American Gov (POLS 11101) Exam 2

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To which level of government (local, state, national) does the U.S. Constitution give primary responsibility for regulating and administering elections for federal office?

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To which level of government (local, state, national) does the U.S. Constitution give primary responsibility for regulating and administering elections for federal office?

state

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Are election laws mostly the same from state to state or do they tend to vary markedly across states? Why?

They vary, states decide on how to run their own elections

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In Georgia, are elections administered by a single centralized agency, or are they administered by each county in the state?

administered by each county

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What is a primary election?

election to determine the parties present nominee

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what is general election?

Election where nominees compete for president

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When (in even-numbered years or odd-numbered years) do elections occur for the following offices?

-Georgia Senate: Even (staggered) -Georgia House of Representatives: Every even year -U.S. House of Representatives :Even even year -U.S. President: Even (4 years) -Major Georgia executive branch offices; Governor and Lieutenant Governor: Even (midterm election year) -Atlanta Mayor: Odd or even -Atlanta City Council: Odd or even -Local: Odd or even

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What is a referendum and how is it different from a citizen ballot initiative? Does Georgia have both kinds of ballot items? If not, which does it have?

-Referendum: is a proposed law placed on a ballot by a legislative authority. -Citizen ballot Initiative are measures placed on a ballot by citizens who gather enough signatures on a petition. *Georgia does not allow this one

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What, according to your textbook, does Article X of the Georgia Constitution require for an amendment to the Georgia Constitution to be ratified?

referendum

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What is convenience voting?

Common examples of convenience voting are Early Voting and Absentee Voting.

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How does Georgia compare to other states in the extent to which it provides voters with convenience voting options (below average, average, or above average)?

above average convenience voting options

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What is no-excuse absentee voting?

allows people to obtain an absentee ballot without giving a reason why they cannot vote on election day-This means everyone is eligible to vote absentee—you need an excuse like being sick or out of the country. *Georgia has it

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How many weeks prior to Election Day does the early voting period last in Georgia? Do any states have longer early voting periods than this?

  • 3 weeks early

  • some states allow a month early

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Is voter turnout generally higher or lower in Presidential election years or in midterm election years? Is it generally higher in federal elections or in local elections?

Turnout tends to be even lower in local elections and midterm years

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Over the past decade, have African American citizens tended to vote at higher, lower, or approximately the same rate as white Americans?

approximately the same rate

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At the same time, have Hispanic (Latino / Latina) citizens tended to vote at higher, lower, or approximately the same rate as African Americans?

lower

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Do men and women currently vote at approximately the same rate, or does one sex tend to vote at a significantly higher rate than the other?

approximately the same rate

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Do wealthier Americans and poorer Americans tend to vote at approximately the same rate, or does one economic group tend to vote at a significantly higher rate than the other?

wealthier vote more

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Do younger Americans and older Americans tend to vote at approximately the same rate, or does one age group tend to vote at a significantly higher rate than the other (and if so, which one)?

older vote more

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Do highly educated Americans and less-educated Americans tend to vote at approximately the same rate, or does one education-level group tend to vote at a significantly higher rate than the other (and if so, which one)?

higher-educated vote more

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What is epistocracy?

to restrict voting to the highly informed "rule by the knowledgeable"

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Currently, Americans with lower levels of political knowledge tend to vote at lower rates than Americans with higher levels of political knowledge. According to Jason Brennan, is this lower rate of turnout by Americans with lower knowledge a problem to be solved or is it something desirable that should be encouraged? Why

he believes that no one has a right to exercise such power unless they are highly knowledgeable about government, politics, economics, public speaking, and so on.

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What does it mean to say, "if you are not at the table, you are on the menu"? What implication does this have for the argument that it would be good to increase voter turnout among those who currently vote at disproportionately low rates?

that is, if you do not convey your views to elected officials through voting, your views will likely be ignored, and go public policy will be more likely to harm than benefit you.

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According to the textbook, is there evidence to suggest that governments tend to systematically serve the interests of those who vote and deserve those who do not vote? Or does the government seem indifferent to who votes?

voters interests are more likely to be represented, policy makers pay more attention to voters or registered voters

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Be sure to know and understand the rational choice model of voting

Bi= p(Yi-Zi)+Di-Ci

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How does it create the "paradox of voting"?

despite the fact that the probability of casting a decisive vote is nearly zero, people still incur costs to cast a vote.

