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Saturday, February 28, 2015

A.P. Government Unit 2 Test Guide Chapters 6-8!

Eddie Cheng !

Chapter 6: Public Opinion

A. Define public opinion and explain why it matters in American politics
Public Opinion-describes what the population thinks about politics and govt. actions.!
It matters for three reasons: (1) citizens political actions are driven by their opinions,
(2) public opinion helps explain the behavior of candidates, political parties, and other
political actors; politicians look to public opinion to determine what citizens want them to
do, (3) public opinion can also shed light on the reasons for specific policy outcomes.!

B. Explain how people form political attitudes and opinions

Theories of political socialization show that many peoples political opinions and
partisanship start with what they learned from their parents and surrounding
People can revise their opinions in response to what happens to them and in the world
around them. Some events have a greater impact than others, and some people are
more likely to change their opinion in response to an event than others. (9/11, Snowden
incident, etc.)!
Social categories or groups, such as gender, race, or education level, may influence an
individuals opinion. Called cohort effects, these characteristics might shape opinion in
three ways:!
1. People learn about politics from the people around them.!
2. People may rely on others who look like them as a source of opinions.!
3. Candidates and political consultants often formulate their campaign strategies in
terms of groups. (African-Americans, women, etc.)!
Politicians and other political actors, such as political parties and party leaders,
influence and change opinion because people rely on their presumed experience.
These leaders work to shape public opinion in order to win support for their proposals.!

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C. Describe basic survey methods and potential issues affecting accuracy

Some information comes from mass surveys. They typically use samples to provide
accurate estimates of public opinion for a large population. Another technique of
measuring public opinion uses focus groups. However, they arent as accurate and
cant be used to draw conclusions about large populations. Different surveys can also
be combined to create a powerful measuring tool. !
There are a few issues:!
-Difficulty of creating a random sample!
-Influence of the wording in questions!
-Unreliable respondents; many give socially acceptable answers instead of the truth
(social desirability bias). They also may give quick and thoughtless responses. !
-Respondents may make up answers to avoid appearing uninformed !

D. Evaluate the relationship between public opinion and what government

Public opinion remains highly relevant in American politics today. It exerts an influence
in widespread areas of the government. Many congressional outcomes and actions as
well as govt. policy decisions reflect public opinion. Public opinion also influences govt.
during election time.!

Key Terms
1. Liberal-conservative ideology- a way of describing political beliefs in terms of
a position on the spectrum running from liberal to moderate to conservative!
2. Latent opinions- an opinion formed on the spot, only when needed (as
distinct from a deeply held opinion, which is stable over time). For most
Americans, most opinions are latent!
3. Political culture- widely shared beliefs, values and norms concerning the
relationship of citizens to govt. and to one another!
4. Political socialization- the process by which an individuals political opinions
are shaped by other people and the surrounding culture !

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5. Sampling error- a calculation that describes what % of people surveyed may
not accurately represent the population being studied (aka margin of error)!
6. Random sample- a subsection of a population chosen to participate in a
survey through a selection process in which every member of the population
has an equal chance of being chosen!
7. Push polls- polls where a campaign uses biased survey questions as a way of
driving support away from an opponent !
8. Ideological polarization- the effect on public opinion when many citizens
move away from moderate positions and toward either end of the political
spectrum, identifying themselves as either liberals or conservatives !
9. Policy mood- the level of public support for expanding the govt.s role in
society; aka whether the public wants govt. action on a specific issue!
10. Reinforcing cleavages- divisions within society that reinforce one another,
making groups more homogeneous (not common)!
11. Cross-cutting cleavages- divisions within society that make groups more
heterogeneous, e.g., an African-American woman from the south who is a
12. Political predisposition- a characteristic of individuals that is predictive of
political behavior, e.g., Jews are democrats!
13. Efficacy- a citizens capacity to understand and influence political events;
can be internal- ability to understand and take part in political affairs, or
external- ability to make the system respond to the citizenry!


