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81 terms

Politics Test 2

STUDY
PLAY
Mandate
Perception of popular support for a program or policy based on the margin of electoral victory won by a candidate who proposed it during a campaign
Retrospective Voting
Voting for or against a candidate or party on the basis of past performance in office
Incumbent
Candidate currently in office seeking reelection
Name Recognition
Public awareness of a political candidate - whether they know his or her name
Challengers
In politics, a reference to people running against incumbent officeholders
Franking Privilege
Free use of the US mails granted to members of Congress to promote communication with constituents
Campaign Strategy
Plan for a political campaign, usually including a theme, an attempt to define the opponent or the issues, and an effort to coordinate images and messages in news broadcasts and paid advertising
Negative Campaigning
Speeches, commercials, or advertising attacking a political opponent during a campaign
Focus Group
In a political context, a small number of people brought together in a comfortable setting to discuss and respond to themes and issues, allowing campaign managers to develop and analyze strategies
Photo Ops
Staged opportunities for the media to photograph the candidate in a favorable setting
Sound Bites
Concise and catchy phrases that attract media coverage
Mobilize
In politics, to activate supporters to work for candidates and turn out on Election Day
Issue Ads
Ads that advocate policy positions rather than explicitly supporting or opposing particular candidates
Political Action Committee (PAC)
Organizations that solicit and receive campaign contributions from corporations, unions, trade associations, and ideological and issue-oriented groups, and their members, then distribute these funds to political candidates
Federal Election Commission (FEC)
Agency charged with enforcing federal election laws and disbursing public presidential campaign funds
Retail Politics
Direct candidate contact with individual voters
Front-End Strategy
Presidential political campaign strategy in which a candidate focuses on winning early primaries to build momentum
Spin Doctor
Practitioner of the art of spin control, or manipulation of media reporting to favor one's own candidate
Front-Loading
The scheduling of presidential primary elections early in the year
Electoral College
The 538 presidential electors apportioned among the states according to their congressional representation (plus three for the District of Columbia) whose votes officially elect the president and vice president of the United States
Swing States
States that are not considered to be firmly in the Democratic or Republican column
Mass Media
All means of communication with the general public, including television, newspapers, magazines, radio, books, recordings, motion pictures, and the internet
Muckraking
Journalistic exposes of corruption, wrongdoing, or mismanagement in government, business, and other institutions of society
Equal-Time Rule
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requirement that broadcasters who sell time to any political candidate must make equal time available to opposing candidates at the same price
Information Overload
Situation in which individuals are subjected to so many communications that they cannot make sense of them
Newsmaking
Deciding what events, topics, presentations, and issues will be given coverage in the news
"Feeding Frenzy"
Intense media coverage of a scandal or event that blocks out most other news
Libel
Writings that are false and malicious and are intended to damage an individual
Selective Perception
Mentally screening out information or opinions with which one disagrees
Agenda Setting
Deciding what will be decided, defining the problems and issues to be addressed by decision makers
Horse-Race Coverage
Media coverage of electoral campaigns that concentrates on who is ahead and who is behind, and neglects the issues at stake
Slander
Oral statements that are false and malicious and are intended to damage an individual
Television Malaise
Generalized feelings of distrust, cynicism, and powerlessness stemming from television's emphasis on the negative aspects of American life
Socialization
The learning of a culture and its values
Prior Restraint
Government actions to restrict publication of a magazine, newspaper, or books on grounds of libel, obscenity, or other legal violations prior to actual publication of the work
Sullivan Rule
Court guideline that false and malicious statements regarding public officials are protected by the First Amendment unless it can be proven they were known to be false at the time they were made or were made with "reckless disregard" for their truth or falsehood
Name Recognition
Public awareness of a candidate - whether they even know his or her name
Political Parties
Organizations that seek to achieve power by winning public office
Responsible Party Model
System in which competitive parties adopt a platform of principles, recruiting candidates and directing campaigns based on the platform, and holding their elected officials responsible for enacting it
