AP Gov: Unit 2 Vocab

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103 Terms

1

527 organization

A political group organized under section 527 of the IRS code that may accept and spend unlimited amounts of money on election activities so long as they are not spent on broadcast ads run in the last 30 days before a primary or 60 days before a general election in which clearly identified candidate is referred to and a relevant electorate is targeted.

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2

American dream

The widespread belief that the United States is a land of opportunity and that individual initiative and hard work can bring economic success.

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3

Antitrust legislation

Federal laws (starting with the Sherman Act of 1890) that tried to prevent a monopoly from dominating an industry and restraining trade.

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4

Attentive public

Those citizens who follow public affairs carefully

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5

Australian ballot

A secret ballot printed by the state.

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6

Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA)

Largely banned party soft money, restored a long-standing prohibition on corporations and labor unions for using general treasury funds for electoral purposes, and narrowed the definition of issue advocacy.

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7

Bundling

 A tactic in which PACs collect contributions from like-minded individuals (each limited to $2000) and present them to a candidate or political party as a "bundle," thus increasing the PAC's influence.

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8

Campaigns and Elections Winner-take-all system

An election system in which the candidate with the most votes wins.

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9

Candidate appeal

How voters feel about a candidate's background, personality, leadership ability, and other personal qualities.

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10

Capitalism

An economic system characterized by private property, competitive markets, economic incentives, and limited government involvement in the production, distribution, and pricing of goods and services.

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11

Caucus

A meeting of local party members to choose party officials or candidates for public office and to decide the platform.

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12

Closed primary

Primary election in which only persons registered in the party holding the primary may vote.

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13

Closed shop

A company with a labor agreement under which union membership can be a condition of employment

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14

Coattail effect

The boost that candidates may get in an election because of the popularity of candidates above them on the ballot, especially the president

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15

Collective action

How groups form and organize to pursue their goals or objectives, including how to get individuals and groups to participate and to cooperate. The term has many applications in the various social sciences such as political science, sociology, and economics

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16

Conservatism

A belief that limited government ensures order competitive markets and personal opportunity

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17

Cross-cutting cleavages

Divisions within society that cut across demographic categories to produce groups that are more heterogeneous or different

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18

Crossover voting

Voting by a member of one party for a candidate of another party

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19

Dealignment

Weakening of partisan preferences that points to a rejection of both major parties and a rise in the number of independents.

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20

Democratic consensus

Widespread agreement on fundamental principles of democratic governance and the values that undergird them.


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21

Demographics

The study of the characteristics of populations

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22

Direct primary

Election in which voters choose party nominees.


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23

Electoral college

Electoral system used in electing the president and vice president, in which voters vote for electors pledged to cast their ballots for a particular party's candidates

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24

Ethnicity

A social division based on national origin, religion, language, and often race.

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25

Federal Election Commission (FEC)

A commission created by the 1974 amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act to administer election reform laws. It consists of six commissioners appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Its duties include overseeing disclosure of campaign finance information and public funding of presidential elections, and enforcing contribution limits.

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26

Free rider

An individual who does not join a group representing his or her interests yet receives the benefit of the group's influence

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27

Fundamentalists

Conservative Christians who (as a group) have become more active in politics in the last two decades and were especially influential in the 2000 presidential election

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28

Gender gap

The difference between the political opinions or political behavior of men and of women.

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29

General election

Elections in which voters elect officeholders

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30

Green party

A minor party dedicated to the environment, social justice, nonviolence, and the foreign policy of nonintervention. Ralph Nader ran as the Green party's nominee in 2000.

