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36 Cards in this Set

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Australian ballot
A secret ballot printed by the government and distributed and collected at a public polling place.
blanket primary
A primary election in which voters, regardless of their party affiliation, may vote for primary candidates from each party.
campaign
The political contest preceding an election in which various parties attempt to convince voters to support their candidate.
candidate-centered campaign
A campaign in which the political contest is focused upon the leadership qualities, personality, and character of an individual candidate rather than political issues or party platforms.
caucus
A private meeting at which party members select delegates for party conventions.
closed primary
A primary election in which only those voters who have declared a party affiliation may vote, and they may do so only on their party's primary ballot.
gender gap
the difference in the voting behavior of men and women such that women are significantly more likely to favor Democratic candidates than are men.
independent expenditures
Expenditures made by interest groups, corporations, and labor unions in order to fund issue advocacy measures. These expenditures are not subject to federal campaign contribution limits.
Indiana ballot
A party-column ballot that lists candidates according to their political party.
initiative
A procedure that allows citizens to vote directly upon legislation that they initiated.
Massachusetts ballot
An office-block ballot that lists candidates according to the category of elective office for which they are running.
open primary
A primary election in which voters, regardless of their party affiliation, may vote for a candidate from any party.
primary
An election held in advance of a general election in order to select party nominees for office.
Progressive Era
The period in American politics between 1890-1920. During the Progressive Era, reformers advocated a variety of policies that were designed to increase democratic political participation as well as government involvement in solving social and economic problems.
recall
A procedure that allows citizens to vote an elected official out of office before the expiration of his or her term.
referendum
A procedure that allows citizens to vote directly upon legislation that was initiated by their legislatures.
soft money
Contributions that are given to political parties for general party activities rather than the campaigns of specific candidates. Soft money is not subject to federal campaign contribution limits.
sound bites
A term used to describe the brief clips of politicians' and public officials' policy statements or speeches that are included in media coverage of political affairs.
straight-ticket voting
The practice of voting for candidates from the same party for all of the elected positions on a ballot.
ticket splitting
The practice of voting for candidates from competing parties for the elected positions on a ballot.
voter turnout
The number of eligible voters who actually cast a vote on election day.
what is the Australian ballot? When and why did the US require its use?
The Australian ballot is a secret ballot printed by the government and distributed and collected at public polling places. The US began to require that states use Australian ballots in 1888. Prior to that time, parties prepared their own ballots. This process allowed parties whithin the states to subject voters to undue influence and pressure.
Why do American parties tend to run candidate-centered campaigns?
One of the main reasons is the high cost of running for office. Candidates now rely heavily upon media coverage and expensive tv ads in their efforts to reach voters. As a result, candidates have less time in which to delve into complex policy positions, for discussions of these topics do not fit in the media sound byte and tv ad framework as well as considerations of personality and character. Also, the fact that American parties tend to be weak and that partisan identification is declining strengthens party reliance upon candidate-centered campaigns.
How did the Supreme Court's decision in the 1976 case of Buckley v. Valeo affect governmental efforts to regulate campaign financing?
The Supreme court ruled that limiting the amount that candidates and their families can contribute to their own campaigns violates the First Amendment right to free speech. this ruling invalidated part of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.
What is soft money and how it undermined government efforts to regulate campaign financing?
Soft money consists of contributions given to political parties for general party activities rather than the campaigns of specific candidates. Federal regulations limit how much individuals can contribute to the campaigns of specific candidates, but not to party organizations. Thus, soft money contributions used for general party activities are exempt from limits. Howeveer, even though soft money is not supposed to be spent on the campaigns of candidates, it is often used indirectly to help particular candidates.
What are independent expenditures and how have they undermined governmental efforts to regulate campaign financing?
Independent expenditures are monies spent on behalf of issue advocacy by interest groups, corporations, and labor unions. Like soft money, independent expenditures are exempt from contribution limits. Moreover, even though independent expenditures are not supposed to be used to aid the campaigns of particular candidates, they are often intended to do so.
How do caucuses differ from primaries?
A primary is an election held in advance of a general election in order to select party nominees for office. On the other hand, a caucus is a meeting held by a political party in order to select its delegates for the state nominating convention. Parties have their initial caucus meetings at the precinct level. At these meetings, party members vote for their preferred candidate. The precinct then sends delegates to the county meeting to represent the votes at the precinct level. The process continues in a similar fashion up to the state nominating convention.
Explain the difference between a closed primary, an open primary, and a blanket primary.
A closed primary is a primary election in which only those voters who have declared a party affiliation may vote, and they must do so on their party's ballot. An open primary allows voters, regardless of party affiliation, to vote for a primary candidate from any party. In a blanket primary, voters regardless of their party affiliation, may vote for primary candidates from every party for each of the offices on the ballot.
Why do some critics argue that primary elections and caucuses unfairly influence the selection of presidential candidates?
Critics argue they give an unfair advantage to small states (NH early primary, Iowa early caucus). Early victories generate a great deal of media coverage, and the victors in these contests may be more likely than other candidates to receive campaign funding. Thus voters in NH and Iowa appear to have a greater opportunity to influence the selection of presidential candidates than do voters in other states.
Explain the difference between an initiative and a referendum.
An initiative is a procedure that allows citizens to vote directly upon legislation that they initiated. A referendum is a procedure that allows citizens to vote directly upon legislation that was initiated by legislators.
Why do some people oppose initiatives and referenda?
Critics of direct democracy argue that initiatives and referenda do not allow for the thoughful and slow deliberation they view as characteristic of better legislation. Moreover,, they contend that interest groups are just as likely to corrupt the procedures of direct democracy as they are to corrupt those of representative democracy.
Identify those groups of individuals who are more likely to vote Republican.
--College education
--higher income bracket
--Work in professions or business
--Americans of English or northern European ethnicity
--Protestants
Identify those groups of individuals who are more likely to vote Democratic.
--less than a college education
--Lower income bracket
--The working class
--Members of ethnic and racial minorities (especially African American)
--Catholics and Jews.
What is the gender gap in voting?
The gender gap refers to the greater propensity of women than men to vote for Democratic candidates.
What has been the voter turnout rate in recent presidential elections?
In recent presidential elections, only about 50% pf the electorate has gone to the polls.
List demographic factors associated with nonvoting.
Minority status, lower levels of education, low income, and youth are the primary demographic factors associated with nonvoting.