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When expressed as a formula, what does the D-Term variable represent? What does the C-Term variable represent? Why are these thought to be the two most important variables influencing voter turnout?

Di = the direct benefit to Voter I from the act of voting. Ci = is the costs incurred by Voter I by voting. A direct benefit of voting can be that we feel satisfaction in knowing we did our part, we can also vote out of a sense of duty or gratitude and avoid feeling a sense of shame or guilt for not voting.

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What is the resource model of voting and how does it relate to the rational choice model?

emphasizes how education can influence voters' knowledge of the political system and of public affairs. This, in turn, can influence how difficult (i.e., costly) it is for a voter to navigate the voting process and to decide how to vote.

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According to the textbook, on what basis have over five million American citizens over the age of 18 been disenfranchised?

prohibited from voting due to felony convictions

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What is meant by "compulsory voting"? What impact has it been shown to have on voter turnout?

system in which citizens pay a fine or receive some other punishment if they don't vote.

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What impact has same-day registration had on voter turnout? How does the rational choice model of voting explain this?

when Americans go through the effort to register to vote, they are likely to follow-through and cast a ballot

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What impact on voting rates did Section 203 of the federal Voting Rights Act have among Latino citizens who speak Spanish as a first language?

-Section 203 of the federal Voting Rights Act requires localities to provide materials in a non-English language if more than 10,000 or over five percent of the total voting age citizens are members of a single language minority group, have depressed literacy rates, and do not speak English well. -One study demonstrated that this law increased Latino representation in government by increasing turnout among Latino citizens who speak Spanish as a first language

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What are some potential strategies provided by the textbook for reducing the costs of voting related to election timing and location

The need to register prior to turning out to vote imposes a cost to voting, which has the predictable effect of reducing turnout. So allowing a same day voter registration means voters can register to vote at polling places on Election Day and then vote at the same time.

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What is civil disobedience? Be sure to know examples of civil disobedience.

Civil disobedience refers to the intentional breaking of the law to make a political point. (does not include actions that directly harm individuals) ex: Trespassing on government or corporate property, Minor crimes against public order, such as disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, unlawful assembly, or obstruction of vehicular traffic, Refusal to pay taxes or perform military service, Interference with public officials' performance of official duties

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According to the textbook, demonstrations, marches, and protests are often used not only to make a point about a public policy issue, but also for something else?

but also gaining public recognition for a group that has been ignored.

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what are strikes and boycotts? What is the main difference between a strike and a boycott?

A boycott is a collective refusal to purchase a particular good or service. A strike is a collective decision by a large number of people to refuse to work in order to dramatize a situation or force those who are adversely affected to make concessions.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "A riot is the language of the unheard." According to the textbook, did King mean by this that a riot indicates the democratic political system is operating well? Or did he mean it's a sign that the system is operating poorly?

operating poorly

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Be able to associate the following concepts / labels with the correct corresponding major political party: color blue, color red, Grand Old Party (GOP), elephant, donkey, conservative, liberal, right, left.

-Democrats = Blue, Donkey, Liberal, Left -Republican = Red, Elephant, Conserative, Right, Grand Old party (GOP)

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define Major party and minor party

-Major: Political parties with members who frequently win elections and that typically wins either a majority or sizeable minority of seats in a legislature -Minor: Political parties with members who rarely win elections and that never win more than a small minority of seats in a legislature.

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define majority and minority

-Majority: A political party with more than half the seats in a legislative body at any given time. -Minority: A political party with less than half the seats in a legislative body at any given time

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What are the main differences between political parties and interest groups as discussed in the textbook? What do they have in common?

-Political parties are organizations that seem to influence the government by getting members elected officials in government... -interest groups are associations that seek to influence government to benefit members of the association or advance a cause they share a belief in

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What is meant by "party platform"? What does it typically include?

A document expressing a political party's principles, goals, and policy positions on domestic and foreign affairs.

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does the U.S have a two-party system or multi party system?

Two party system

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six democratic functions of political parties

  1. Candidate Nomination: Parties serve a vital function by helping to choose and groom possible candidates for elections, along with providing those candidates with the resources needed to help them successfully run for office.

