Study your flashcards anywhere!

Download the official Cram app for free >

  • Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key


Play button


Play button




Click to flip

51 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

Critical election

An election that represents a sudden, clear and long term shift of voters allegiance

Divided government

A condition in which one or more houses of the legislature is controlled by the party in opposition to the executive


The manipulation of legislative districts in an attempt to favor a particular candidate

Majority party

The legislative party with over half the seats in a legislative body and thus significant power to control the agenda

Minority party

The legislative party with less than half the seats in a legislative body


An individual who falls in the middle of the ideological spectrum

Party identifiers

Individuals who represent themselves in public as being part of a party

Party organization

The formal structure of the political party and the active members responsible for coordinating party behavior and supporting party candidates

Party platform

The collection of a partys positions on issues it considers politically important

Party polarization

The shift of party positions from moderate towards ideological extremes

Party realignment

A shifting of party alliances within the electorate

Party in government

Party identifiers who have been elected to office and are responsible for fulfilling the partys promises

Party in the electorate

Members of the voting public who consider themselves part of a political party or who consistently prefer the candidates of one party over the other

Personal politics

A political style that focuses on building direct relationships with voters rather than on promoting specific issues

Plurality voting

The elction rule by which the candidate with the most votes wins regardless of vote shares

Political machines

An organization that secures votes for a partys candidates or supports the party in other ways, usually in exchange for political favors such a job in government

Political parties

Organizations made up of groups of people with similar interests that try to directly influence public policy through their members who seek and hold public office


The lowest level of party organization usually organized around neighborhoods


The reallocation of house seats between the states to account for population changes


The redrawing of electoral maps

Safe seat

A district drawn so members of a party can be assured of winning by a comfortable margin


The process in which voters change party allegiances in response to shifts in party position

3rd parties

Political parties formed as an alternative to the Republican/democratic parties. Aka minor parties.

2 party system

A system in which two major parties win all or almost all elections.


Groups of companies or institutions that organize around a common set of concerns often within a given industry or trade

Astroturf movement

A political movement that resembles a grassroots movement but is often supported or facilitated by wealthy interests and or elites

Citizens united

C.U. vs federal election commission was a 2010 supreme court case that granted corporations and unions the right to spend unlimited amounts of money on elections

Collective good

A good such as public safety or clean air often produced by government that is generally available to the population as a whole

Contract lobbyist

A lobbyist who works for a contract lobbying firm that represents clients before government

Disturbance theory

The theory that an external event can lead to interest group mobilization


The belief that you make a difference and that government cares about you and your views

Elite critique

The proposition that wealthy and elite interests are advantaged over those w.o resources


The result when a large interest group develops diverging needs

Free rider problem

The situation that occurs when some individuals receive benefits w.o helping to bear the cost

Grassroots movement

A political movement that often begins from the bottom up inspired by average citizens concerned about a given issue

In house lobbyist

An employee or executive within an organization who works as a lobbyist on behalf of the organization

Iron triangle

3 way relationship among congressional committees, interest groups and the bureaucracy

Issue network

A group of interest groups and people who work together to support a particular issue or policy

Legislative liaison

A person employed by a gov entity such as a local gov, executive department, or university to represent the organization before the legislature


A person who represents an organization before gov in an attempt to inflikce policy


A person who believes many groups healthily compete for access to decision makers

Purposive incentives

benefits to overcome collective action problems that appeal to people’s support of the issue or cause

Revolving door laws

laws that require a cooling-off period before government officials can register to lobby after leaving office

Soft money

money that interests can spend on behalf of candidates without being restricted by federal law

Solidary incentives

benefits based on the concept that people like to associate with those who are similar to them

Voting cues

sources—including fellow lawmakers, constituents, and interest groups—that lawmakers often use to help them decide how to vote, especially on unfamiliar issues

Material incentives

Substantive monetary or physical benefits given to group members to help overcome collective action problems

Membership organization

An interest group that usually consists of dues-paying members who organize around a particular cause or issue


A person who suggests that all groups access and influence depend on the political environment

Particularized benefit

A benefit that generally accrues to a narrow segment of society

Public interest group

an interest group that seeks a public good, which is something that accrues to all