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118 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Public opinion
Aggregate of preferences and opinions of individuals on significant issues. Its given a lot of attention in democracies because democratic government rests on the consent of the governed.
Survey research
Gathering of information about public opinion by questioning a representative sample of the population.
Halo effect
Tendency of survey respondents to provide socially aceeptable answers to questions.
Inconsistencies or lack of constraint
Because so many people hold no real opinion on political issues, the wording of a question frequently determines their response.
American pragmatism and moderation
Practical, accomplishing things to get them done, demand our goals to be done, aviod extremes
People are likely to think about issues that receive a great deal of attention in the masse media. Salient issues about which most people have an opinion.
A feeling that is there all a long but remains unconscious. Not always mobilized, need to find the cues to mobilize.
Random sample
Ensures that every person in the universe of people about whome information is desired has an equal chance of being selected.
Sampling error (margin of error)
Probability of being wrong
Self-selection bias
Self-selection bias occurs when there is non-random sampling of membership within a group or category, such as employment status, that is hypothesized to affect a variable of interest, such as ethical attitudes or behaviors.
Leading questions
Used to produce results favorable to their side or an arguement.
Push poll
Questions asked by political campaign workers posing as independent pollsters, deliberately worded to create an opinion.
Exit poll
End of the election when a pollster is asked who they voted for, inconsistent data, random, misuse of data.
Political socialization
Learning of values, beliefs, and opinions.
Generational effects
Historical events that affect the views of those who lived through them.
Life-cycle effects
Changes in life circumstance associated with age that affects one's views.
Consistent and integrated system of ideas, values, and beliefs. Political ideology tells us who should get what, when, and how; that is, it tells us who ought to govern and what goals they ought to pursue.
Gender gap
Differences in politics and public opinion among age groups.
26th Amendment
1971- 18 year olds were call upon to fight and die for the country , they deserved a voice in the conduct of government.
Motor Voter Act
Federal mandate that states offer voter registration at driver's licensing and welfare offices.
Rational voter
An individual should vot only if the costs of voting(time spent in registering, informing oneself about the candidates, and going to the polls) are less than the expected value of having the preferred candidate win (the personal benefits gained from having one's candidate win), multiplied by the probability that one's own vote will be the deciding vote.
"Intrinsic rewards of voting"
These rewards include the ethic of voting, patriotism, a sense of duty, and allegiance to democracy.
Voter Registration
Requirement that prospective voters establish their identity and place of residence prior to an election in order to be eligible to vote.
Butterfly ballot
All presidential candidates on one page and in large enough print/ turned out to be confusing.
Political alienation
Belief that politics is irrelevant to one's life and that one cannot personally affect public affairs.
Political apathy
Apathy is the most prevalent political problem on campus today, student leaders of major political organizations claimed. Liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat, members of active political groups on campus agree that most students just don't seem to care.
Voluntary nonvoting
They may be say8ing that they do not believe their interests are really affected by governments.
Protests, marches, demonstrations
Public marches or demonstrations designed to call attention to an issue and motivate others to apply pressure on public officials.
Civil disobedience
Form of public protest involving the braking of laws believed to be unjust.
What is the relationship with public opinion to public policy?
Major shifts in public opinion generally translate into policy change. Both Congress and president respond overtime to general public preferences. But public opinion is often weak, unstable, ill informed on specific policy issues.
What are the basic features of American public opinion that have been revealed by survey research since the 1950s?
1. Knowledge levels-not well informed
2. Halo effect
3. Inconsistencies
4. instability
5. Salience
What are the proper methods for conducting a scientific survey of public opinion? What kinds of "non-sampling" errors can affect the reliability of polling data?
Random sampling/sampling error. Leading questions that produce favorable results, push polls that deliberately worded to create an opinion.
How might public opinion polls distort elections and the policy making process?
People not having the adequate amount of information.
What is political socialization, and what are the agents that shape the formation of public opinion?
Learning of values, beliefs, and opinions. Family is the first agent, identity themselves as Republican or Democrats. School what we are taught.
What is the major effect of television on public opinion formation?
Is not presuading prople to take one side or another, instead, the principal effect is in setting the agenda for thinking and talking about politics. Television does not tell people what to think, but it does tell them what to think about. Can creat new opinions easier than changing existing ones.
How do the core beliefs of modern liberalism and conservatism differ?
