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POLS 207 Lim Exam 3
Terms in this set (222)
Turnout is highest in elections for___________________.
Which of the following is part of voting age population but not part of voting eligible population for an election?
a. Non-US citizen
b. Citizens who are not residents of the state or locality where the election takes place
c. Those not competent to conduct their own affairs
Reliability and Validity characteristics:
a. A valid poll should be valid for the general population
b. Pollers also must reduce errors
c. All error can NEVER be eliminated
d. Political science polls used to have an error of about 5%
e. Through better software error is now 2-3%
Bias in Response Characteristics:
a. Some polls are created with an agenda
b. May give very limited response options or little to no context.
c. This is disingenuous and will lead to a misinterpretation of results.
The American Voter:
a. Regarded as the "Bible" of Political Science
b. Data published from a project asking people about ideology and voting
c. They discovered that the number of ideologies in society is very few
d. Roughly only 10% of the population is actually consistent in their ideology, the other 90% are inconsistent
True or False: Most people tend to vote for a candidate based on party identification and not issues.
How do people mainly acquire party identification?
Generally through their parents
What characteristics are used in order for us to measure public opinion?
a. Question Wording
c. Contacting respondents
What is a stratified sample?
A sample where they ensure that the percentages of the urban/rural, ages, race, or ethnicity are similar to the makeup of the general population to better reflect society.
What would a good sample size be for America according to its total population?
What are the shortcomings of polling?
a. Sampling error
b. Limited Respondent Options
c. Lack of information
___________ is when you give the respondent a lot of information before asking the questions, they know the correct answer.
Participation is _____________.
Characteristics of participants not representative of population:
A. Usually higher income
B. More education
C. More ideological
D. Have more information
E. Care about the election
Who participates, depends on _____________.
Characteristics of moderates:
A. At the center of the bell curve and have the most numbers
B. When they come out they reduce the impact of the extremists because there are few extremists.
If we compare the US with other democracies in the world, we are comparable to what 3 countries?
Nigeria, Zambia, and Austria
What are the explanations of non-voting?
Alienation means that:
Those who do not vote do not believe that their vote will actually make a difference.
What explains the category of cost-benefit?
A. There is a cost to voting and it outweighs the benefits
B. People need info to vote so for the uneducated or low-income, to buy a newspaper or magazine is another cost in order to get information
C. Taking the time to vote is at least 2 hours which is 2 hours of hourly pay
What explains the category of satisfaction?
A. The main reason for voting is civic duty
B. People receive a satisfaction knowing that they performed their civic duty
C. This includes people with education who have learned about voting in school
D. For every additional year of education, we find that the participation numbers increase
What are the reasons that Americans Vote Less?
A. Lack of party-group linkage
B. Registration restrictions
C. Non-compulsory voting
D. Voter exhaustion
Explain Lack of Party-Group Linkage
A. In the democratic party there is not a strong cause or purpose that all tend to rally around
B. Democrats are the catch-all party, they have many minorities
C. The republican party is generally more discriminating and selective
What are Registration Restrictions?
A. The federal government forces the states to follow certain rules
B. The republicans were against allowing citizens to register to vote at the DPS and common offices because they believed it would enable more poor people to vote and therefore strengthen the democratic party
C. Now the federal government says that there must be a certain number of days in which people are allowed to register
D. Voting in America is a two-step process
Non- Compulsory Voting means:
There is no fine for not voting
Explain voter exhaustion:
A. There are more elections in the US than anywhere else
B. Because there are so many different kinds, Americans experience voter exhaustion
True or False: Since the 1960s, America's turnout has been in decline.
In what year, since 1960, was the lowest point of voting turnout?
True or False: Felons in most states are allowed to vote.