  2. Electoral Mobilization: Parties get people motivated and excited to get to the polls to vote

  3. Issue structuring: Prioritizing issues so that attention is focused on a digestible set of problems

  4. Social representation: Bidding for multiple social groups votes thus allowing them to represent different sections of society

  5. Interest Aggregation: A political party brings multiple interests and stakeholders together under a single organizational framework.

  6. Forming and Sustaining Majority Governing Coalitions: One thing all democracies have in common is that their legislatures operate by the principle of majority (or sometimes supermajority) rule. To become law, proposed legislation requires at least a majority of members to vote in its favor.

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What is the winner-take-all election system? How does it differ from proportional representation election system? which system is used in America?

  • Single-member district / winner-take-all elections = This means candidates compete for votes within a district and the candidate who gets the most votes represents the entire district. *Used in America

  • Proportional representation (PR) = The number of legislative seats a party receives is a function of the share of votes it receives in an election. Citizens vote for parties and parties choose candidates to fill seats

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Duverger's Law offers a social scientific explanation for why some countries have two-party systems and others have multiparty systems. What is that explanation?

Winner -take-all elections tend to favor party systems, while PR tends to favor multiparty systems.

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The Republican Party developed due to tensions between the North and the South in America. What event led to the solidification of the Republican and Democratic parties in America?

The mass approach to party design and organization used by both parties led to their solidification when they first rose

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What is meant by "party realignment"? What is the most important example of this in recent history according to the textbook?

  • Party realignment = A shifting of party allegiances within the electorate.

  • When African-Americans changed loyalties from the republican party to the Democratic Party in the mid 1960's

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The 1932 presidential election is widely considered to be a critical election. What reason does the textbook give for this?

Critical election = one that represents a sudden, clear, and long-term shift in voter allegiances. *Because the party realignment

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Today, which parts of the country are strongly associated with the Democratic Party and which are associated with the Republican Party

-Urban areas and the Northeast now solidly Democratic. Democrats dominate urban politics and those parts of the South, known as the Black Belt, where the majority of residents are African American. -The South and rural areas overwhelmingly voting Republican. Republicans have considerable advantages in rural areas and the Deep South.

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What does the term "party-in-the-electorate" mean?

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

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A lot of people say they are "independents," but the textbook points out that this is somewhat misleading. Why is this misleading?

The overwhelming majority admit to leaning in the direction of one party or the other, suggesting they behave as if they identified with a party during elections even if they preferred to avoid picking a side publicly.

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What is meant by "mega-identity"? Be sure to know and understand the discussion in the textbook around this term, specifically why party identification is best thought of as a social identity that overlaps with many other aspects of social identity

Mega-identity = one through which multiple social identities reinforces and magnify each other

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What does the term party organization mean? Why is it important (according to the textbook)?

Party Organization = The formal structure of the political party and the active members responsible for coordinating party behavior and supporting party candidates. -vital component of any successful party because to bears most of the responsibility for building and maintaining the party "brand" (helping select, elect, candidates for public)

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The local and state level party organizations are much less visible than the national level. Why is this?

local and state-level party organizations are the workhorses of the political process

  • they take on the most of the responsibility for party activities and are easily the most active participants in the party formation and electoral process.

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what are 5 ways the house and senate differ?

Size, seats, per state, term lengths, citizenships and age requirements, and constitutional powers.

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Be able to compare the house and senate differences along all 5 dimensions

-Size: house is composed of 435 voting representatives. and senate is composed of 100 senators

  • seats per state: in senate, each state has two senators regardless of population size. in house, the number of representatives fro each state is based on the relative population size of the state. the number of house seats per state currently ranges from 1(Wyoming, north and south dakota, Delaware, and Vermont) to 52(California) Georgia currently has 14 house seats

  • Term lengths: members of the house representatives serve two-year terms and senators serve six-year terms. (there is no number of times members of congress may be reelected)

  • citizenship and age requirements: a house of member must be a us citizen of at least seven years' standing and at least 25 years old. senators are required to have nine years' standing as citizen and be at least 30 years old.

