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gov exam 2


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public opinion
the aggregation of peoples views about issues, situations and public figures
the end result of all the processes by which social groups give individuals their beliefs and values
political efficacy
the belief that the citizen can make a difference in politics by expressing an opinion or acting politically
sampling error
the chance variation that arises in public opion surveys as a result of using a representative but small sample to estimate the characteristics of a larger population.
selection bias
the distortion caused when a sampling method systematically includes or excludespeople with certain attitudes from the sample
focus groups
small groups of people brought togeter to talk about issues or candidates at length and in depth
measurement error
the error that arises from attempting to measure something as subjective as opinion
information cost
the time and mental effort required to absorb and store information whether from conversations personal experiences or the media
issue public
a group of people particularly affeted by or concerned with a specific issue
a system of beliefs in which one or more organizing principles connect the individuals views on a wide range of particular issues.
political elites
activists and officeholders who have well structured ideologies that bind together their positions on different policy issues
mass public
ordinary people for whom politics is a peripheral concern
the right to vote
the right to vote
voter mobilization
the efforts of parties, groups, and activists to encourage their supporters to trun out for elections
ballots that indicate no choice for an office, whether because the vote abstained or because the voter's intention could not be determined
ballots that have more than one choice for an office, whether because the voter can cast a ballot for more than one candidate or wrote in a name as well as making a mark
voting age population
all poeple in the Untied States over teh age of 18, including those who may not be legally eligible to vote
registered voters
those legally eligible to vote who have registered in accordance with the requirements prevailing in their state and locality
compositional effect
a shift in teh behavior of a group that results from a change in the group's composition rather than a change in teh behavior of individuals already in the group
social connectedness
the degree to which individuals are integrated into society-- extended families, neighborhoods, religious organizations and other social units
social issues
issues (such as flag burning, gun control, abortion, obscenity, prayer in school, capital punishment, gay rights and evolution) that reflect personal values more than economic interests
interest group
organization or association of people with common interests that engages in politics on behalf of its members
single issue group
an interest group narrowly focused to influence policy on a single issue
free rider problem
problem that arises when people can enjoy the benefits of group activity without bearing any of the costs
public goods
goods enjoyed simultaneously by a group as opposed to a private good that must be divided up to be shared
social movement
braod based dmeand for governemtn action on some problem or issue, such as civil rights for blacks, equal rights for women, or environmental protection.
selective benefits
specific private goods that an organization provides only to its contributing members
political entrepreneurs
people willing to assume the costs of forming and maintaining an organization even when others may free-ride on them
interest group activites indtended to influence directly the decisions that public officials make
one who engages in lobbying especially as his or her primary job
grassroots lobbying
attempts by groups and associations to influence elected officials indirectly through their constituents
political action committee
specialized organization for raising and spending campaign funds; often affiliated with an interest group or association
issue advocacy
advertising campaigns that attempt to influence public opinion in regard to a specific policy proposal
direct mail
computer-generated letters, faxes, and other communications by interest groups to people who might be sympathetic to an appeal for money or support
direct action
everything from peaceful sit-ins and demonstrations to riots and even rebellions
alliance of a congressional committee, an executive agency, and a small number of allied interest groups that combine to dominate policy making in some specified policy area
issue network
a loose collection of interest groups, politicians, bureaucrats, and policy experts who have a particular interest in or responsibility for a policy area
a school of thought holding that politics is the clash of groups taht represent all important interests in society and that check and balance each other
political parties
groups of like minded people who band together in an attempt to take control of the government. Parties represent the primary connection between ordinary citizens and the public officials they elect.
divided government
when one party holds the presidency but does not control both houses of congress.
occurs when the pattern of group support for political parties shifts in a significant and lasting way
critical election
election that marks the emergence of a new, lasting alignment of partisan support with in the electorate
national nominating convention
quadrennial gathering of party officials and delegates that selects presidential and vise presidential nominees and adopts party platforms. Extension of the direct primary to the presidential level after 1968 has greatly reduced the importance of the convention
a highly organized party under the control of a boss and based on patronage and control of government activites. Machines were common in many cities in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
loose aggregation of politicians, political activists, and intellectuals of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who promoted political reforms in an effort to clean up elections and government.
direct primary
a method of choosing party candidates that allows voters instead of party leaders to choose nominees for office; it weakened party control of nominations and the influence that parties could exercise over officeholders. This method of nominating candidates is virtually unknown outside the United States
a statement of a party's positions on the major issues of the day.
ticket splitting
occurs when a voter selects candidates of different parites at the same election-- for example a Republican presidential candidate but a Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives.
two-party system
system in which only two significant parites compete for office. Such systems are in the minority among world democracies.
electoral system
The way in which a country's constitution or laws translate popular votes into control of public offices.
single-member, simple plurality (SMSP) system
electoral system in which the country is divided into geographic discrist and the candidates who win the most votes within their districts are elected
proportional representation
electoral system in which parties receive a share of seats in parliament that is proportional to the popular vote they receive.
presidential primaries
elections held for the purpose of selecting or instructing national convention delegates
meeting of candidate supporters who choose delegates to a state or national convention
certain party leaders members of the U.S. House and Senate, governors, members of the national committee -- who became automatic or ex- officio delegates
matching funds
public moneys (from $3 check-offs on income tax returns) that the Federal Election Commission distributes to primary candidates according a pre-specified formula.
political activists
people who regularly participate in politics; they are more interested and committed to particular issues and candidates than are ordinary citizens
soft money
money contributed by internet groups, labor unions, and individual donors that is not subject to federal regulation.
political organizations formed primarily to influence elections and therefore exempt from most federal taxes
electoral votes
cast by electors, with each state receiving one vote for each of its members in the House of Representatives and one vote for each o fits members in the Senate.
Popular Vote
the total vote cast across the nation for a candidate
winner-take- all voting
any voting procedure in which the candidate with the most votes gets all of the seats or delegates at stake
party identification
a person's subjective feeling of affiliation with a party
party image
the assocations voters make between the parties and particular issues and values
retrospective voting
voting on the basis of the past performance of the incumbent administration
prospective voting
voting on the basis of the candidate's policy promises
professional legislature
legislature whose members serve full-time and for long periods
the allocation of house seats to the states after each decennial census
drawing new boundaries of congressional districts usually after the decennial census
drawing boundary lines of congressional districts in order to confer an advantage on some partisan or political interest
filing deadline
the latest date on which a candidate who wishes to be on a primary ballot may file official documents with and/or pay required fees to state election officials
open seat
a House or Senate race with no incumbent (because of death or retirement)
safe seat
a congressional district certain to vote for the candidate of one party
incumbency advantage
the electoral advantage a candidate enjoys by virtue of being an incumbent, over and above his or her other personal and political characteristics
name given to representatives' and senators' free use of the U.S. mail for sending communications to constituents
efforts by members of congress to help individuals and groups when they have difficulties with federal agencies
constituency service
efforts by members of congress to secure federal funding for their districts and to help constituents when they have difficulties with federal agencies
positive electoral effect of a popular presidential candidate on congressional candidates of the president's party
bloc voting
voting in which nearly all members of an ethnic or racial group vote for the same candidate or party
majority-minority district
district in which a minority group is the numerical majority of the population
affirmative action redistricting
the process of drawing district lines to maximize the number of majority-minority districts

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