summer. And we have other programming in mind for him. He is, as pointed out, the head of the Center at the University and is very well-regarded. He is a classic of the kind of scholar we try to bring to Kluge Center because not only is he well-respected within the field, one of the leaders within the field, speaking to other academics, he's out there on 538 and a lot of other sites and writes for a much larger audience. Jennifer Victor is in that same category. Her PhD is from Washington University. She's been at George Mason University as a professor of American Politics and Legislative Politics with a specialty area of political parties, and we're glad to have her for the first time at a Kluge Center event. Yuval Levin right here to my right is a political scientist, also a political philosopher University of Chicago. He's at the Ethics and Public Policy Center as a fellow. He's also the editor of National Affairs. He's working on a book right now that is on American institutions, and he's thinking about issues about the future of institutions, including the political parties. So we're going to launch right into questions, and I'm going to ask Jennifer to set the stage. In simple terms, Jennifer, what role do political parties play in the US? >> Jennifer Nicoll Victor: Wow, I didn't know I was going to be on the hot seat first. So, at a really basic level, the scholarship in political science has thought of parties in different concepts over history. The classic way that I often describe it to students is as a tripartite organization that's really sort of three separate organizations. We think of parties in the electorate as the partisan ship, the party ID that voters hold. Then we think of parties in Congress as the organized bodies within the legislature that helped to pass legislation and control agendas and build coalitions to achieve policy and so forth. And the third part we think of parties as organizations. This is the DNC and the RNC and all of their component subsidiary organizations at the national and in the state levels. And for a long time, scholars have thought of this tripartite or setup of political parties that in some ways is quite useful but also can be kind of confusing because there's a lot of crossover and overlap interplay between these component parts. And a number of years ago, sort of a new school of thought emerged around political parties that conceptualized them as more the network of actors. Some that are policy-oriented, some that are more ideologically-oriented, where the parties themselves are made up of activists and writers and thinkers and voters and donors and so forth that make up these dense coalitions of participants. So at the end of the day, whichever conceptualization we think is most useful, given the current politics, I think it's important to think of parties ultimately as organizations that try to win elections. A party's job is to win seats in a legislature, whether you're talking about the Congress in the state governments, at the state level, and the various ways that parties do that get kind of complicated. One of the areas of research that I spent a lot of time looking at is campaign finance and the way that donor activity and campaign finance activity plays into all of those various party networks, which I think is a big part of the question as well. >> John Haskell: I know Seth and having read some of the things you've written that you speak similar to what Jennifer said, parties, a key role is screening candidates. And clearly, you want to get the candidate you want to achieve certain policy ends. But then of course, they've got to get elected. Are parties today stronger or weaker than they were in that function say 20 years ago or 50 years ago? >> Seth Masket: Yeah, I'm going to do the good academic thing and dodge the question. It's, I don't know that they're stronger or weaker, but they're very different than they were 20 or 50 years ago in the sense that the things a party used to do, whether that's raise money and spend it on advertising or recruit candidates and train them to run for office or, you know, help to organize elections, help with voter turnout. The formal parties don't do as much of that as they used to. In some ways, they're kind of hampered from the ability to do that due to a number of laws that we've put in their way. But there are other groups that can do those things. So for example, you know, the democratic party works with some democratic clubs and some labor unions and activists groups and organizations like Emily's List or the Human Rights Campaign and other groups that do things like train candidates and help them get out and organize a constituency. And they're all more or less on the same page with each other, but it's very much in the sort of network model that Jen was talking about. That they coordinate these activities across dozens of different organizations. Now, does that mean that they're weaker or stronger than they used to be? In some ways, there are probably some costs to being spread apart, spread across all these different organizations. They're still very polarized. They still have a set of beliefs they believe in. But actually figuring out, you know, what's your favorite candidate across all these different groups can be tricky. There's some evidence that this fragmentation may have actually contributed to polarization in some ways, because when you have money and all these other things going through these very passionate activists groups, you tend to have a much more passionate and ideological set of actors involved. Whereas, the formal parties themselves tend to be pretty pragmatic. >> John Haskell: Yuval, do you have a view on this? I'm saving the really, really hard question for you. >> Yuval Levin: Oh good. >> John Haskell: I just want to see if you have a view on what Seth -- >> Yuval Levin: Well I, well, first of all, thank you for doing this and for involving me in it. I've learned an enormous amount from Jennifer's work on Congress over the years and from Seth on parties is less, but I think it's your last book, The Inevitable Parties is really a fantastic set of insights on these very questions. I think the parties are certainly weaker than they were if we think of them as actually possessed of some purpose. A party is, the goal of a party is to allow a coalition to cohere and to then help that coalition win elections and govern. And I think that it would be easy to show that our coalitions have more trouble cohering than they used to and more trouble governing. And I do think that that weakening of the parties has a lot to do with all of that. The fact that some of the functions of the parties because of campaign finance laws and other things have been moved to other groups means that they're now in the hands of groups whose function is not to enable a coalition to cohere and then to get elected and to govern but rather groups that have narrower purposes than that and purposes that very often are at odds with the goal of allowing coalition to cohere. And I certainly think that has a lot to do with why we have become more polarized. We have this odd situation, a number of political scientists have pointed this out of intense partisanship amid weak parties. And those things are connected to each other. We have turned over the functions of parties to groups who have much more of an interest in polarization and much less of an interest in broad, nationally electable coalitions. And