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31

Gross domestic product (GDP)

The total output of all economic activity in the nation, including goods and services

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32

Hard money

Political contributions given to a party, candidate, or interest group that are limited in amounts and fully disclosed. Raising such limited funds is harder than raising unlimited funds, hence the term "hard money”

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33

Honeymoon

Period at the beginning of the new president's term during which the president enjoys generally positive relations with the press and Congress, usually lasting about six months

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34

Horse race

A close contest; by extension, any contest in which the focus is on who is ahead and by how much rather than on substantive differences between the candidates

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35

Independent expenditure

The Supreme Court has ruled that individuals, groups, and parties can spend unlimited amounts in campaigns for or against candidates as long as they operate independently from the candidates. When an individual, group, or party does so, they are making an independent expenditure

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36

Initiative

Procedure whereby a certain number of voters may, by petition, propose a law or constitutional amendment and have it submitted to the voters

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37

Interest group

A collection of people who share a common interest or attitude and seek to influence government for specific ends. Interest groups usually work within the framework of government and try to achieve their goals through tactics such as lobbying

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38

Interested money

Financial contributions by individuals or groups in the hope of influencing the outcome of the election and subsequently influencing policy

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39

Issue advocacy

Promoting a particular position or an issue by interest groups or individuals but not candidates. Much issue advocacy is often electioneering for or against a candidate and, until 2004 had not been subject to regulation

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40

Issue network

Relationships among interest groups, congressional committees and subcommittees, and the government agencies that share a common policy concern

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41

Leadership PAC

A PAC formed by an officeholder that collects contributions from individuals and other PACs and then makes contributions to other candidates and political parties

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42

Liberalism

A belief that government can and should achieve justice and equality of opportunity.

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43

Libertarian party

A minor party that believes in extremely limited government. Libertarians call for a free market system, expanded individual liberties such as drug legalization, and a foreign policy of nonintervention, free trade, and open immigration

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44

Libertarianism

An ideology that cherishes individual liberty and insists on minimal government, promoting a free market economy, a noninterventionist foreign policy, and an absence of regulation in moral, economic, and social life

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45

Linkage institutions

The means by which individuals can express preferences regarding the development of public policy

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46

Lobbying

Engaging in activities aimed at influencing public officials, especially legislators, and the policies they enact

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47

Lobbyist

A person who is employed by and acts for an organized interest group or corporation to try to influence policy decisions and positions in the executive and legislative branches.

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48

Majority rule

Governance according to the expressed preferences of the majority

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49

Manifest destiny

 A notion held by a nineteenth-century Americans that the United States was destined to rule the continent, from the Atlantic the Pacific

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50

Manifest opinion

A widely shared and consciously held view, like support for homeland security

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51

Mass media

Means of communication that are reaching the public, including newspapers and magazines, radio, television (broadcast, cable, and satellite), films, recordings, books, and electronic communication. News media — Media that emphasize the news

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52

Midterm election

Elections held midway between presidential elections

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53

Minor party

A small political party that rises and falls with a charismatic candidate or, if composed of ideologies on the right or left, usually persists over time; also called a third party

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54

Monopoly

Domination of an industry by a single company that fixes prices and discourages competition; also, the company that dominates the industry by these means

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55

Movement

A large body of people interested in a common issue, idea, or concern that is of continuing significance and who are willing to take action. Movements seek to change attitudes or institutions, not just policies

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56

Name recognition

Incumbents have an advantage over challengers in election campaigns because voters are more familiar with them, and incumbents are more recognizable

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57

National party convention

A national meeting of delegates elected at primaries, caucuses, or state conventions who assemble once every four years to nominate candidates for president and vice president, ratify the party platform, elect officers, and adopt rules

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58

National tide

The inclination to focus on national issues, rather than local issues, in an election campaign. The impact of the national tide can be reduced by the nature of the candidates on the ballot who might have differentiated themselves from their party or its leader if the tide is negative, as well as competition in the election.

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59

Natural rights

The rights of all people to dignity and worth; also called human rights

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60

Nongovernmental organization (NGO)

A nonprofit association or group operating outside of government that advocates and pursues policy objectives

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61

Nonpartisan election

A local or judicial election in which candidates are not selected or endorsed by political parties and party affiliation is not listed on ballots

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62

Open primary

Primary election in which any voter, regardless of party, may vote.

