TEST 4 - KEY TERMS - CAMPAIGNS AND ELECTIONS

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26 terms

MANDATE

Perception of popular support for a program or policy based on the margin of electoral victory won by a candidate who proposed it during a campaign.

RETROSPECTIVE VOTING

Voting for or against a candidate or party on the basis of past performance in office.

PROFESSIONALISM

In politics, a reference to the increasing number of officeholders for whom politics is a full time occupation.

CAREERISM

In politics, a reference to people who started young working in politics, running for and holding public office, and who made politics their career.

INCUMBENTS

Candidates currently in office seeking reelection.

REELECTION RATES

Percentages of incumbents running for reelection who are successful.

NAME RECOGNITION

Public awareness of a political candidate - whether they are familiar with his or her name.

CHALLENGERS

In politics, a reference to people running against incumbent officeholders.

FRANKING PRIVILEGE

Free use of the U.S. mails granted to members of Congress to promote communication with constituents.

CAMPAIGN STRATEGY

Plan for a political campaign, usually including a theme, an attempt to define the opponent or the issues, and an effort to coordinate images and messages in news broadcasts and paid advertising.

NEGATIVE CAMPAIGNING

Speeches, commercials, or advertising attacking a political opponent during a campaign.

FOCUS GROUP

In a political context, a small number of people brought together in a comfortable setting to discuss and respond to themes and issues, allowing campaign managers to develop and analyze strategies.

PHOTO OPS

Staged opportunities for the media to photograph the candidate in a favorable setting.

SOUND BITES

Concise and catchy phrases that attract media coverage.

MOBILIZE

In politics, to activate supporters to work for candidates and turn out on Election Day.

ISSUE ADS

Ads that advocate policy positions rather than explicitly supporting or opposing particular candidates.

POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEES (PACs)

Organizations that solicit and receive campaign contributions from corporations, unions, trade associations, and ideological and issue-oriented groups, and their members, then distribute these funds to political candidates.

FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION (FEC)

Agency charged with enforcing federal election laws and disbursing public presidential campaign funds.

SOFT MONEY

Previously unregulated contributions to the parties, now prohibited; contributions to parties now limited.

RETAIL POLITICS

Direct candidate contact with individual voters.

SPIN DOCTORS

Practitioners of the art of spin control, or manipulation of media reporting to favor their own candidate.

FRONT-END STRATEGY

Presidential political campaign strategy in which a candidate focuses on winning early primaries to build momentum.

FRONT LOADING

The scheduling of presidential primary elections early in the year.

BIG-STATE STRATEGY

Presidential political campaign strategy in which a candidate focuses on winning primaries in large states because of their high delegate counts.

ELECTORAL COLLEGE

The 538 presidential electors apportioned among the states according to their congressional representation (plus three for the District of Columbia) whose votes officially elect the president and vice president of the United States.

SWING STATES

States that are not considered to be firmly in the Democratic or Republican column.

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