so I think the parties as institutions are much weaker than they used to be, and I think we pay a price for that. We should want them to be stronger, though if you want to find an unpopular cause in American politics, the parties are it. >> John Haskell: So, is the weakness of the party due to the fact that voters, and particularly young voters, not really associate with them or identify with them? Or is that a dependent variable? >> Yuval Levin: Well, I think it's related. But voters are polarized. Voters are, even people who call themselves independents, as a general matter, voters now identify themselves on the left and right in a more coherent way, not a less coherent way, than you would have found a generation ago. And yet, the parties are not stronger. And I think part of that has to do with the fact that we have treated the parties as institutions is part of the problem here. Rather than seeing them as potentially part of the solution to the problem of polarization. And the parties have just become, they've come to have less of an organizational institutional existence. They're just platforms for individuals. You really see that. I mean look, half the people who ran for president as republicans in 2016 ran in order to elevate their media profile. They were just running to get better contracts in TV and radio. And the party couldn't stop that. There was nothing they could do about it. In fact, I think the person who ended up winning and winning the presidency probably started out running that way. And the party turned out to be pretty helpless against that because it's lost a sense of itself as an organization, with members, not just the kind of open field to populate the rest of our democracy. And so the loss of that self-identity as an institution, I think, is certainly a sign of weakness. >> John Haskell: Jennifer, where are you on that question of the overall health of the parties? I think Yuval made clear his position on that. >> Jennifer Nicoll Victor: No, I definitely agree that parties have been demonized in American politics. Americans like to point to partisanship. And part of the reason I think that happens is because Americans tend to not differentiate partisanship from parties. They think that's the same word and means the same thing. And so if republicans and democrats and them fighting is what's wrong with us, that must mean that parties is what's wrong with us. But in fact, these are separate things. Partisanship is polarized, but parties themselves, I'm not sure, I'm less comfortable with describing them as weak and more comfortable describing them as more highly decentralized. I think the networks in which they operate are much broader and include more players than perhaps they did 50, 60 years ago. But they have less central power within each of their parties. And I think that largely comes from two things. One is internal changes within the parties themselves about how they manage their nomination processes and how they funnel their resources and make their decisions about who to support and so forth. And also, laws that govern parties. And particularly here, laws that govern campaign finance. So, the main role that parties have is to recruit candidates and fund them and try to win elections. And when campaign finance laws change in such a way to diminish the power of parties to do those things, so the laws that we have on the books now give outside groups and any wealthy donor that wants to use their free speech right to go and promote a candidate to play that role, it weakens the power of the party to control that process, which is how we wound up with the republican kerfuffle. >> John Haskell: So there are, you know, no -- >> Jennifer Nicoll Victor: Technical term. >> John Haskell: no single component of the political system exists in a vacuum, of course. So are the, is this weakness of the parties or the decentralization, I guess is the word you prefer, more symptomatic of a larger systemic issue? The model probably feeds into itself, but is it, are parties a significant cause in it? >> Jennifer Nicoll Victor: Are parties a cause of polarization? >> John Haskell: Of a larger problem in the political system. Or are they just symptomatic of that? >> Jennifer Nicoll Victor: So to me, a party is an institution that performs the very convenient feature of solving collective action problems that voters or candidates or legislators need to solve in order to run democracy. So if parties didn't exist we would create them because we'd need something to do that for us. So, to me, parties are in fact, you know, we shouldn't be demonizing, parties are the solution to most of our problems. They are mechanisms by which we can take disparate ideas and use them to coalesce around something, to build on the word that you all have used earlier. So, where it contributes to problems is in the idea that we seem to think parties are a part of the disease, and we've weakened the structures on which they operate, both internally and externally. It's been sort of an endogenous and exogenous force on them, that I think contributes in now a sort of a self-perpetuating problem. >> John Haskell: Where are you on this question, Seth, before I hit you with another impossible question? >> Seth Masket: I mean I tend to agree with what Jen said here. You know, I see parties as essentially they do, they're supposed to be doing the parts of democracy that voters themselves aren't very good at by themselves. They're supposed to, you know, take really complex topics in groups of lots of candidates and boil them down into fairly simple questions of should we do this or that. Should we raise taxes or lower them? Should we make this easier to obtain or harder? Or this candidate or that candidate? And yeah, when we, you know, when we essentially move too far in the other direction, it makes democracy harder. It makes it more confusing for people. It makes voters want to tune out. >> John Haskell: So given everything that all three of you have said, is one party or the other doing better? Seth. >> Seth Masket: I think one party is doing worse. So, I think, it's possible to learn too much from 2016. There were many ways in which it was possibly just a flukish year. But the things we saw going on in the republican presidential nomination cycle in 2016, I mean it was really a pretty fascinating moment. Generally, what happens in presidential nominating cycles is that, you know, party insiders, you know, people, activists, major donors, people who have just been longstanding influential within the parties, kind of pick a favorite. They kind of, you know, long before anyone starts voting in Iowa or New Hampshire, they kind of lean toward one candidate or lean away from some other group of candidates who they think would be bad for the country or bad for the party. And the republican party just didn't really make a choice in 2016. A few people came out an endorsed Marco Rubio, some were for Ted Cruz, some with John Kasich, but they were kind of split. Most party leaders just kind of stayed quiet. Most members of congress on the republican side, governors just didn't endorse anyone. And that's an environment, and when you have 17 candidates, that's an environment in which a very famous wealthy person can just rise to the top in the absence of a party signal. And that's really what ended up happening in 2016. That didn't happen on the democratic side. The democratic party more or less got, you know, the