Terms in this set (88)
A secret ballot that is prepared, distributed, and counted by government officials at public expense. Used by all states in the United States since 1888.
In American politics, a member of the electoral college.
The group of electors who are selected by the voters in each state to officially elect the president and vice president. The number of electors in each state is equal to the number of that state's representatives in both chambers of Congress.
A regularly scheduled election to choose the U.S. president, vice president, and senators and representatives in Congress. General elections are held in even-numbered years on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
A representative from one of the political parties who is allowed to monitor a polling place to make sure that the election is run fairly and that fraud doesn't occur.
An election that is held at the state or local level when the voters must decide an issue before the next general election or when vacancies occur by reason of death or resignation.
A system in which the candidate who receives the most votes wins. In contrast, proportional systems allocate votes to multiple winners.
A meeting held to choose political candidates or delegates.
A primary in which only party members can vote to choose that party's candidates.
A committee of each national political party that evaluates the claims of national party convention delegates to be the legitimate representatives of their states.
A person selected to represent the people of one geographic area at a party convention; represents the views of the citizens only
An election held within each of the two major parties—Democratic and Republican—to choose the party's candidates for the general election. Voters choose the candidate directly, rather than through delegates.
An official meeting of a political party to choose its candidates. Nominating conventions at the state and local levels also select delegates to represent the citizens of their geographic areas at a higher-level party convention
A primary in which voters can vote for a party's candidates regardless of whether they belong to the party.
An election in which voters choose the candidates of their party, who will then run in the general election.
Party leaders and elected officials with the automatic right to attend their party's national convention and support any candidate.
The comprehensive plan developed by a candidate and his or her advisers for winning an election.
The attempt to learn damaging information about an opponent in a political campaign.
A professional political adviser who, for a fee, works on an area of a candidate's campaign. Political consultants include campaign managers, pollsters, media advisers, and "get-out-the-vote" organizers.
An expenditure for activities that are independent from (not coordinated with) those of a political candidate or a political party.
The ability to determine which issues are considered important by the public and by politicians
Communication channels that involve electronic transmissions, such as radio, television, and the Internet.
An agenda-setting technique that establishes the context of a media report. Framing can mean fitting events into a familiar story or filtering information through preconceived ideas.
Communication channels, such as newspapers and radio and television broadcasts, through which people can communicate to large audiences.
An agenda-setting technique in which a media outlet promotes specific facts or ideas that may affect the public's thinking on related topics.
Communication channels that consist of printed materials, such as newspapers and magazines.
A recorded comment, lasting for only a few seconds, that captures a thought or a perspective and has an immediate impact on viewers or listeners.
A political advertisement that focuses on a particular issue. Issue ads can be used to support or attack a candidate's position or credibility.
managed news coverage
News coverage that is manipulated (managed) by a campaign manager or political consultant to gain positive media exposure for a political candidate.
negative political advertising
Political advertising undertaken for the purpose of discrediting a candidate in voters' eyes.
Personal Attack ad
A negative political advertisement that attacks a candidate's character.
Advertising undertaken by or on behalf of a political candidate to familiarize voters with the candidate and his or her views on campaign issues. Also, advertising for or against policy issues.
interpretation, or slant
A political candidate's press adviser who tries to convince reporters to give a story or event concerning the candidate a particular "spin" (interpretation, or slant).
The collection, analysis, and dissemination of information online by independent journalists, scholars, political activists, and the general citizenry.
The distribution of audio or video files to personal computers or mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.
The distribution of House seats among the states on the basis of their respective populations.
The geographic area that is served by one member in the House of Representatives.
Spending provision inserted into legislation that benefits only a small number of people.
The drawing of a legislative district's boundaries in such a way as to maximize the influence of a certain group or political party.
A representative who deliberately mirrors the views of the majority of his or her constituents.
A situation in which the voting power of citizens in one district is greater than the voting power of citizens in another district.
A district in which minority groups make up a majority of the population.
"one person-one vote" rule
A rule, or principle, requiring that congressional districts have equal populations so that one person's vote counts as much as another's vote.
