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ch. 12 vocab

chapter 12 vocab + elections terminology

TermDefinition
electorate eligible voters
electoral college group of voters that choose president on basis of popular vote
franchise the right to vote
incumbent person already holding office (most are re-elected)
challenger running against the incumbent
open seat no incumbent running
majority more than 1/2; 50% + 1
plurality more votes than anyone else
primary election voters choose candidate within each party; includes only loyal party members
general election voters choose between candidates; includes all voters regardless of party
closed primary election voters must choose a party before election in order to vote
open primary election voters choose which party's primary to vote in on election day
blanket primary election voters may vote in both parties primaries
Political Action Committee (PAC) corporations, unions, and other interest groups form in order to donate money; must report to Federal Election officials
soft money money spent by state political parties to promote loyalty; no limits on campaign donations
issue ads some groups can spend any amount of money but can't "consult with" campaign organizations
platform political party's stand on important issues and the party's general principles
focus group small gathering of people whose response to something is used to predict the response of a larger population
swing states those states where support for each candidate in an upcoming election is about equal
stump speech standard speech that candidates give during a political campaign
negative campaigning attacking an opponent during a political campaign
sound bite very brief segment of a speech or statement usually broadcast on the radio or television
demographic population group defined by a specific characteristic or set of characteristics
Federal Election Commission (FEC) government commission formed to enforce the Federal Election Campaign Act
party-building activities political party activities, such as voter registration drives and television ads supporting the party's principles, that don't support specific candidates but instead promote the party
leadership PACs political action committees that are separate from the officeholder's campaign organization
527 group tax-exempt organization created to influence an election by attempting to influence voters' opinions about candidates or issues without directly calling a candidate's election or defeat
poll workers people hired local election officials to manage voting on election day
poll watchers volunteers that a party or candidate sends to polling places to ensure that the election there is run fairly
redistricting process of drawing new boundaries for legislative districts
Created by: Tyl3r10959