candidate it wanted. The insiders were more or less happy with Hillary Clinton. She had a long history of policy stances that were very consistent with where the party had been for some time. So they basically got a conventional candidate. Does that mean they're healthier? I don't know. Are they, they might face the same problem in 2020 that the republicans had in 2016. You already have some two dozen democrats or more who have said they're interested in running for office. And you know, in the absence of a clear kind of preferred candidate, it could be just as fragmented as the republican one. We'll be finding that out within the next year, year and a half. I had made a point of saying last year and during 2016 that the presidency is not the only thing. That parties work with lots of different offices. And just because something, there is some cracking going on in the presidential level doesn't mean that's going on at the state or local level. In fact, if you looked at republican congressional nominations in 2016, they were nominating pretty conventional candidates. Then comes Roy Moore in Alabama. And then there's some evidence in this cycle that the republican party is nominating a lot of people just without any history in politics. And maybe that's good, maybe that's bad, but it's just there is an unusual dynamic going on within that party. >> John Haskell: So Yuval, do the republicans have greater intentions and ideological diversity? I mean are they confronting more challenges in that realm or other realms? >> Yuval Levin: Well, I would say, and this relates to the previous question you asked too. I do think the parties are subject to some of the same pressures as everything else in our society and that this idea of institutions getting turned inside out and being turned into platforms for individuals is actually also a way to understand what's going on in Congress where a lot of members come to Congress to get more media exposure and don't think fundamentally about their roles as legislators. It's certainly how the president is behaving in the presidency as a kind of performance artist. I think you see it in the, you see it in the professions. It's a way to understand what's happening in the universities. So it shouldn't surprise us that this is happening to the parties. If you had asked me before the 2016 election, I would have thought that the republican party as a party was in better shape than the democratic party. I think Reince Priebus as chairman of the RNC devoted a lot of attention and energy to strengthening the party as a multistate national party. He focused on the state parties. He had been a state party chairman himself. And the work that it had real effect. The party as an institution looked much stronger for it. What he didn't do was think at all about the party's role in the presidential race. I think his expectation was that it would just happen as it had. And when the race turned out to be very unusual, Reince had no plan whatsoever. And he, as a result, did nothing whatsoever. The assumption was these strange candidates would rise, and then they'd fall. That happened in 2012. It happened in 2008. You know, you'd have a period where this populous businessman would kind of seem like he was leading, and then he would disappear and you'd have a bunch of senators and governors fighting it out. And I think that the party apparatus itself expected that to happen until very late in the process. And very few, you know, there was kind of Mike Lee screaming, standing at the window banging on it screaming saying stop this. But almost nobody else was trying to get the party to really act to resolve what was basically a collective action problem. You know, there were too many candidates until very late, and I think it was the case that any two of them combining their efforts might have stopped Trump even pretty late. And they wanted to, and they didn't do it because there was no way to address the collective action problem. Which is exactly what the party is for. So, in the wake of 2016, I think you have to say that the republican party looks weaker than the democratic party. I think it's also the case that they now have the problem that the democrats had during the Obama years, which is a president with a kind of cultive [phonetic] personality around him in the party that drives attention and energy away from the party. And Obama did enormous damage to the democratic party as an institution. Because he himself was very popular, and he didn't try to use that popularity to strengthen the party really in any way. So that the democrats came out of the Obama years much weaker as a national party. They had much less strength in the states. They'd lost a lot of seats in state legislatures and in local races and state races. And a fair amount of it had to do with Obama drawing all the attention and all the money. That's exactly what is happening now with Trump. The party is having a lot of trouble presenting a face to the country, and it's also suffering with a very, with a very unusual generational divide within the party. And I think it's not getting enough attention but is a huge problem for the party itself where older republicans love Trump. You don't find republicans over 60 who don't like him. You don't find republicans under 30 who do like him. And the difference is very, very intense, and it's felt within every institution on the right so that, you know, that too is a kind of problem that you would hope a party could help deal with. But I don't think it's in very good shape to do it. >> John Haskell: So Seth, you're studying here at the Library how the democrats are responding to losing the 2016 elections. And you mentioned a minute ago that they've got a couple dozen people of some level of seriousness at least. Where are they in terms of the mistake, if Yuval's right, that Priebus made in not really having a plan? I mean, are they in a position to have a plan, or is the democratic party headed to something that might resemble what happened with republicans in '16? >> Seth Masket: I mean, part of what I've been doing in my career in research is just interviewing democratic activists in various early primary and caucus states. And quite a few of them treated 2016 as kind of a wakeup call. You know, they are fully cognizant of the kind of underinvestment at the state level. And, you know, they didn't expect to lose at the presidential level, but then once they lost there they looked around and said oh my God, we've lost all these state legislatures. And so they're sort of, you know, seeing this as an important building time for that and kind of reinvesting a lot into state and local candidates. I think some of them are, you know, feeling encouraged by some of the special elections that have been going on over the last year. And the ability of the party to essentially pick candidates who are appropriate for their various districts, conservative candidates or at least moderate candidates in the more conservative districts and pretty liberal candidates in the more liberal districts. But they were also, you know, caught off guard in so many ways. And they're still trying to navigate the current system. And they definitely haven't come up with a plan for 2020. Most of them are not quite thinking at that level just yet. >> John Haskell: Jennifer, what's your view on that? >> Jennifer Nicoll Victor: So, theoretically, I think parties would be better off if they separated presidential