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33 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
An organized group of individuals sharing common objectives who actively attempt to influence policymakers.
Interest Groups
An organization or individual that attempts to influence the passage, defeat, or contents of legislation and the administrative decisions of government.
A group of political activists who organize to win elections, operate the government, and determine public policy.
Political Party
What are the two distinct differences between interest groups and political parties?
1. Interest groups do not want to operate the government , and they do not put forth a political candidates-though they support candidates who will promote their interests if elected or reelected.
2. Interest groups tend to bring issues into focus, whereas Am. political parties tend to blur their issue positions to attract voters.
A movement that represents the demands of a large segment of the public for political, economic, or social change.
Social Movement
Generally, the economic and political expression of working-class interests; politically, the organization of working-class interests.
Labor Movement
The sector of the economy that provides services-such as health care, banking, and education-in contrast to the sector that produces goods.
Service Sector
The best interests of the overall community; the national good, rather than the narrow interests of a particular group.
Public Interest
An interest group activity that involves interaction with government officials to further the group's goals.
Direct Technique
A strategy employed by interest groups that uses third parties to influence government officials.
Indirect Technique
A committee set up by and representing a corporation, labor union, or special interest group.
Political Action Committee (PAC)
-PAC's raise and give campaign donations.
Campaign contributions unregulated by federal or state law, usually given to parties and party committees to help fund general party activities.
Soft Money
Advertising paid for by interest groups that support or oppose a candidate or a candidate's position on an issue without mentioning voting or elections.
Issue Adovocacy Advertising
A voter or candidate who does not identify with a political party.
A group or block in a legislature or political party acting in pursuit of some special interest or position.
A political system in which only two parties have a reasonable chance of winning.
Two-Party System
The years from 1817 to 1825, when James Monroe was president and there was, in effect, no political opposition.
Era of Good Feelings
One of the 2 major Am. political parties evolving out of the Republican Party of Thomas Jefferson.
Democratic Party
A major party in the U.S. during the first half of the nineteenth century, formally established in 1836.
Whig Party
The Whig Party was anti-Jackson and represented a variety of regional interests.
One of the 2 major Am. political parties. It emerged in the 1850s as an antislavery party.
Republican Party
-It consisted of former northern Whigs and antislavery Democrats.
The formal structure and leadership of a political party, including election committees; local, state, and national executives; and paid professional staff.
Party Organization
The meeting held every four years by each major party to select presidential and vice-presidential candidates, to write a platform, to choose a national committee, and to conduct party business.
National Convention
A document drawn up at each national convention, outlining the policies, positions, and principles of the party.
Party Platform
A standing committee of a national political party established to direct and coordinate party activities between national party conventions.
National Committee
The principal organized structure of each political party within each state. This committee is responsible for carrying out policy decisions of the party's state convention.
State Central Committee
A rule by which all of a state's electoral votes are cast for the presidential candidate receiving a plurality of the popular vote in that state.
Unit Rule
Rewarding faithful party workers and followers with government employment and contracts.
A situation in which one major political party controls the presidency and the other contols the chamber of congress or in which one party controls a state governorship and the other controls the state legislature.
Divided Government
Voting for candidates of two or more parties for different offices.
Ticket Splitting

-For example, a voter splits her ticket if she votes for a Republican pres. and for a Democratic congressional candidate.
A number of votes cast for a candidate that is greater than the number of votes for any other candidate but not necessarily a majority.
A group of persons, called electors, who are selected by the voters in each state. This group officially elects the president and the vice president of the U.S.
Electoral College
A political party other than the two major political parties.
Third Party
A new party formed by a dissident faction within a major political party.
Splinter Party

-Often, splinter parties have emerged when a particular personality was at odds with the major party.