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AP Gov Vocab 2

Key Terms and Definitions

QuestionAnswer
Amicus curiae brief "friend of the court" brief filed by an interest group to influence a Supreme Court decision
Dealignment argument contention that parties are less meaningful to voters, who have abandoned the parties in greater numbers to become independents.
Divided Government government in which one party controls the presidency while another party controls the Congress.
Elite Theory theory that upper class elites exercise great influence over public policy.
Factions term used by Madison to denote what we now call interest groups.
Fairness Doctrine FCC rule (no longer in effect) that required broadcasters to air a variety of viewpoints on their programs.
Feeding Frenzy the media "attack" when they sense wrongdoing or scandal in government, and devote great amounts of coverage to such stories.
Free Rider problem the problem faced by interest groups when citizens can reap the benefit of interest group action without actually joining, participating in, or contributing money to such groups
Horse race coverage the tendency of the media to report on an election campaign as if it were a horse race, i.e., who is ahead, who is behind, who is gaining group
iron triangle an informal association of federal agency, congressional committee, and interest group that is said to have heavy influence over policy making.
Litigation the act or process of carrying out a lawsuit.
Lobbying attempting to influence policy makers.
Nonpartisan elections elections in which candidates are not identified by party membership in the ballot.
office column ballot ballot in which candidates are arranged by office rather than party. Encourages split ticket voting.
Party column ballot ballot in which candidates are arranged by party rather than office. Encourages straight ticket voting.
Photo opportunity a staged campaign event that attracts favorable visual media coverage, e.g., a candidate reading to a group of school children.
Pluralism theory that policy making is the result of interest group competition
Political Action Committee (PAC) an interest group that raises funds and donates to election campaigns.
Patronage appointing loyal party members to government positions
Revolving door the cycle in which a person alternately works for the public sector and private sector, thus blurring the individual's sense of loyalty
Selective exposure the practice of selectively choosing media sources which are in harmony with one's own beliefs
Selective perception the practice of perceiving media messages the way one wants to.
Sound bite a short, pithy comment that is likely to attract media attention (ex. Ronald Reagan)
Spin control placing a certain slant on a story to deflect negative public attention against a candidate or office holder
Unit Rule an abandoned rule of the Democratic party national convention in which the candidate with the most delegates from a state won all of that state's convention votes
Created by: alexr1540