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American Government Test 2 Leslie Baker
Terms in this set (55)
What functions does the media perform?
Reporting the news
Interpreting the news
Setting the agenda for government action
Socialaizing citizens about politics
What can cause bias in the media?
Private ownership of media : used to be heavily regulated
What are the consequences of media bias?
Incumbents receive more news coverage than challengers
Political bias in coverage can depend on political party in power
Different media reflects different understanding of political issues
the belief that television is to blame for the low level of citizens' knowledge about public affairs
Telecommunications Act of 1996
New law that relaxed limitations on media ownership
Gutted most ownership restrictions of 1600
What are positive effects of interest groups?
They use a democratic process
They check the power of majorities
They have the ability to motivate legislatures
THEY ALLOW FOR BETTER REPRESENTATION OF INTERESTS
THEY PROVIDE POSITIVE SOLUTIONS
They ensure an outspread dispersal of expenses
What are the negative effects of interest groups?
They would often seek for the minority of people
THEY ONLY HAVE ONE TRACK IN MIND
THEY ARE ONLY EFFECTIVE FOR THEMSELVES
THEY COULD COMMIT SERIOUS CRIMES
They lead to hyper pluralism
Can be heavy handed and threaten legislators
To disorganized to be effective
Congress members have to sometimes pressure groups
Persuade legislators to support a certain policy
Works best when actually agree with each other
What type of interest groups are there?
How do interest groups influence elections and public policy? How did they meet these goals?
influence government instead of nominating candidates (without governance and responsibility)
they get the people they want elected & lobby to get there bills passed
What regulations are placed on interest groups and PACs today?
Controls over lobbying
Control over political action committees
What are Super PACs?
Independent organization run by individuals, they can't coordinate with the candidate
What Court case made their existence possible? (Super PACs)
Citizens United Case and the Free Speech Now Case
What are the major changes to campaign law for interest groups from the BiPartisan Campaign Reform Act?
Is a major federal law regulating financing for federal political candidates and campaigns
The law was designed to address the two key finance issues: soft money (money raised outside the limits and prohibitions of federal campaign finance law.) and issue advocacy
What parts of the BiPartisan Campaign Reform Act are still in place?
to end the use of soft money in federal elections
How is a political party different from an interest group?
Political parties influence government by attempting to get their members elected to government positions
Interest groups are active at all levels and lobby congress
What is a political party?
An organization that can nominate people for office
What are the functions of political parties?
To bring people together to achieve control of the government
Develop policies favorable to their interests or the groups that support them
Organize and persuade voters to elect their candidates to office
Why are minor or third parties not successful? How are the two major parties able to keep them from becoming viable challengers?
Core issues involve raising money and simply getting on the ballots in some states. Third party candidates have major problems getting added to debates and being given media airtime.
What is Critical elections?
the majority party is often displaced by the minority party. Critical election periods are sometimes marked by a national crisis and may require more than one election to bring about a new party era.
When have critical elections in the United States typically occurred?
when groups of voters have changed their traditional patterns of party loyalties
1860- entry into the civil war
1896- Gold Standard — originally it was a silver standard, they said we have more golds so lets move to a gold standard so we can print more money
First: Thomas Jefferson reacted to federalist party's dream of a strong centralized government by creating the democratic Republican Party
Second: the Whig party dissolved due to the growing crisis over slavery allowing Republican Party to regains momentum and take back its place
Third: the Great Depression caused large numbers of voters to reject Republican Party policies and embrace the Democratic Party
Why don't we have critical elections anymore?
More gradual shifts in party coalitions, called secular realignments may also change voters loyalties. This take places over slow barely discernible demographic shifts
History of Political Parties
First party system: federalist vs Democratic Republicans
- Hamilton starts Federalist Party- wants to amend the constitution to give president more power in order to make quicker decisions
- Jefferson is against heavy presidential power forms the original Republican Party
Hamilton calls him a democratic republican to be rude but Jefferson rolls with it and creates the democratic Republican Party
Second party system: The democratic vs Whigs
- Jackson follows behind Jefferson; people didn't like Jackson because he was a savage military general
- 1850's to today: no significant challenges to either party, Whigs split over issue of slavery
Current Party System: Democrats and Republicans
What is frontloading?
