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34 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
the right to vote; also called franchise
Open primary
a primary election in which the voter can wait until the day of the primary to choose which party to enroll in to select candidates for the general election
Plurality system
a type of electoral system in which, to win a seat in the parliament or other representative body, a candidate need only receive the most votes in the election, not necessarily a majority of votes cast
Proportional representation
a multiple-member district system that allows each political party representation in proportion to its percentage of the total vote
Minority district
a gerrymandered voting district that improves the chances of minority candidates by making selected minority groups the majority within the district
Straight-ticket voting
the practice of casting ballots for candidates of only one party
Coattail effect
the result of voters casting their ballot for president or governor and "automatically" voting for the remainder of the party's ticket
an effort by political candidates and their staffs to win the backing of donors, political activists, and voters in the quest for political office
a candidate running for a position that he or she already holds
Caucus (political)
a normally closed meeting of a political or legislative group to select candidates, plan strategy, or make decisions regarding legislative matters
Open caucus
a presidential nominating caucus open to anyone who wishes to attend
Closed caucus
a presidential nominating caucus open only to registered party members
Winner-take-all system
a system in which all of a state's presidential nominating delegates are awarded to the candidate who wins the most votes, while runners-up receive no delegates
a party document, written at a national convention, that contains party philosophym, principles, and positions on issues
Unit rule
the convention voting system under which a state delegation casts all of its votes for the candidate supported by the majority of a state's delegates
political activists selected to vote at a party's national convention
a convention delegate position, in Democratic conventions, reserved for party officials
Spot advertisement
a fifteen-, thirty-, or sixty-second television campaign commercial that permits a candidate's message to be delivered to a target audience
Town meeting
a media format in which candidates meet with ordinary citizens. Allows candidates to deliver messages without the presence of journalists or commectators
a lengthy campaign advertisement on television
Soft money
money contributed directly to political parties for voter registration and organization
Political action committee (PAC)
a private group that raises and distributes funds for use in election campaigns
Issue advocacy
independent spending by individuals or interest groups on a campaign issue but not directly tied to a particular candidate
Prospective voting
voting based on the imagined future performance of a candidate
Retrospective voting
voting based on the past performance of a candidate
Midterm elections
congressional elections that do not coincide with a presidential election; also called off-year elections
Primary elections
elections used to select a party's candidate for the general election
Closed primary
a primary election in which voters can participate in the nomination of candidates, but only of the party in which they are enrolled for a period of time prior to primary day
the practice of referring a measure proposed or passed by a legislature to the vote of the electorate for approval or rejection
Majority system
a type of electoral system in which, to win a seat in the parliament or other representative body, a candidate must receive a majority of all the votes cast in the relevant district
appointment of voters in districts in such a way as to give unfair advantage to one racial or ethnic group or political party
Benign gerrymandering
attempts to draw district boundaries so as to create districts made up primarily of disadvantaged or underrepresented minorities
Split-ticket voting
the practice of casting ballots for the candidates of at least two different political parties in the same election
Electoral college
the presidential electors from each state who meet after the popular election to cast ballots for president and vice president