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Unit 2 AP Government
Terms in this set (94)
public opinion surveys used by major media pollsters to predict electoral winners w speed and precision
regular pattern in which women are more likely to select democratic and tend to be less conservative than men
Margin of error
(in polls and surveys:) an amount (usually small) that is allowed for in case of miscalculation or change of circumstances.
all activities used by citizens to influence political leaders of policy
process through which individuals in society acquire political attitudes, views, knowledge based on inputs from family, schools, media etc.
distribution of population's beliefs about politics and policy issues
process of reallocating seats in the House of Rep. every 10 years based on census
drawing district boundaries to benefit a party or candidate
key technique used by surveys- everyone should have an equal probability of being selected for the sample
level of confidence in findings of public opinion poll - more people and larger variety polled = more accurate results
characteristics of a valid public opinion poll?
- Random, Representative Sample
How do public opinion polls influence members of Congress?
- they can know the changing public opinion about policy, learn what their constituents believe and be swayed to vote for the people they represent
-critics say that it makes them follow rather than lead
Identify the key demographic characteristics of liberals and conservatives.
Liberals: often young people, minorities often tend to be more liberal, women more than men (gender gap)
Conservatives: religious, tend to be white and male,
-In a blanket primary, voters may pick one candidate for each office without regard to party lines
Ex: a voter might select a Democratic candidate for governor and a Republican candidate for senator
-The blanket primary was ruled unconstitutional in 2000 by the US Supreme Court in California Democratic Party v. Jones because it required political parties to associate with candidates they did not endorse
A primary election in which voters must first declare to which party they belong
an electoral "earthquake" where new issues emerge, new coalitions replace old ones, and the majority party is often displaced by the minority party.
Sometimes marked by a national crisis and may require more than one election to bring about a new party era.
political means by which people's concerns become political issues on the policy agenda - link to Gov
In US: linkage institutions include elections, political parties, interest groups and the media
a group of people with a common interest on which every political party depends
Elections to select party nominees in which voters can decide on election Day whether they want to participate in the Democratic or Republican contests
gradual disengagement of people from the parties, as seen in party by shrinking party identification
-many identify as independents
an individuals stance on a given issue policy or person is more likely to be strictly defined by their identification w a party
looking at key issues that separate dem and rep and how they change, leads to critical election
team seeking to control the governing apparatus by gaining office in duly constituted election
electoral district that returns one office holder to a body w multiple members
voting for one party for one office and another party for a different office
-common american voting behavior
electoral system in which legislative seats are awarded only to the candidates who came in 1st in their constituencies
winner-take-all system in the electoral college -Electors are pledged to the pres. candidate chosen by their respective national convention.
-The people choose electors.
-If one group of electors wins plurality, all electors vote for the that group's pres. candidate.
-If winning slate of electors are Republican, then all electors vote Republican.
Describe Party Eras in History
1796-1824: first party system, federalists and anti federalists
1828-1856: Democrats vs Whigs
1860-1928: Republican Eras
1932-1964: New Deal Coalition
1968-present: southern realignment, (conservative southerners went to republican party) and divided party government
What obstacles exist for third party candidates? What contributions do they make to our political system?
-winner take all system puts them at a disadvantage
-excluded from debates
- hard to raise money especially without large party support
-bring awareness to other issues and can make candidates acknowledge those issues
Explain the decline of political parties in the electoral process and growing influence they have in the policy making process.
Many people now identify as independents- party dealignment.
Political parties divide the house and the senate- create divides on policy. policy making is increasingly partisan
Why do we have a two party system?
How are parties organized in United States?
1. the historical foundations of the system
2. the self-perpetuation of the parties
3. the commonality of views among Americans
4. the winner-takes-all electoral system
5. state and federal laws favor a two-party system
501 (c) groups
groups that allows people to spend money on campaigns and can raise Anonymous donations. allows people to create nonprofit group so they can stay secret
nonprofit groups, can't coordinate w the candidate
Voter/ Political Apathy
indifference on the part of any citizen w regard to their attitude toward political activities
Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA)
banned soft money, banned contributions from corporations and unions
Buckley v. Valeo
said it was okay to limit outside contributions, but can't limit personal contributions
donations made directly to a candidate, must be reported to FEC
system for selecting delegates used in about 12 states in which voters must attend an open meeting to express presidential preferences
Citizens United v. FEC
said corporations and unions could give unlimited amount of money to super PACs as long as they were independent from the candidate.
the money had to be independent and disclosed to the FEC
a body of people representing the states of the US, who formally cast votes for the election of the president and vice president.
How does the federal government regulate political campaigns?
