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16 terms

AP US Government vocab(political parties, interest groups, and mass media)

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political party
group of citizens who organize to win elections, hold public offices, operate governments and determine public policy
plurality election
winning candidate is the person who receives more votes than anyone else, but less than half the total
single-member district
an electoral district from which one person is chosen by the votes for each elected office
party era
historical period dominated by one political party
critical election
election when significant groups of voters change their traditional patterns of party loyalty
party realignment
the majority party is displaced by the minority party, thus ushering in a new party era. For example, in 1932, FDR led the New Deal coalition of blue-collar workers, racial minorities, Southerners, and farm laborers to a sweeping electoral victory
Divided Government
a government in which one party controls the presidency while another party controls Congress
interest group
organization of people whose members share views on specific interests and attempt to influence public policy to their benefit
political action committee(PAC)
committee formed by business, labor, or other interest groups to raise money and make contributions to the campaigns of political candidates whom they support
free riders
people who benefit from an interest group without making any contributions
power elite theory
theory that a small number of very wealthy individuals, powerful corporate interest groups, and large financial institutions dominate key policy areas
pluralist theory
theory that many interest groups compete for power in a large number of policy areas
hyperpluralist theory
theory that government policy is weakened and often contradictory because there are so many competing interest groups
mass media
means of communication such as newspapers, radio, television, and the Interent that can reach large, widely dispersed audiences
linkage institutions
institutions that connect citizens to government
horse-race journalism
tendency of the media to cover campaigns by emphasizing how candidates stand in the polls instead of where they stand on the issues