elections from state and local and congressional elections. Because they're two separate processes. And this collective action process of coalescing around the national candidate during a presidential election is a totally different type of coordination that needs to go on than what goes on, for example, what we're seeing in the midterm election season happening right now. And primaries where politics really is much more local and about congressional districts and so for. And we're seeing different kinds of variation across the primaries right now. But I think that our politics has become so much more nationalized. Our parties, I think, are essentially severely hampered to separate these. I think if they could operate as a national organization that focuses on presidential elections and then local organizations that focused on congressional and state and local elections, and they had the infrastructure and the financing set up and so forth to actually operate that way, it would be better. And I think it's essentially very difficult for them to do that now, in part, because our politics itself is so nationalized and partisanship and parties are seen as such a national thing. And you know, we can think about how media plays into that and national agenda and discussion and so forth and just how much space there is in any local, you know, any local congressional district. The air in the room is being sucked up by national politics. And so it's more difficult for the parties to play at that diverse level. >> John Haskell: So are there any ways that they can change the way they go about doing their business that might address that? >> Jennifer Nicoll Victor: I think there possibly are, and Seth is closer to what the parties are doing at the more local level and the infrastructure of the organizations than I am. But I have a sense that if parties were empowering their localities in ways that allowed them to engage in candidate recruitment and candidate training and constructing the local issues, whatever they are, in ways that advantaged the partisan candidates in local districts. Whether that's state legislature or congressional districts, whatever. That that would be advantageous to the parties at the national level. But they need to have the tools and the resources to be able to localize. And the parties have to be willing to have a local candidate that flies off the rails and maybe doesn't follow the national agenda on a particular issue. But in general, politics is not about issues these days. The partisanship and the parties and the camps in which we see ourselves as partisans is really driving people's taste for politics. So it, to me, that should empower parties to like let the issues go. The issues don't matter. It almost doesn't matter what issues the local candidates are going to talk about because the partisanship is going to rule the day anyway. >> John Haskell: Do you all have a view on, when you read about what's going on within the democratic party and the primaries, Seth made an observation about the republicans this year. You know, we're going back to Roy Moore. And it's sort of the Sanders and other progressive organizations doing battle, you know, with democrats who want to see candidates who might be slightly more moderate. Where is the democratic party on this? Are they headed for some sort of crackup? Or is this just really just about style? >> Jennifer Nicoll Victor: We need another cycle. We don't know yet. >> John Haskell: Don't know yet. Time to make a prediction. >> Yuval Levin: Well look, I think they are going through a fight between their activists and their elected officials, especially in Washington that is interesting to watch. Democrats in Washington I think have a sense that they should not go too far and that they cannot make Trump the focus of everything they do. But the activists' energy wants to do just that. And that's a problem that's very similar to the one republicans faced in dealing with Barack Obama during the last presidential administration. I think the democrats have the added pressure here. If they win the House, they're going to need to impeach the president. It'll be very hard for them to avoid at least starting that process because that's where their activists are. And I would say the leaders of the democratic party in Washington do not want to do that, because they don't think it would be good for the party going forward. But good luck to them trying to stop it. I think they will be under immense pressure to do it. So it's not a crackup in the sense that the party falls apart, but I think that it's intense pressure that is the kind of thing that a party might exist to help address. And so it'll be a test. >> John Haskell: So Jennifer, you brought up campaign finance, you know what do we need to look at and think about if there were going to be reforms in that area or either changes in the ways the parties go about their business? >> Jennifer Nicoll Victor: Yeah, so it's a sticky issue. It's very complicated. But the, so the Supreme Court, so we changed the campaign finance law in 2002 under what was known as the McCain Feingold Bill. And then it got updated again in 2010 with the Supreme Court decision and some following FEC decisions known as Citizens United and then Speech Now. And the result of those reforms over that period are a great decentralization of our campaign finance system where the parties used to have quite a bit of power in controlling things, and there was this soft money. Everybody was worried about the soft money through all the 70s, 80s and 90s, and this was the big thing that John McCain and his various political partners were all worried about. The parties were being used as a basically a money laundering machine that were allowing donors to funnel as much unlimited money as they want to candidates. But it turns out in retrospect, that money laundering was somewhat healthy for the system because it was giving the parties control over where the money went. So what we have now is the soft money in that sense is gone. The parties aren't doing that funneling anymore because of the ways the laws have changed. But that money is still out there, and it's just happening on its own. So whatever wealthy donors or organizations or activists or whoever want to get involved, they're out there picking their candidates or picking their horse in local races or national races and just going after them. Now to stay within the confines of the law, they technically are not allowed to coordinate with the parties. Otherwise, then it's seen as a campaign donation, and it's limited by law. So they're in this atmosphere where they can raise as much money as they want in this unlimited way without the party filter that tends to kind of moderate things. So, it would be helpful, I think, to change the laws in a way that strengthens parties, that gave parties more control over where the money came from and where it went. It's not clear to me what the viable, either legislative or judicial path to make that happen is at this point. >> John Haskell: Yeah. What do you think, Seth? >> Seth Masket: Just on the -- >> John Haskell: Yeah, the question -- >> Seth Masket: Fixing the party kind of thing? >> John Haskell: Yeah, fixing the parties broadly but on the campaign finance side. You know, because, you know, Jennifer refers back in the 90s, you know, Clinton allegedly rented out the Lincoln bedroom. So that made it look bad even if it was good for the