42 terms

Government Election Flashcards

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Nomination
the naming of those who will seek office
General election
regularly scheduled elections at which voters make the final selection of officeholders
Caucus
a group of like-minded people who meet to select the candidates they will support in an upcoming election
Direct primary
an intra-party election
Closed primary
a party's nominating election in which only declared party members can vote
Open primary
a party's nominating election in which any qualified voter can cast a ballot
Blanket primary
a nominating election in which every voter received the same ballot, regardless of party, for every nomination to be made at the primary
Runoff primary
a nominating election with the top two nominees in the first party primary, only held if no one wins a majority in a race
Nonpartisan election
elections in which candidates are not identified by party labels
Absentee voting
a process by which someone can vote without actually going to the polling places on election day
Coattail effect
something that occurs when a strong candidate running for an office at the top of the ballot helps attract voters to other candidates on the party's ticket
Precinct
a voting district
Polling place
the place where the voters who live in a precinct actually vote, typically located in or near each precinct
Ballot
the device by which a voter registers a choice in an election
Political action committee (PAC)
a political arm of special-interest and other organizations with a stake in electoral politics
Subsidy
a grant of money, usually from a government
Soft money
funds given to party organizations for "party-building activities" such as candidate recruitment, voter registration, and similar efforts
Hard money
money raised and spent to elect candidates for Congress and the White House
Public affairs
politics, public issues, and the making of public policies
Public opinion
those attitudes held by a significant number of people on matters of government and politics
Mass media
those means of communication that reach large, widely dispersed audiences simultaneously
Peer group
made up of the people with whom one regularly associates, including friends, classmates, neighbors, and co-workers.
Opinion leader
any person who, for any reason, has an unusually strong influence on the views of others
Mandate
the instructions or commands a constituency gives to its elected officials
Interest group
private organizations whose members share certain views and objectives and work to shape the making and the content of public policy
Public opinion poll
devices that attempt to collect information by asking people questions
Straw vote
polls that are carried out by asking the same question to a large number of people
Sample
a representative slice of the total universe
Random sample
the pollster interviews a certain number of randomly selected people who live in a certain number of randomly selected places, also known as a probability sample
Quota sample
a sample deliberately constructed to reflect several of the major characteristics of a given universe
Medium
a means of communication; it transmits some kind of information
Public agenda
the societal problems that the nation's political leaders and the general public agree need government attention
Sound bite
snappy reports that can be aired in 30 or 45 seconds or so
Public policy
all of the goals that a government pursues in the many areas of human affairs in which it is involved, from seat belts to speed limits to military force
Public affairs
those issues and events that concern the people at large
Trade association
interest groups of segments of the business community
Labor union
an organization of workers who share the same type of job or who work in the same industry
Public-interest group
an interest group that seeks to institute certain public policies of benefit to all or most people in this country, whether or not they belong to or support that organization
Propaganda
a technique of persuasion aimed at influencing individual or group behaviors
Single-interest group
a PAC that concentrates their efforts on one issue, such as abortion, gun control, or health care, working for or against a particular candidate
Lobbying
those activities by which group pressures are brought to bear on legislators and the legislative process
Grass roots
of or from the people, the average voters
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