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political machine

a strong party organization that can control political appointments and deliver votes


alliances with another party of parties so that together they command a majority of votes


a political label describing those who favor keeping things as they are and are cautious about making changes; believe less government involvement is best

democratic party

formed in 1828 under Andrew Jackson after previously being called Democratic-Republicans, believed in a decentralized government and states' rights


people at the local level; average voters, not professional politicians


a political label describing those who want peaceful and gradual change of the nation's political system; they promote government involvement in social welfare


a political label describing those who share views with both liberals and conservatives and do not hold extreme views; they want a slow approach to political change (also known as centrists)

multi-party system

a system in which three or more parties compete for control of government power

one-party system

a single political party forms the government and no other parties are permitted to run candidates for election (Ex: China is a communist nation in which only communists are allowed in government positions)


the act of providing approval and support


the individual part of a political party's platform

plurality vote

means to have the most votes among all those running for a political office, not necessarily the majority

political party

an association of voters with broad common interests who want to influence or control decision making in government by electing the party's candidates to public office


a political label describing those who want widespread, rapid change and are willing to use extreme methods to achieve this; far left on political label spectrum


a political label describing those who are suspicious of change in general repressive government power; far right on political label spectrum

republican party

a group of Democrats and Whigs formed in 1854 that soon replaced the Whig party

third parties

parties that challenge the two major parties

two-party system

a system of government in which two parties compete for power (Ex: USA has Democratic and Republican parties)


a petition asking for a new law


a propaganda technique that means convincing people that everyone else agrees with that interest group's viewpoint or that everyone is going to vote for a certain candidate


a propaganda technique based on the decision that if people admire the person promoting a candidate or product, they will support the candidate or product, too

glittering generalities

a propaganda technique that uses a statement that sounds good but is essentially meaningless

name calling

a propaganda technique in which there is an attemp to turn people against an opponent or an idea by using an unpleasant label or description for that person or idea

stacked cards

a propaganda technique that presents only one side of the issue, often distorting the facts

just plain folks

a propaganda technique that aims to make people think that the candidate is just like them, with the same desires and concerns

board of elections

Local government body that oversees elections and voting


a meeting of political party members to conduct party business


people appointed to vote in presidential elections for the major candidates

general election

the second part of the two-part election process; takes place after primary elections and is held the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Voters choose candidates for various offices

image molding

A type of propaganda showing images of a candidate with his or her ideas

national convention

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


process by which political parties select candidates for public office


devoted to or biased in support of a party, group, or cause

Political Action Committee (PAC)

political organization established by a corporation, labor union, or other special-interest group designed to support candidates by contributing money

polling place

the location where voting is carried out


a geographic area that contains a specific number of voters

primary election

elections in which voters choose candidates to represent each party in a general election


certain ideas that may involve misleading messages designed to manipulate people

recall election

a special election in which citizens can vote to remove a public official from office


surveying; gathering or looking for support, persuasion of voters in a political campaign often by going through neighborhoods asking for votes or taking public opinion

exit polls

surveys taken at polling places of how people voted

mass media

a mechanism of mass communication, including television, radio, newspapers, magazines, recordings, movies, and books

party platform

a series of statements expressing the party's principles, beliefs, and positions on election issues

public agenda

issues considered most significant by government officials


a process by which candidates who are not affiliated with one of the two major parties can get on the ballot for the general election in most states


a representative of an interest group who contacts lawmakers or other government officials directly to influence their policy making


People who dedicate their time, effort, and money to supporting a political party or particular candidates


unfair preference for or against an issue


written untruths that are harmful to someone's reputation


spoken untruths that are harmful to someone's reputation

civic duty

things a person is required to do (Ex: paying taxes, jury duty)

civic responsibility

positive things a person can do but is not required to (Ex: voting, volunteering/community service)

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