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AP Gov Unit 3 Study Guide FRQs
Terms in this set (2)
2001 FRQ the graph above shows reelection for incumbents in the house and senate
a. identify two patterns displayed in the graph
b. identify two factors that contribute to incumbency advantage. explain how each factor contributes to incumbency advantage
c. discuss one consequence of incumbency advantage for the united states political process.
a. the house has higher incumbency rates than the senate, senate incumbency rates have increased overtime, house incumbency rates have increased over time, incumbency rates are high in both the senate and house currently
b. 1)name recognition - constituents who have familiarity with the name are more likely to vote for them, plus not all voters are super educated in politics so they flock to the name they recognize. 2) campaign finance and PAC funding. because the incumbent has formed a relationship with PACs, they will get more money for their campaign,PACs wants a candidate who knows them so the candidate will be influenced by the PAC. 3)constituency service - candidates can use the policies and legislative contributions they have made during their term to sound better to the public and beef themselves up in the campaign.
c. incumbency advantage leads to more experienced political leaders which make the united states government more educated and effective but this does leave out the emergence of new voices and ideas to be distributed in the legislative process and this can hinder our nation's growth in the long run. incumbency advantage can also discourage challengers who will feel as though it is useless to try and voice their opinion when the system is "rigged". this can even lead to overall political apathy and can decrease the effectiveness and fairness of campaigning and American politics.
a significant feature of the electoral college is that most states have a winner-take-all system
a. describe the winner take all system of the electoral college
b. explain one way in which the winner take all feature of the electoral college affects how presidential candidates from the two major parties run their campaigns
c. explain one way in which the winner take all feature of the electoral college hinders 3rd party candidates
d. explain two reasons why the electoral college has not been abolished
a. winner take all system is when the candidate with the most votes gets all of the states electoral votes
b. candidates focus on campaigning in swing states that vary from republican or democrat in elections. candidates will not spend time in states that vote predominantly democrat or republican because they already assume that they will receive their respective electoral votes from that state. candidates will also make strategic choices when choosing their vice presidents. example of this was when john f kennedy chose LBJ which gave him Texas's electoral votes
c. third party candidates may get a lot of popular votes but may not get the electoral vote because they did not win the entire state. they need to win a plurality in a state to get all the votes and this normally goes to either of the twoparties (democrat or republican) because they dominate American politics.
d. there is still a belief that more populated states should have a greater say in presidential elections and this is shown in electoral college because electoral votes are based on population. this is also a tradition and history in our nation and a constitutional amendment, which is needed to change this system, would cause controversy since we have yet to come up with a clear solution that would solve the problems we are having with the system. benefits small states, no clear consensus on how to solve the problems
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