Conservatism-belief in the value of free markets, limited government, and individual self-reliance in economic affairs, combined with a belief in the value of tradition, law, and morality in social affairs. Prefer limited noninterventionist government in economic affairs and strenghten governments's power to regulate social conduct. Liberalism-belief in the value of stong government to provide economic security and protection for civil rights, combined with a belief in personal freedom from government intervention in social conduct.
Why is the liberal-conservative dimension inadequate in describing the ideology of Americans?
Because they are both two different sides.
What are the major forms of individual participation in American democracy?
People may run for, and win, public office; take part in marches, demonstrations, and protests; make financial contributions to political candidates or causes; attend political meetings, speeches, adn rallies; write letters to public officals or to newspapers; wear political button, bumper sticker; belong to organizations that support or oppose candidates or issues; vote in elections.
What were the major landmarks in expanding the right to vote in America?
In 1787 it was left up to the states to determine voter qualifications. By 1840 property qualifications were almost eliminated. Before Civil War
(1861-65) all white males over 21. Fifteenth Amendment 1870 states retain their right to defermine voter qualifications, as long as they do not practice racial discriminations. 24th Amendment made poll taxes that required of all voters unconsitutional 19th Amendment 1920, women's right to vote. 26th Amendment, 1971 18 year olds could vote. 1993 motor voter act.
How do registration and other voting procedures affect turnout?
Burden of registration and burdensome of ballots.
What does the text mean by the "politics of voter turnout"?
Politics drive the debate over easing voter registration requirements. Democrats generally favor minimal requirements-same day registration, by mail. Republicans are less enthusiastic about easing voting requirements.
How do psychological perceptions of elections and the political process affect voter turnout?
More competition between candidates, the greater interest of citizens and the larger turnout. When it is a close election they are more likely to cast their vote. Also political alienation that people feel politics is irrelevant to their life.
What are some possible explanations for the recent decline in voter turnout?
Registration requirements, distrust in government, feeling that they have little infulence in gov't, trouble of voting, declining role of party organizations in the political system
What demograhic or group factors influence levels of voter turnout?
Voters are better educated than nonvoters. Age, young people have more distractions. High-income people are more likely to vote than low-income. Because high-income are more educated and older.
What factors contribute to low levels of voter turnout in the United Staes compared with other democracies? What statistical controversy exists over this issue?
Most European democracies report higher voter turnout. Other countries make voting mandatory. US registration laws are more difficult. Parites in the US are more loosely organized, less disciplined, and less able to mobilize voters. 50% of voting in national elections.
What are the possible implications of nonvoting for the future of American democracy?
Whether the government really represents the people when half of the people fail to vote? Underrepresenttaion not only harms their policy interests but contributes even further to their feelings of political alienation.
Under what circimstance are protest likely to be used as a form of political participation? Under what circumstances are they likely to accomplish their objectives?
Civil rights movement.
Protests are more likely to be effective when directed at specific problems or laws, when targeted toward public officials who are capable of granting the desired concession or resolving the specific problem, when the goal is limited to gaining access or representation in decision making or to placing an issue on the agenda of decision makers,
Political Party
Parties and interest groups that funciton as intermediaries between indivduals and government.
Roosevelt New Deal Democratic Coalition
Policies of President Franklin D. Roosevelt druing the depression of the 1930s that helped form a Democratic Party coalition of urban working class, ethnic, Catholic, Jewish, poor, and southern voters. Democratic Party dominated national politics.
The new Republican majority
Civil rights movement, unpopular Vietnam war, and Lyndon Johnson not running for president caused problems within the democratic government. Democratic Party became associated with street protesters, civil rights advocates, feminist organizations, and liberal activists. Republicans characterized the Democratic as soft on crime, tolerant of disorder, and committed to racial and sexual quotas in American life. Richard Nixon won in 1976.
The Reagan Coalition
Combination of economic and social conservatives, religious fundamentalists, and degense-minded anticommunists who rallied behind Republican President Ronald Reagan.
Democratic Leadership Council
Organization of party leaders who sought to create a "new" Democratic Party to appeal to middle-class, moderate voters.
Responsible Party Model
System in which competitive parites adopt a platform of principles, recruiting candidates and directing campaigns based on the platform, and holding their elected officials responsible for enacting it.
Divided Party Government
One party controls the executive branch while the other party controls one or both houses of the legislative branch.