Texas Percent of Voting Age Population vs. The Percent Registered
A. Strong relation
B. Those who register to vote are more likely to vote than the general voting age population
C. Since 1996 laws were enacted to make it easier to vote, which brought down the numbers of registered voters who actually voted
D. In 1972, 9/10 registered voters actually showed up to vote
E. The trend is now lower and it is now between 40-60%
True or False: Texas tends to have a higher percentage of the population turning out to vote than the general American population.
Why don't Texans vote?
A. Partly because of political socialization- which does not encourage Texans to vote
B. Texans are taught to accept the political system and not be active in it
C. We are a one-party-state
D. Democrats in Texas already know their candidate will lose
E. Districts are gerrymandered to benefit the republican party in Texas
What are the factors associated with voter turnout?
A. Socioeconomic Status
B. Interparty Competition
D. Legal Requirements
E. Election Issues
A. Takes into account education and income
B. Education is the best indicator of turnout
A. States with more competition may have higher turnout
B. In Texas, competition will likely not make a difference
A. This factor ties into political social culture
B. Texans are generally accustomed to not voting, so they will likely keep not voting
C. Literacy tests, grandfather clauses, and poll taxes
A. States make it difficult to vote
B. Newest form is photo ID laws
C. Racial gerrymandering is legal and therefore legally disadvantages minorities
A. Voting in 2008 went up because there were certain issues that people were passionate about
B. More minorities showed up because there was a possibility of a minority president
Voting Laws in Texas
A. White Primary
B. Poll Taxes
C. Registration Barriers
A. The best predictor of voter turnout is education
B. More educated, liberal and moderate, older, and Anglo citizens are more likely to vote
C. Younger, uneducated, blacks or Hispanics, and conservative citizens are less likely to vote
D. Texans are not socialized to vote
E. Voter Suppression- the government purposely stops people from voting
F. We had and have a one-party system, so we already know who will win each election
G. This created a type of socialization in which minorities are not accustomed to voting
The poll tax was not _______ and was ________________.
Discriminated by class
A. Until congress interfered in election laws to allow open registration, stats used to have very small registration periods
B. With registration barriers, it is another legal means to stop certain groups
C. Voter ID is a legal voter suppression tactic because poor people are less likely to have a state issued ID
What did the 15th Amendment state?
A. States that former slaves are eligible to vote
B. This amendment ensured that the states did not suppress this right.
Political parties and interest groups both care about __________.
Political Party Organized Participation:
A. Run candidates for election
B. Want direct control over legislation
Interest Group Organized Participation:
A. Do not want to run for elections
B. Only want to influence public policy and for officials to create the type of public policy they prefer
What are the 3 kinds of functions that both political parties and interest groups have.
A. Constituent Function
B. Information Function
C. Government Function
True or False: Political parties are not active during elections.
False, they are active during elections
True or False: Interest groups are most active when the legislature is in session, or between elections.
True or False: The Machine democrats were tied together with the southern democrats, during the machine politics era.
False, They were not tied to the southern democrats
Why are US parties so similar?
A. The policy choices by either party are not that much different
B. If democrats want votes from the conservatives, they cannot be extremely liberal and must fall closer to their views
C. Incrementalism- politicians take baby steps in policies and do not have the courage to make drastic changes in government
D. Once the candidates are elected they gravitate towards the center to get the support of the majority
Primary voters are more typically ________ and __________.
conservative and passionate
Why don't the policy choices by either party show many differences?
Because the parties follow a bell curve, with a largely moderate population
Incrementalism is when:
Politicians take baby steps in policies and do not have the courage to make drastic changes in government
What are the 5 Types of Political Party Regulation?
A. Define Membership
B. Define Formal party organization
C. Allowing or denying access to state election ballot
D. provide procedures for nominating candidates and holding primaries
E. Restricting campaign financing or providing public funds
True or False: States have strengthened political parties by requiring primary elections.
False, they have weakened political parties because of primaries
Only registered party members can vote in them
A. Anyone can vote in them
B. Do not register as a party member in advance
A. You can pick choices for different levels of govt
B. Vary from state to state
C. May allow crossover voting
Semi-open Primary (Texas along with most states)
A. Do not register as party member in advance
B. You can chose if you want to vote Dem. or Repub. before entering voting booth
Some states require a majority to win primary, if none in original primary, have run-off between top two candidates.
