1. What is the main difference between elections in a democracy and elections under an authoritarian
a. In democracies, elections are about issues, while under authoritarian
governments, elections concern the personalities of leaders.
b. Democratic regimes allow for viable opposition, while the leaders do not permit
themselves to lose under an authoritarian government.
c. Unlike democracies, there are no political parties in an authoritarian regime.
d. Authoritarian regimes never have elections.
2. What is the function of an election in a democracy?
a. It promotes accountability among the leaders.
b. It helps to politically protect different groups in society.
c. It serves to legitimize the government.
d. all of the above
3. When a congressional election is held that does not coincide with a presidential election, it is called a
a. primary election.
b. franchise vote.
c. midterm election.
4. The primary responsibility for conducting public elections rests with
a. the federal government.
b. state and local governments.
c. political parties.
d. the candidates running for office.
5. During midterm elections, voters are electing
a. federal judges.
b. members of Congress.
c. the president.
d. both the president and members of Congress.
6. In order for a political party to select a candidate to run in the general election, it holds a
a. primary election.
c. midterm election.
d. franchise vote
7. What is a referendum?
a. It is the congressional election held between presidential elections.
b. It is the right and power to vote.
c. It is the practice of voting directly for proposed laws.
d. It is the process by which a party selects its candidates for the general election
8. Which of the following is the best example of direct democracy in practice in the United States?
b. retrospective voting
d. issue advocacy
9. Recall elections are an electoral device first used by the
b. Jacksonian Democrats.
10. Which of the following political officers are not subject to recall elections?
a. the president
c. federal judges
d. None of the above is subject to a recall election.
11. If the winner of an election is whoever receives the most votes, regardless of the percentage of votes
received, the candidates are running under a __________ system.
c. propord. unitary
12. Most European nations employ what system of elections?
c. proportional representation
d. Most European nations do not elect representatives
13. __________ is the most common electoral system used in general elections in the United States.
a. The majority system
b. The plurality system
c. The proportional representation system
d. The gerrymandered system
14. Smaller and weaker parties are most likely to have electoral success under which system of elections?
a. proportional representation system
b. majority system
c. plurality system
d. unitary system
15. A majority electoral system, which is used on a limited basis in the United States, requires that a
candidate must win __________ to win an election.
a. at least 25 percent of all votes cast
b. at least 40 percent of all votes cast
c. 50 percent plus one of all votes cast
d. at least 60 percent of all votes cast, plus a percentage of absentee ballots
16. Plurality and majority systems tend to
a. increase the number of political parties.
b. decrease the number of political parties.
c. evolve into single-party systems.
d. devolve into anarchy.
17. The boundaries of legislative districts in the United States are to be redrawn every __________ years.
18. When the Supreme Court announced the principle of "one person, one vote," what did it mean?
a. Voters may only vote once in an election.
b. Within a state, electoral districts must have roughly equal populations.
c. No one could be denied suffrage on the basis of race or gender.
d. Voting was an individual right, not a group right.
19. The practice of __________ means that district boundaries have been purposefully drawn to unfairly
advantage one group or party.
a. proportional representation
20. When legislatures draw district lines made up largely of underrepresented minority groups, the practice is
a. benign gerrymandering.
b. group redistricting.
c. split ticketing.
d. affirmative action.
21. In what case did the Supreme Court say that purposefully drawing districts where the majority of voters
were members of a single minority group, in order to ensure minority representation, was not
a. Reynolds v. Sims
b. Bush v. Gore
c. Shaw v. Reno
d. Brown v. Board of Education
22. Before the 1890s, who was responsible for printing election ballots?
a. the federal government
b. state governments
c. political parties
d. the National League of Women Voters
23. What unusual act did the Texas legislature perform in 2002?
a. It redistricted without waiting for a new census.
b. It made gerrymandering illegal.
c. It gave redistricting authority to a nonpartisan committee.
d. It officially repudiated the principle of "one person, one vote."
24. If you voted for a Republican for president and a Democrat for senator, you engaged in
a. a referendum.
b. an open primary.
c. split-ticket voting.
d. the coattail effect.
25. When American voters support only one party's candidates, they are said to be voting a
a. dual ticket.
b. single ticket.
c. straight ticket.
d. split ticket.