party, right, to do that kind of thing. And then yeah, you know, he found, I guess his people found the big loophole at that time. Is there something that we don't know about now? Well, of course, if we don't know about it, we can't talk about it, right. But you know, we have to think a little bit outside the box. There's going to be reform, you know, things that worked in the past probably aren't going to work now for all kinds of reasons. You know, where are you on that? >> Seth Masket: Yeah, I mean, the problem, this is the basis of my last book, you know, every time we reform them, there's all these unanticipated consequences that we don't always think about. And, you know, when you attempt to sort of wall off a certain type of spending, the money is going to get there somehow. If someone wants to so spend on a race, someone wants to donate to a candidate, somehow, that money is going to get into the system. It's just a matter of, you know, every time we cut off a certain barrier for it, we make that money less traceable. And we make the system of just tracking who donated to whom a lot harder to follow. Which is generally undesirable things. Yeah, I would love to see, you know, similar with Jen, I would love to see more of, more funding going through the formal party system. I would love to see the parties themselves have more power to allocate that money rather than sending it across, you know, 100 different groups. You know, more generally, just kind of outside of the campaign finance system, and this is, I know, an uphill battle, but I would love to see the parties being less democratic. That is -- >> John Haskell: Small D. >> Seth Masket: Yeah, yeah, small D democratic. That is, you know, more elite-driven, less, you know, less subject to what individual members within the party want. The Democratic National Committee right now, this summer, is probably, they're working on some sort of reforms. They're probably they're going to get rid of their superdelegate system, or they're going to substantially sort of disempower the superdelegates. The superdelegates are, of course, the people within the party. They're DNC members. They're elected officials who have a vote at the nominating convention, regardless of what primary voters want. And just as some of the reforms coming out of 2016, they're going to substantially disempower those people most likely. And which is in some ways remarkable given what they saw going on in the republican side in 2016 where in many ways it leads to not have enough control over what was going on. They're moving in that same direction that the republicans moved. Now, I haven't been hugely impressed with the power superdelegates have or the power they're willing to exercise to push back against their own party voters. But if anything, the parties seem to be moving in more of a small D democratic direction. Which I think in some ways carries a lot of danger. >> John Haskell: And I know, Yuval, a lot of, when you read a lot about a republican or conservative intellectual said well let's have the republican party, let's define it the way we want to define it, free trade, low taxes, etcetera, cutting back on entitlements, and Trump doesn't fit that. You know, there's a lot of talk in conservative intellectual circles. And so let's be clear what our party is about and that there are short-term consequences. But nobody really had the power to do that, right. I mean, is that effort still going on? Is there any prospect of success for that kind of effort? >> Yuval Levin: Well, I think that it's not been much of an actual concrete effort. I do agree that there are ways to re-empower the parties some in our system relative to the other forces at work. And I think that allowing the parties to raise much more money but in a more transparent way, we sort of have to ask ourselves, what is the least illegitimate place for all that money to go? And I think the parties are the answer to that question. So that, because their goal is to create broad coalitions. And that's what we have to want our politics to involve. And so I think we ought to allow the parties to be the place where a lot of money goes provided that it is transparent. And it also seems to me that the party is gaining some control over their own processes are a way to address some of these problems, as Seth suggests, that the parties have to realize that they are owners of very, very powerful brands. They have a banner. And whoever gets that banner in a presidential election is going to get at least 45% of the vote in that election. Literally whoever they are. I mean, if we have learned anything, it is that. And so they have got to realize that that is an immense responsibility. And to take very seriously the responsibility they have to own that banner that comes with 45% of the vote in a presidential election. You know, that person is basically going to have pretty much an even shot of becoming president. So they need to think about how they choose who that person is, because they have an obligation to the country. And at this point, they just fall down on the job in doing that. They allow it to happen of its own. I think republicans have a tendency to following the democrats in setting rules. They're kind of lackadaisical in setting rules for nominating processes. The rules of the presidential nominating process now were adopted after the democrats after I think a pretty thoughtful process in the 1970s where they really fought out their differences. And the process that emerged from that is suited to the dynamics of the democratic coalition at the time. And then the republican party just adopted it wholesale without really thinking about how it related to its own coalition. Something like that is happening again. I think the democrats are talking about how to change the process. I don't know if they'll be able to do it, but they're at least thinking about it. There's really nothing at all like that going on that I can see on the republican side. >> Jennifer Nicoll Victor: I just wanted to add that thinking about, I think it's worthwhile to take a slightly longer view in thinking about how we got to this point where our parties are relatively decentralized. Because I think there's a tradeoff, right. So, if you go back to the early part of the 19th or 20th century, what you had were really centralized parties. You, in fact, had party bosses in the proverbial smoke-filled room. And these, you know, a couple of people who basically made all the choices about who were going to be the candidates and where the money was going to go and so forth. And that system was incredibly correct. And it was easily captured, and it was very un-small D democratic. And so the push in the 100 years since then, I think, has been towards more democratization of the parties to give the voters greater influence in all of those things, the candidate selection and recruitment and everything that parties do. And what we're seeing now is we're at the other end of that spectrum. And what we're seeing is, there's huge costs to this end as well. And so there's essentially a tradeoff, I think, between centralized parties and decentralized parties where at one end you get left polarization and really effective clean results but with corruption. And at the other end, you get dysfunction and disorganization. But we don't have that kind of corruption that we used to be worried about like, I mean, yeah you get a Jack Abramoff story or something