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Texas Politics - Voting, Campaigns and Elections
6.    The Two-party System and Low Voter Turnout

The dynamics of the two-party system also contribute to low voter turnout. With typically only two contestants for most offices in a general election, the candidates tend to converge to the middle of the political spectrum on the issues being discussed. To distinguish themselves in such races where policy differences may be few or unclear, candidates often resort to personal attacks. Many citizens, unable to perceive differences between candidates on the main issues of the day, elect not to vote.

Also, if one of the two candidates appears to be dominating the race, many people do not vote because they feel that their vote will not make a difference in the outcome of the election.

The two-party system has been a fixture in Texas politics, even during periods when third parties have attempted to change the political landscape. The following sections look at the development of the two-party system as a deeply entrenched feature of the political framework in the United States and Texas, and at its consequences for voting and elections in Texas.

Texas Politics:
© 2009, Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services
University of Texas at Austin
3rd Edition - Revision 117
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