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Unit 5 review AP Gov
Terms in this set (98)
Citizens united vs federal elections commission
Organizations or systems through which people connect and interact with the government
People who share similar political ideologies which attempt to gain political power and implement a policy agenda by getting candidates election
People who share similar causes or concerns which attempt to influence the government to address specific problems and public policies
Primary method of participation in a democracy
News media includes all sources through which information is published including internet, print and broadcasting news sources.
Functions of political parties (party in the organization)
Political parties exist to promote a political agenda. They do this by recruiting and running candidates for office, raising money and having administrative structure to quarry out party functions.
Party in the electorate
Political parties reach out to voters and give more information about candidates and politicians to voters.
Party in the government
Members of a political party who are currently serving in government positions to achieve the parties policy goals.
The two-party system
No US law requires the two party system but due to the structure of the electoral system, it is best to have two major parties.
Refers to switching party loyalty to important voting groups
Elections in which a major realignment of important parties happen and the party that was weaker becomes more dominant
Describes the process of voters detaching from political parties and becoming independent.
(minor) Third parties
Third parties are not required by law but, when held in elections, they make it difficult to compete with major parties. Not funded as much as the two major parties. Minor parties can motivate voters who are unhappy with their major parties. Can influence the political agenda.
First past the post electoral system
Each voter has one vote and the candidate who wins the most votes is the winner even if that candidate received less than a majority of the votes
The spoiler effect of third parties
The spoiler effect is when a third party can draw a significant portion of the vote from other candidates
The primary system
Primary elections are the voting systems to determine candidates.
Causes are local meetings of party members held in precincts across the state
Voters may choose at their polling places to vote either the Democratic or Republican candidate.
Voters must be registered as Republicans or Democrats in order to receive their parties ballot and vote.
Closed primaries and caucus tend to produce more extreme candidates than open primaries because participation is limited to the most dedicated partisans.
The determination of state's delegates to the presidential nomination convention is by the primary process in each state. Delegates dictate the outcome of elections or caucus (including winner-takes-all basis).
Holding a primary or caucus early in the election cycle that confers political and economic advantages on a state. These early primaries bring attention, advertise dollars, and media coverage to the given state.
US presidential primary election day in February or March when the greatest number of US states hold primary elections and caucuses. The strongest amount of electoral outcomes and votes are held on Super Tuesday.
National nominating conventions
In the summer of presidential election years, each of the major political parties holds a national convention called a nominating convention.
Midterm and "off year" elections
Midterm and off year elections are much lower in terms of voter turnout rates.
Split ticket voting
The practice of voting for candidates of both parties is called split ticket voting.
The person currently holding an office is called the incumbent. Joe Biden is the incumbent for the Democratic party. INcumbent= IN office
Free publicity voter's have heard of their names many many times.
Members of congress provide direct help to their constituents. Members have staffers to do this for them which leaves a positive impression on their voters.
Allows lawmakers to send materials to citizens within their states or districts at taxpayer expense.
Committee assignments allow incumbents to develop relationships with specific, powerful constituencies.
Interest group support
Groups often direct their support toward current members to ensure access to legislatures.
Gerrymandered districts have created hundreds of safe seats for particular parties which translate to strongly advantaged elections for individual office holders
Incumbents have staffing, administrative, and travel budgets paid for by taxpayers. THey support a candidate's ability to travel and function in ways that challengers lack.
Party leaders, popular politicians and party structures help incumbents campaign and win elections.
Those currently in office have a significant fundraising advantage because individual and institutional donors seeking access are more likely to contribute to incumbents who are more likely to win than challengers.
The general election
Once the presidential nominee has been selected, the party turns towards the general election and the candidate must strategize the appeal to moderate voters.
An early decision that must be made by the candidate is the selection of a running mate. That running mate will be the Vice President on the electoral ballot.
The electoral college
Article II, Section 1 -> each state has a total number of electoral votes equal to its number of deaths in Congress. The Senate is always two, HOR varies. The winner of each contest receives all of the state's electoral votes. Candidates want to "win states" because the majority of states for a certain party will result in that candidate's party winning the election.
How does the electoral college work
There are 538 electors in total. A majority of 270 votes or more is required to win the presidency. If no candidate can win a majority, the winner of the election is chosen by the House of Representatives with each state having one vote. The Vice President is chosen the same way but by the Senate.
The Federal Election Campaign Act
A law passed to effectively limit and regulate campaign finance; Placed limits on individual and political action committee contributions, campaign spending, and established a system for public financing of presidential campaigns (1976)
Campaign Reform Act (McCain-Feingold Act) 2002
BCRA was passed to prohibit national parties from soliciting or spending soft money, limited contributions to candidates, parties and PAC's, required candidates and any group running political advertisements to disclose who paid for the ad.
Money donated directly to candidates
Money donated to political parties for "party building" activities
Money donated anonymously to certain nonprofit organizations and used for political purposes.
Outside spending (independent expenditures)
Spending by unaffiliated groups to promote a candidate
Ads that are intended to educate the public regarding a particular issue, rather than promote a particular candidate.
Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission
Citizens United created a BCRA promoting film called Hillary: The Movie which negatively portrayed Hillary Clinton. As a result, a ban on election ads violates the First Amendment right to free speech and since Citizens United is a nonprofit organization, the court held that the ban is acceptable because they aren't a true film company.
Political action committee, collects funds from members and distributes funds to candidates and political causes
Collects and spends an unlimited amount but may not coordinate with candidates or campaigns; required to disclose donors.
Receives and spends unlimited amounts and is not required to disclose donors (dark money).
Organizations of people who come together to advance a common cause. Can form around very narrow issues or around broad issues.
Address conditions of working people including safety, hours and compensation. I.e AFL (american federation of labor)
Promote the collective interest of business and generally oppose regulation and legislation promoting workers' rights I.e US Chamber of Commerce promotes a wide variety of business interests.
Economic and other professional reasons. I.e ABA (american bar association) and AMA (american medical association)
Traditionally been recognized as a unique economic interest and there are many agricultural interest groups. I.e American Farm Bureau Federation.
Advance environmental protections i.e sierra club, greenpeace
Protecting group welfare
NAACP is an example of a group on a societal level and for ideological reasons.
Single issue groups
Focus on one specific concern i.e National Rifle Association (NRA)
Government interest groups
Composed of representatives of state and local government organizations i.e National Governors Association (NGA)
Describes how the various activities in which interest groups engage in order to influence government officials. Interest groups may offer to endorse a candidate, encouraging their members to vote for the candidate.
The media as a linkage institution
Linkage institutions, including the media, create access points that allow people to connect with the government.
The fourth estate
The press is sometimes referred to as the fourth estate, a reference to the fact that the press is one of the most powerful institutions in society. Advocates for the citizenry and influences the political agenda.
Federal Communications Commission was created by Congress to regulate broadcast media so that the "airwaves belong to the people"
The Freedom of Information Act
A law that requires executive branch federal agencies to provide information about the government that is not already published in the federal register when requested by journalists, researchers or the public in the name of an open and transparent government in a democracy.
Horse race journalism
During election years, media outlets frequently engage in horse race journalism. THis entails reporting poll results tracking voter preferences in upcoming elections.
False or inaccurate information, especially that which is deliberately intended to deceive
False information which is intended to mislead, especially propaganda issued by a government organization to a rival power or the media.
Obvious news that is rumored to influence others that does not have truth mostly on social media.
Describe the functions of political parties
The function of political parties is to promote political agendas. They educate and mobilize voters to participate in elections, develop platforms and recruit candidates to run for office.
Describe the importance of party coalitions
A party must create a party coalition, a collection of voting groups that support the parties policies and candidates. Examples of voting groups are African Americans, blue collared workers, the LGBTQ community, christian evangelicals and others.
Discuss how/why political parties have changed over time
Platforms have changed, Whigs, government involvement feds v anti and turned into the two political parties.
Discuss how the power of political parties have declined
National party organizations have a loose relationship with state and local party organizations. They do not hold authority over state and local parties and campaigns have become more candidate focused and less focused on party.
Less focused on party, more focused on people
Candidates for office are chosen by party leaders rather than voters. Candidates rely heavily on party support in the form of financial and campaign assistance ensuring their loyalty.
Discuss the barriers that third parties face
Barriers for third party candidates are winner-take all electoral college system for presidential candidates, incorporation of minor party issues/positions by major parties and lack of funding and party infrastructure make it difficult to compete with major parties.
Describe the difference between open/closed primaries and caucasus
In an open primary/caucus, anyone can vote for whichever given political party; however, in a closed primary/caucus, you must be registered under the given party in order to vote.
Describe the congressional election process
Congressional elections are held every two years. Winners are determined by using the single member plurality system, the candidate with the most votes wins the election, even if no candidate wins a majority of votes. In each election, voters in the states select all HOR and one third of senate seats.
Describe the advantages an "incumbent" has
Advantages of the incumbent is that they have name recognition, casework, franking privileges, interest group support, paid budgets, staff and donor support.
Describe various election strategies (ie: where to allocate funds...)
Describe the importance of selecting a "running mate"
This is a strategic decision because it adds support or compensates for weakness of the presidential candidate. A running mate may be chosen to balance the ticket in extreme circumstances.
Describe both arguments (for and against) the Electoral College
Some are against the electoral college because they disliked the idea of direct popular election, because they feared the ascent of a tyrant who might win the presidency by misinforming and inflaming the passions of the common people. It can be defended because it protects the interests of less populous, more rural states, which would have little political influence.
Discuss the legacy of Citizens United
It did not impact the limits on direct contributions to candidates and campaigns, or ban soft money contributions, which remain enforceable.
Discuss the difference between interest groups v. political parties
Interest groups influence the gov through lobbying, donations and other methods while political parties attempt to control the gov by running candidates for office and winning elections.
Discuss the role of interest groups in iron triangles
Interest groups work to influence members of congress and bureaucratic agencies.
Discuss the role of interest groups in issue networks
Discuss how interest groups gain funding and memberships
Interest groups gain funding and memberships by purpose incentives with moral and ethical behavior, solidarity incentives, and material incentives such as discounts offered to members, magazine subscriptions, etc.
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