Party Polarization
The tendency of the Democratic Party to take more liberal positions and the Republican Party to take more conservative positions on key issues
Nominee
Political Party's entry in a general election race
Nomination
Political party's selection of its candidate for a public office
Primary Election
Elections to choose party nominees for public office, may be open or closed
Machine
Tightly disciplined party organization, headed by a boss, that relies on material rewards - including patronage jobs - to control politics
Patronage
Appointment to public office based on party loyalty
Divided Party Government
One party controls the presidency while the other party controls one or both houses of Congress
Nonpartisan Elections
Elections in which candidates do not officially indicate their party affiliation, often used for city, country, school board, and judicial elections
Caucus
Nominating process in which party leaders select the party's nominee
Ward
Division of a city for electoral or administrative purposes or as a unit for organizing political parties
Precinct
Subdivision of a city, country, or ward for election purposes
Closed Primaries
Primary elections in which voters must declare (or have previously declared) their party affiliation and can cast a ballot only in their own party's primary election
Open Primaries
Primary elections in which a voter may cast a ballot in either party's primary election
Raiding
Organized efforts by one party to get its members to cross over in a primary and defeat an attractive candidate in the opposition party's primary
Runoff Primary
Additional primary held between the top two vote-getters in a primary in which no candidate has received a majority of the vote
General Election
Election to choose among candidates nominated by parties and/or independent candidates who gained access to the ballot by petition
Convention
Nominating process in which delegates from local party organizations select the party's nominees
Presidential Primaries
Primary elections in the states in which voters in each party can choose a presidential candidate for its party's nomination. Outcomes help determine the distribution of pledged delegates to each party's national nominating convention
Delegates
Accredited voting members of a party's national presidential nominating convention
Platform
Statement of principles adopted by a political party at its national convention (specific portions of the platform are known as planks); a platform is not binding on the party's candidates
Party Identification
Self-described identification with a political party, usually in response to the question, "Generally speaking, how would you identify yourself: as a Republican, Democrat, independent, or something else?"
Dealignment
Declining attractiveness of the parties to the voters, a reluctance to identify strongly with a party, and a decrease in reliance on party affiliation in voter choice
Realignment
Long-term shift in social-group support for various political parties that creates new coalitions in each party
Proportional Representation
Electoral system that allocates seats in a legislature based on the proportion of votes each party receives in a national election
Interest Group
Organization seeking to directly influence government policy
Majoritarianism
Tendency of democratic governments to allow the faint preferences of the majority to prevail over the intense feelings of minorities
Trade Associations
Interest groups composed of businesses in specific industries
Organized Sclerosis
Society encrusted with so many special benefits to interest groups that everyone's standard of living is lowered
Public-Interest Groups
Interest groups that claim to represent broad classes of people or the public as a whole
Single-Interest Groups
Organizations formed to support or oppose government action on a specific issue
Ideological Organizations
Interest groups that pursue ideologically based (liberal or conservative) agendas
Lobbyist
Person working to influence government policies and actions
Lobbying
Activities directed at government officials with the hope of influencing their decisions
Public Relations
Building and maintaining goodwill with the general public
Access
Meeting and talking with decision makers, a prerequisite to direct persuasion
Grassroots Lobbying
Attempts to influence government decisions making by inspiring constituents to contact their representatives
Coalition
A joining together of interest groups (or individuals) to achieve a common goal
Bribery
Giving or offering anything of value in an effort to influence government officials in the performance of their duties
Iron Triangle
Mutually supportive relationships among interest groups, government agencies, and legislative committees with jurisdiction over a specific policy area
Revolving Doors
The movement of individuals from government positions to jobs in the private sector, using the experience, knowledge, and contacts they acquired in government employment
Litigation
Legal dispute brought before a court
Amicus Curiae
Person or group other than the defendant or the plaintiff or the prosecution that submits an argument in a case for the court's consideration