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Key Terms PB/PB

Key Terms: Political Beliefs/Political Behaviors

Key TermsDefinitions
Attentive Public Those who follow politics and public affairs carefully.
Australian Ballot Secret ballot printed at the expense of the state.
Balancing the Ticket Occurs when a presidential nominee chooses a vice presidential running mate who has different qualities in order to attract more votes for the ticket.
Blanket Primary Election to choose candidates that is open to independents, and that allows voters to choose candidates from all the parties.
Caucus Local party meeting.
Closed Primary A party election to choose candidates that is closed to independents. Voters may not cross party lines.
Coattail Effect The influence of a popular presidential candidate on the election of congressional candidates of the same party.
Demographics Characteristics of populations, e.g., race, sex, income.
Direct Election Election of an official directly by the people rather than by an intermediary group such as the Electoral College.
Direct Primary Election in which the people choose candidates for office.
Fixed Terms Terms of office that have a definite length of time, e.g., two years for a member of the House.
Front Loading When presidential primary elections are scheduled early (e.g., February or March) in an election year.
Gender Gap Difference in voting patterns for men and women, particularly in the greater tendency of the latter to vote for Democratic presidential candidates.
General Election Election in which the officeholders are chosen. Contrast with a primary election, in which only the candidates are chosen.
Hard Money Campaign contributions are donated directly to candidates.
Ideology Set of beliefs about political values and the role of government.
Incumbent An officeholder who is seeking reelection.
Independent One who is not registered with a political party. Independent leaners tend to vote for candidates of one particular party, whereas pure independents have no consistent pattern of party voting.
Issue Advocacy Ads Ads that focus on issues and do not explicitly encourage citizens to vote for a certain candidate.
Open Primary Election to choose candidates that is open to independents, and in which voters may choose candidates from any one party.
Party Identification Sense of affiliation that a person has with a particular political party.
Party Platform List of positions and programs that the party adopts at the national convention. Each position is called a plank.
Political Culture Widely shared beliefs, values, and norms that citizens share about their government.
Plurality More votes than anyone else, but less than half(Not Yet Majority). Plurality elections such as those for Congress are won by the person with the most votes, regardless if he/she has a majority.
Political Efficacy The capacity to understand and influence political events
Political Socialization The process in which one acquires his/her political beliefs.
Realigning (“Critical”) Election Election in which there is a long term change in party alignment, e.g., 1932.
Safe Seat Office that is extremely likely to be won by a particular candidate or political party.
Single Member District System System in which the people elect one representative per district. With a winner-take-all rule, this system strengthens the two major parties and weakens minor parties.
Soft Money When campaign contributions are not donated directly to candidates, but are instead donated to parties.
Solid South Historically, the South voted solidly Democratic, but now the South is strongly Republican: Bush carried every Southern state in 2000.
Split Ticket Voting Casting votes for candidates of one’s own party and for candidates of opposing parties, e.g., voting for a Republican presidential candidate and a Democratic congressional candidate.
Straight Ticket Voting Casting votes only for candidates of one’s party.
Suffrage The right to vote.
Superdelegate Delegate to the Democratic national convention who is there by virtue of holding an office.
Super Tuesday Tuesday in early March in which many presidential primaries, particularly in the South, are held.
Swing State State that does not consistently vote either Democratic or Republican in presidential elections.
Created by: mrcoia