36 terms

AP GOV Key Terms Unit 2: Public Beliefs/Public Behaviors 2016-17

AP Gov Key Terms for Unit 3: Public Belief/Public Behaviors
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Australian ballot
secret ballot printed at the expense of the state.
Balancing the ticket
occurs when a presidential nominee chooses a vice presidential running mate who has different qualities in order to attract more votes for the ticket.
Blanket primary
election to choose candidates that is open to independents, and that allows voters to choose candidates from all the parties.
Caucus
local party meeting
Closed primary
party election to choose candidates that is closed to independents. Voters may not cross party lines.
Coattail effect
the influence of a popular presidential candidate on the election of congressional candidates of the same party.
Demographics
characteristics of populations, e.g., race, sex, income.
Direct election
election of an official directly by the people rather than by an intermediary group such as the Electoral College.
Direct primary
election in which the people choose candidates for office.
Fixed terms
terms of office that have a definite length of time, e.g., two years for a member of the House.
Front loading
scheduling presidential primary elections early (e.g., February or March) in an election year.
Gender gap
difference in voting patterns for men and women, particularly in the greater tendency of the latter to vote for Democratic presidential candidates.
General election
election in which the officeholders are chosen. Contrast with a primary election, in which only the candidates are chosen.
Hard money
campaign contributions donated directly to candidates.
Ideology
set of beliefs about political values and the role of government.
Incumbent
an officeholder who is seeking reelection.
Independent
one is not registered with a political party. Independent leaners tend to vote for candidates of one particular party, whereas pure independents have no consistent pattern of party voting.
Issue advocacy ads
ads that focus on issues and do not explicitly encourage citizens to vote for a certain candidate.
Open primary
election to choose candidates that is open to independents, and in which voters may choose candidates from any one party.
Party identification
a sense of affiliation that a person has with a particular political party.
Party platform
a list of positions and programs that the party adopts at the national convention. Each position is called a plank.
Political culture
the widely shared beliefs, values, and norms that citizens share about their government.
Plurality
more votes than anyone else, but less than half, e.g., Clinton won a plurality (43%) of popular votes in 1992, but not a majority.
Political efficacy
capacity to understand and influence political events
Political socialization
process in which one acquires his/her political beliefs.
Realigning ("critical") election
an election in which there is a long term change in party alignment, e.g., 1932.
Safe seat
an office that is extremely likely to be won by a particular candidate or political party.
Single member district system
system in which the people elect one representative per district. With a winner-take-all rule, this system strengthens the two major parties and weakens minor parties.
Soft money
campaign contributions that are not donated directly to candidates, but are instead donated to parties.
Solid South
historically, the South voted solidly Democratic. However, the South is now strongly Republican: Bush carried every Southern state in 2000.
Split ticket voting
casting votes for candidates of one's own party and for candidates of opposing parties, e.g., voting for a Republican presidential candidate and a Democratic congressional candidate.
Straight ticket voting
casting votes only for candidates of one's party.
Suffrage
the right to vote.
Superdelegate
a delegate to the Democratic national convention who is there by virtue of holding an office.
Super Tuesday
a Tuesday in early March in which many presidential primaries, particularly in the South, are held.
Swing state
a state that does not consistently vote either Democratic or Republican in presidential elections.