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Chapter 7: The Media

A. Trace how the American mass media has evolved over time, and describe
the major types of news sources today
Since the Founding, politicians have known that most American learn about politics from
the media. Ben Franklin published one of the earliest newspapers, the Pennsylvania
Gazette, in 1729.
In 1833, the New York Sun began selling papers for a penny a copy (penny press).
Made newspaper available to the mass public for the first time. Early newspapers
pushed political ideologies or focused on yellow journalism (e.g. New York Journal
pub. by William Randolph Hearst), which used bold headlines and entertaining writing to
appeal to a wider audience. Many newspapers were openly partisan and used their
coverage to support a particular position. !
At the same time, some investigative journalists openly criticized politicians and
policies to raise public concern, and helped usher in the trend of journalistic impartiality
and accuracy, moving away from partisan goals to unbiased coverage.!
After WW I, America utilized radios and eventually TVs to receive information from
national media sources. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was
initiated to regulate broadcast media. The chief purpose of the FCC was to ensure that
no single broadcast corporation could monopolize a community and provide only their
point of view. The FCC enacted the fairness doctrine and the equal time provision,
with the goal of maintaining political neutrality.!
The 1996 Telecommunications Act deregulated media and communications,
accelerating the trends of concentration (one company owning multiple media
sources) and cross-ownership (one company owning several media outlets, often in
the same community), and giving rise to media conglomerates like Viacom.!
Major Types of News Sources Today!
-National newspapers like the New York Times, Washington Post, etc. cover American
politics using a large global staff. Main drawback is timeliness. They are limited to the
news cycle because they only publish once a day. Declining readership. !

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-Television: Four major TV networks (ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC) as well as other cable
channels (CNN) offer news programs. Major television networks offer prime-time news
programs, though several cable stations offer continuous news coverage, resulting in a
24-hour news cycle. Main drawback is lack of breadth. News programs only have a
certain amount of time to deliver reports, leading to very brief discussion. !
-Radio: Major radio networks like ABC, CBS, and Clear Channel Communications offer
some news programs, but most political content comes from talk radio programs that
include a host discussing with listeners who phone in (e.g. The Rush Limbaugh Show ).
Many more conservative radio programs than liberal. !
-Internet: Has become prominent in the last two decades. Lots of content on the internet
is a just a different version of content found elsewhere. Has made new kinds of political
info available to the average citizen, and created more opportunities for homegrown
media. Also creates new chances for interaction between citizens and govt. through live
chat, discussions, etc. Theres little evidence showing that Internet has led to a
better-informed and more politically active citizenry, due to reliability issues, people
only visiting a couple sources, etc. !

B. Describe where reporters and others in the news media get political
Reporters and politicians share a complex relationship: Reporters want complete and
accurate information, while politicians want only their version of events to be reported.
Reporters who do a good job of cultivating relationships with government officials often
get the best information.!
Governmental organizations have two main tactics to prevent classified information from
being leaked:!

There are laws to prevent the publication of classified information, and if information
is published, to allow the prosecution of those responsible for leaking the information.!

Officials can try to persuade reporters to voluntarily omit sensitive and specific
information while still publishing the story. Reporters and publishers might restrain
their stories due to coercion from the government and rewards for cooperating. May
also restrain in the name of the national interest. !
Staging the News!
Politicians often try to shape the information given to the media so that it suits their
personal goals. Often, government officials will hold a press conference to inform the

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public of important happenings. At other times, when discussing sensitive or potentially
incriminating information, officials generally speak on background or off the record
with reporters.!
Revealing Sources!
While many states have shield laws that allow reporters to withhold information or
names of their off-the-record sources or leaks, reporters and editors can occasionally
be compelled by the courts to identify their sources. In particular, there is no shield law
on the federal level, which means that federal prosecutors can require a sources
information to be made available.!

C. Analyze who uses which news sources and whether it matters

Americans have an abundant source of political information readily available to them,
including radio, Internet, print media, and television. For the most part, Americans
acquire political knowledge and opinions unintentionally rather than seeking it out. This
is called the by-product theory. After encountering new info, it depends on the
individuals level of interest as to whether he/she remembers that information later or
uses it to modify his/her thoughts about politics. Media coverage is most likely to affect
the beliefs of people who take a moderate interest in politics. !
Media Usage Trends!
The use of TV and newspapers for political information has significantly dropped in the
past fifteen years, while the use of Internet sources has dramatically increased.!
Does the Source Matter?!
People acquire different kinds of information in different formats from each type of
media source.!
Peoples preferred source of media often reflects their overall understanding of modern
politics: those who rely on morning or local news shows for their political information are
far less informed than those who listen to NPR or watch the Rachel Maddow Show.
Different sources tailor their programming to their particular audience. The biggest
problem for media is to gain the intention of a disinterested, distracted audience. !