Nonpartisan Elections
Elections in which candidates do not officially indicatte their party affiliation; often used for city, county, school board, and judicial elections.
Party Primaries
Primary elecitons have replaced conventions as the means of selecting the Democratic and Republican nominees for public office. Designed to bypass power of party organization and party leaders. Weakens political parties, since candidates seeking a patry nomination need only appeal to party voters-not leaders-for support in primary election.
Open and closed primaries
Open primaries-Primary elections in which a voter may cast a ballot in either party's primary election. Closed primaries-primary elections in which voter must declare their party affiliation and can cast a ballot only in their own party's primary election.
Runoff primary
Additional primary held between the top two vote-getters in a primary where no candidate has recieved a majority of the vote.
General elections
Election to choose among candidates nominated by parites and/or independent candidates who gained access to the ballot by petition.
Ticket splitters
Person who votes for candidates of different parties for different offices in a general election.
National party conventions
Nominating process in which delegates form local party organizations select the party's nominees.
Presidential Primaries
Primary elections in the states in which voters in each paty can choose a presidential candidate for its party's nomination. Outcomes help determine the distribution of pledged delegates to each party's national nominating convention.
Convention delegates
Accredited voting members of a party's national presidential nominating convention.
Pary platforms
Statement of principles adopted by a political party at its national convention(specific portions of the platform are known as planks); a platform is not binding on the party's candidates.
Party identification
Self-described identification with a political party, usually in response to the question, "Generally speaking, how would you identify yourself: as a Republican, Democrat, independent, or something else?"
Declining attractiveness of the parties to the voters, a reluctance to identify strongly with a party, and a decrease in reliance on party affiliation in voter choice.
Long-term shift in social-group support for various political parties that creates new coalitions in each party.
Third parties
Political party that challenges the two major parties in an election.
Cultural consensus
The values of democracy, capitalism, free enterprise, individual liberty, religious freedom, and equality of opportunity are so widely shared that no party challenging these values has ever won much of a following. American political cultures includes strong belief in the separation of church and state.
Winner-take-all electoral system
Winners in presidential and congressional elections, as well as in state gubernatorial and legislative elections, are usually determined by a plurality, winner take all vote.
Proportional Representation
Electoral system that allocates seats in a legislature based on the proportion of votes each party receives in a national election.
What is the main function of political parites in American Democracy?
Function as intermediaries between individuals and government. Parties focuses on personnel and interest groups focus on policy.
What caused the Roosevelt New Deal Coalition to form in the 1930s, and what groups were a part of it? What was the political significance of the political party "realignment"?
Caused by the stock market crash, unemployeed, lost confience in the nation's business and political leadership, and the Great Depression. Fair Deal-maintaining the Democratic Party's voter coalition. Great Society-promised to solve social and economic problemss through government intervention. That eventually destroyed the old Democratic colaition.
What groups composed the Reagan coalition of the 1980s?
Economic conservatives-high taxes, Social conservative-crime, Religious fundamentalists-abortion and prayer in school, Southern whites-racial issues, Internaitonalis and anticommunists-maintain strong military force.
What were the policy outcomes of the Reagan presidency?
Republican majority, inflation brought under control, failed to cut government spending as promised and result in a huge federal deficits.
Why did the 2000 election reveal about the level of competition between our two main political parties?
The nation was more evenly divided between the democratic and republican parties. George Bush won 271 to 267 in electoral college. Tied both houses of congress.
Why did the Democratic Leadership Council attempt to reshape the Democratic party in the 1990s?
The concern was that the Democratic Party's traditional support for social justice and social welfare programs was overshadowing its commmitment to economic prosperity. Bill Clinton-Commitment to the middle class, and avoid to be labeled as liveral defender of special interests.
Why have American parties never conformed to the "responsible party model"? Why do American parties offer less clear-cut choices on policy issues than parties in other democracies?
Winning has genrally been more important then any principles or policies. American parties strive to attract the support of the large numbers of people near the cneter of public opinion. Thus no real incentive exists for vote-maximizing parties to take strong policy positions in opposition to each other.
Why have the traditional functions of American political parties eroded in recent decades?
Parties have a limited role in campaign and finance. Also in recruiting candidates for elected office. Most political candidates today are self-recruited. Parties cannot control their nominee-the party's entry in a general election race-will be. Candidates rely on media not on party workers. American political parties have no way to bind their elected officials to the party paltform or even to their campaign promises. Parties cannot deny the renomination.