When states choose an early date on the nomination calendar
What effect does frontloading have on the presidential elections?
State party leaders have moved their primary dates to the front so that their partisans may have more influence in the selection process
Partisan primaries: Iowa and New Hampshire vote first
How are presidents chosen?
-> Primary and caucus debate
-> vote in primary and caucus
-> parties choose their candidates
-> presidential debates -> Election Day
-> electors cast votes in the electoral college
How much money can you donate to a campaign?
To each candidate or committee: 2700
To each PAC: 5000
What types of primaries are there? Pg 230
Open- anyone can vote
Closed - voters registered with that particular party can vote
Semi-open- anyone of any party can vote but can only cote in one primary
Runoff primary- few states hold second primary between two candidates with the mo
What was the reason for using the primary system?
To nominate candidates for statewide office
Do primary elections cause partisan polarization?
They are attributed to either an increase in sorting among partisans or declining primary election turnout that is associated with lower
Who votes, who doesn't, and why?
Likely: high income/education, swing states, homeowners, older age, whites, and blacks (recently)
Unlikely: low income/education, non-swing states, first-generation immigrants, non-religious, little interest in politics, disabled, blue collar workers, asians, latinos, poor single parents, independents, young, home renters
Low voter turn out
High reflection rates
Winner takes all
Tend to be the most contested races
an election in which a party's voters (1) choose state party organization's delegates to their party's national convention, and/or (2) express a preference for their party's presidential nomination
why is voting declining
Partisan divide and corporate involvement turns voters off
what factors influence political socialization the most and how does it affect the view of government?
family; schooling; peers; television
What is public opinion?
citizens' attitudes about political issues, leaders, institutions, and events
How is public opinion measured?
public opinion polls
Does public opinion influence public policy?
typically the government follows suit
why did government regulate media ownership
to make sure they dont slander anyone (equal time rule)
Equal Time Rule
the rule that requires broadcast stations to sell air time equally to all candidates in a political campaign if they choose to sell it to any
how concentrated is media ownership today
the number of firms that owns a form of media is getting slimmer and slimmer
how does incumbency effect the election
the people already have a name face and know if the office holder is going to fulfill the things they said they would
how do political parties affect campaign/elections?
the candidate for the party are in turn tied to the party leader/person in office
they also affect where a person may go or not go by how many voters they have in their area
what is the election cycle
begins jan 1 and ends dec 31 4 years later
How does the electoral college work?
Each state determines how it will select its electors; electors then elect the president.
what are some reasons for running a negative campaign
causes voters to wonder about the negatives their candidate may have
who usually runs negative campaigns
everyone runs some sort of negative campaign to better themselves
how are congressional and presidential primaries different?
First, presidential races are more competitive than those for the House of Representatives.
Second, a much smaller proportion of people vote in congressional races during off years.
Third, members of Congress can do things for their constituents that a president cannot. They take credit-sometimes deserved, sometimes not-for every grant, contract, bridge, canal, and highway that the federal gov. provides the district or state.
Fourth a candidate for Congress can deny that s/he is responsible for the "mess in Washington" even when the candidate is an incumbent.
what are the main functions of interest groups
representation & education; influence government policy
Why do interest groups form?
form to support a specific issue and work in large numbers to get their issue recognized by
what techniques do interest groups use to get their agenda heard by lawmakers
giving research information to legislators, lobbying, giving research information to bureaucrats
interest groups support candidates by
making financial contributions
Why did Madison and Washington warn about the formation of interest groups and political parties?
They feared that it put power in the hands of a faction instead of the hands on the individual
In Madison's view, what could the formation of interest groups protect against?
They prevent any one minority from imposing its will on the majority
What do lobbyists do?
People who talk to our elected officials and try to sway them to write or vote for legislation the company paying them would like to get passed.
party in the electorate
the voters who consider themselves allied or associated with the party
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