A. Louisiana is the only state
B. All candidates run in one primary together
C. If one candidate receives 50% of vote they win, if not then top two vote recipients face off in General election.
A. All candidates from both parties run in one primary
B. The top two vote recipients face off in general election
True or False: The number of people calling themselves democrats has increased and the number of people calling themselves republicans has decreased.
False, democrats are decreasing and republicans are increasing
Does America have a responsible party system?
American political parties are not "responsible parties"-that is, they cannot completely control nominations, campaign financing, or party members' adherence to the party platform.
What is a responsible party system and where are they usually found?
A. A system in which the political party has control over the candidate and the candidate will toe the party line
B. Particularly those with parliamentary systems
C. They do not have primaries, the political parties choose
D. You do not need to put your own money in- the political party will fund you
Why is there a decline is strong democrats and a slight decrease in strong republicans?
A. This is because of the primary elections which weaken parties because anyone can run
B. Party brands can be spoiled by irresponsible candidates
C. Now in todays world all you need is money to buy advertising
D. Advertising campaigning is usually negative and throws mud
E. Studies show that "throwing mud" actually works
F. Negative campaigning works better for republican candidates because when democrats throw mud, their constituents are more likely to be sensitive and more easily offended by stooping down to that level
What is swift boating?
Using the positive aspects and turning them to negative
What are examples of branding?
A. The liberal brand at A&M is a stigma so people tend not to willingly identify with it
B. Socialism has a bad name in America
Democratic Party Control:
A. There are more democrats in the north east, western front, and large amount in MASS and Hawaii
B. The south only has between 0-50% democrats
C. Nebraska is the only state which does not fall into this because they are unicameral and nonpartisan
What are the 4 current policies that are positively correlated with democratic control of state legislatures?
1. Higher Tax Burdens
2. Generous welfare benefits
3. Greater spending per capita
4. Fewer restrictions on abortion
Party control and tax burden:
R = 0.39
Party Control and Percent of Families With Children in Poverty Receiving TANF Benefits:
R = 0.43
Party Control and K-12 Educational Spending Per Child:
R = 0.47
Party Control and Abortion Policy:
R = -0.59
What are interest groups?
A. Organizations of individuals who share one or more interest
B. They try to influence the political system
What are the 3 interest group assets?
1. Large Numbers
What are the 3 interest group activities?
Characteristics of Interest Group Representation:
A. Economic Producing Groups
B. People with more education and income
C. Those who join groups out of personal involvement
E. White and male
F. Involved in Business
Contributions or Bribery?
A. Contributing money to politicians is the best way to ensure personal access to legislators.
B. Money is contributed in a variety of ways.
C. Interest groups are eager to give money in the hope that they will be rewarded with favorable laws, rulings, and policies.
True or False: Groups give money to politicians in the form of campaign contributions.
True or False: Some people feel contributions by businesses to political campaigns are a form of bribery.
Characteristics of a PAC (Political Active Committee):
A. PACs receive contributions and then support a candidate
B. Swift voting can be done by a PAC to directly or indirectly support a candidate through advertising
C. The supreme court ruled that companies are essentially people who cannot have limited speech, and can therefore give as much money as they please
D. We have super PACs now who do not have to disclose their contributions
E. PACs concentrate the financial clout of large numbers of individuals and can, therefore, influence public policy more effectively than can a single, ordinary individuals
True or False: In Texas, the amount of money that PACs can contribute is limited.
False, it is not limited
____________ is attempting to influence policy makers face-to-face.
Characteristics of lobbying:
A. Making direct personal contact with legislators is the best lobbying technique
B. While everyone has a right to influence government officials, it is corporations and trade organizations that employ the most lobbyists.
