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politics that focuses on candidates, their particular issues, and character rather than party affiliation

Candidate centered politics

politics that focuses on candidates, their particular issues, and character rather than party affiliation

critical election

an election that signals party realignment through voter polarization around new issues and personalities


a general decline in party identification and loyalty in the electorate

national convention

a party meeting held in the presidential election year for the purpose of nominating a presidential and vice presidential ticket and adopting a platform

national party platform

a statement of general and specific philosophy and policy goals of a political party usually promulgated at the national convention

party identification

citizens personal affinity for a political party usually demonstrated by a tendency to vote for candidates of that party

party realignment

dramatic shifts in partisan preferences that drastically alter the political landscape

political machine

party organization that recruits voter loyalty with tangible incentives and characterized by high degrees of control over member activity

political party

organized effort by office holders, voters, activists, and candidates to pursue common interests by gaining and exercising power through the electoral process

proportional representation

a voting system that apportions legistlative seats according to the percentage of votes won by a particular political party

secular realignment

a gradual rearrangement of party coalition based more on demographic shifts than on shocks to the political system


delegate to democratic party's national convention that is reserved for a party official, whose vote at the convention is un-pledged to an individual candidate

think tank

institutional collection of policy-oriented researchers and academics who are sources of political ideas

winner takes all system

electoral system in which the party that receives at least one more vote than any other party wins the election

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