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AP Government Unit 3 terms
Terms in this set (81)
Voluntary associations of people who seek to control the government through common principles, based on peaceful and legal actions such as the winning of elections
New Deal coalition
Return of the Democrats (1932-1968)
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was able to unite blacks, city dwellers, blue collar (labor union) workers, Catholics, Jews, and women to create a voting bloc which caused the Republicans to lose their domination of government
As voting patterns have shifted and new coalitions of party supporters have formed
Only two major political parties compete for power and dominate elections, especially at the national level
Ex: Republicans and Democrats
A condition in which one political party controls the presidency and the opposing party controls one or both houses of Congress
(1968-present) briefly unified in 2002 and 2008
The party's national committee, with the consent of the party's presidential nominee elects this person
They are responsible for directing the work of the national committee from their national headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Involved in fundraising, recruiting new party members, encouraging unity within the party, and helping the party's presidential nominee win election
Promotes the two-party system
Voters are given an "either-or" choice, simplifying decisions and the political process
When opposing parties and interests often block each other's proposals, creating a political stalemate
Ex: When the government shuts down
Money that is distributed from the national political party organization and that does not have to be reported under the Federal Election Campaign Act (1971) or its amendments, no limit on contributions, usually party building expenses and generic party advertising
(2002) restricted by the BiPartisan Campaign Reform Act (McCain-Feingold Act) - increased individual contributions, limited "issue ads"
When significant numbers of voters no longer support a particular political party
Often, these voters identify as independents and believe they owe no loyalty to any particular political party
A ballot that only votes for candidates of one political party
In recent decades, there has been an increase in ticket spliting among candidates from more than one party
A party's official endorsement of a candidate for political office. Generally, the success of the nomination game requires momentum, money, and media attention
The way that the candidate attempts to manipulate each of these elements to achieve the nomination
US: long and expensive
Other countries: no more than two months long
Steps: Get a campaign manager. Get a fund-raiser and campaign counsel. Hire media and campaign consultants. Assemble staff and plan logistics. Get research staff, policy advisors, and pollsters. Get a good press secretary. Establish a website.
national party convention
The supreme power within the political party; it meets every four years to nominate the party's presidential and vice-presidential candidates and to write the platform
McGovern- Fraser Commission
Report of the 1968 Democratic Convention
Minorities, women, youth, and other groups that had been poorly represented demanded for a more open process
Increased broad-based political participation, most influential development of American politics, all delegations are now open to all voters
The only remaining vestige of the old elite-dominated system (bosses)
People who are awarded automatic slots as delegates based on the office they hold
Ex: Congressional member or party national committee member
(2012) 14% of Democrat delegates
8% of Republican delegates
When candidates compete to win early support from the elite of the party and create a positive first impression of their leadership skills
Key officials endorse their favorite candidate which gives them a crucial boost
The system for selecting convention delegates used in about a dozen states, open to all voters who are registered with a party
Voters must attend an open meeting to express their presidential preference
Organized like a pyramid from local precincts to the state's convention
A handful of states use it, Iowa is first and it becomes a media extravaganza
Closed or open elections in which a state's voters go to the polls to express their preference for a party's nominee
Most delegates to the national party convention are chosen this way
Most nominees are chosen through primaries; often serve as elimination contests
The tendency of states to hold primaries early in the season to capitalize on media attention (NH)
Statement of a party's goals and policies for next four years; it is debated on the second day of the Convention.
These go directly to their bank accounts and then can be used in any way they see fit. They must be reported to the FEC.
$2,700 per election to a candidate
Expenses on behalf of a political message that are made by groups that are uncoordinated with any candidate's campaign
Federal Election Campaign Act
(1974) Created the Federal Election Commission to administer campaign finance laws for federal elections
Created the Presidential Election Campaign Fund
Provided full public financing for major party candidates in the general election
Required full disclosure and limited contributions
Presidential Election Campaign Fund
money from the $3 federal income tax check-off goes into this fund, which is then distributed to qualified candidates to subsidize their presidential campaigns.
Contributions of up to $250 are matched for candidates who meet conditions, such as limiting spending.
Provided full public financing for major party candidates in the general election
Buckley v. Valeo
(1976) SCOTUS struck down a portion of the FEC Act that limited the amount individuals could contribute to their own campaigns; the Court reasoned that, which big contributions could corrupt politicians, one could hardly corrupt oneself by donating to one's own campaign
Allowed Ross Perot to donate $60 million of his own money to candidacy in 1992, Romney $44 million of his own money in 2008
Political Action Committees (PACs)
(1974) Allowed corporations, labor unions and other interest groups to donate money to campaigns, registered with and monitored by the FEC
Donate to candidates who support their issue; they do not "buy" candidates, but give to candidates who support them in the first place.
Individual contributions are limited to $5,000 per year
May give up to $5,000 to a candidate for each election
Independent groups that seek to influence political process but are not subject to contribution restrictions because they do not directly seek election of particular candidates.
EX- Swiftboat Veterans for Truth
Groups that are exempted from reporting their contributions and can receive unlimited contributions. "dark money"
Specifies that such groups cannot spend more than half their funds on political activities.
Independent expenditure-only PACs are known as Super PACs because they may accept donations of any size and can endorse candidates. Their contributions and expenditures must be periodically reported to the FEC.
