an organization of people with shared goals that tries to influence public policy through a variety of activities.
the broad principles underlying American political culture that citizens support and adhere to.
the translation of values and beliefs into a systematic way of assessing the political environment
Complex process by which people get their sense of political identity, beliefs, and values. Generally starts at a young age.
importance of public opinion
a)it is regularly used by presidents to justify their policies.
b)by political candidates to mount campaigns.
c) by interest groups to promote their causes.
d)by journalists to describe public preferences.
e)by scholars to understand the American government.
f) they are the yardstick through which public opinion is understood and evaluated. (polls, etc. also used).
forms of expressing public opinion
a) public opinion polls
c) free speech/assembly
d) petition government
f) supporting a candidate
g) monetary or time contribution
h) news media
agents of socialization
Factors that have a significant impact on an individual's socialization to politics- (Influences include: family, friends and peer groups, schools, mass media, religion.)
the theory that public policy largely results from a variety of interest groups competing with one another to promote laws that benefit members of their respective groups.
c. wright mills' term for the top people in u.s. corporations, military, and politics who make the nation's major decisions
He was concerned about the potential influence of factions on the government. At the same time, he understood that people were by nature drawn toward the organization of collective interests and the use of it to influence government action. He expected if enough interest groups vied to influence policy, they would cancel each other out.
a three-sided network of policy making that includes congressional committees (and subcommittees) in a specific policy area, executive agencies with authority over that area, and private interest groups focused on influencing that area.
Federal Communications Commission
Created by Congress in 1934 to regulate the electronic media (primarily radio and eventually TV) through the licensing of broadcasters and creating rules for broadcasters to follow. It does not ave authority to regulate the print media. Can revoke licenses or fine stations violating its rules.
an organization that seeks to win elections for the purpose of influencing the outputs of government.
an election that produces sharp changes in patterns of party loyalty among voters. (Often because of an issue).
a person who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties. (Social Left/economic left)
a large informal grouping of individuals and/or organizations focused on specific political or social issues.
states identified as offering either major-party candidate a reasonable chance for victory in the Electoral College.
power of incumbency
the phenomenon by which incumbent members of Congress running for re-election are returned to office at an extremely high rate.
Pros of interest groups
They provide all groups in society with an opportunity to win support for their ideas and positions. The vast number represents a wide array of political opinions, economic perspectives, and social class differences. Joining groups and working for the interests of the group are natural inclinations and should be encouraged as methods of representation in our democracy. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution affords individuals the right "peaceably to assemble." An array of diverse groups in society potentially may organize and attempt to influence government. The system is fair in that it gives all groups an equitable opportunity to compete.
Cons of interest groups
Groups supported by the wealthy have greater resources to promote their interests. Large corporations exist to maximize profits, they dominate the interest group system and are ruthless in achieving their goals. The system promotes the advancement of interests that do not always strive for the common good. The amount of activity is so great that it has made it difficult to get things done in government. Too many groups are operating, slowing down the process to a state of gridlock in many areas. Leaders are not elected. They concentrate benefits for the few while distributing costs to the many.
Why people join interest groups
to receive material benefits, purposive benefits (those that benefit society more generally), and solidary benefits based on individuals' satisfaction from interacting with like-minded people in pursuit of a goal.
Why some interest groups are more influential than others
a) size of membership
b) the wealth of the members
c) the dedication of members to the goals of the group.
Types of interest groups
a) economic groups (business, labor unions, professional associations)
b) non-economic Groups (public interest groups, issue and ideological groups, government interest groups).
functions of media
include providing objective coverage of events, facilitating public debate, and serving as government watchdog.
criticisms of media
a) despite the array of news sources available, most news programming follows a standard format that makes it appear the same to the public.
b) the media is a business primarily to make money. News that provides more entertainment attracts larger audience shares. "Sensationalism."
c) Election coverage dwells more on stories about candidates' personal background than on positions on issues.
d) politically biased.
Types of political media
a) Print media- newspapers, books, magazines.
b) Electronic media- radio, television
c) New media- Internet satellites, cell phones, broadband
why the founding fathers wanted an electoral college
a) to keep the presidential selection process out of the hands of the people. (They questioned the mental ability of the general public to select the chief executive.)
A state-wide election to select delegates who will represent the state at the party's national convention.
an election that allows voters to choose on the day of the primary election the party in which they want to vote.
other types of political participation
a) attend a political meeting or rally
b) go on strike
c) work on a political campaign
d) contribute money to a campaign
e) sign a petition
f) send a letter to an editor/call a news station
types of protesting
a) legal (play by the rules)
b) nonviolent civil disobedience (illegal, but nonviolent)
c) illegal (often violent)
reasons for third party lack of success
a) voters perceive that votes for such a candidate would be wasted
b) various legal barriers make it hard for third-party candidates to receive government funding.
party that is created by a split in a major party, usually over the identity and philosophy of the major party's presidential candidate
interest groups communicate with government officials by mobilizing public opinion to exert influence on government action.
a political theory holding that in a democracy, the government ought to do what the majority of the people want.
a statutory right or privilege granted to a person or group by a government (especially the rights of citizenship and the right to vote)
controversy of Bush/Gore election
a) ballots in dispute in Florida. Recount effort was underway.
b) Bush declared winner formally before recount was finished
c) Bush's brother- governor
d) Al Gore won the popular vote
Phases of the Presidential election
a) prenomination phase
b) nomination campaign
c) national conventions
d) general election phase
e) the Electoral College decision
Political contributions given to a party, candidate, or interest group that are limited in amount and fully disclosed.
political contributions made in such a way as to avoid the United States regulations for federal election campaigns (as by contributions to a political action committee)
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.