D. Explain the four main ways in which the media may influence politics
The influence of the medias political coverage on the average citizens thoughts or
actions is called media effect. Much of the medias impact is centered on what is
omitted from reports and news stories, rather than what is presented.!

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Modern theories of media influence point to four main media effects that largely shape a
citizens viewpoint:!
Filtering (aka agenda-setting): journalists and editors decisions about what
information to report!
Slant: giving favorable coverage to one candidate or policy without providing a
balanced perspective!
Priming: the altering of the publics image of a candidate caused by negative or positive
coverage of the candidate!
Framing: influence as a result of the way a story is presented, including or excluding
details, explanations, or context!
These media effects do not imply that all reports are deliberately spun and intended to
sway the audience one way or another. Rather, space or time limitations in print or
broadcasts will often result in unintended media effects. Filtering and framing of the
news is inevitable. !

E. Assess whether the media fulfill their role in American democracy

including the four types of media coverage
Media Bias!
In general, conservatives think the media is liberally biased, while liberals think the
media is conservatively biased. Most Americans do not have great confidence in the
mainstream media, though they trust that there are several reliable sources.!
Many publications or broadcasts, such as The Rachel Maddow Show or The OReilly
Factor, make no secret that they are left- or right-leaning. In the aggregate, it is hard to
measure media bias, but there is little evidence of a systematic media bias in a left- or
right-leaning direction.!
Other Negative Aspects!
In a democracy, the medias job is to transmit relevant news to the public so it can make
decisions based on full information. Often, media coverage falls short of this goal.!
Attack journalism, in which bad news makes for good news, focuses on scandals
and controversies.!

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Campaign coverage often over examines the horse race qualities of the campaign, in
which poll results and questions of who is leading take precedence over substantial
issues and the stances of the opposing candidates.!
Media coverage also emphasizes soft news, the use of sensational and entertaining
reporting over hard news, the presentation of important information, figures, and facts.
Citizens low level of trust in govt. and high levels of disapproval may have more to do
with how the media reports on politics than how the actual govt. works. !
The Effect of Market Forces!
This overemphasis on soft news, horse races, and attack journalism reflects the
interests in the news industry not only to inform the public but also to make money.
Sensationalistic news stories are far more popular and sell better than policy-centered
While most editors and journalists may prefer providing hard news, the need for
coverage that attracts an audience leads to the abundance of attack stories and soft
Role of the Media!
Observer role- records and transmits info (gatekeeper role)!
Participant role- acts as a watchdog/critic, serves as a check on abuses of power!
Agenda setting role- helps set the policy agenda by choosing what to cover or not
address; aka they cant tell people what to think, but they can tell them what to think
about (gatekeeper role)!

Key Terms
1. Mass media- sources that provide info to the average citizen, such as
newspapers, TV networks, radio stations, websites, etc. !
2. Federal Communication Commission (FCC)- est. by the Communications Act
of 1934 to regulate broadcast media!
3. Broadcast media- communications technologies, such as TV and radio, that
transmit info over airwaves!

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4. Fairness doctrine- an FCC regulation requiring broadcast media to present
several points of view to ensure balanced coverage. Created in late 1940s
and eliminated in 1987!
5. Equal time provision- FCC regulation that required broadcast media to
provide equal airtime on any non-news programming to all candidates
running for office!
6. Concentration- one company owning multiple media sources!
7. Cross-ownership- one company owning several media outlets, often in the
same community!
8. Media conglomerates- companies that control a large number of media
sources across several types of media outlets!
9. Mainstream media- books, newspapers, TV, radio, and magazines!
10. News cycle- the time between the release of info and its publication, e.g.
the 24 hours between issues of a daily newspaper!
11. On background/off the record- comments a politician makes to the press on
the condition that they can be reported only if they arent attributed to that
politician !
12. Shield laws- law that allows reporters to refuse to name their sources (only
at state level; theres no federal shield law) !
13. By-product theory- idea that many Americans acquire political info
unintentionally rather than seeking it out !
14. Narrowcasting- the dissemination of info to a narrow audience, not the
broader public at-large !
15. Hyperlocalism- news coverage of very local events, especially to the
exclusion of more important world events!
16. Linkage institutions- the channels or access points through which issues and
peoples policy preferences get on the govt.s policy agenda (institutions