What factors caused the decline of political party machines in cities like Kansas City?
Government bureaucraies have replaced the political parties as providers of social services.
How has the use of party primaries weakened American parties?
Candidates seeking a pary nomination need only appeal to party voters-not leaders-for support in the primary election.
What are the three components of American political parties? In what ways have party loyalties weakened in recent years?
Party-in-the-electorate, the voters who identify themselves as Democratic or Republicans and who tend to vote for the candidates of their party. Party-in-the-government, officials who received their party's nomination and won the general election. Includes Congress, state legislators, and local government officials. Party organization-national and state party officials and workers, committee members, convention delegates, and other active in the party. Ticket splitter weaken it.
Why are national party conventions less important than previously in the candidate nomination process? What functions do national conventions currently perform?
The spread of presidential primary elections has taken the suspense out of the national party convention. The national party convention purpose is to nominate presidential candidates and their vice presidential running mates. They make rules for the party, includeing rules governing the selection of delegates at the next party convention. Also write party platforms.
How do national convention delegates differ from ordinary party voters?
Convention delegates are generally party activists, ideologically motivated and strongly committed to their presidential candidates. Democratic delegates are more liberal than Democratic voters, and Republican delegates are more conservative than Republican voters.
What is the purpose of the party platform adopted at the national convention? How do platforms of the two parties differ on important issues?
Setting out the party's goals and policy positions. They provide distinct differences between parties to present voters.
How important is party identification in determining voter choice in election?
Is a strong influence in voter choice in elections. Most voters cast their ballot for the candidate of their party.
How do current voter coalitions of our two main parties differ form each other?
Democratic party receives disproportionate support from Catholics, Jews, African Americans, less educated and lower income groups, blue-collar workers, union members, and big-city residents. The Republican Party receives disproportionate support from Protestants, whites, more educated and higher income groups, white-collar workers, nonunion workers, and suburban and small-town dwellers.
What kinds of important roles do third parties play in the American party system?
1. Ideological parties exist to promote an ideology rather than win elections.
2. Protest parties arise aroung popular issues or concerns that the major parties have failed to address.
3. Single-issue parties have frequently formed around a particular cause, narrower in their policy focus.
4. Splinter parties formed by dissatisfied faction of a major party.
How does the agenda of the Libertarian party differ from that of the Reform party?
Libertarians oppose all interference by government in private live of citizens. They support unregulated free markets and the protection of private property rights, "Choice", more like a ideological party. The Reform party- Ross Perot avoided taking clear policy positions, promising only to fix things and appealing to voter as a "can do" outside challenging the political "establishment". Avoided identification of liberal or conservative. More of a protest party.
What combination of factors has helped maintain the dominance of America's two-party system?
The values of democracy, capitalism, free enterprise, individual libety, religious freedom, and equality of opportunity are so widely shared that no party challenging these values has ever won. American political culture includes a strong belief in the separation of church and state. Most American cluster near the center, tends to discourage multiple parties. It focuses on the electoral system, where winner-take-all. Also the barriers for legal access to the ballot of third parties.
Retrospective voting
Voting for or against a candidate or party on the basis of past performance in office.
Presidential Election Campaign Fund
All taxpayers have the option of checking off a box on their income tax returns that allocates $3 of their tax money to this fund. Only 13% have checked the box.
Issue ads
Ads that advocate policy positions rather than explicitly supporting or opposing particular candidates. Are produced independently by interest groups.
Political action committees
Are the most reliable source of money for reelection campaigns in Congress. Organizations created by a corporation, union, or other interest group to collect and distribute campaign funds to candidates.
Soft money
Campaign contributions, not subject to regulated limits, given to a party for activities such as party building or voter registration, but not directly for campaigns. Soft-money contributions to national parties were banned in 2002 but can still be made to state and local party organizations.
Federal Election Commission
Is responsible for enforcing limits on individual and organizational contributions to all federal elections, administering the public funding of presidential campaigns, and requiring full disclosure of all campaign financial activity in presidential and congressional elections.
Electoral College
The 538 presidential electors apportioned among their states according to their congressional representation whose votes officially elect the president and vice president of the United States.
Swing states
States that are not considered to be firmly in the Democratic or Republican column. Battleground states such as Ohio, Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
Presidential debates
Nationally televised presidential debates are the central feature of the general election campaign.
