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62 Cards in this Set

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the process of scheduling presidential primaries early in the primary season (12) this brings more attention to that state by the media and by the candidates
open primary
when you don't have to be affiliated with a certain party to vote in the primary (12)
closed primary
only people registered as party members can vote. most primaries are closed. democrats especially like closed primaries. (12)
the right to vote. significant to american government, because we are a republic where adults are supposed to have the right to vote to choose representatives and have some affect on local laws.
right to vote?
the widely held public perception that a candidate is gaining electoral strength (12)
this is especially important in primaries, because people are choosing between candidates from the same party. the media and the public try to gauge who is liked the best and who will be the most successful, and they are more likely to get votes- psychological
information costs
Information costs - costs of acquiring, processing and using information, part of the costs associated with any type of decision, including a decision how to vote.
voting age population
the entire population in the united states above 18. this includes felons, people in prison, illegal immigrants, and people without the right to vote because they have been found mentally incapable of making serious decisions. this is important, because it is the denominator used to determine the percentage of voter turnout. this is different from eligible voters!!!
eligible voting age population
this is the group of people 18 and above that are eligible to vote = no convicted felons, no illegal immigrants. to currently measure turnout we use the voting age population, not just eligible voters. some people argue that we should use the eligible population, but others argue that peopel that are ineligible to vote are still important in government and politics
??? when a ballot shows no choice for a candidate in an election. this is probably because people were confused when voting. this means that people's votes are not known, and therefore not counted
over votes
??? overvoting is when a person chooses two or more candidates on a ballot. this is probably because they were confused and the ballot was unclear. this results in no candidate getting the vote. this was a problem in florida in the 2000 election between Bush and Gore.
retrospective voting
basing voting decisions on reactions to past performance; approving the status quo or signaling a desire for change (12) this is important because this is helps people make decisions. for example, the 2006 congressional elections were seen as a desire for change of the american people. they were looking back on Iraq and did not approve of the administration, so they voted for Democrats. most voters are not extremely informed on current issues of new candidates, so they use retrospective voting to evaluate the past.
prospective voting
this means that you're voting on what you think will happen in the future if you vote for a candidate. this requires a lot of knowledge about current and possible future issues and the platforms of a lot of candidates, so only the more politically sophistocated use this approach. it is important because it can explain how people make their voting decisions.
compulsory voting
requiring citizens to vote in elections. this is used in other countries. some political scientists see this as a solution to poor voter turnout in America. However, others say that the popuation that does not vote is not very different from those who do vote, so increasing turnout would not change the people that are elected.
the 26th amendment
made voting age 18 instead of 21
15th amendment
voting cannot be refused because of color or "previous servitude" = black people and former slaves were allowed to vote. 1870. this was important because black people were allowed to vote, but voting taxes and exams were put in place in some states to block blacks from voting
19th amendment
1920 = voting cannot be denied because of sex = women get to vote. significant because women could not vote before then
swing voters
the approximately 1/3 of voters who are undecided at the start of a campaign (12) candidates really try to get these people, because they can generally rely on their party. candidates move more towards the midele during general elections so that they can get the undecided votes. ( people are more ideologically polar during primaries to get the support of their party)
electoral college
an intermediary body that elects the president. we elect electors in november and they vote for the president in december. usually the electors vote for the candidate that won in their state. the electoral college was born out of the belief of the "founding fathers" that the general public should not be totally trusted with making decisions. some people now feel that we should elect our president directly like other countries, that the system is outdated, and that it is unfair that a candidate can win the popular vote and not the election. however, others argue that the electoral college gives the winner a bigger majority and therefore he/she is more justified in winning and has more of a mandate to rule.
valence issues
issues on which most voters and candidates share the same opinion, like everyone wants a good economy and a clean environment. everyone opposes crime and corruption. these are issues that candidates can always say they are for/against without causing problems. however, some candidates don't say how they are going to achieve these goals.
position issues
these have two sides. they are issues on which the parties differ in their perspectives and proposed solutions = abortion, etc. taking a stand can be good, because it can get voters, but it can also cause a candidate to lose voters, so often candidates try to stay neutral or not mention the issue in order to avoid losing votes
wedge issues
controversial issues that one party uses to split the voters in teh other party. one example is affirmative action. most republicans are against it, but some democrats are for it and some are not. so, if a republican makes affirmative action a big issue in a campaign, they can only gain votes, where the democrat can lose votes.
