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Glossary of PSCI 1050 Exam 2

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Created by danielleroach

What factors are included in the calculus of voting?
B=benefits of having your candidate win
P=probability of your vote making a difference
C=cost
D=civic duty




What factor in the calculus of voting tends to discourage people from showing up to the polls?
probability of your vote making a difference
What are the different ways of calculating voter turnout?
-rational calculus of voting
-VAP voting age population
-VEP voting eligible population

What do the differences matter in the different voter calculations?
because you can draw different conclusions based on each calculation

Compared to the rest of the world, where does the United States stand in terms of voter turnout rates?
-we sit at 31 out of 37 with 55%
-never higher than 65% ever
What are undervotes?
ballots that indicate no choice for an office, whether because the voter abstained or because the voter's intention could not be determined
What are overvotes?
when you vote for more than one candidate
How do the laws surrounding voter registration play into voters' decision to show up to the polls?
registration is not required and most haven't registered or don't how or where to register.
How do voter registration laws differ from other developed countries?
-not required
-less restrictions
-we have motor voter laws, but it had little affect

What are some other potential reforms to elections that may encourage people to show up to the polls?
-involve when elections are held
-frequency of elections
-restrictions on where one can vote

What part do parties play in increasing voter turnout?
political parties are more effective at mobilizing
Which groups in society are more inclined to vote?
-highly educated
-increases with age then declines with old age


What are some explanations for why we have seen a major shift in voter turnout over time?
people differ in...
-their ability to bear the costs of voting
-the strength of their feeling of civic duty
-how often they are targets of mobilization


What is an aggregate change that results from a change in the group's composition, not from a change in the behavior of individuals in the group?
compositional effect
what is the degree to which individuals are integrated into society-families, churches, neighborhoods, groups and so forth?
social connectedness
What is the most popular way of selecting party nominees for president (state by state)?
national party conventions and then primaries
What were some of the reforms in nomination rules in the Democratic party? What impact did it have?

-new rules opened up the process to regular party voters
-increase in number of presidential primaries
-use of proportional representation
-effort to make delegates more diverse
-superdelegates





How does the electoral college shape how candidates run their campaigns?
-candidates spend time in battleground states
-pay less attention to states they know they cannot win
What are some of the considerations voters make to choose between candidates?
-party loyalties
-public policies
-government performance
-qualities of the candidate


Recently, there was a major reform in the amount of money individuals could contribute to party
committee. What was it? What was this sort of money called?


Soft Money-money contributed by interest groups, labor unions, and donors to party committees.
-was banned by McCain-Feingold Bill in 2004
What is most campaign money spent on?
electronic media
What are pledged delegates?
commit to voting for particular candidate at convention
What are superdelegates?
elites who are not required to vote for particular candidate
How do the Democratic and Republican parties differ in how they distribute delegates among
party candidates?


Republicans use Winner-Take-All system
Democrats do not
What are electors? What do they do?
Each state selects a number of electors equal to the sum of its House and Senate seats
-they are the electoral college
How can you calculate the number of electors for each state?
its the sum of its house and senate seats
What element of the electoral college and its place in presidential elections have gained a considerable amount of criticism?

because in most cases if you win the popular vote you'll lose the electoral vote and that it isn't really how the people voted
In most states, if a presidential candidate in the general election wins a majority of the votes, how many electoral votes does he/she receive?

the full amount that the state is allowed
Federal Election Campaign Act of 1974
-contribution limits
-disclosure requirements
-public matching funds
-self financing


what is hard money?
-money donated directly to the candidate
-strictly regulated
Are members of Congress spending more or less time in their seats than in the past?
more time
What is reapportionment? How is it determined?
435 seats in the House are apportioned among the states according to their populations
-determined by the census taken every 10 years
What is redistricting?
Drawing new boundaries of congressional districts, usually after the decennial census
AND
Restrictions placed on the number of people placed within each district and the shape of the boundaries.



What is gerrymandering?
drawing lines of congressional districts in order to confer an advantage on some partisan or political interest.
What is an open seat? What impact might it have on congressional elections?
a house or senate race with no incumbent, because of death or retirement
-it could change who people vote for
What is a safe seat?
a congressional district certain to vote for the candidate of one party
What is an incumbent?
a person running for the office they currently hold
What are some factors that contribute to the incumbency advantage?
the electoral advantage a candidate enjoys by virtue of being an incumbent, over and above his or her personal and political characteristics
-Greater visibility
-Party decline
-Cater to constituents
-Greater access to resources





How do incumbents go about trying to secure their reelection in an upcoming election?
Often use privileges of office to provide voters with additional, more personal reasons to support them
What is their franking privilege? Why is it important?
sending mail at the expense of the government
-bc they virtually can send campaign ads to everyone bc they don't have to pay for it
On average, do House or Senate elections tend to be more expensive?
Senate
Which members of Congress have the highest reelection rates, the House or Senate? Why might
they differ in their ability to get reelected? 4 major differences.


Senate
-party competition
-uncontrolled information
-better challengers
-high ambitions of senators



Are national forces a stronger or weaker influence on congressional elections than they have
been in the past?


weaker or limited influence
What are coattails?
positive electoral effort of a popular presidential candidate on congressional candidates of the party
Why might national forces have grown in congressional elections?
increase in issue advocacy
-keeps national issues on agenda

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