Glossary of VOTING, CAMPAIGNS, AND ELECTIONS
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- MOTOR VOTER BILL
- legislation allowing citizens to register to vote a t the same time they apply for a driver's license or other state benefit.
- VOTER MOBILIZATION
- a party's efforts to inform potential voters about issues and candidates and persuade them to vote.
- SOCIAL CONNECTEDNESS
- citizens' involvement in groups and their relationships to their communities and families.
- PROSPECTIVE VOTING
- basing voting decisions on well-informed opinions and consideration of the future consequences of a given vote.
- RETROSPECTIVE VOTING
- basing voting decisions on reactions to past performance; approving the status quo or signaling a desire for change.
- PARTY CAUCUS
- local gathering of party members to choose convention delegates.
- PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY
- an election by which voters choose convention delegates committed to voting for a certain candidate.
- the process of scheduling presidential primaries early in the primary season.
- the perception that a candidate is moving ahead of the rest of the field.
- the leading candidate and expected winner of a nomination or an election.
- SWING VOTERS
- the approximately one-third of the electorate who are undecided at the start of a campaign.
- OPPO RESEARCH
- investigation of an opponent's background for the purpose of exploiting weaknesses or undermining credibility.
- VALENCE ISSUE
- an issue on which most voters and candidates share the same position.
- POSITION ISSUE
- an issue on which the parties differ in their perspectives and proposed solutions.
- WEDGE ISSUE
- a controversial issue that one party uses to split the voters in the other party.
- ISSUE OWNERSHIP
- the tendency of one party to be seen as more competent in a specific policy area.
- NEGATIVE ADVERTISING
- campaign advertising that emphasizes the negative characteristics of opponents rather than one's own strengths.
- HARD MONEY
- campaign funds donated directly to candidates; amounts are limited by federal election laws.
- SOFT MONEY
- unregulated campaign contributions by individuals, groups, or parties that promote general election activities but do not directly support individual candidates.
- ISSUE ADVOCACY ADS
- advertisements paid for by soft money, and thus not regulated, that promote certain issue positions but do not endorse specific candidates.
- ELECTORAL MANDATE
- the perception that an election victory signals broad support for the winner's proposed policies.
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