A uniquely American institution created by the Founders, providing for the selection of the president by electors chosen by the state parties.
Although the Electoral College vote usually reflects the popular majority, less populated states are overrepresented and the winner-takes-all rule concentrates campaigns on close states.
The key states that the presidential campaigns focus on because they are most likely to decide the outcome of the Electoral College vote
Voters may choose the candidates of either party, whether they belong to the party or not; make the decision of which party to vote for in the voting booth
*Pre-registration not required
Sharp changes in the existing patterns of party loyalty due to changing social and economic conditions
ex: 1860, 1896, 1932
Special election intiated by petition to allow citizens to remove an official from office before his or her term expires; only at the state level
Procedure whereby the state submits legislation to its voters for approval, allowing citizens to vote directly on issues called propositions (proposed laws or state constitutional amendments); state level only
Congressional elections taking place in a year when no presidential elections are occurring; off year election
Voter turnout is usually lower than in a presidential election
Allows voters to petition to propose legislation and then submit it for a vote by qualified voters (state level)
Weaker or lesser-known candidates from the president's party profit from the president's popularity by winning votes
Voting for candidates from more than one party in the same election
Nominating election held to choose party candidates who will run in the general election
Only registered party members may vote; separate primaries are held for each political party; voters must select a primary in advance
A group of private citizens whose goal is to influence and shape public policy (factions of Federalist #10)
They have no legal status in the election process; do not nominate candidates for public office
Attempting to influence policymakers by supplying data to government officials and their staffs to convince these policymakers that their case is more deserving than another groups.
All forms of communication that transmit information to a large portion of the general population
The only linkage institution that specializes in communication
Media executives, news editors, and prominent reporters who decide what news to present and how it will be presented
A speech or photo opportunity staged to give a politician's view on an issue
Translate inputs from the public into outputs from the policymakers.
4 Main: parties, elections, interest groups, and the media
What do parties do?
The official endorsement is called the nomination; it entitles the nominee to be listed on the general election ballot as that party's candidate for a particular office.
Give cues to voters:
Knowing whether a candidate is a Republican or Democrat dives crucial information to many voters.
Each party advocates specific policy alternatives. i.e. Democratic Platforms has advocated pro-choice, where Republican platform has advocated for pro-life in recent decades.
When a president commits himself to a major policy goal, the first place he usually looks for support is from members of his own party. Parties are essential for coordinating policy between the legislative and executive branches.
Rational- Choice Theory
Explains the actions of voters as well as politicians. It assumes that individuals act in their own best interest, carefully weight the costs and benefits of possible alternatives.
What the Democrats and Republicans stand for
I.e. liberal v. conservative, pro-business v. pro-labor
The self-proclaimed preference of one party or the other.
Types of political party organization that relies heavily on material to inducements, such as patronage, to win votes and government (i.e. Boss Tweed)
One of the key inducements used by party machines. A promotion, or contract is given for political reasons rather than for merit or competence alone.
Maintains operations in between elections; composed of representatives from the states and territories.
Electoral contenders other than the two major parties.
Rarely win elections.
Responsible party model
A view of how parties should work, held by some political scientists. According to the model, parties should offer clear choices to the voters and once in office, should carry out their campaign promises.
"Blue Dog Democrats"
Fiscally conservative Democrats from the south and/or rural parts of the United States; claim they have been squeeze blue by the liberals and oppose action that would enlarge the size of the government.
divisions within the American political system that exercise a great deal of control over specific policy areas
ie: Iron Triangles
a mutually dependent, mutually advantageous relationship between bureaucratic agencies, interest groups, and congressional committees.
Composed of: interest group leaders interested in a particular policy, government agency in charge of administering that policy, and members of congressional committees handling that policy
All of the people who might be interested group members because they share an interest
All people who actually join an interest group
Something of value that cannot be withheld from a potential group member
People not joining because they benefit from the group's activities without joining
Goods that a group can restrict to those who actually join
direct group involvement in the election process
ie: Donate money through PACS to campaigns
Amicus Curiae "friends of the court"
File briefs that consist of a written argument for their side, or sue business or government for action
A provision found in some collective bargaining agreements requiring all employees of a business to join the union within a short period of time as a condition of employment
Consumer and public interest lobbies
According Jeffrey Berry, organizations that seek a "collective good the achievement of which will not selectively and materially benefit the membership or activists in the organization"
The use of in-depth reporting to unearth scandals, scams, and schemes putting reporters and politicians opposite each other
A sensational style of reporting that characterized newspapers at the turn of the century
Media programming on cable TV or internet that is focused on one topic and aimed at a particular audience
The process through which people consciously choose to get the news from information sources that have viewpoints compatible with their own
Specific locations from which news frequently emanates
ie: Congress or the White House
An intentional news leak for the purpose of assessing the political reaction
Short video clips of approx. 10 seconds
The issues that attract the serious attention of public officials and other people actively involved in politics at the time
People who invest their political "capital" in an issue to get it placed high on governmental agenda
They use media to raise awareness of issue
McCain Feingold Act
AKA BiPartisan Campaign Reform Act - increased individual contributions, limited "issue ads" , banned soft money
Citizens United v FEC
A 2010 landmark Supreme Court
case that ruled that individuals, corporations, and unions could donate unlimited amounts of money to groups that make independent political expenditures.
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