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Politics & Society Final (Clark 2018)
Terms in this set (74)
Define and recognize examples of political socialization
•process by which an individual's political opinions are shaped by other people and the surrounding culture
•ex: families, peers, communities, events, life experiences, group identity, politicians and other political actors
What is polling?
To collect information by people voting or answering a question.
Any poll that makes use of statistical information
- cares about margin of error (ex. random sample)
unscientific surveys used to gauge public opinion on a variety of issues and policies
-doesn't represent the broader public and is not a random sample
polls conducted as voters leave selected polling places on Election Day asking how they voted
What is the sampling error?
The predicted difference between the average opinion expressed by survey respondents and the average opinion in the population, sometimes called margin of error
What is the connection between sampling error and sample size ?
Increasing the number of respondents (sample size) lowers the sampling error
What is a random sample and why is it important ?
• process where participants in a survey are selected at random
* It prevents sampling bias and prevents results from being skewed
What went wrong with the Literary Digest poll in 1936?
responders were chosen from magazine subscribers, telephone directors and car registries
-they were only interviewing wealthy people b/c of the Great Depression
Why does the media hold off on reporting the results of exit polls until after all polls close?
They don't want to influence voters and voting in other parts of the world, they also don't wan't to influence the outcome of the election
In what ways identified in class can the outcomes of polling be skewed?
1. The way a question is worded
2. the ordering of questions
3. reliability of respondents
Be familiar with the General trend toward conflating the news with entertainment
- The media
-when they deliver the news, they give it in a more comic way
distribution of audio/video content electronically through mass communication
(ex: TV, radio)
Means of mass communication using digital interfaces like the Internet
(social media, ex: twitter)
What is meant by saying the media is meant to be "watchdog" of the government?
The media informs society of what is going on in the government
they are monitoring the gov't and calling attention to it
The ability of media to influence which issues are going to be highlighted and receive political attention
the influence of public opinion that results from the media deciding which things are deserving of attention
embedding the issue in a particular story line
preparing people to respond to certain events based on past events.
the influence on public opinion caused by the way a story is presented or covered, including the details, explanations, and context offered in the report
What are "soundbites"?
Short sound extracts that can be used in a story (usually interviews)
--short clips the president says about opponent that the media can put on social media
What was the Framers original hope?
to create a system without political parties
What was George Washington's attitude towards parties in his Farewell Address?
it was negative, thought that parties would have a destructive influence
What were the first 2 major political parties in America?
Federalists & Democratic-Republicans
What are single-member districts?
What does it mean for the relative strength or weakness of parties?
an electoral district that returns one officeholder to a body with multiple members.
the members will be independent and don't have to listen to party leaders, meaning there will be less discipline, making the parties weaker
How do single-member districts lend themselves to having a 2 party system?
First past the post
the candidate with the plurality of votes is the winner of the congressional seat (single-member districts)
parties gain seats in proportion to the number of votes cast for them (multi member districts)
What is the term for the national party leadership structure?
How much control does this organization have over state parties?
-National Committee (DNC, RNC)
-have very little to no control
Who runs the party at the state level?
the state central committee runs the party
Why does the local party "machine" have less influence than it used to?
the growth of primary elections means that voters decide and move away from spoils system to a merit system
What are the 2 major functions of the National Convention?
1. Formally nominate the candidate for president
2. Delegates vote on party platform
What is "responsible" government?
based on the idea that government should be held accountable/responsible.
Responsible party government suggests that parties can help achieve this
What are the 5 requirements in order to have responsible government ?
1. Each party presents a clear, coherent program to voters
2. Candidates pledge to carry out program
3. Voters decide based on competing program
4. Winning candidates carry out the program once elected
5. Voters hold the responsible party accountable in the next election.
How well does each of the 5 requirements fit with the American system and why ?
It doesn't fit the American system because:
1. A considerable degree of diversity within parties
2. Candidates don't carry out programs in the exact same way
3. Voters make their decisions between individual candidates and not based on party programs
What are political independents?
those who don't identify with being a member of either political party
According to the article "Purple America" by Ansolabehere, Rodden, and Snyder, are most Americans ideological moderates or ideological extremists on economic issues and moral issues?