A representative who tries to serve the broad interests of the entire society and not just the narrow interests of his or her constituents.
A procedure for ending filibusters in the Senate and bringing the matter under consideration to a vote.
A temporary committee that is formed when the two chambers of Congress pass differing versions of the same bill. The conference committee consists of members from the House and the Senate who work out a compromise bill.
Using the Senate tradition of unlimited debate to prevent action.
The party leader elected by the majority party in the House or in the Senate.
The party leader elected by the minority party in the House or in the Senate.
A Senate rule under which revenue bills received from the House that meet certain requirements cannot be filibustered.
A standing committee in the House of Representatives that provides special rules governing how particular bills will be considered and debated by the House. The Rules Committee normally proposes time limits on debate for any bill.
Speaker of the House
The presiding officer in the House of Representatives. The Speaker is a member of the majority party and is the most powerful member of the House.
A permanent committee in Congress that deals with legislation concerning a particular area, such as agriculture or foreign relations.
A division of a larger committee that deals with a particular part of the committee's policy area.
A member of Congress who assists the majority or minority leader in the House or in the Senate in managing the party's legislative program.
A report submitted by a conference committee after it has drafted a single version of a bill.
A meeting held by a congressional committee or subcommittee to approve, amend, or redraft a bill.
A special type of veto power used by the chief executive after the legislature has adjourned. Bills that are not signed die after a specified period of time.
Changing Senate rules—in particular, rules that require a supermajority—by simple majority vote. Also known as the constitutional option.
A part of the congressional budgeting process—the determination of how many dollars will be spent in a given year on a particular government activity.
A part of the congressional budgeting process—the creation of the legal basis for government programs.
A temporary resolution passed by Congress that enables executive agencies to continue working with the same funding that they had in the previous fiscal year.
A government program (such as Social Security) that allows, or entitles, a certain class of people (such as older persons) to receive benefits.
First Budget Resolution
A budget resolution, which is supposed to be passed in May, that sets overall revenue goals and spending targets for the next fiscal year, beginning on October 1.
A twelve-month period that is established for accounting purposes. The government's fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30
Second Budget Resolution
A budget resolution, which is supposed to be passed in September, that sets "binding" limits on taxes and spending for the next fiscal year.
The role of the president of the United States in recognizing and interacting with foreign governments.
The head of the executive branch of government. In the United States, the president.
Commander in Chief
The supreme commander of a nation's military force.
A person who represents one country in dealing with representatives of another country.
head of state
The person who serves as the ceremonial head of a country's government and represents that country to the rest of the world.
The practice by which elected officials give government jobs to individuals who helped them gain office.
A binding international agreement, or pact, that is made between the president and another head of state and that does not require Senate approval.
A presidential order to carry out a policy or policies described in a law passed by Congress.
A written statement, appended to a bill at the time the president signs it into law, indicating how the president interprets that legislation.
A formal agreement between the governments of two or more countries
A Latin word meaning "I forbid"; the refusal by an official, such as the president of the United States or a state governor, to sign a bill into law.
An inherent executive power claimed by presidents to withhold information from, or to refuse to appear before, Congress or the courts. The president can also accord the privilege to other executive officials.
A scandal involving an illegal break-in at the Democratic National Committee offices in 1972 by members of President Richard Nixon's reelection campaign staff.
An advisory group selected by the president to assist with decision making. Traditionally, the cabinet has consisted of the heads of the executive departments and other officers whom the president may choose to appoint.
chief of staff
The person who directs the operations of the White House Office and advises the president on important matters.
Executive Office of the President
A group of staff agencies that assist the president in carrying out major duties.
The name given to a president's unofficial advisers. The term was coined during Andrew Jackson's presidency.
National Security Council
A council that advises the president on domestic and foreign matters concerning the safety and defense of the nation.
Office of Management and Budget
An agency in the Executive Office of the President that has the primary duty of assisting the president in preparing and supervising the administration of the federal budget.
A member of the White House staff who holds news conferences for reporters and makes public statements for the president.
White House Office
The personal office of the president. White House Office personnel handle the president's political needs and manage the media, among other duties.