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63

Open shop

A company with a labor agreement under which union membership cannot be required as a condition of employment

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64

Party convention

A meeting of party delegates to vote on matters of policy and in some cases to select party candidates for public office

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65

Party identification

An informal and subjective affiliation with a political party that most people acquire in childhood

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66

Party registration

The act of declaring party affiliation; required by some states when one registers to vote

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67

Pluralism

A theory of government that holds that open, multiple, and competing groups can check the asserted power by any one group

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68

Political action committee (PAC)

The political arm of an interest group that is legally entitled to raise funds on a voluntary basis from members, stockholders, or employees to contribute funds to candidates or political parties

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69

Political culture

The widely shared beliefs, values, and norms about how citizens relate to governments and to one another

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70

Political ideology

A consistent pattern of beliefs about political values and the role of government

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71

Political Parties Political party

An organization that seeks political power by electing people to office so that its positions and philosophy become public policy.

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72

Political predisposition

 A characteristic of individuals that is predictive of political behavior.

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73

Political socialization

The process — most notably in families and schools — by which we develop our political attitudes, values, and beliefs

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74

Popular sovereignty

A belief that ultimate power resides in the people

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75

Presidential election

Elections held in years when the president is on the ballot

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76

Primary election

Elections in which voters determine party nominees

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77

Proportional representation

An election system in which each party running receives the proportion of legislative seats corresponding to its proportion of the vote

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78

Prospective issue voting

Voting based on what a candidate pledges to do in the future about an issue if elected

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79

Public choice

Synonymous with "collective action," it specifically studies how government officials, politicians, and voters respond to positive and negative incentives

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80

Public Opinion, Participation, And Voting Public opinion

The distribution of individual preferences or evaluations of a given issue, candidate, or institution within a specific population.

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81

Quid pro quo

Something given with the expectation of receiving something in return.

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82

Race

A grouping of human beings with distinctive characteristics determined by genetic inheritance

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83

Random sample

In this type of sample, every individual has unknown and random chance of being selected

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84

Realigning election

An election during periods of expanded suffrage and change in the economy and society that proves to be a turning point, redefining the agenda of politics and the alignment of voters within parties

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85

Recall

Procedure for submitting to popular vote the removal of officials from office before the end of their term

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86

Referendum

Procedure for submitting to popular vote measures passed by the legislature or proposed amendments to a state constitution

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87

Reform party

A minor party founded by Ross Perot in 1995. It focuses on national government reform, fiscal responsibility, and political accountability. It has recently struggled with internal strife and criticism that it lacks an identity

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88

Reinforcing cleavages

Divisions within society that reinforce one another, making groups more homogenous or similar

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89

Retrospective issue of voting

Holding incumbents, usually the president's party, responsible for their records on issues, such as the economy or foreign policy.

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90

Revolving door

Employment cycle in which individuals who work for governmental agencies that regulate interests eventually end up working for interest groups or businesses with the same policy concern

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91

Safe seat

Elected office that is predictably won by one party or the other, so the success of the party's candidate is almost taken for granted

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92

Selected perception

The process by which individuals perceive what they want to in media messages

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93

Selective exposure

The process by which individuals screen out messages that do not conform to their own biases

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94

Single-member district

An electoral district in which voters choose one representative or official

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95

social capital

Democratic and civic habits of discussion, compromise, and respect for differences, which grow out of participation in voluntary organizations

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96

Socialism

An economic and governmental system based on public ownership of the means of production and exchange

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97

Socioeconomic status (SES)

A division of population based on occupation, income, and education.

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98

Soft money

Unlimited amounts of money that political parties raise for partybuilding purposes. Now largely illegal except for limited contributions to state and local parties for voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts

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99

Suffrage

The right to vote

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100

The American Political Landscape Ethnocentrism

Belief in the superiority of one's nation or ethnic group.

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