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AP Government Vocabulary


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Political Party
-Group that elects candidates to office

-Provides identification, known to voters
-split of republican party in the 1880's-1910's
-composed of reformers who were against the political machine
National Convention
-meeting of elected delegates
-nominates presidential and vice-presidential candidates
National Committee
-Runs party affairs between national conventions
Congressional Campaign Committee
A committe that provides funds to re-election members and new members.
National Chairman
-A full-time manager of a party's day-to-day work who is elected by the national committee.
-leaders and elected officials who become delegates to the national convention without having to run in primaries or caucuses.
Political machine
a party organization that uses money, jobs, opportunity to get favors to attract members to a party.
Ideological party
opposite of the machine.
-based on principles and morals.
-Has a radically different view of government and society.
Sponsored Party
local/state party that is staffed and funded by another organization.

-Example: Democratic party is funded by the United Auto Works Union
Personal Following
Support provided to a candidate on the basis of personal popularity and networks..
Two-party system
electoral with two dominant parties that compete in state or national elections.
Electoral system, used in American elections (unless changed on the state level to nominate candidates)where the winner is the pesron who gets the most votes, even if he/she does not get the majority.
Alternative to primary in which the party followers meet, often for many hours, to select candidates.
The person currently in office.
Tendency of lesser-known/weaker candidates to profit by the presence on the ticket of a more popular candidate.
Political Action Committee-set up by and representing a corporation labor union, raises and spends campaign contributions on behalf of one+ candidates or causes.
General election
An election used to fill an elective office.
Prior to general election, selects candidates who will run on the party's ticket. A presidential primary is held to select delegates to the national conventions of the major parties.
Closed primary
limited to registered members. Prevents voter fraud.
Open primary
choose any primary, but only one primary
blanket primary
(declared unconstitutional)-all voters can vote in multiple primaries. Unconstitutional because it considers a person more than one vote.
runoff primary
second primary held in some states when candidate receives a majority of the votes.
Presidential primary
primary to select the representative candidate for president of a particular party.
soft money
money received (solicited)from corporations and unions that are spent on party activities. Funds need not be reported to the FCC (Federal Campaign Committee).
Prospective voting
voting for a candidate because they favor his ideas.
voting for/against a candidate or party in office because of likes/dislikes how things have gone in the past.
Critical period
Periods in which a shift occurs in the popular coalition supporting one or both parties. Issues and types of voters change.
Split ticket.
One who votes for a presidential candidate in one party and a Congress candidate in the other party.
office bloc ballot
ballot listing of candidates for a given office under the name of the office. "Massachusetts" ballot
Party column ballot
ballot listing all candidates of a given party under the name of the party. "Indiana" ballot
Position issue
Issue dividing the electorate on which rival parties adopt different policies to attract voters.
Valence issue
an issue on which voters distinguise parties by a degree to which they associate a party/candidate with goals or symbols the electorate approves/disapproves of.

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