like that every once in a while, but those are really pretty rare these days. Like we've really gotten rid of that type of corruption in our politics. And the price that we're paying for it is this dysfunction, this terrible polarization. >> John Haskell: We focus on the glass half-full -- >> Jennifer Nicoll Victor: So I feel like there's an equilibrium to be had in the middle, but the parties, it's not clear to me at all the parties as an organizations, if I could speak of them as having a central brain, are aware of the necessity of finding that equilibrium. >> John Haskell: Before we get to some questions from the audience, I wanted to, you know, play off on one thing that Yuval said, and I think he's right, that each party kind of starts with 45% in a presidential election. Sometimes they don't get much more than that. But and so, democratic banner, republican banner, Seth what's the chances there could be a different banner sometime? What would that look like? >> Seth Masket: Not large. Well, I mean, I mean -- >> John Haskell: I mean France suddenly, you know, overnight suddenly they have a guy getting all the votes and getting all the legislative seats. Different system. And now Italy is doing the same thing. I mean sometimes, you know, sometimes what happens in Europe affects us here. It doesn't always go the other direction, even if we'd like to think that. And so there's something out there that's a dissatisfaction obviously that I don't know whether it's reached that level or whether our system is more, you know, ossified or something. >> Seth Masket: You know, I mean, this is one of those areas where I think we probably focus too much on the presidential level where the two party outcomes just are very resilient. I mean you could possibly see a scenario where, you know, Trump suddenly becomes very unpopular. There's a recession or something like that. If republicans want to run someone else in 2020, and he splits off and forms his own party. I mean you could sort of see something like that but probably not lasting in the long run. There was a fascinating sort of counterexample to this in Colorado in 2010. There was a gubernatorial election. That's where the democrats first elected John Hickenlooper. The republicans threw a bizarre series of, it was a big tea party rally, and it was a scandal for sort of the favorite candidate. And this little-known tea party activist named Dan Mayes ended up getting the republican nomination through the primary there. And the republican party didn't like him. Like all the republican leaders said this guy is totally irresponsible. He was going all over the place with these very paranoid theories about how the UN was going to take over through a bike sharing program and that sort of thing. He was quite sincere. So a lot of state republican leaders backed Tom Tancredo as a third-party candidate to run for governor. Knowing it was probably going to split the vote but basically saying we don't want to win with this. We don't, we think this is actually bad for the party in the long run if we all rallied behind our nominee. And it did split the republican vote, and Hickenlooper won in a pretty easy run. But that sort of thing happens a little more at the state and local level than you definitely see at the presidential level. But again, the two-party system is so deeply engrained and so favored by the systems we have here. If we did have a third party, it would likely become the second party very quickly if the other party just disappeared. >> John Haskell: Any thoughts on that Yuval? >> Yuval Levin: Well, I agree. I think we've seen that a little bit. The durability of a two-party system, even when the federalists or the Whigs went away pretty quickly or back to a two-party system, the 1912 presidential race where the republicans were really split, and there were really two republican candidates and three presidential candidates. That seemed like the end of the republican party. And one cycle later, the party was back basically to itself. And so, you know, a part of it is structural in the first past to post election system and the rest of it. I think our system really is just geared to a two-party system. That doesn't mean it could never change, but I think the parties have survived times that have been more dramatically problematic than what they're going through now. It could get crazier. It could get worse. But I don't see it at this point. >> John Haskell: Thank you all for your insights. We'll move to some questions. Let's bring it up to the gentleman in the front. Wait, we've got a microphone for you here. >> How does like polarization in the general population play a part in this? Like, I've noticed, at least in my lifetime, it's really increased how people are very, either extremely democratic or extremely republican. I mean it happens in my school, and it happens in people older than me. >> Yuval Levin: You know, one of the striking things about polarization is the most aggressively partisan people hate their parties on both sides. And so there is a way in which strengthening polarization actually undermines the strength of the parties as institutions, as organizations, and empowers these smaller groups that represent kind of subcultures within the party. And so I think it's not a coincidence that we've seen increasing polarization at the same time as weakening institutional parties. Part of what the parties do is broaden their own coalitions and allow a republican who's running in Massachusetts to be a little less conservative than a republican who is running in Texas. And that becomes more difficult to do as polarization grows and the parties weaken at the same time. >> John Haskell: Who else had something over here? Greg, that guy in the middle. >> Hi. Thank you all for coming out to the Library of Congress today. I just had a question regarding the future of parties in regards to voter systems. And I'm based in New England recently, and there's been a lot of talk about Maine and perhaps Vermont adopting the instant runoff choice system of voting. Which would most likely theoretically collapse the idea of big time coalitions, but at the same time, give people more fluidity when it comes to elections. If something like this was implemented or advocated for at the national level, could you see it succeeding? And if so, what do you think the outcome would be? >> John Haskell: Seth might should speak to that. >> Seth Masket: Oh man. >> John Haskell: Sorry about that. That's a great question. >> Seth Masket: I think it's actually trying to implement something like instant runoff voting at the national level. There's a lot of questions in there. Are we talking about making that part of the electoral college calculation within every state? Are we talking about an actual national popular vote? There's a lot of changes that would have to occur to get to that point. It's potentially an interesting case though. And it's possible to see if you had some sort of like a national primary system with instant runoff voting. You might have had, you know, the republicans might have come up with something very different than Donald Trump last time around. If you have, if there's no one who everyone, you know, seems to like for their first-round choice, but everyone is sort of okay with John Kasich or something like that. You could end up with that sort of a consensus nominee. There was, I mean even going back to, there was some great quote from when Lincoln