issue ownership
means which party is more affiliated with being better with certain problems. democrats are seen as better with health care and education. republicans are seen as being better with the economy. this is imporatant, because the voters will determine which is the most important issue in an election, and whatever party "owns" that issue will be more likely to win. so, candidates want to make elections about issues that their party "owns" this can be bad, because it focuses not on how a party will make things better, but on setting the agenda
soft money
unregulated campaign contributions by individuals, groups, or parties that promote general elections but do not directly support individual candidates. much of this money goes to negative ads about the other party's issues or candidates. this is significant, because many people see negative ads as a bad thing for political culture, because it makes people more cynical. the government has tried to regulate soft money, but groups (527) groups found loopholes and still give enormous amounts of money to campaigns against other candidates
hard money
= money given directly to candidates by individuals, political action committees, political parties, and the government. hard money is regulated by the government in hopes of diminishing the influence of large corporations and unions on politics. they can no longer give money directly to candidates, and restrictions have been put on the amount that individuals can contribute. Federal Election Campaign Act (1972)
Interest Groups
organizations of individuals who share common political goals and unite for teh purpose of influencing government decisions. they are important because they organize and educate people on certain issues and they participate in government and influence politics. interest groups are extremely influential
direct lobbying
direct interaction with public officials for the purpose of influencing policy decisions. this means meeting with members from the legislature, the executive, and the courts. this is important because it shows that people can have access to government and can influence decisions
agenda building
this is one role of interst groups this means that they alert governmetn authorities about what issues are important to them, which sometimes leads to getting them on the politcal agenda and makes them high priority issues. this shows the power of interst groups. this is important also, because it shows the goals of interst groups= they want their issues to be talked about and noticed by government officials
program monitoring
= interest groups pay attention to the effects of policies created by the government. they inform officials if things are working or not working, and if there are side effects that people didn't expect. this is important, because this is where the government gets feedback on its policies to see if they are working or not
free-rider problem
the difficulty groups face in recruiting members when p otential members can gain benefits from the group's actions whether they join or not. this means that people. this is most likely when an interest group is pursuing a "collective good" like a better environment or lower prices. people will not join if they will still get the benefits. this shows why some interest groups have trouble getting members, and why others develop specific benefits as incentives for joining
collective good
is a good or benefit that, once provided, cannot be denied to others like public safety clean air, peace... = shows why groups for these issues have trouble getting new members
selective incentives
benefits available to interest group members that are not available to the general population. these are material benefits like information = newsletters or magazines from that organization. Solidarity benefits = it feels good to work together and be in a social group. expressive benefit = it feels good to do something that you believe in
political action committees
"the fundraising arm of an interest group" . these were created under FECA to try and regulate the money that interest groups give to candidates.
grassroots lobbying
indirect lobbying efforts that spring from widespread public concern. however, it is important because most grassroots lobbying does not start from the bottom like it used to, but is organized by people at the top = astroturf lobbying. this shows that ordinary people can get involved in the politcal process, but that the elites influence them
astroturf lobbying
like i said before- when the people higher up influence the general public. this can sometimes benefit the public, but sometimes it is bad like when drug companies persuaded Christians that importing cheaper drugs from canada would lead to greater access to teh abortion pill
Public interest groups
a group that organizes to influence government to produce collective goods or services that benefit the general public like clean air = collective goods. these groups are most susceptible to the "free- rider" problem. these are important because they are not economic and do not seek selfish means, but rather to improve the world for everyone
economic interest groups
seek to influence government for the economic benefit of their members. they can seek higher wages, tax cuts, they gocus on monetary issues. some of these are companies, unions, farmers, insurance industry, etc. they do not seek improvements for everyone, just for the people in their group or in that specific area. important, because it shows how laborers get involved, but also how big business can influence government.
equal opportunity interest groups
organize to promote the civil rights of people who believe that their interests are not being adequately represented and protected in national politics. believe they are underrepresented because of who they are, not what they do. because they are very often economically disadvantaged, they often seek economic rights. sometimes rights that they gain affect the whole population, so some political scientists call them public interest groups
solidarity incentives
come from interaction and bonding = social acceptance and activity. one of the benefits of being in an interest group. sometimes groups play up this factor to get people to join
material incentives
newsletters, magazines, things that only members get that explains the group and the policies that they lobby. this is an incentive for joining and an award that the group gives to members to get them to join
expressive incentives
= the rewards that come from doing something that you believe in. this is a reward of being in an interest group, because it feels good to stand up for your beliefs.
527 organizations
organizations that avoid the regulations imposed by the BCRA. they may raise unlimited funds for issue advocacy or voter mobilization as long as they do not openly promote any candidate or openly tro to defeat any particular candidate, however they may not run ads 60 days before general election or thirty days before primaries. shows how groups find loopholes (527 is a section 527 in internal revenue code) and can avoid regulation by the government.
Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act
also known as the McCain-Feingold act. this was meant to curb private spending in campaigns. puts limits on hard and soft money and on issue advocacy adds
Buckley V Valeo
decided that giving money is a constitutionally protected form of political expression. (1976) Buckley = Senator from New york Valeo = was secretary of state and member of FEC. this was important because it set a precedent that people could choose to spend their money as they wished on campaigns. however, it also goes against democracy, because it means that rich people have more power. the supreme court ignored this precedent when allowing the BCRA, because it said that the government should try to lessen the influence of money on politicians' decision making, or atleast the appearance
political parties
groups of citizens united by ideology and seeking control of government in order to promote their ideas and policies. this is important, because the american government is organized with the balance of power between the two major parties, the democrats and republicans. they link individuals with the government, they link the three branches, and they provide an opposition to the party in charge.
party base
members of a political party that consistently vote for that party's candidates. it usually gives the candidates from the two major parties a good group of voters, but not enough to win, so they have to be moderate enough to win swing voters without alienating their party base
party activists
the "party faithful" the rank and file members who actually carry out the party's electioneering efforts. they are more ideological in their beliefs and want to keep the party "pure" . they donate a lot of time and money to the campaigns and the party, which means that politicans want to keep them happy
this happens at the conventions when the parties nominate their candidates for president and the presidential candidate chooses their candidate for vice president. the person who is nominated has won the primaries. this is important, because it shows that the peopel are nominated in primaries = not by the elites of the party like it was before the 1970's. also, it makes it so that people of the same party aren't running against each other
party platform
lists of policy positions the parties endorse and pledge their elected officials to enact. these are usually announced in the election year. they are supposed to be different from the other party, but consistent with the party's ideology. this is important, because it sets the agenda for the elections and lets people know what the candidates supposedly stand for.
substantial and long-term shift in party allegiance by individuals and groups, uasually resulting in a change in policy direction. when this happens, a different party comes into power, the us has shifted between the liberals and conservatives in things called eras. this shows a significant politica shift in the ideas of people, and usually happen as a result of something like the Civil war or Great Depression
this is the belief held by some political scientists that political parties have less dominance than before. now more people call themselves independents than belonging to a particular party. however, research shows that although people call thems3elves independent, they usually vote like they are in a party
party identification
voter affiliation with a political party. people usually have the identification that their parents have- they share the same ideology as the party. identifying with a party is one way that people vote- they think that they usually agree with the party, so they usually vote with the party because they don't know a lot about the candidates specific issues. today less people identify with parties
party bosses
party leaders, usually in an urban district, who exercised right control over electioneering and patronage. they bribed, forced, and used other corrupt methods to get their candidates to win elections. these candidates were expected to appoint people in the party to work for them = partronage. primaries were started to stop this corruption and get people more involved in the political process
party machine
tightly organized party systems at the state, city, and county levels that kept control of voters by getting them jobs, helping them out financially, when necessary, and in fact becoming part of their lives and their communities. they took advantage of expansion of voting rights to all white men to elect more democratic candidates. imporant, because it was a tactic to involve ditizens
party in government
members of the party who have been elected to serve in government. this is what political parties used to focus on. they wanted to get them elected and get them to enact their policies and hire their friends
party in the electorate
when the party is focused on the voters = voter oriented party. party machines focused on the party in the electorate - got them jobs in order to get their votes
party organization
the official structure that conducts the political business of parties = the committees at the national, state, and local levels. they perform electioneering - organize campaigns, inform people on issues, etc. important because it connects the levels and gets people elected/nominated
voter registration
this means the process of becoming legally registered to vote. sometimes this impedes the voting process, because people don't know how/where to get registered, or they wait too long to register and in their district, they must be registered well before an election. politcal parties go on campaigns to get people to registered before an election so that they will vote.
australian ballot
secret ballot n the United States the practice became known by the name "Australian ballot". The Australian secret ballot is defined as having four parts: "The Australian secret ballot is 1) an official ballot being printed at public expense, 2) on which the names of the nominated candidates of all parties and all proposals appear, 3) being distributed only at the polling place and 4) being marked in secret."[3]. the us moved to the secret ballot in late 1800's because of corruption and coercion by party bosses that focused on forcing people to vote for their parties
split-ticket voting
when voters do not vote only for one party, but vote for some democrats and some republicans. this shows that people are less affiliated with parties than before
the process of getting a person elected to public office. this is the main activity of the parties. this includes recruiting and nominating candidates, defining policy agendaas, and winning elections. `
system in which elected officials rewarded supporters with jobs. this happened under party machines and party bosses