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Mr. Shumpert's AP Government

public opinion

what the public thinks about an issue at any point in time

public opinion polls

surveys with samples of citizens used to estimate the beliefs of the population

straw polls

unscientific polls used to gauge public opinion on a variety of issues

political socialization

process of determining political values

Christian coalition

created by Pat Robertson; conservative religious group in the 90s that attracted an enormous media attention and became a large force in many elections

random sampling

method that gives each person in a group an equal chance of being selected

quota sampling

nonrandom sampling method in which "quotas" for certain sample characteristics are established to increase representativeness of sample

stratified sampling

a kind of random sampling; population is divided into regions and random samples are taken of each

push polls

polls for the sole purpose of creating bias through the question wording

tracking polls

polls following a candidate's campaign to chart support

exit polls

polls conducted on election day

sampling error

a measure of the accuracy of a public opinion poll

rational-choice theory

parties select widely favored policies to ensure votes

Duverger's Law

voters don't want to waste their votes on third parties that def. won't win so they vote for one of the main two

linkage institution

the means by which individuals express preferences regarding the development of public policy


group of interests/organizations that join forces to elect public officials

national party platform

a statement of the philosophy and policy goals of a party; usually stated at nat. convention

party era

historical period in which a majority of citizens shift to cling to the party in power;have only been 6

critical election

election showing sharp changes in the existing patterns of party loyalty

party realignment

"electoral earthquake" where party's majority domination is replaced with another's; rare, usually associated with a crisis or trauma


Hamilton; formed out of want of a federally created national bank


Madison and Jefferson; formed against Federalists and against a national bank

Jacksonian democracy

created Democratic party through state/local committees and held first national party convention in 1832; expansion of more political rights to white adult males

Whig Party

fractitious party created by Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, and held together by a hate of Andrew Jackson

Republican Party

formed in 1854 as antislavery party that appealed to the North's business interests

1860 election

won by Abraham Lincoln which lead to the Civil War

Thomas Nast

cartoonist that created ass and elephant symbols

Gilded Age

a period that appeared great but had numerous hidden problems

political machine

party organization that recruits people through tangible incentives; lots of control over member activity


granting favors in return for political support; part of Spoils System

1896 election

won by Republicans, who had maintained an industrial agenda while Democrats adapted an agrarial one from the Populist party

direct primary system

requires members of the political party to elect a candidate for office

civil service laws

slowly ended patronage in the federal government; merit system

New Deal coalition

formed after New Deal and kept Democrats in power for 30 years

party dealignment

voters are now fairly divided between D, R, and I; issue-oriented politics is causing parties to split

national convention

the meeting of party delegates every four years to choose a presidential ticket and write the party's platform.

think tanks

institutional collection of policy-oriented researchers who are sources of policy ideas

Howard Dean

first major candidate to raise a massive amount of money through the internet

party identification

only need to claim to be a member of a party; no enforceable obligations

ticket split

voting for different candidates in different parties for different offices in the same election

Third Partyism

parties usually formed when major parties have alienated groups or supressed issues; created due to/by sectionalism, economic protests, issues, and ideologies


lead by Strom Thurmond; formed by southern Democrats against Harry Truman; sectionalism

Populist Party

lead by William Jennings Bryan; formed by mainly farmers, favoring free coinage of silver and government control of railroads and other monopolies; economic protests

Socialist party

known for/lead by Eugene Debs; ideology

Bull Moose party

created by Theodore Roosevelt aka the Progressive Party

American Independent party

lead by George Wallace; wanted to continue black segregation

Reform Party

lead by Ross Perot; focuses on national government reform, fiscal responsibility, and political accountability

proportional representation

voting system that appoints legislative seats according to the percentage won by a certain party; England, not US

winner-take-all system

system used in US instead of proportional representation; reason third parties never win

Responsible Party model

system in which parties adopt a platform of principles, recruit candidates and direct campaigns based on the platform, and hold their elected officials responsible for enacting it


a command for elective officials to carry out their platforms as indicated by the electorate's votes


citizens eligible to vote (voters)

prospective judgment

a voter's evaluation of a candidate/campaign based on their promises

retrospective judgment

a voter's evaluation of an incumbent's performance; judges past actions

closed primary

primary in which only voters registered with the party may vote

open primary

primary in which voters may choose which party's primary they wish to vote in

crossover voting

when a voter identifying with one party votes at the other party's primary


when a voter crossover votes to sabotage the other party by choosing a candidate that would be easy to beat

runoff primary

"sudden death round" when no candidate has majority

blanket primary

all parties have candidates on the same ballot; illegal


citizens can propose legislation and submit it to the electorate for a vote


a proposed legislation (?)


the state legislature submits a proposed legislation to the electorate for approval



12th amendment

the seperation of the president and vice president onto two different ballots on same party ticket

butterfly ballot

paper ballot with holes to push in


a small piece of paper that pops out when a hole is punched in a card

winner-take-all primary

candidate who wins most votes in a state gets all of the states delegates

proportional representation primary

an election in which each candidate is awarded delegates in proportion to the number of votes cast


private meeting of a group of people in a political party to select officers or policy


first states to hold primaries basically determine the winners


delegate slot to democratic national convention reserved for an elected primary official

Electoral College

representatives of each state who cast final ballots in presidential election


change of representation of states in electoral college every 10 years

secular realignment

gradual rearrangement of party coalitions based more on demographic shifts than political shocks


legislative process of the majority party trying to reach the max number of representatives in the state by redrawing districts

motor-voter bill

legislation allowing citizens to register to vote as they apply for a driver's license or other state benefit

regional primary system

electoral college reform option; country divided into 4 regions that would rotate when it comes to who holds primaries first

voter canvass

process by which a campaign reaches individual voters

inoculation ad

counters anticipated attack before it happens


perception of an issue

federal election campaign act

created FEC; provides public funding for pres primaries & general elections, limits campaign contributions to $1000 per candidate, and requires disclosure

Buckley v Valeo

challenged FECA and resulted in allowing unlimited spending under freedom of speech

soft money

virtually unregulated money funneled through state/local parties spent on candidates behalf

public funds

only used for president but have spending limits

matching funds

funds that will be supplied in an amount matching the funds available from other sources


over 4,000 in country; can spend $5,000 per candidate; contributions go to congressional campaigns and have to report to FEC

hard money

legally specified contributions that are regulated by the FEC to a party or candidate

express advocacy

endorsement of or attack on candidate ad

issue advocacy

ad about issues

campaign finance reform

McCain-Feingold Act; increased the amount individuals could give to candidates to $2000; barred groups from running ads within 60 days of a general election if they refer to a federal candidate

McConnell v FEC

upheld ban on soft money


political organizations not regulated by the FEC or other elections commission, and are not subject to the same contribution limits as PACs

political party

group seeking control of government by gaining office

issue-oriented politics

reason for declining party loyalty; parties split

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