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that link citizens to govt., and govt. to citizens; i.e. media, elections and
voting, political parties, and interest groups)!
17. Selective exposure- the process by which individuals screen out messages
that do not conform to their own biases!
18. Selective perception- the process by which individuals perceive what they
actually want to perceive in media messages and disregard the rest !

Chapter 8: Political Parties

A. Define political parties and the three major aspects of American

Political parties and their candidates compete for control of the presidency, each offering
different visions of what government should do. Parties unify and mobilize disparate
groups in society, simplify the choices facing voters, and bring efficiency and coherence
to government policy making.!
What are political parties?!
Political parties are the organizations that run candidates for political office and
coordinate the actions of officials elected under the party banner. !
Unlike the unified and homogeneous political parties in most European countries,
American political parties are composed of three separate and largely independent
pieces. Though they generally have the same goals, the groups rarely act in an
organized manner, and have no obligation to work together.!
The party organization involves the structure of national, state, and local parties,
including party leaders and workers.!
The party in government is made up of the politicians who were elected as candidates
of a specific political party.!
The party in the electorate includes all the citizens who identify with the party.!


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B. Show how American political parties and party systems have

evolved over time
History of American Political Parties!

The term party system is used to describe periods in which the major parties names,
their groups of supporters, and the issues dividing them are all constant. In all, there
have been six party systems in American history, each separated by periods of
(Some extraneous info coming up; ignore if you want)!
The First Party System, 17891828!
Political parties formed soon after the founding of the United States. The first political
parties were the Federalists and the Jeffersonian Democratic-Republicans. Federalists
favored a strong central government and a national bank, while Jeffersonian
Democratic-Republicans opposed these positions in favor of concentrating power at the
state level. These political parties differed from the modern party system in that few
citizens thought of themselves as party members, and candidates for office did not
campaign as representatives of a political party.!
The Second Party System, 18291856!
The Federalist Party disintegrated as its members were defeated in re-election bids or
switched parties. After a brief period as the only major political party, the DemocraticRepublicans became the Democratic Party, the ancestor of the modern-day
organization. Meanwhile, another new party, the Whigs, emerged.!
The new Democratic Party embodied two important innovations:!

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1) It cultivated electoral support as a way of strengthening the partys hold on power in
Washington. The party built organizations at the state and local level to mobilize citizens
to support the partys candidates. This innovation became known as the party
principle, the idea that a political party exists as an organization distinct from its elected
officials or party leaders. These developments gave way to the first party in the
2) In addition, the Democrats developed the spoils system, whereby party supporters
were rewarded with benefits like federal government jobs.!
The Third Party System, 18571892!
The issues of slavery split the second party system. Antislavery Whigs left the party and
formed a new organization, the Republican Party, which also attracted antislavery
Democrats. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party became the party of the South, and the
party defending slavery. The demise of the Whigs and the rise of the Republican Party
illustrates that parties exist only because elites, politicians, party leaders, and activists
want them to.!
The Fourth Party System, 18931932!
While the Civil War settled the issue of slavery, the Democrats and Republicans
remained as the dominant parties, though their issues of division evolved. In the fourth
system, the parties divided on concerns such as the withdrawal of the Union Army from
southern states, and whether the federal government should involve itself with the
rapidly growing American cities and the swelling number of recent immigrants.!
The Fifth Party System, 19331968!
In the wake of the Great Depression, the Democratic Party emerged out of the New
Deal Coalition, drawing support from African Americans, Catholics, Jews, union
members, and white southerners. This transformation established the basic division
between the Republican and Democratic parties that would persist for the rest of the
twentieth century. Democrats generally favored a large federal government that took an
active role in managing the economy and regulating individual and corporate behavior.
Republicans believed that many of these programs should either be provided by state
and local governments or kept entirely separate from government.!
The Sixth Party System, 1969Present!
Changes in political issues and technology drove the transition from the fifth to the sixth
party system. Democrats came out against the separate but equal system of racial