C. Lobbying is simply trying to influence the lawmakers
D. Many of the most successful lobbyists are former state legislators or executives.
Interest group strength:
A. Interest groups are dominant in Florida, Alabama, Nevada, and Hawaii
B. They are weaker in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Kentucky
C. Texas is dominant/complimentary
D. For every legislator in Texas, there is about 10 lobbyists
State population and number of lobbyists has a positive correlation of ______.
Pressure Group Influence and Public Policies:
A. As pressure groups become stronger, tax burdens become smaller
B. Business interest groups are strong, NOT the interest groups for poor people
There are ________ local governments.
True or False: School district numbers have been increasing and special district numbers have been decreasing.
False, School districts are decreasing and special districts are increasing
Population and Local Governments
R = 0.57
A. As population increases, so does local government
B. Reduce population in order to get less government
C. Texas actually has more government than predicted by population size
What are the top 3 sources of revenue for local governments?
1. Sales Tax
2. Property Tax
3. Charges and miscellaneous
What are the top 4 divisions in which local governments spend their money?
2. Environment & Housing
3. Public Safety
A. The oldest form of government
B. Provide limited government services (property records, mainly rural, roads)
C. Legislative arm of the state government
D. In Texas, the voters vote for 4 county commissioners
E. One per precinct
F. Vote on one county judge
Characteristics of Commissioners:
A. Commissioners like to control the road crew because they then control a lot of money to upkeep them, which generates a percentage of "kickback" for them
B. They can also choose who to give contracts to, which may include bribing
C. Below the commissioner are four road crews
County Revenue comes from:
A. 44% from local taxes
B. 32% from intergovernmental funds
C. 13% from current charges
D. 11% from other
County Expenditures go to:
A. 43% health and welfare costs
B. 18% public safety
C. 16% general government
D. 5% roads and transportation
E. 4% parks, housing, and environment
The county budget nation-wide is spent on:
A. Law Enforcement 50%
B. Roads and Bridges 10-30%
C. Health and Welfare 10%
Types of Municipal Gouvernement
1. Council Manager- 50%
2. Mayor Council- 41%
3. Town Meeting- 6%
Which type of government is the most frequent in Texas?
The Mayor Council Form:
A. Oldest form of municipal government
B. Council members are elected at-large or by districts and the mayor is elected at-large.
Strong Mayor Form
A. The mayor appoints other executives and has more significant budgetary and veto powers.
B. Mayor gets his strength from appointment powers
C. Able to appoint people who are his friends and can therefore easily work with
D. Has removal power where they can remove corrupt or inefficient officials
E. Most common among the nation's largest cities
F. Houston is the only in TX one that operates with Mayor Council Form
Weak Mayor Form
A. In the weak mayor form, other executives such as the city attorney and the city treasurer are also elected.
B. If hired before mayor was appointed, mayor cannot fire him.
Council Manager Form
A. Texas cities favor this form of city government and, in fact, Dallas and San Antonio are two of the largest cities in the country using it.
B. An elected city council of 5-15 members appoints a city manager to administer city government
C. Copies form of govt. used in most US school districts
D. Voters vote for the council, who then chooses the city managers
A. Originated in Galveston to meet its emergency needs following the city's devastation in 1900.
B. Elected commissioners administer various departments and collectively comprise the policy-making board of the city.
C. Today, Texas home rule cities no longer use commission government, although some general-law cities still do
A. very rare
B. More popular in old northeastern states where tradition is leftover
C. The voters select the officers
D. The rest of the positions are then chosen by either the elected officers or at the town meetings
E. The problem is that most people today do not have the time to attend town meetings
Which form is preferable?
A. Council-manager government seems to work best in middle-sized cities from 25,000 to 250,000 in population.
B. Most smaller cities use a mayor-council form of government.
C. Larger cities which need the political focus provided by an elected mayor use either a mayor-council or mayor-manager form.