  • constituitnal powers: First, the Senate is given special authority over the ratification of treaties and the confirmation of federal judges and certain high-level executive appointments. Second, only the House plays a role in certifying winners of presidential contests. Finally, the two chambers play different roles in impeachment, which is a procedure through which officials can be formally removed from office. With those exceptions aside, the two chambers are otherwise equal in their formal authorities.

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what's the idea of a "mixed regime"? how is it reflected in bicameral structure of congress?

Inspired by Aristotle, mix democratic and aristocratic elements to avoid the disadvantages of either a pure democracy or pure aristocracy.

  • to combine advantages and avoid the shortcomings of each.

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how did the great compromise contribute toward the establishment of congressional bicameralism?

the small state preference for equal state representation applied to the senate and the large state prudence for representation proportionate to state population size applied in the house

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what are the advantages of bicameral legislatures?

more diverse constituency- it can allow for a greater diversity of constituents to be represented slower to act- reducing the likelihood of passing flawed of reckless legislation

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what are some disadvantages of bicameral legislature?

-slower to act on things because they require coordination and concurrence of tow chambers to pass laws. -the diversity of bicameral legislatures can lead a disproportionate representation aka malapportionment

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what are the 5 basic types of committees?

standing committees, permanent select committees, temporary select committees, joint committees, and conference committees

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which committees are the core committees in both the house and senate?

Standing committees

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what is the difference between a standing committee, a joint committee, a select committees and a conference committee?

standing committees have a permanent responsibility for a particular area of public policy for house and senate. select committees can be temporary or permanent, joint committee are composed of members of both chambers and perform advisory functions for both house and senate, and conference committee are temporarily to work out differences in house and senate versions of a particular bill.

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How is the party balance on a committee determined? Which party has more seats on a committee: the majority or the minority party?

It is the direct result of the party balance of its legislative chamber. -the majority has more seats

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what do the party conferences in congress do?

They meet regularly and separately to discuss issues and strategies

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what are the different leadership positions in congress?(For example, House Majority Leader, Speaker of the House, etc.). Be able to describe what each position does.

-Speaker of the house has the most powerful leadership position. has authority to assign bills to committees, decide when a bill will be presented to the floor for a vote, make rulings on house procedures, delegate authority for certain duties to other members, appoint members and chairs of committees, and create special temporary committees.

  • house minority leader has visible powerful position. they technically hold the rank closest to that of the speaker, leads in developing the party's legislative strategies -House majority leader has considerable power. they tend to be in the best position to assume the speakership when the current speaker of the house steps down.

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Be able to rank the following positions based on how much real power they have (according to the textbook): the Senate's president pro tempore, the Senate Majority Leader, the Speaker of the House

The Speaker of the house, The Senate majority leader, The Senate's president pro tempore

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what are the six stages before a bill can become a law?

bill drafting and introduction, committee work, floor debate, conference committee reconciliation(if needed), president decision, and veto override vote(if applicable)

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In which chamber must bills that rise revenue begin?

In house of representatives

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what do committees do with bills that are sent to them?

how a hearing for the bill, markup the bill, and if the committee decided not to advance the bill at that time, it is tabled(dead)

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What is a traditional filibuster? Which chamber allows for a filibuster of legislation? What is a cloture vote? How many votes are needed to end a filibuster?

-a procedural tactic. in the us senate whereby a minority of senators prevents a bill from coming to a vote holding the floor and talking until the majority gives in and the bill is withdrawn from conversation. -the senate allows for a filibuster of legislation

  • a cloture vote limits senate debate to thirty hours and has the effect defeating a filibuster.

  • two-thirds majority is required to end a filibuster

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How can a bill become law even if the president vetoes the legislation?

congress can override it by a 2/3 in both chambers. the bill becomes law without the presidents signature.

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What is an omnibus spending bill?

type of bill that combines smaller ordinary appropriations (spending) bills into one larger single bill that can be passed at once.

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The balance of power between congressional committees and political parties has shifted heavily toward which since the 1980s?

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What is a modern filibuster? How is it different from a traditional filibuster?

  • a warping of the original intent of the cloture rules before any bill can vote. -unlike the traditional filibuster, in which a senator took the floor and held it for as long as possible, the modern filibuster is actually a warping of the original intent of the cloture rules adopted to control the filibuster.