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discrimination in southern states and in favor of programs designed to ensure equal
opportunity for minority citizens. Furthermore, while Republicans opposed expanding
the role of government, Democrats argued in favor of expanding the federal government
to provide health care funding, antipoverty programs, education, and public works. At
the same time, both Republican and Democratic party organizations transitioned into
parties in service, providing recruiting, training, and campaigning for their partys
congressional and presidential candidates.!
Each party system is separated from the next by a realignment, a change in the size or
composition of the party coalitions or in the nature of the issues that divide the parties. A
realignment begins with the emergence of a new question or issue debate that captures
the attention of large numbers of ordinary citizens, activists, and politicians.!
In order to spur a realignment, the issue has to be cross-cutting, meaning that within
each party coalition, people disagree on what government should do. Realignments
typically occur within an election cycle or two, but they can also occur gradually over the
course of a decade or longer.!

C. Describe the main characteristics of American parties as

organizations, in the government, and in the electorate
The Party Organization!
The principal policy-making body in each party organization is the national committee,
comprising party representatives from each state. State party organizations have lots of
professional staff plus party organizations at the county, city, and town levels. Parties
include a number of constituency groups (the Democrats term) or teams (the
Republicans term), which are organizations within the party that work to attract the
support of particular demographic groups considered likely to share the partys issue
concerns. Each party organization also has groups designed to build support for
particular people. E.g. Young Democrats, Democratic Leadership Council, Young
Republicans, etc. !
Many other groups are loosely affiliated with one of the major parties. Political action
committees (PACs) are interest groups or divisions of interest groups that can raise
money to contribute to campaigns or to spend on ads in support of candidates. The
amount they can receive from each of their donors and their expenditure on federal
electioneering are strictly limited. 527 organizations are tax-exempt groups formed
primarily to influence elections through voter mobilization efforts and issue ads that do

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not directly endorse or oppose a candidate. Unlike political action committees, they are
not subject to contribution limits and spending caps. While these groups often favor one
party or the other, they are not part of the party organization and do not always agree
with the partys positions or support its candidates.!
Because the parties stand for different things, in terms of their preferred government
policies and their ideological leanings, the party names themselves are like brand
names because they offer a shorthand way of providing information to voters about the
parties candidates.!
Party organizations are not hierarchies. Because individual committee members are not
appointed by their state party organizations, they have freedom of action. If the majority
of committee members disagree with the party leader, they can remove him or her from
office. The national party organization is also unable to force state and local parties to
share its positions on issues or comply with other requests. State and local parties
make their own decisions about state- and local- level candidates and issue positions.!
The Party in Government!
The party in government consists of elected officials holding national, state, and local
offices who took office as candidates of a particular party. Because it is composed of
officeholders, it has a direct impact on government policy. Democratic and Republican
parties in government in the U.S. House and Senate are organized around working
groupsDemocrats call theirs a caucus; Republicans have a conference. The caucus
or conference serves as a forum for debate, compromise, selection of party leadership,
and strategizing among party leaders.!
The modern Congress is polarized; in both the House and Senate, Republicans and
Democrats hold different views on government policy, with little crossover support for
the other partys policy goals. Over the last sixty years, the magnitude of ideological
difference between the parties in Congress has increased considerably. Nonetheless,
the Democrats and Republicans are still quite internally heterogeneous, and
compromise within a party caucus is not inevitable.!
The Party in the Electorate!
The party in the electorate consists of citizens who identify with and show some loyalty
to a particular political party. Party identification (party ID) is a critical variable in
understanding votes and other forms of political participation. If you are trying to predict
how someone will vote, the most important predictor is party identification.!