The 4 city services are:
Median Family Income and City Taxes Per Capita
R = 0.40
African-American Percentage in Population and on Council
R = 0.764
Municipal elections have very low turnout overall
Characteristics of machine politics:
What were the 3 Reform Movement Goals:
1. City as a Whole
2. Policy vs. Administration
A. The school board is chosen by the voters
B. The board then chooses the superintendent and other members
C. School districts are a type of special district
Why Special districts?
1. Inadequacy of Established Governments
2. Ease of Organization and Operation
Top 3 functions from Special Governments
1. All other
2. Natural Resources
3. Fire Protection
Allows general electorates to approve or disprove proposals by state legislatures (vote on them).
Allows anyone outside of legislation to propose a new law or amendment
What states have "referendum" generally?
What does having elections for governor at same time of presidential election do?
Higher voter turn out
Does Texas have same voting cycle as national elections?
No, lower voter turn out than national average
What percent of people run for office?
Less than 1%
What is the problem with public opinion polls?
Self-reported info, reliability/validity, bias in response
What did "The American Voter" focus on?
Discussed how class coalitions led to party affiliation. These early studies led to the National Elections Study (NES)
How do they measure public opinion?
Question wording (Bad Questions = bad results)
Sampling (sample must be accurate, random)
Method of contact (phone is good way)
Problems with polling
Sampling error (not random enough/broad)
Limited response options
Lack of info
Intensity (polls don't measure intensity!)
What is a good sample size for public opinion poll?
1200-1700 for whole country
Margin of error?
+/- 5% usually good, +/- 10% no good
Shows how strong opinion is on subject
High voter turnout
large number of moderates (non-extremist) voted
What percent of people usually required to start initiative?
3-10% of number of people who voted in last governor election
Does Texas have Initiative or Referendum?
What region generally has initiative for statutes and constitution?
Western and central plains states
Rational Activist Model of Democracy
Active Involvement, Being informed, rationally supportive
What triggers high voter turn out for all levels of government?
When they can vote for everything in one trip to the polls
About what percent of people vote in LOCAL election?
Why do Americans vote less?
Lack of party group linkage Registration Restrictions
Ticket from government for not voting Ex: Australia
What election has the lowest turn out on a national scale?
US house on non-presidential voting year
Highest voter turn out on national scale?
Governor on Presidential election year
What type of elections are local elections generally?
Nonpartisan (ballets don't list candidates political party)
Why dont Texans vote?
Social groups don't encourage students to be politically active.
Texans taught to accept political system.
What is political socialization?
Lifelong process by which people form their ideas about politics and acquire political values which is hard to dissemble. The family, educational system, peer groups, and the mass media all play a role.
What is gerrymandering?
The majority party manipulates the district boundaries so as to favor that party
What makes some states generally have higher voter turn outs?
States where politics are generally more competitive and better organized
Factors associated with voter turnout
Inter party competition Tradition/Culture
Conservative Ideology VS turnout results
Negative correlation, more conservative = lower turnout due to traditionalist political culture
What ideology is turnout generally higher in?
What percent of states have Referendum and Initiative?
First political party in U.S
Forms of organized participation
Political Party and Interest Group
Parties are active...
Interest groups are active...
in between elections
What type of Primary Election system does Texas have?
What category of Primary Election has the most states?
Voters party ballot choices are made publically
Whats states have higher number democrats in Senate and House than southern states?
Larger tax burdens
Greater spending per capita
Generous welfare benefits
Correlation of Dems in control and tax burden
Positive, R=.39 low
Parts of Primary Election Sysytem
Closed primary, open primary, mixed primary, top two
Democrats spend more on education (T/F)
Try to influence political system
Get members to vote, elect friend, etc..
Interest group assests
Large numbers, wealth, Status/Reputation
Organized Interest Groups are much more powerful (T/F)
Attempt to influence policy makers face-to-face. Give them benefits and access to things
States with less people means more lobbyist (T/F)
States with interest groups have...
