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unit 5

A subgroup of people seeking to advance their ideas are:
a faction.
Which term refers to the part of the population that can vote?
The electorate.
A linkage institution helps people ____
interact with their government.
The two-party system in the United States is now defined by the __________ and __________ parties.
Republican / Democratic.
A government run by one person is usually evidence of a __________ system.
single-party.
The smallest organized political area for voting is a:
precinct.
Political parties hold a national convention to:
formally nominate their candidate and present their platform to the people.
When no one party has the majority in a multi-party system, it must join with other parties to form a __________.
coalition.
A significant party outside the two dominant parties in U.S. politics is called a:
third party.
At the national convention, a party will issue its ____________ to explain its position on the issues of the day.
platform.
The U.S. presidential election features the:
electoral college.
Ever since 1845, general elections for the president and the members of the House of Representatives have been held on:
the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
What is the name for a ballot question that asks voters if the state constitution should be changed?
Amendment.
All voters from any party are allowed to participate in:
an open primary.
A special election is:
used to replace an official who has died in office.
If you are out of town on election day, you may apply ahead of time for an _____________ ballot.
absentee.
Low voter turnout is a feature of:
all elections across America.
Voting in a booth is an example of a ___________ ballot.
secret.
The terms “suffrage” and “franchise” mean:
the right to vote.
The state governments oversee:
the election process.
In a court case, an organization that wants to inform the court can write a brief called:
amicus curiae.
Interest groups seek to increase their membership so they can also:(All of the above)
raise more money for their work,
enlarge their contacts, and
have more influence in the government.
A political action committee (PAC) is used to:
raise money for political campaigns.
An ___________ interest group will represent different facets of business interests.
economic.
The complex relationship between interest groups, the government bureaucracy, and Congress is referred to as:
the iron triangle.
Interest groups have been criticized because they:
have a corrupting influence on government
An example of a professional association would be the:
American Medical Association.
The term “revolving door” describes when:
former government workers become lobbyists.
A lobbyist is:
a paid representative for an interest group.
Representation and education are the two main functions of:
interest groups.
A “blogger” is someone who:
discusses the news and their opinions online.
Newspapers and magazines are part of the __________ media.
print.
Since most American media are privately owned:
they cannot rely on government funding.
The White House Press Corps:
reports on the president full time.
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of the:
press.
The term Fourth Estate is used in reference to:
the press.
One theory concerning media influence in politics suggests:
the press acts as a gatekeeper in reporting certain issues and not others.
Which of the following is not an example of the new media?
newspapers.
Members of the press and writers who uncovered corporate misconduct were called:
muckrakers.
Sensationalist and exaggerated news printed to sell newspapers is an example of the ___________ press.
tabloid.
A muckraker was a reporter who:
investigated political and corporate corruption.
The general elections in America are most often held on a Tuesday in:
November.
The groups and issues that divide political parties change over time. A sudden change in the arrangement of groups and issues is called a ____ .
realignment.
The ability of the media to set the political agenda is referred to as:
gate keeping.
Which of the following is not a reason why minor parties struggle to get votes in the United States?
Media gatekeepers give a great deal of coverage to minor parties.
Newspapers make up part of the:
print media.
General elections are managed by:
the state governments.
Soldiers who are stationed far from home can vote using:
an absentee ballot.
In an open primary:
all voters can participate.
An example of a single-issue interest group would be:
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
Electoral votes are given to states based on:
Congressional representation.
Presidential candidates are formally nominated at a:
national convention.
The media in the United States is:
largely privately owned.
A statement about political party’s position on the issues is called a:
party platform.
Presidential press conferences are attended by:
the White House Press Corps.
The tabloid press has also been called:
yellow journalism.
Blogging has become a way for individuals to:
present the news and opinions to other people via the Internet.
coalitions
A coalition is a temporary alliance among groups, each with their own goals. The groups work together, but have no long term commitment to each other. When political groups combine for the purpose of having more power they are said to have formed a coalition.
linkage institution
Organization that connects the people to the government. Important linkage institutions include political parties, lobbies, special interest groups, and even clubs and benevolent organizations.
minor parties
Any political parties outside of the two major parties. Some are long lasting and well organized, while others are organized around a single, short-term issue.
multi-party systems
Multi-party systems are political systems in which three or more parties play a role in government.
parliamentary government
A type of government in which the executive branch is composed of members from the legislative branch.
plank
An endorsed policy in the platform of a political party.
platform
A document stating the aims and principles of a political party.
political party
Organizations of citizens with similar views that seek to have their members attain government offices. They provide candidates with a label or identification they can use to present themselves to the electorate.
popular sovereignty
The right of the people to run their country. The people are the sovereign, or ultimate authority.
precinct
A precinct is the lowest level of American civil government. It is a small geographical region mostly used to organize voting – the people who live in a precinct all vote vote at the same physical location. Precincts average about 1,100 registered voters.
proportional voting
Proportional voting systems attempt to create a close match between the number of votes that a political party receives and the number of seats for each party in the legislature. Proportional systems downplay geographical districts, give voters multiple votes for multiple candidates, or otherwise try to match voter preferences with legislative seating.
single-party systems
Single-party systems refers to political systems in which only one party is allowed to play a role in government.
two-party system
A two-party system is a political system in which only two major parties play a role in government.
economic interest groups
Economic interest groups try to affect economic policy. Many of them are organized by industries, labor, or professional organizations, but individual corporations and consumer groups also maintain economic interest groups.
governmental interest groups
Governmental interest groups, such as the National Governors Association or the U.S. Conference of Mayors, are formed by government groups to lobby other levels of government.
ideological interest groups
Ideological interest groups work to sway government policy toward their general ideology. In doing so, they may address economic, pubic, civil rights, and even religious issues.
interest groups
Groups that try to encourage or prevent changes in public policy. Members of interest groups do not hold public office.
iron triangle
A mutually beneficial relationship between an industry subject to government regulation, the regulatory agency, and the Congressional oversight committee. Iron triangles have become less important in recent years because of the increase in competing industry lobbies.
lobbying
When interest groups meet with legislators or their staffers and attempt to persuade them to create or change government policy, they are said to be lobbying.
lobbyists
Lobbyists are paid representatives of an interest group.