was running in 1860, that his whole strategy, I think, it was actually a quote from him saying my whole strategy is to be everyone's second favorite candidate. You know, just so, so all of the sort of most passionate people on every side of the party just kind of cancel each other out. They all say yeah, but I'd be okay with him. And that's kind of how you get in. And I think something like instant runoff voting actually helps that occur. >> John Haskell: We've got somebody over here. Right there, Mike. >> Hi, thanks for coming out. So my question is a bit reflective. When I was younger, I am older, a lot older than what I look. So when I was younger, I did ten years in the Marine Corps, so I always had this mindset that you can pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Now that I'm 40 plus and have two kids, one 17 and 15, I've been a teacher. And I've seen that that is not the case for African-Americans. So as I taught fourth grade, teaching them the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, and especially that 14th Amendment about equality for African-Americans. And we were discussing the Brown versus Board of Education. And I've lived in many states before, but then I started reading and learning about how Virginia was able to circumvent that Brown versus Board of Education and how that still plays a part today in our education system and how negatively it impacts African-Americans. And I was talking to my husband yesterday, and I was like, where could an African-American mom, our family go to an African-American community that is thriving? That you have doctors, lawyers, hospitals that look like you, there's very few places that you can go. And I asked him that question because I spent a year as a teacher in a very wealthy community where teachers did not want to work with me simply because of my color. That never happened to me in the Marine Corps. And I can say well, thank God for all the African-Americans that came before me. But why would I want to put my kids through that ordeal? Why would they have to endure that simply because, and then I don't, republican or democratic, there's not enough of African-Americans to make it a valid, that we have a valid say. So regardless of what party is voting, when do we get past the nationalism of isms? When do we get past that and look at people for their humanity. Because we're spending so much money making sure that other countries do it right, but we don't do it right. And I can't send my kids, my daughter graduates next year. I don't feel comfortable sending her into a work environment that she has to endure what I endured and am still enduring simply because we raise communities to believe that we're one better than the other because of isms. How do we address that? >> John Haskell: So I think one of the ways we could maybe talk about that is to talk about how is it that minorities, whether ethnic or racial or other, you know, sexual orientation, other minorities, how do they get influenced within the party system? You know, what's a good way to think about that? >> Jennifer Nicoll Victor: So to me, part of what's going on in polarization in American politics right now, and you're speaking primarily about the African-American community, which is largely for the last 50 years or so been kind of solidly married to the Democratic party. For, largely, I was going to say for better or worse, but really it's for worse that throughout American history, one party or the other has essentially always kind of been, I don't want to put this impolitely, but sort of married to the racist devil, right. So for lots of the 19th century and into the 20th century, it was the democratic party. They were the party of slavery. They were the party that controlled the South and fought to maintain slavery and then ultimately lost. But then found various institutions to kind of keep that culture going. Until you get to the middle part of the 20th century, and the democratic party reforms on that issue. And you get actors like John F. Kennedy and LBJ and others who pick up the mantle of civil rights. The African-American has sort of opportunistically bringing this new portion of the electorate into the party. They did that quite well. The republican party responds and pivots by following what Nixon called the southern strategy. And that sets off the democratic and American and republican parties on their, what is now their current path in which the democratic party much more strongly holds the mantle of civil rights. And the republican party is often the counter to that. And so part of what I think perpetuates this and prevents us from getting beyond it in some of the ways that you're expressing is that as a country, we've never really reconciled how to get beyond our legacy of slavery. We've never done a very good job as a country of showing complicity there and showing some sense of contrition for the role that we played in perpetuating that economy for hundreds of years. And it's now completely baked into our political parties in ways that is divisive rather than in ways that promote some kind of healing. And lots of institutions perpetuate this. I'm not just talking about structural racism, but I mean, federalism itself, the fact that we have states and United States Senate, like all of these institutions were in some ways created to perpetuate slavery. And our inability to overcome that issue and to really fully reconcile with it as a country and as a people I think has it much more baked into our politics in ways that are really difficult to reconcile at this point until we get political actors who decide they want to try to address that. So I often think about in the post-Nazi period in Germany, you can't go into a town village or hamlet in all of Germany without finding some memorial somewhere to the Holocaust. It's a part of the national identity. It's a part of the national culture to show some national contrition for their participation in that genocide. And the Americans never done that with slavery. And I think that affects the way our partisan politics deals with that issue even today. >> John Haskell: So we have time for one or two more questions. We'll take these two here. David and then the woman in front. >> Hi, I have a question about party coalitions and evolving party coalitions. So, as all of you know, there's an education realignment that's occurred where the democrats now have something close to a 25-percentage point advantage among whites with college degrees. That wasn't true even 15 years ago. They have a 35-percentagge point advantage with whites with advanced degrees. And I wonder how long a party coalition on both sides can continue in terms of the policies that they advocate not match its constituency. Because at the same time while we have this difference in terms of education, we also see a closer correlation between education and income than we did even a generation ago. And so, at some point, you would expect actually the democrats to flip and start advocating for lower taxes and less regulation. It's not happening right now, but I wonder if you guys want to speculate about what will happen in a generation. >> John Haskell: Tough question. Either of you guys want to say something. >> Yuval Levin: Sure, I won't speak to about what'll happen in a generation. Having gone through 2016, I don't even speak about what will happen next Wednesday. But I do think that we shouldn't overestimate the degree to which