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Chapter 9

Vocabulary

TermDefinition
Political Party An association of voters with broad, common interests who want to influence or control decision making in government by electing the party's candidates to public office
Two-Party System A system of government in which two parties compete for power.
Third Party a party that challenges the two major parties
Platform A series of statements expressing the party's principles, beliefs, and positions on election issues.
Plank each individual part of the platform
National Committee helps raise funds for presidential elections and organizes the party's national convention
Caucus meetings of state and local party organizations
Precint geographic area that contains a specific number of voters
Ward several adjoining precincts making up a larger election unit
Political Machine a strong party organization that can control political appointments and deliver votes
Direct Primary election in which voters choose candidates to represent each party in a general election
Closed Primary election in which only the declared members of a party are allowed to vote for that party's nominees
Open Primary election in which voters don't need to declare thier party preference in order to vote for the pary's nominees
Plurality most votes among all those running
Majority a number that is more than 50 percent of the total
Petition process by which candidates who are not affiliated with one of the two major parties can get on the ballot for the general election in most states