26. The result that is produced when voters cast a ballot for the president and then automatically vote for the
remainder of that party's candidates is called the
a. shirttail effect.
b. coattail effect.
c. pocket veto effect.
d. logrolling effect
27. Split-ticket voting
a. increases political corruption at the polling booths.
b. increases partisan divisions in government.
c. decreases partisan conflict in government.
d. increases the coattail effect during midterm elections
28. Which event helped lead to a change in the way that the electoral college chose the president and vice
a. the riots caused by the Alien and Sedition Act, in the 1790s
b. the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr in 1803
c. the failure of Andrew Jackson to win the White House in 1824
d. the secession of southern states in 1860
29. A major factor in John Kennedy's 1960 presidential victory over Richard Nixon was
a. the fact that unlike Nixon, Kennedy hired a professional political consultant.
b. that Kennedy had a much stronger performance than Nixon during televised
c. Nixon's failure to develop infomercials.
d. Kennedy's aggressive use of push polls, especially in the Northeast.
30. Who is the incumbent?
a. the current officeholder, running for re-election
b. the candidate who raises the most money during the campaign
c. the official candidate for a political party, running in the general elections
d. the label for whoever is leading in the polls on the day of the election
31. Approximately how much money does it take for a candidate to have a reasonable chance of winning a
seat in the House of Representatives?
32. Campaign consultants do all of the following except
a. conduct opinion polls.
b. organize direct mailings.
c. develop the issues on which the candidate will focus.
d. All of the above are tasks of the campaign consultant.
33. When does public opinion polling take place during a campaign?
a. at the very beginning
b. only toward the end of the campaign
c. throughout the entire campaign
d. Polling is too expensive for any campaign except the presidential campaign.
34. Which of the following primary battles is the best example of an ideological clash, rather than a
a. Al Gore and Bill Bradley in 2000
b. George W. Bush and John McCain in 2000
c. Mike Huckabee and John McCain in 2008
d. All of the above involved ideological clashes.
35. For their primaries, most but not all state parties use what type of election?
b. proportional representation
c. majority rules
d. the unitary system
36. During the earliest years of the United States, who nominated the candidates for president?
a. The incumbent president chose both candidates.
b. Members of the major political parties chose their own nominees.
c. Nominations were controlled by each party's congressional caucus.
d. Political machine bosses controlled the entire nominating process.
37. At a party convention, when an entire state delegation votes for the single candidate supported by the
majority of its delegates, it is called the
a. butterfly ballot.
b. consensus mark.
c. unit rule.
d. prospective vote
38. Party activists who are elected to vote at a party's national convention are called
c. electors. d. nominees
39. When candidates for office sponsor hearings, undertake inspection tours of disaster areas, or meet with
foreign dignitaries, the form of publicity they receive is called
a. a press junket.
b. free media.
c. the coattail effect.
d. the C-SPAN dance.
40. A __________ is a media format where candidates meet with ordinary citizens, without the input of
journalists or commentators.
a. town meeting
b. spot ad
d. photo op
41. Partisan loyalty is likely to be highest in the election of
a. the president.
b. a state legislator.
c. a U.S. senator.
d. a governor.
42. If a citizen votes for a candidate because he or she approves of the candidate's past record, it is called
a. prospective voting.
b. retrospective voting.
c. poll testing.
d. ticket splitting
43. The majority of PACs represent
a. single-issue advocacy groups.
b. trial lawyers.
c. business and professional groups.
d. the Republicans and the Democrats.
44. The right of candidates to spend their own money on running for office
a. is limited by a cap of $50 million.
b. is protected absolutely by the First Amendment, according to the Supreme Court.
c. was forbidden by the Campaign Reform Act of 1974.
d. is allowed only if the candidate can meet every personal dollar with a dollar from
45. What is a common way for interest groups, corporations, and political parties to aid a candidate while
avoiding campaign finance laws?
a. funding money through unregulated PACs
b. engaging in issue advocacy
c. using spot advertisements
d. all of the above
46. The term soft money refers to
a. personal wealth that a candidate uses.
b. money donated to a party to sponsor party building and voter registration.
c. donations to a challenger.
d. donations of time and supplies.
47. Money contributed directly to a political party, to be used for voter registration or party building, is
b. soft money.
c. funny money.
d. housekeeping dollars
48. Which of the following were not major contributors to George W. Bush's 2000 presidential campaign?
b. trial lawyers
c. energy producers
d. tobacco companies
49. Spot advertisements are useful because they
a. permit a candidate's message to be delivered to a target audience before people
can tune out.
b. are essentially free of charge, because the media needs to fill the "spot."
c. are funded through a loophole in campaign finance laws.
d. are the best means for an audience to get the most information about the policy
preferences of candidates, rather than the candidates' personalities.
50. Which of the following has increased the ability of candidates to raise small contributions from tens of
thousands of donors?
a. spot ads
b. the Internet
c. phone banks
d. the McCain-Feingold Act