Do American voters care more about economic issues or moral issues?
someone who is running for re-election and currently in office
someone running against an incumbent
a race where there is no incumbent running in the election
election where the party nominees are chosen
election between the winners of the primary election
election that occurs if neither candidate wins majority of votes
Open primary v. Closed primary
Open means that anyone is free to vote in the primary
closed means that you have to be registered as a member of that particular party in order to vote
Presidential v. Midterm elections
Presidential elections take place every 4 years,
midterm elections are federal elections that occur in between presidential elections (2 yrs)
When are Georgia's gubernatorial elections ?
during midterm elections
Majority Voting v. Plurality Voting
Which one will you see run-offs?
-Majority voting is where there will have to be more than 5O% to win and in Plurality voting whoever has the majority will win
-runoffs occur in majority voting
Which state is the earliest presidential primary caucus?
Which state is the earliest presidential primary?
New Hampshire Primary
What is the name for the first date (March 1 2016) in which a large number of states hold their presidential primary contest?
Super Tuesday (14 states)
When is the party's nominee for President officially decided?
At the National Convention
Role of delegates in voting at the national convention
a majority of the delegates votes are needed
What is the difference between a Contested Convention and a Brokered Convention?
contested convention occurs before the election when it is not perfectly clear that one candidate has the majority of primary votes
Brokered convention occurs if no candidate has won the majority after the first ballot has been cast
What is the difference between Pledged delegates and Super delegates?
Pledged delegates are those bound to vote for members of their party (Republican)
Super delegates are those free to vote for whoever they want (Democrats)
What are critical elections?
election groups support who they normally wouldn't then go back to original party but has no lasting impact ( does not stick)
What is a realignment?
a critical election in which the changes that take place persist (in other words, the changes stick)
What 5 historical elections are traditionally agreed upon as being realigning elections ?
1. 1800 Jefferson v. Adams
2. 1832 Jackson v. J. Q. Adams
3. 1860 Lincoln v. Breckinridge/Bell/Douglas
4. 1896 McKinley v. Bryan
5. 1932 FDR v. Hoover
Which one of those elections is the most disputed?
1896 Election- McKinley v. Bryan
What is the goal of campaign finance reform?
to monitor and keep track of who gives money to who, and they also look for instances of bribery
to curve the influence of money in elections
What was the major weakness of the Federal Election Campaign Act (1971)?
How was it addressed by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (2002)?
- it put a limit on donations to campaign (hard money) but it didn't put a limit on how much money was given to political parties (soft money)
it placed limits on donations to political parties (banning soft money) and limited advertisements from outside organizations that are not explicitly linked to the campaign
Citizens United v. FEC
overturned the part of the BCRA limiting advertisements by independent groups
What are interest groups?
an organized group of individuals who share common objectives and who actively try to influence policymakers
over 100,000 in America
What are lobbyists?
individuals who are hired by interest groups to represent their members to the government
Which Amendment to the Constitution is at least partially responsible for the preponderance of interest groups in this country?
The 1st Amendment.
-allowed groups of people to freely come together. This protected their right to do that.
The Founders fear of faction
saw them as dangerous to representative government
According to the Anti-Federalists, what is the best way to protect against factions?
They believed the solution was to only have a republic, a small homogeneous society
What was James Madison's argument in Federalist 10?
that there were really only 2 ways to eliminate factions:
1.destroy liberty (taking away some freedoms)
2.give everyone in society the same views
- he also said that majority factions were the problem and not minority factions
What is the best way to guard against having a majority faction?
to have a very large and diverse society where there are lots of factions and none of them are able to constitute a majority
interests that are shared by people that are not represented by interests groups
Free Rider Problem
people wanting to reap benefits without putting in any work, they just sit back and let others do all the work
What are the three types of incentives Interest Groups can offer their members?
1. Solidary (a sense of friendship and ability to associate with people of similar interests)
2. Material (offer some kind of intangible incentive, ex; coupons/discounts)
3. Purposive (ability to work toward, and contribute to an issue you care deeply about)
working directly with policy makers
---lobbying, rating legislators, campaign assistance
using the people to go to the policy makers
---public pressure, use constituents as lobbyists, marches, rallies, etc.
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