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Real participation in party operations is open to all citizens, though few dedicate their
time, effort, and money to supporting a party organization or one of its candidates.!
Early theories of party identification described it as a deeply felt attachment. Further
work, however, has shown that party ID is more of a running tallya frequently updated
mental evaluation of parties and candidates that allows citizens to incorporate new
information in their choice to identify with one or another party. Thus, when one chooses
a political party, that decision is based on what they have seen in American politics.
New information tends to reinforce existing loyalties.!
The parties in the electorate have transformed considerably in the past 40 years.!
People who identify as political independents have been hard to characterize. Recent
work suggests that many people who identify as independents actually have some weak
attachment to one of the major political parties.!
Party coalitions are groups who identify with a political party, usually described in
demographic terms, such as African American Democrats or evangelical Republicans.
The Republican and Democratic party coalitions differ systematically in terms of their
policy preferences.!

D. Explain the important functions parties perform in the political

Organizing Elections!
Virtually everyone elected to a state or national political office is either a Republican or a
The process of recruiting candidates has become very systematic, with national party
leaders playing a central role in finding and recruiting candidates.!
Parties do not control who runs in House or Senate races. In most states, candidates for
these offices are selected in a primary election or a caucus.!
Running as a partys nominee is the easiest way to get on the ballot. Thus, virtually all
prominent candidates for Congress and the presidency run as Democrats or
Republicans, even if they do not agree with everything the party stands for.!
National parties also manage the nomination process for presidential candidates, which
involves a series of primaries and caucuses. Voters in these primaries and caucuses
determine how many of each candidates supporters become delegates to the partys


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national nominating convention, where delegates from each state select the partys
presidential and vice presidential nominees and approve the party platform.!
One of the parties primary activities is helping candidates with their campaigns. Along
with supplying campaign funds, party organizations give candidates other kinds of
assistance, ranging from offering campaign advice to conducting polls.!
A party platform is a set of objectives outlining the partys issue positions and priorities.
Although candidates are not required to support their partys platform, party platforms
generally reflect the brand-name differences between the parties, giving citizens an
easy way to make judgments about candidates.!
Cooperation in Government!
Conditional party government refers to the theory that when the parties are polarized
and internally homogeneous, lawmakers from the same party will cooperate to develop
policy proposals. On the other hand, when the parties are not polarized, or when the
parties are internally heterogeneous, lawmakers may cooperate with members of the
opposite party. !
Throughout the year, the parties in government meet to devise strategies for legislative
action. Congressional leaders use their power to control when proposals are
considered, which amendments are allowed, and how long debate will proceed to
ensure speedy consideration and to prevent the opposing minority party from delaying
votes or offering alternatives.!
Political parties can play an important role in coordinating the actions taken in different
branches of government. Such coordination is important for enacting new laws: unless
supporters in Congress can amass a two-thirds majority to override a veto, they need
the presidents support. Similarly, the president needs congressional support to enact
proposals that he or she favors. Thus, the president routinely meets with congressional
leaders from his party, and occasionally meets with the entire caucus or conference.!
One of the most important roles of political parties in a democracy is giving citizens
identifiable groups to reward or punish for government actions, thereby providing a
means for voters to focus their desire for accountability.!
During periods of unified government, when one party holds a majority of seats in the
House and Senate and the president is a member of that same party, that party is the
party in power; it has enough votes to enact policies in Congress. During times of
divided government, when one party controls Congress but not the presidency or the


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House and Senate are controlled by different parties, the presidents party is considered
the party in power.!

E. Consider the role of minor parties in a system dominated by two

major parties (WHEN WILL THIS TEST END?!?)
Minor Parties !
Minor political parties in America are so minor that they are not significant players on the
political stage. Very few Americans identify with minor parties, especially since most
minor parties exist for only a short period of time.!
Effects on Election Outcomes!
People vote for minority party candidates because they find those candidates positions
more attractive than those of the major parties, and also because they believe that
neither major party can govern effectively.!
Unique Issues Facing Minor Parties!
Duvergers law states that in a democracy with single-member districts and plurality
voting, like the United States, only two parties candidates will have a realistic chance
of winning political office.!

