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Vocab words for the vocab test over Unit 2 of US government.

public opinion

the distribution of the population's beliefs about politics and policy issues


the science of population changes


a valuable tool for understanding demographic changes. The Constitution requires that the government conduct an "actual enumeration" of the population every 10 years

melting pot

the mixing of cultures, ideas, and peoples that has changed the American nation. The US, with its history of immigration, has often been called this

minority majority

the emergence of a non-caucasion majority, as compared with a white, generally Anglo-Saxon majority. It is predicted that by 2060, Hispanic Americans, African Americans, and Asian Americans together will outnumber white Americans


the process of reallocating seats in the House of Reps every 10 years on the basis of the results of the census

political socialization

according to Richard Dawson, "the process through which an individual acquires his/her particular political orientations- his/her knowledge, feelings, and evaluations regarding his/her political world

random sampling

the key technique employed by sophisticated survey researchers, which operates on the principle that everyone should have and equal probability of being selected for the sample

random-digit dialing

a technique used by pollsters to place telephone calls randomly to both listed and unlisted numbers when conducting a survey

exit poll

public opinion surveys used by major media pollsters to predict electoral winners with speed and precision; it occurs after one votes and people are asked how they voted

political ideology

a coherent set of beliefs about politics, public policy, and public purpose. it helps give meaning to political events, personalities, and politics

gender gap

a term that refers to the regular pattern by which women are more likely to support Democratic candidates. Women tend to be significantly less conservative then men and are more likely to support spending on social services and to oppose higher levels of military spending

civil disobedience

a form of political participation that reflects a conscious decision to break a law believed to be immoral and to suffer the consequences

mass media

tv, radio, newspapers, magazinges, internet, and other means of popular communication

investigative journalism

the use of in-depth reporting to unearth scandals, scams, and schemes, which at times puts reporters in adversarial relationships with political leaders


media programming on cable TV or the Internet that is focused on one topic and aimed at a particular audience. Examples include MTV, ESPN, and C-SPAN.


specific locations from which news frequently emanates, such as Congress or the White House. Most top reporters work a particular beat, thereby becoming specialists in what goes on at that location.

trial balloons

an intentional news leak for the purpose of assessing the political reaction

talking head

A shot of a person's face talking directly to the camera. Because this is visually unappealing, the major commercial networks rarely show a politician talking one-on-one for very long.

policy agenda

the issues that attract the serious attention of public officials and other people actively involved in politics at the time

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