economic interests drives voter's self-understanding about political interest. One of the things we've been learning in this century about our politics is that people who care about what we think of as kind of cultural and identity issues much more than they care about economic issues. And in some ways both of the parties now are advocating things that are against the economic interests of their core constituents. And you know, republicans are the party of the elderly that wants to change social security, or they used to want to. They're the party of the working class that wants to lower their boss' taxes. If you think about economics that way, I mean politics that way as an extension of economics, it just doesn't make sense. But the part coalition makes more sense if you think about what it is that people in this economic brackets value most and what they care about, what they believe in. I think in that way, the coalitions make some more sense. And so it may be that what you're really seeing is that higher income people in America have certain cultural attitudes and views that incline them more toward the leftwing party and our politics, and the working-class people in America tend to have more conservative views on the issues that they care about most. So, you know, it used to be said that conservatives care more about the culture and liberals care most about the economy. But the right keeps winning on the economy, and the left keeps winning on the culture. So we're kind of permanently frustrated. I think we're actually at a point now where both coalitions seem to care most about cultural issues one way or another. >> John Haskell: Okay, last question. We have one of our friends form the University of Denver. >> Thank you. More women than ever are running for office this year, and I wanted to know, what do we think the increased number of women eventually holding office, if that will change anything within the political party system. >> John Haskell: That's a great question. I think both Jennifer and Seth speak to that in whichever order you'd like. >> Jennifer Nicoll Victor: So the literature suggests that once women win office, they tend to legislate much the same way men do. That being said, so on one hand you might not think actually politics would be very much different in terms of policy. On the other hand, there's a good amount of literature that suggests that women tend to sort of behave differently in office as leaders, as managers, as running either their personal offices or their committees or whatever position it is that they have. And I'm thinking of members of Congress. And so it could be that there are more subtle forms of negotiation or management or politicking that changes operations at a level that's more difficult for scholars like us to observe. Except perhaps in the long run. So I guess I'm of mixed mind about this. On the one hand, I think creating a Congress that looks more like America is a good thing. We know that there are huge advantages to having some level of descriptive representation. Whether that's race or gender or whatever. On the other hand, we also know that once a minority group, whether you're talking about race or women or whatever, come into office, and they reach a certain level, they tend to sort of wind up acting just like the people who were there before. So, there are dividends to be paid on the front side. I think for recruiting of more diverse crop of candidates to run for office, and it might be that there will be dividends to pay in politicking and management of politics in the long run. How exactly we observe that in policy is a little bit more abstract, I think. >> Seth Masket: Hey Julie. So, check me if I'm wrong here, but I think women tend to be, within both parties, women tend to be more liberal than men. You know, both within their republican and within the democratic parties. And so, you know, that, you know, as their numbers increase among elected officials, that tends to suggest it will somewhat change. It could end up making the republican party more moderate. It could end up making the democratic party more liberal. And interestingly, it's not just on thing, it's not even on things like reproductive rights, where actually women's views and men's views are very similar it turns out. But on just sort of general economic issues, on general social welfare issues. That could have the effect of moving the system somewhat to the left. Now, it depends where these women are getting electing. My understanding is most of them are running as democrats. Most of the women who are running for Congress right now are running as democrats. So that'll probably have a greater effect on the democratic party than on the republican right now. But yeah, we could see a different effect across both parties. >> John Haskell: Well thank you all three for your insights on the future of political parties. And thank you for attending. We have a reception here, and -- [ Applause ] >> This has been a presentation of the Library of Congress. Visit us at


Democratic primary


Democratic primary results[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Doug Racine 25,522 99.1
Democratic Other 232 0.9
Total votes 25,754 100

Republican primary


Republican primary results[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Jim Douglas 23,366 96.7
Republican Other 789 3.3
Total votes 24,155 100

Progressive primary


Progressive primary results[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Progressive Michael J. Badamo 931 54.2
Progressive Peter Diamondstone 412 24.0
Progressive Other 376 21.8
Total votes 1,719 100

General election


The race was very close, with Douglas prevailing by just under 6,000 votes or 2.56%. In Vermont for statewide/executive races if no candidate receives 50% then the Vermont General Assembly picks the winner. However, Racine declined to contest it further and conceded to Douglas. Ultimately it was Douglas's strong performance in Montpelier and Rutland that carried him to victory. Racine did do well in populous Burlington and greater Chittenden County, but it ultimately did not suffice. Racine called Douglas at 12:38 P.M. EST and conceded defeat. Douglas would go on to be reelected three more times. Racine would run for Governor one last time in 2010, but narrowly lost the Democratic Primary to Peter Shumlin. After the close contest, Shumlin chose Racine to be his Secretary of Human Servies. Racine stepped down from that post in 2014.

Vermont gubernatorial election, 2002[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Jim Douglas 103,436 44.94
Democratic Doug Racine 97,565 42.39
Independent Cornelius Hogan 22,353 9.71 -
Marijuana Cris Ericson 1,737 0.75
Progressive Michael Badamo 1,380 0.60
Libertarian Joel Williams 938 0.41
Grassroots Patricia Hejny 771 0.33
Restore Justice-Freedom Marilynn Christian 638 0.28 -
Liberty Union Peter Diamondstone 625 0.27
Independent Brian Pearl 569 0.25 -
Write-in Write-ins 149 0.06
Total votes 230,161 100

See also


  1. ^ "General Election Results - Governor - 1789-2012" (PDF). Office of the Vermont Secretary of State. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Primary Election Results" (PDF). Office of the Vermont Secretary of State. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  3. ^ "2002 Gubernatorial General Election Results - Vermont". U.S. Election Atlas. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
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