Lower tax burden (low correlation)
Campaign contribution, ect...
Political parties today are weaker than they have been in the past (T/F)
What type of interest group is most influential?
Economic producing interest groups (businesses)
What is the major source of influence for interest groups?
What makes Nebraska different than other states?
It has nonpartisan elections
What is the oldest form of local government?
What percent of revenue do local governments receive from the federal government?
About what percent of revenue to local governments receive from the state?
33% and 62% from their own source
Local governments's revenue depends mainly on...
Property and sales tax
Top two sources of local government spending go to..
1) Education 2)Public safety and housing
What form of local government is declining?
Texas Commissioners Court is a court of law (T/F)
What is the main source of revenue for counties?
Property tax, more than 50%
What form of local government is getting larger?
One-function government (Specific to one issue) Ex. Homeowner's Association
Forms of local government
Counties, Townships, municipalities, school districts, special districts
What do counties expenditures consist of?
Law Enforcement(50%), roads and bridges(10-30%), health and welfare(10%)
What 3 types of government are municipalities generally organized into?
Mayor council, commission, council manager
What are general law cities?
Cities that adopted laws from state instead of making their own
Cities that made their own laws and choose their form of government
Top two forms of Texas' municipalities are?
1)Council Manager 2)Mayor council
Council members elected at large or by districts and the mayor is elected at large
Weak Mayor Council
Other executives are also elected
Strong Mayor Council
Mayor appoints other executives and has more significant budgetary and veto powers
What form of Mayor council is Houston?
Strong mayor council
Large cities typically have weak mayor council (T/F)
good until city outgrows it. Generally used in School Districts. About 60% of cities use this. Keeps city professionally run rather than partisan
No head person that serves as mayor.
Elected commissioners for various departments
Council Manager government is good for what sized city?
Mayor Council is good for...
Mayor council/ Mayor manager are good for cities that need political focus provided by an elected mayor
What ethnicity has high education yet low voter turnout?
Asian-Americans They are recent immigrants that are barely naturalized
What is voter exhaustion?
The cost of one having to inform themselves of the candidates as well as the vast amount of elections
Type of public participation that has direct control over political policies
Type of public participation that has influence over political policies
What doe PAC stand for?
Political Action Committee
What are the requirements for a city to be a home rule city?
Must have 5,000 people or more
Approximately what percent of the public runs for elective office?
Less than 1%
Which of the following empirical relationships exist and show that voter turnout affects what governments do?
Higher turnout is positively correlated with better match of partisanship preferences between residents and state legislators
The federalists, the first political party is the US, organized to ________________.
Ratify the current US constitution
The impact of electronic and print news media causes Americans to focus most on _______________ politics.
What is the correlation between democratic control of state legislatures and state tax burdens?
The major difference between interest groups and political parties is that
Interest groups do not choose candidates for election
In the mayor/council form of government "strong" mayors have __________ powers.
In the council/manager form of government, city managers are _____________.
Appointed by the city council
Which of the following is true about school districts?
The number of school districts has decreased since WWII
What are the forms of local governments in the US?
School Districts- 15,000
Special Districts- 37,000
More than ____% of the population does not participate in government and those people are called___________.
What are the forms of public participation?
Talk about politics
Attending public meetings
Communicating with representatives
Initiating and repealing laws
Initiative and referendum
Seeking public office
Allows citizens to approve or disapprove proposals of state legislatures
Allows voters to bypass legislature and propose laws or constitutional amendments by getting enough signatures on a petition
True or False: Initiative is the most common in western states where citizens gather signatures and then put a bill on a ballot to initiate and repeal laws, without going through a governor
What are the Poll Difficulties for Scientific Studies
a. SELF-REPORTED INFORMATION
b. RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY
c. BIAS IN RESPONSE
Self Reporting Characteristics:
a. Polling is inherently self-reporting and what people report may not actually be the truth.
b. Those being polled may not be educated enough to adequately answer.
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