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Party Competition
Parties adapt based on success or failure in elections
Political Party
Organization that runs candidates around a common platform
Linkage Institutions
Media, political parties, elections, and interest groups link people to the government
Party Image
The voter's perception of what the Republicans or Democrats stand for, such as conservatism or liberalism
Rational-choice Theory
A popular theory in political science to explain the actions of voters as well as politicians. It assumes that individuals act in their own best interest, carefully weighing the costs and benefits of possible alternatives.
Party Identification
A citizen's self-proclaimed preference for one party or the other
Voting with one party for one office and with another party for other offices. It has become the norm in American voting behavior.
Party Machines
A type of political party organization that relies heavily on material inducements, such as patronage, to win votes and to govern.
One of the key inducements used by party machines. Jobs, promotions, or contracts based on this are given for political reasons rather than for merit or competence alone.
Closed Primaries
Elections to select party nominees in which only people who have registered in advance with the party can vote for that party's candidates, thus encouraging greater party loyalty.
Open Primaries
Elections to select party nominees in which voters can decide on Election Day whether they want to participate in the Democratic or Republican contests.
Blanket Primaries
Elections to select party nominees in which voters are presented with a list of candidates from all the parties. Voters can then select some Democrats and some Republicans if they like.
National Convention
Meeting of party delegates every four years to choose a presidential ticket and write the party's platform.
National Committee
One of the institutions that keeps the party operating between conventions. It is composed of representatives from the states and territories.
National Chairperson
The person responsible for the day-to-day activities of the party and is usually hand-picked by the presidential nominee.
A group of individuals with a common interest upon which every political party depends.
Party Eras
Historical periods in which a majority of voters cling to the party in power, which tends to win a majority of elections.
Critical Elections
Elections that change the electoral map because people change their previous political alliances
Party Realignment
The displacement of the majority party by the minority party, usually during a critical election period.
New Deal Coalition
A coalition forged by the Democrats, who dominated American politics from the 1930s the the 1960s. Its basic elements were the urban working class, ethnic groups, Catholics and Jews, the poor, Southerners, African Americans, and intellectuals.
Party Dealignment
The gradual disengagement of people and politicians from the parties, as seen in party by shrinking party identification.
Party Neutrality
A term used to describe the fact that many Americans are indifferent toward the two major political parties.
Third Parties
Electoral contenders other than the two major parties. Such in America are not unusual, but they rarely win elections.
An electoral system in which legislative seats are awarded only to candidates who come in first in their constituencies. In American presidential elections, the system in which the winner of the popular vote in a state receives all the electoral votes of the state.
Proportional Representation
An electoral system used throughout most of Europe that awards legislative seats to political parties in proportion to the number of votes won in an election.
Coalition Government
When two or more parties join together to form a majority in a national legislature. This form of government is quite common in the multiparty system of Europe
Responsible Party Model
A view favored by some political scientists about how parties should work. According to this, parties should offer clear choices to the voters, who can then use those choices as cues to their own preferences of candidates. Once in office, parties would carry out their campaign promises
Increase voter registration
The main intent of “motor voter” laws is to
the leading predictor of how an individual will vote in a congressional election
More ideological
Compared to the general population, delegates to presidential nomination conventions are
soft money
The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (McCain-Feingold) was designed to curtail
The House of Representatives votes by state delegation
If no candidate gets a majority of the electoral college vote, then what happens?
When party members meet to nominate a candidate for office
front loading
the tendency of states to choose an early date on the primary calendar
Citizens United
independent campaign expenditures by corporations and unions are protected by the First Amendment
single-member districts
What leads to two-party systems?
15th Amendment
Can't deny the vote on basis of race
17th Amendment
Senators are now elected by voters and not state representatives
19th Amendment
Can't deny the vote on the basis of sex
24th Amendment
Banned the poll tax
26th Amendment
18 year olds can vote
retrospective voting
taking into consideration factors like the performance of a political party, an officeholder, and/or the administration. It presumes that people are more concerned with policy outcomes than policy instruments.
prospective voting
If the voter believes that the country has done poorly, he or she votes for the opposition party.
winner-take-all elections
the candidate with the most votes gets all the electoral votes
midterm elections
congressional elections when the President is not on the ballot