Party Affiliation
Is more important in congressional than in presidential elections.
Gender gap
Aggregate differneces in political opinions of men and women.
Candidate image
The image of candidates and their ability to relate to audiences have emerged as important determinants of voter choice.
Issue voting
Casting one's vote exclusively on the basis of the policy positions of the candidates is rare. Most voter are unaware of the specific positions taken by candidates on the issues. In other words, voters project their own policy views onto their favorite candidate more often than they decide to vote for a candidate because of his or her position on the issues.
What purpose do elections serve in the American political system? What are the limits of elections as policy mandates?
Elections allow people to choose among competing candidates and parties and to decide who will occupy public office. Elections give people the opportunity to pass judgment on current officeholders, either by reelecting them or throwing them out of office. Allows voters to influence policy directions.
Four Limits
1. Competing candidates have to offer clear policy alternatives
2. The voters have to cast their ballots on the basis of these policy alternatives alone
3. The election results have to clearly indicate the voters' policy preferences
4. Elected officials have to be bound by their campaign promises
What are the major sources of campaign funds for candidates for federal offices?
Small donors, big donors, interest groups, corporations, labor unions, and tax payers.
What do big-money contributors to federal candidates expect in return?
Expect to be able to call or visit and present their views directly to their offiecholders. At the presdential level, who can't meet with the president expect to meet at least with high-level White House staff or cabinet officials. At the congressional level, expect to meet or speak directly with their representative or senator. Also they expect a more immediate and direct response than nocontributors.
To what type of candidates do political action committees (PACs) give most of their contributions?
Give most of their money to incumbents seeking reelection.
Why do individuals make contributions to federal candidates?
Some are ideologically motivated, who share their policy views. Ideological contributors may only get the satisfaction of knowing that they are financially backing their cause in the political process.
What are the limits under federal law for individual and organizational contributions to candidates? In what ways can these limits be legally exceeded?
The FEC limits direct individual contributions to a candidate's campaign to $1,000 per election and organizational contributions to $5,000 per election.
1. Self-financing
2. Family contributions-you may multiply the size of individual contributions by the number of members of your family.
3. Issue Ads-spend as much money on advertising
4. Independent organizations-You may give as much money as you wish to organizations.
5. Soft money-you may give$10,000 to state and local political parties for voter registration drives, party mailings, and advertising.
By what process may presidential candidates recieve federal funding in primaries and the general election?
Candidates seeking nomination in presidential primary elections can qualify for federal funds by raising $5,000 from private contributions no greater than $250 each in each twenty states. Candidates must agree with the FEC limits on their campaign spending in both primary and general elections. Federal funding pays for about 1/3rd of primary campaign costs.
Why must presidential candidates in the general election adopt a strategy that focuses on the workings of the Electoral College? Why was the Electoral College such a crucial factor in determining the outcome of the 2000 presidential election?
Because the electoral college determines who is elected.
Why does the text state that "the nationally televised presidential debates are the central feature of the general elections campaign"?
These debates attract more viewers than any other campaign event. Moreover, they enable a candidate to reach undecided voters and the opponent's supporters, as well as the candidate's own partisans. It give the audiences a better view of the candidates, and their policy issues.
What have been the patterns of Republican and Democratic party support in the Electoral College in recent presidential elections?
Democratic candidates have won the northeastern states, upper midwestern states, West Coast. Republicans have won Great Plains and Rocky Mountian states and in southeastern states.
What do the table on page 283 show about the influence of demographics on the vote in the elections of 1996 and 2000?
Democratic presidential candidates do better among African American, Hispanic, Jewish, lower-income, less educated voters. The gender gap-men tending to vote Republican and women Democratic.
Why have the personal characteristics of candidates beome more important in recent years? For what type of voter is candidate image likely to be most important?
In an age of direct communication between candidates and voters via TV, the image of candidates and their ability to relate to audiences have emerged as important determinants of voter choice. Personal qualities of candidates are most important in the decision of less partisan, less ideological voters.
In what ways do perceptions of the economy influence voting in presidential elections?
Hard economic times hurt incumbents and favor challengers. Some voters' own personal economic well-being affects their vote but rather voter perception of general economic conditions. Whether people see the economy getting better or worse.
What factors were important in shaping vote choices in the 2004 presidential election?
Not sure yet