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31 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Interest Group
An organized group of individuals sharing common objectives who actively attempt to influence policymakers.
Political Party
A group of political activists who organize to win elections, operate the government, and determine public policy.
An organization or individual that attempts to influence the passage, defeat, or content of legislation and the government's administrative decisions.
Social Movement
A movement that represent the demands of a large segment of the public for political, economic, or social change.
Labor Movement
Generally, the economic and political expression of working-class interests; politically, the organization of working class interests.
Service Sector
The sector of the economy that provides services--such as health care, banking, and education -- in contrast to the sector that produces goods.
Public Interest
The best interests of the overall community; the national good, rather than the narrow interests of a particular group.
Direct Technique
An interest group technique that uses direct interaction with government officials to further the groups goals.
Indirect Technique
An interest group technique that uses third parties to influence government officials.
A voter or candidate who does not identify with a political party.
A group or bloc in a legislature or political party acting in pursuit of some special interest or position.
Two-Party System
A political system in which only two parties have a reasonable chance of winning.
Era of Good Feelings
The years from 1817 to 1825, when James Monroe was president and there was, in effect, no political opposition.
Democratic Party
One of the two major American political parties evolcing out of the Republican Party of Thomas Jefferson.
Whig Party
A major party in the United States during the first half of the nineteenth century, formally established in 1836. The Whig Party was anti-Jackson and represented a variety of regional interests.
Republican Party
One of the two major American political parties. It emerged in the 1850s as an antislavery party and consisted of former northern Whigs and antislavery Democrats.
Party Organization
The formal structure and leadership of a political party, including election committees; local, state, and national executives; and paid professional staff.
National Convention
The meeting held every four years by each major party to select presidential and vice-presidential candidates, write a platform, choose a national committee, and conduct party business.
Party Platform
A document drawn up at each national convention, outlining the policies, positions, and principles of the party.
National Committee
A standing committee of a national political party established to direct and coordinate party activities between national party conventions.
State Central 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.
The practice of rewarding faithful party workers and followers with government employment and contracts.
Divided Government
A situation in which one major political party controls the presidency and the other controls Congress or in which one party controls a state governorship and the other controls the state legislature.
Ticket Splitting
Voting for candidates of two or more parties for different offices. For example, a voter splits her ticket if she votes for a Republican presidential candidate and for a Democratic congressional candidate.
A number of votes cast for a candidate that is greater tan the number of votes for any other candidate but not necessarily a majority.
Electoral College
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 United States.
Unit Rule
A rule by which all of a state's electoral votes are cast for the presidential candidate who receives a plurality of the votes in that state.
Third Party
A political party other than the two major political parties.
Splinter Party
A new party formed by a dissident faction within a major political party. Often, splinter parties have emerged when a particular personality was at odds with the major party.
Party Identification
Linking oneself to a particular political party.
Straight-Ticket Voting
Voting exclusively for the candidates of one party.