F. Evaluate the benefits and possible problems of the American party

What Kind of Democracy do American Parties Create?!
The question of whether political parties are good or bad for democracy depends on
how the individual party members and officials carry out these tasks. Despite all the
efforts parties put forth to select good candidates, they are still made up of individuals
who are primarily interested in their own careers, policy goals, and winning political
office, rather than cultivating democracy.!
Recruiting Candidates!
One of the most important things the Republican and Democratic parties do for
democracy is recruit qualified, capable candidates for national political offices who can
run effective campaigns and responsibly uphold their elected positions. Nonetheless,
party organizations do not get to select the candidates who win their partys nomination;
voters do.!
Working Together in Campaigns!

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Parties also work to simplify voters choices by trying to get candidates to emphasize
the same issues or take similar issue positions. That said, members of the party
organization and the party in government do not always agree on what government
should do, and party leaders have very little power over candidates.!
Working Together in Office!
Because candidates are not required to support their partys platform, there is no
guarantee that party members will work together in office. Voters cannot expect that
putting one party in power is going to result in specific policy changes. Instead, policy
outcomes depend on how (and whether) individual officeholders from the party can
resolve their differences.!
A party must serve as an accountability mechanism that gives citizens an identifiable
group to reward when policies work well and to punish when policies fail. However,
individual legislators work to develop a personal constituency that is independent of
their party label.!
Citizens Behavior!
Citizens are under no obligation to give money or time to the party they identify with or
to any of the partys candidates. Even if they are strong party identifiers, they do not
have to vote for their partys candidates, or even vote at all. This lack of participation by
the citizenry weakens party organizations and reduces the likelihood that the party
organizations will be able to work in a more organized, team-oriented manner.!

A political machine is an unofficial patronage system within a political party that seeks
to gain political power and government contracts, jobs, and other benefits for party
leaders, workers and supporters. While machines were common in nineteenth-century
cities, their decline began at the turn of the twentieth century.!


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Key Terms
1. Party system- periods in which the major parties names, their groups of
supporters, and the issues dividing them are all constant!
2. Realignment- a change in the size or composition of the party coalitions or in
the nature of the issues that divide the parties!
3. National committee- the principal policy-making body in each party
organization, comprising party representatives from each state!
4. PAC- interest groups or divisions of interest groups that can raise money to
contribute to campaigns or to spend on ads in support of candidates. The
amount they can receive from each of their donors and their expenditure on
federal electioneering are strictly limited !
5. 527 organization- tax-exempt groups formed primarily to influence elections
through voter mobilization efforts and issue ads that do not directly endorse
or oppose a candidate. Unlike political action committees, they are not
subject to contribution limits and spending caps!
6. Primary election- a ballot vote in which citizens select a partys nominee for
the general election!
7. Closed primary- primary election system in which only registered party
members can vote in their partys primary !
8. Nonpartisan primary- primary election system in which candidates from both
parties are listed on the same primary ballot. Afterwards, the two candidates
who receive the most votes in the primary compete in the general election,
even if theyre from the same party!
9. Open primary- a primary election system in which any registered voter can
participate in either partys primary, regardless of the voters party affiliation!
10. Semi-closed- a primary election system in voters registered as party
members must vote in their partys primary, but registered independents
can vote in either partys primary !


Saturday, February 28, 2015

11.Caucus election- a local meeting in which party members select a partys
nominee for the general election!
12. National nominating party convention- a meeting held by each party every
four years at which states delegates select the partys presidential and
vice-presidential nominees and approve the party platform!
13. Party platform- a set of objectives outlining the partys issue positions and
14. Unified government- when one party holds a majority of seats in the House
and Senate and the president is a member of that same party, that party is
the party in power; it has enough votes to enact policies in Congress!
15. Divided government- when one party controls Congress but not the
presidency or the House and Senate are controlled by different parties, the
presidents party is considered the party in power!
16. Single-member districts- comprise an electoral system in which every
elected official represents a geographically defined area, such as a state or
congressional district, and each area elects one representative!
17. Plurality voting- a voting system in which the candidate who receives the
most votes within a geographic area wins the election, regardless of whether
that candidate wins a majority (more than half) of the votes!

And this is only 3/5s of the test.