Political Parties, Interst Groups and Mass Media

72 terms by ometcalf 

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Activist

Someone who actively contributes to politics- making donations and advocating for issues, as well as voting, on a regular basis.

Ballot initiative

When the people vote directly on a proposed law

Caucus

Like a primary in that people are voting for candidates to run for office, however in caucuses people must listen to speeches before voting.

Campaign finance reform

FECA of 1972 and BCRA of 2002. FECA limited hard money, BCRA tried to eliminate soft money, but in 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that corporations were allowed to broadcast as they wish as part of the freedom of speech.

Challenger

Someone who runs against an incumbent for office

Closed Primary

A primary in which only the registered members of a party can vote.

Coattail effect

When a popular political figure not only draws votes to himself, but to other members of his party by association.

Crossover voting

When a member of one party votes in the primary of another party in the hope to get a weaker candidate nominated in the other party.

Direct Democracy

A democracy in which all citizens regularly meet to discuss and vote on public matters. Ex. Athens, Greece

Direct Primary

When candidates are nominated by direct vote rather than by delegates.

Electoral College

A gathering of electors from each state who formally cast votes for president and vice-president.

527 campaign committees

Groups which may not specifically endorse one candidate or another, but may still help contribute to campaigns through issue advocacy. They have no spending limit.

Fairness doctrine

This required that broadcasters address issues of public importance, and that they present both sides of an argument. This doctrine has been repealed.

"Favorite Son"

When a political gains support from his home state because he is a native rather than because of his views.

Franchise

When the government grants individuals rights, such as voting.

Front loading

When early primaries and caucuses are more important than the later ones due to the momentum a candidate gains.

Front Runner

The leader in a political race.

Gender gap

Differences in how the two genders vote.

General election

The election for a candidate to office- not the primaries.

Gerrymandering

Redistricting so that certain groups will gain the majority of open seats, or so that certain groups will not gain power.

Hard money

Money given directly to candidates or political parties. There are limits for how much both individuals and PACs may donate to these causes.

Incumbent

The person who already holds an office.

Initiative

When petition by registered voters forces a public vote.

Interest Group

A group which is formed to promote certain goals by raising awareness and getting supportive politicians elected to office.

Literacy test

A test which checks for literacy. These were once a requirement to register to vote.

Lobby

Attempting to influence legislation/ an interest group which tries to do this

Lobbying/Lobbyist

A person who tries to influence legislation

McCain-Feingold (Shays-Meehan)

Also known as BCRA, this bill was passed in 2002 in a bid to eliminate soft money and prevent corruption. Recently, some aspects of this bill, such as the ban on corporations broadcasting their views on issues, have been repealed.

Media bias

The tendency of members of the media to favor one viewpoint or the other, and to let this viewpoint influence how they report the news.

Motor Voter Act of 1993

A bill designed to increase voter turnout, it required states to allow citizens to register to vote when renewing their driver's license.

National nomination conventions

Party conventions where the nomination for president is formally chosen.

Negative spot/ad

An advertisement commissioned by one candidate or party to cast the other candidate or group in a negative light

Nonprobability sampling

When the sample of a study is purposely selected, rather than randomly.

Nonvoter

Someone who does not vote

Open Primary

When a primary is open both to members and non-menbers of the party.

Open Seat

When there isn't someone already in office

"Pack journalism"

When reporting becomes rather homogenous

Party dealignment

When a person abandons their part or becomes less loyal.

Party identification

What party to which a person considers himself to belong.

Party platform

A paper outlining the political beliefs, ideas and aims of a political party . It is drafted by the platform committee and voted on by the convention annually.

Party realignment

When a person switches to another party.

Personal following

When a political party gains members because of people's attraction to one part official, rather than their belief in the party itself.

Plurality System

A system in which there are multiple interest groups/parties which attempt to influence policymakers/legislation

Political Action Committee (PAC)

Groups which are formed to collect money for favored candidates or parties. They may only give a small amount directly to candidates however the may spend as much as they want to influence voters or to donate to parties. They cannot contribute directly to presidential campaigns- in presidential campaigns they can only run issue advocacy adds.

Political machine

Unofficial political organization where there is one head who instructs his supporters on how to behave.

Political Party

A political group whose purpose is to define the proper role of government, to clarify platforms, to win elections and to organize government after elections.

Poll tax

A tax on voting- a sum of money which a voter must pay for the privilege of voting

Primary election

An election within a party to decide who to nominate to run for office.

Prior restraint

Governmental censorship of materials, such as speeches, prior to delivery.

Public interest group

Groups which try to influence policymakers or legislation. Interest Groups cannot directly give money to people running for office, however they may create PACs.

Random Sampling

Sampling a random portion of a population such as by calling every fourth person listed in the telephone book

Reagan Democrats

People who had formerly voted democratically but who switched their affiliation only to elect Reagan.

Reapportionment

The reevaluation and subsequent appointment of the number of members of congress based on population growth.

Recall

When voters remove an official from office by direct vote.

Referendum

When the people vote directly on an issue.

Reform Party

A political part headed by Ross Perot, believed by many to be only a personal following of his.

Religious Right

The highly religious right wing in American Politics.

Republican Party

A political party which advocates for fewer regulations and smaller government.

Runoff primary

A sort of primary which is not based on part affiliation, but is a vote to nominate candidates to run for office.

Safe seat

A position which is seen as definitely going ot one party or another.

Sampling error

The margin of error from a random sampling caused because when sampling opinions it is difficult to get an accurate sample. In other matters, such as when interviewing people on their choice in candidates, not all the people interviewed will necessarily vote, creating a margin of error.

Soft money

Money donated to political parties for non-federal use. It was originally intended to promote political participation, not specific candidates. This money is not regulated.

Split-ticket voting

When a person votes for members of different political parties.

Superdelegate

Party or governmental officials who serve as delegates at the national convention not because they were elected in primaries but because of their positions.

Super Tuesday

The day on which many primaries are held throughout the country.

Term limits

A limit on the maximum number of terms that a politician can serve. The Presidential limit is two.

Third parties

A party beside the two dominant ones, the Democrats and the Republicans, which runs for dome political party.

Two-party system

The American system in which two parties dominate politics. This is supported by the winner-take-all system.

Sampling universe

The population from which a person gathers his sample.

Valence issue

Beliefs or ideas such "crime is bad" which are held by both sides of a debate/issue

Voter turnout

The percentage or either registered voters or of the voting age population who actually vote on election day

Winner-take-all system

A system where the the person who receives the most votes takes the office

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