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What is the budget reconciliation process? What is its relationship to the modern filibuster?

  • it is the process that has developed over time, beginning in the early 1970''s through which the federal budget can be amended through a simple majority vote.

  • only policies that directly impact the federal budget

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What is reapportionment?

The redistribution of house seats based on population shifts.

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What is the one-person, one-vote standard? Which institution established it?

-rule created by the u.s Supreme Court in the 1964 holding that if a state holds elections using single member districts.

  • it was established by the court.

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What is redistricting? Which level of government (the national government or the state governments) is in charge of it?

its is the redrawing of congressional and other legislative district lines following the census to accommodate population shifts and keep districts as equal as possible in population.

  • the state government is in charge of it

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According to the textbook, what percentage of 2022 House district elections are genuinely competitive "toss up" races that could go either way?

33 districts - 8%

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According to the textbook, what percentage of House elections in the year 2000 were genuinely competitive "toss up" races that could have gone either way?

40% of districts were thought to be toss-ups or only likely (not certain) to be won by one party or the other

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What is the "Big Sort"?

the trend in which Americans who are similar r in educational level, lifestyle, and political orientation increasingly chose to live close to each other. -the primary reason for the decline in competitive districts

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What is gerrymandering?

The manipulation of the redistricting boundaries process for political gain

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Has gerrymandering or the "Big Sort" had more impact on the decline of competitive congressional elections?

Gerrymandering

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What are the effects of uncompetitive elections on voters and civic health?

-voters are deprived of an opportunity other candidates positions on issues and this can lead voters to become less informed about public fairs

  • provide little reason for citizens to show up to vote and need, turnout, tends to be lower in such districts.

  • are less likely to volunteer and participate in non-political community affairs

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What is malapportionment?

an unequal distribution of voting per citizen across geographic electoral (e.g., districts or states) due to divergent ratios of voters to representatives

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Is the U.S. Senate one of the most or one of the least malapportioned legislative chambers in the world?

one of the most male-portioned upper chambers in the world

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is the U.S. House of Representatives one of the most or one of the least malapportioned legislative chambers in the world?

one of the least male-portioned legislative chambers in the world

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According to the textbook, how many people does each elected member of the House represent?

represents a district with a population size of approximately 764,000

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Why do some political scientists think this number is far too high?

With less seats...

  • that they can better understand their interests and values.

  • would allow the people to more easily monitor the performance of their representatives and hold them accountable.

  • the more seats a legislature has, the better it can represent the diversity of its citizenry.

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What does political scientist Lee Drutman propose the U.S. do about the high number of people per representative?

from 435 to 700

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Even if Drutman's proposal was adopted, how would the ratio of representation in the House compare with the global average?

is 4.7 times greater than the global average for lower legislative chambers

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what is descriptive representation?

representing constituents by mirroring their personal, politically relevant characteristics

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What are two reasons descriptive representation is beneficial?

-helps assure that all those who are affected by public policies have their rights, interest, and perspectives adequately represented in the policymaking process

  • it can promote a widespread sense of trust int he democratic process and perceptions that decisions are fair and legitimate

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In what ways is the Congress most descriptively representative? In what ways is the Congress most descriptively Unrepresentative?

education, generation, wealth, race/ethnicity, gender, religion

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What is constituent service?

a wide array of non-legislative activites -- from helping with issues with federal agencies to providing learning opportunities for students -- undertaken by members of congress of congressional staff that are aimed at helping and/ or honoring constituents

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what is the practice of "pro-barrel politics"?

federal spending on projects designed to benefit a particular district or set of constituents ( also known as "bringing home the bacon)

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What are the differences between the delegate, trustee, and politico models of representation?

delegate holds the first duty of representatives of their constituent.. the people who vote for representatives are the ones who should exercise judgment over questions of public policy, trustee is obligated to act according to their own best judgment of what is just or what will promote the public good, and politico models of representation are members of congress act as either trustee or delegate depending on the issue and political context

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According to the textbook, what approach to representation did Representative Liz Cheney take in 2021-2022?

Trustee

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According to Article II of the Constitution, who is eligible to run for president?

Must be at least thirty-five years old, and a natural born citizen of the United States who has been an inhabitant of the United States for at least fourteen years

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