Political Action Committees (PACS)
Organizations that form to raise money for candidates running for office.
public interest groups
Public interest groups work for goals that are broadly defined as being in the public interest – like improved voting.
revolving door
A revolving door situation is when government workers leave the public sector and immediately hire themselves out as lobbyists working for interest groups.
single-issue interest group
A single-issue interest group is one that concentrates on one issue, such as abortion or election reform.
blog
A blog is a shared online journal where people can post diary entries about their personal experiences and hobbies.
broadcast media
Broadcast media is that which sends its material over the airwaves, such as radio, television, and the internet.
First Amendment
The First Amendment in the Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of speech, religion, and the press.
Founders
A general term for the people who signed the Declaration of Independence, drafted the U.S. Constitution, or otherwise participated in the American Revolution and the foundation of the United States of America.
Fourth Estate
The Fourth Estate refers to the press and other media. The term was first used in England in the 18th century. “Estate” means the same as class, the other three being nobility, commoners, and clergy.
gatekeeping
Gatekeeping is the act of controlling access to information or to people.
mass media
The means of mass communication. This collectively includes television, radio, and newspapers.
muckrakers
A muckraker refers to a moralistic writer or journalist during the Progressive era (1900 – 1919). They uncovered corruption and abuse of power in business and politics.
new media
New media is any kind of communications medium that is interactive, such as the Internet.
print media
Print media refers to items that are printed, such as newspapers, magazines, and journals.
public agenda
The public agenda is the set of issues which most of the public focuses on at a given time. This agenda can be set by political campaigns, by the media, or by the public seizing an event or topic independently.
tabloid press
The tabloid press is media that seeks to sell its product through exaggeration and hype.
absentee ballot
An absentee ballot is one that a voter casts without appearing at the polls. Absentee ballots are usually mailed in prior to election day.
Australian ballot
An Australian ballot is a system of balloting (or voting) in public elections in which there is such an arrangement for polling votes that secrecy is compulsorily maintained. The ballots used in this case are official ballots printed and distributed by the government.
ballots
Lists of either candidates for office or issues to be voted on.
caucus
A caucus is a meeting that selects candidates or promotes party policy. It can also be thought of as a meeting of a sample of party members.
closed primary
A closed primary is a direct election in which voters must show evidence of their party affiliation and may vote only for candidates of that same party;
convention
In the United States, a convention (or convening or meeting) is held every four years to select the party’s nominee for president, as well as to adopt a statement of party principles and goals known as the platform.
election day
Since 1845 elections to national office are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November. This date was chosen because it was convenient for a rural and agricultural nation. It has been kept out of tradition.
electoral college
The group of electors who formally elect the U.S. president and vice president. Its number totals 538.
electorate
The body of enfranchised citizens; those qualified to vote.
electors
Electors are members of the electoral college; those who formally elect the president of the United States.
electronic voting
Electronic voting or e-voting is an election system that allows voters to record ballots electronically. One popular type of e-voting recording device is the direct electronic recording (DER) touch screen or optical scanner, that records votes.
exit polls
Polls taken as people are leaving their place of voting. These are used to predict the election outcome before the polls close.
exploratory committees
An organization established to help determine whether a potential candidate should run for an elected office.
Federal Election Commission (FEC)
The Federal Election Commission was created in 1974 to regulate campaign finance. Because financial donations are considered a form of free speech, the FEC’s powers are limited.
framers
A general term for the men who wrote the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
general elections
General elections are national or state elections in which candidates are chosen in all constituencies.
hard money
Money donated directly to electoral campaigns is called hard money, to distinguish it from the soft money used for general advocacy. The FEC regulates the amount of hard money a candidate can receive, but candidates can use the money as they wish.
open primary
An open primary is one in which any registered voter can vote, but must vote for candidates of only one party.
polling places
Locales where voters go to cast their votes in an election.
popular vote
The popular vote is that for a U.S. presidential candidate made by the qualified voters, as opposed to that made by the electoral college.
primary elections
Primary elections are preliminary elections in which voters of each party nominate candidates for office, party officers, etc.
registered voter
People who have identified themselves with their local electoral board. States set the requirements for voter registration. Most states require voters to be U.S. citizens, to have no felony convictions, and to have resided in their voting district for a specific period of time before the election.
reserved powers
Powers given to the states by the U.S. Constitution.
runoff election
A runoff election is the final round to resolve an earlier election that did not produce a winner.
soft money
Soft money is the term for funds that are contributed by people or interest groups for voter education of general-issue advocacy. The FEC limits the uses of soft money, but not the amount of money that can be used. While soft money is supposed to be separate from specific political campaigns, in practice it has been used to support candidates and policies.
swing states
Swing states (also, call “battlegound states”) in presidential politics are states in which no candidate has overwhelming support. This means that major candidates have a reasonable chance of winning the state’s electoral college votes. These states often decide the outcome of elections.
voting machine
A mechanical device for recording and counting votes mechanically.

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