-limits amount of donations from individuals and pacs to candidates and parties
- candidates and PACS must disclose donors and amounts
Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA)
response to watergate, limited how much one could donate to candidates and how much candidates could spend. required disclosure of contributions
Federal Election Commission
created because of the FECA; regulatory agency to enforce campaign laws
hard: individual contribution
soft: money spent by political parties to sponsee ads/endorse candidates. political parties get the money from big corporations, no limit to the money
expenses on behalf of political message that are made by groups that are uncoordinated w campaign
communications intended to bring awareness to a problem
McConnell v. FEC
upheld BCRA, exempted nonprofits from restrictions
people can elect their reps in the middle of term of the executive, less people vote in these
Motor Voter Act
requires states to permit people to register to vote when they apply for a drivers license
National Party Convention
supreme power w in each of the parties, meets every 4 years to nominate presidential candidate and write party platform
Photo Identification laws
to prevent voter fraud, have to show id to vote
Political Action Committees (PACs)
group that provides another way of raising money, must disclose donors. you can now give money directly to candidate and give money to a PAC to give to a candidate
the belief that ones political participation really matters
group that can receive unlimited donations, have to disclose donors, has to be independent from campaign, can put out ads as long as operated independently
How does the use of superdelegates increase the role of party leaders in the nomination process?
high ranking official in the party that is automatically in the electorate, can vote how ever they want to vote.
states that could go either democrat or republican, candidates spend a lot to of their time and money here
system adapted by states that requires voters to register prior to voting
What are party delegates and what role do they play in a presidential election?
People chosen by their parties - get sent to represent peoples votes for Pres candidate at party convention
Compare the direct primary and convention systems for electing the president.
Direct primary chooses delegates for a candidate- conventions cast overall party vote and nominates candidate
Explain why a candidate's strategy to win the nomination is often different from the strategy developed to win the general election.
-in primaries, the election is about winning party support - appeal to party base
What role does the media play in campaign process?
- sensationalizes stories and scandals
How are voting registration requirements established? How do these requirements affect voter turnout?
-States determine voter registration
Describe the Electoral College system. Why did the framers choose this method for electing the President?
Why did the framers chose this method of electing the president The framers created the Electoral College, because they didn't trust the people to make electoral decisions on their own. They wanted the president chosen by what they thought of as "enlightened statesmen".
How does the winner-take-all system affect how a candidate runs his or her campaign?
How does the winner-take-all system hinder third party candidates?
Candidates end up spending most money and campaigning in the swing states
winner-take-all system, the party with the most votes gets ALL the electoral votes. Third party candidates would not benefit in this system because they do not have much support
form of union security agreement under which employer agrees to hire only members that are in and stay in a union
Federalist 10 main ideas?
factions can't be prevented, can't get rid of them bc not everyone is going to have the same views and can't destroy liberty
political parties and interest groups
upper class elite hold most power
providenplace for people to pursue more specific views, connects us w govt, influence policy
doesn't benefit the people, between interest groups, congress, and the executive; work to benefit each other
less rigid version of iron triangle, interest groups unite to promote single issue
lawsuits, going to courts to get something changed
communication by someone other than a citizen acting on his behalf in hopes of influencing congressman's decision
leave govt and go work directly for an interest group that you helped
many groups w different views are in politics and the complete and counteract eachother
Compare and contrast the theories of pluralism, elitism, and hyperpluralism.
Pluralism: interest groups bring representation to all, many groups competing makes a fair and balanced political marketplace
Elitism: belief that only wealthy elite hold power in government
Hyperpluralism: believes interest groups have so much influence, that government seeks to please all leads to weakened/ contradictory policy
How do interest groups attempt to influence the judicial branch? Be sure to include the judicial nomination process
-file amicus curae briefs
- bring lawsuits to the courts
What Constitutional provision(s) protect the rights of interest groups?
first amendment - freedom of speech, freedom to assemble
What are the four basic strategies that interest groups use to try to shape policy? Explain each strategy and the benefits/drawbacks of each one.
-seeks to influence legislation and policy making, give favors or donations to congressmen
2) Campaign Contributions (via PACs)
Give contributions to candidates so they will push that interest groups agenda
-bring lawsuits to court,
4) Grassroots Mobilization
-get people passionate and actively voicing their opinion to representatives, protests etc.
-free and can be very effective
What is the difference between interest groups and political parties? How do interest groups support the goals of political parties?
Interest Groups are more narrow focused.
Parties seek to elect their own candidates to office while interest groups do not, interest groups seek policy.
How does the media and pluralism limit interest group influence?
-Pluralism: Since there are so many groups competing, no one group will necessarily be bigger than the other and balance out other groups
How do interest groups try to influence the electoral process?
advocate for certain candidates, give large donations to candidates that support their interests
power of the media to tell the public what subjects and issues to think about; media influences us and decides what we care about
Horse race journalism
talk more about negative aspects of campaigns, fail to provide an accurate/fair reflection of campaigns
Federal Communications Commission
regulate the use of airways, independent regulatory body
How does the government regulate the news media?
the way that the media organizes a story to show a certain POV
reflects little explicit ideological bias, bias to stories that draw a large audience, tv biased to stories that generate good pics
company that owns large numbers of companies in various mass media; strive for policies that facilitate their control of markets
no opinion, fair
issues that attract the serious attention of public officials and other people actually involved in politics; things we care about that candidates talk about, we have influence over this
Why does the President have an advantage over Congress in gaining media attention?
white house press corps - direct accessto reporters, President is easier to identify and famous
Describe the influence of the media on the electoral process.
Wide media coverage on two parties. Media can blow up a damaging news story about a candidate
How does the news media engage in agenda setting?
The policy agenda is greatly influenced by the news media. By choosing what issue to cover, the news media affects which issues the voters think are important, which, in turn, influences policy agenda. For instance, the media's heavy coverage of the current immigration debates has caused this to be one of the top priorities on the government's policy agenda.