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AP Gov Test #2

Political Parties, Presidency, Campaigns and Elections

TermDefinition
gridlock the inability of the government to act because rival parties control different parts of the government
divided government when one part controls the White House and another party controls one or both houses of Congress
unified government the same party controls the White House and both houses of Congress
electoral college the people chosen to cast each state's votes in a presidential election. Each state can cast one electoral vote for each senator and representative it has.
pyramid structure a president's subordinates report to him through a clear chain of command headed by a chief of staff
circular structure several of the president's assistants report directly to him
ad hoc structure several subordinates, cabinet officers, and committees report directly to the president on different matters; case by case basis
cabinet the heads of the fifteen executive branch departments of the federal government
bully pulpit the president's use of his prestige and visibility to guide or enthuse the American public
veto message a message from the president to congress stating that he will not sign a bill it has passed. Must be produced within ten days of the bill's passage
pocket veto a bill fails to become law because the president did not sign it within ten days before congress adjourns
line item veto an executive's ability to block a particular provision in a bill passed by the legislature
signing statement a presidential document that reveals what the president thinks of a new law and how it ought to be enforced
legislative veto the authority of congress to block a presidential action after it has taken place. The Supreme Court does not have this power
impeachment charges against a president approved by a major of the House
lame duck a person still in office after he or she has lost a bid for reelection
ideological wing not only of the same parties but also of the same ideas
"Presidential honeymoon" when a president first gets elected and is popular among the people and Congress will pass his laws more easily
executive privilege The right of the president to withhold info from Congress/refuse to testify
impoundment when the president refuses to spend money that Congress appropriates; illegal
opinion polls the president can use these to help him shape his policies and programs
trustee approach doing what the public good requires, even if the voters are skeptical
delegate model doing what your constituents want you to do
pardon a warrant granting release from punishment for an offense; Ford used this to excuse Nixon
electorate citizens eligible to vote
primary elections used to choose party candidate
closed primary only a party's registered voters can vote in this primary (no independents or other parties may participate)
open primary anyone can vote to choose a presidential candidate in this primary (however, you may only vote in one primary/election cycle)
caucus party members meet up to decide the party's candidate
run-off primary if one candidate does not receive a majority of the vote, this type of primary is held for the the two most popular candidates (mostly occurs in the South)
blanket primary people are given a list of all of the parties and all of their candidates and may choose from any party for each position in this primary (used in CA)
cross-over voting when voters choose to vote in a primary that is not their party's primary
mid-term election the election two years into a president's term; vote for House members and 1/3 of Senate
general election any election where voters can vote for any candidate for an elected office
presidential preference primary primary that chooses presidential candidates for each party
Super Tuesday day where many states conduct their primaries; usually candidates drop out if they do not do well on this day
delegates those who directly vote for the nominees; Democrats have more than Republicans; they are bound to vote for the nominee their state voted for
super delegates elected officials in the Democratic convention; unpledged (may choose any nominee they want) and make up 1/6 of Democratic delegates
voter turnout number of people who actually go to the polls; usually low (42% in 2010) and lower than registered voters
absentee ballot ballot filled out and mailed in early by people who can't vote on election day
write-in candidate you can write in the name of a candidate that is not on the ballot
precinct small geographical area where all of the voters are assigned to the same voting site
electoral College process by which the US president is indirectly elected
electoral system overall system of elections
presidential election election that takes place every four years
winner-take-all a candidate receives every delegate/electoral vote if they have the majority of votes
proportional representation a candidate in the primary receives the % of a state's delegates based on the % of votes they get from that state; most used system in primaries
majority vote winner gets over 50% of the vote
plurality vote winner gets most votes, even if that is less than 50% of the total
coattails effect gaining support by going off of another person's success
critical election (realigning) election that shows a major shift of people from one party to another
incumbent elected official currently in office
independent voter voter who does not associate with a party
initiative when the people come up with a piece of legislature that is on the ballot of the next election
referendum when state legislatures offer proposed legislation for voter approval
recall removal of an incumbent from office in the middle of their term by popular vote
mandate when a person is voted into office, they have received a call for action from the people to pass legislature that the elected official believes in
ticket-splitting voting for more than one party on a ballot
straight-ticket voting voting all Republicans or all Democrats
early voting in some states, people may vote prior to election day at designated sites that may not be their normal election day voting site
poll worker works at polls
gerrymandering redrawing district lines to benefit a certain party
reapportionment redoing the distribution of House members based on Census results
redistricting gerrymandering; redrawing the boundary lines of a voting district
24th Amendment amendment that banned poll taxes
Voting Rights Act (1965) act that banned the literacy test; allowed people to vote regardless of color
Federal Election Commission (FEC) independent regulatory agency that regulates finances and advertisements during an election
public communication broader definition of election communication (yard signs, TV, radio, etc.)
independent expenditures money spent by groups, such as Super PACS, that have no affiliation with a party
disclaimer says who paid for an ad
soft money money raised and spent by political groups (PACs, parties, 527 groups) not directly devoted to candidates; regulated by BCRA (McCain-Feingold Act); used for state and local political and party building activities
hard money money raised and spent by a candidate's campaign organization (there is a cap)
direct mailing method through which interest groups, parties, and campaigns get contributions directly through the mail
PACs Political Action Committees; organized for unions or corporations who want to be involved with politics, but are regulated by federal law; PACs are regulated by the FEC and can donate directly up to $5000 per candidate per election
Super PACs (Independent Expenditure Committees) PAC that pays for communications/ads for a specific candidate; can't give money directly to the candidate and may not admit coordination with a party
12th Amendment amendment that created Electoral College; separated presidential and vice presidential campaigns/elections
15th Amendment amendment that declared that suffrage can't be denied on account of race
19th Amendment that amendment that granted women's right to vote
23rd Amendment DC gets representation in the House (and 3 Electoral College votes)
26th Amendment amendment that allowed anyone 18+ to vote
Federal Election Campaign Act (1971) act that created the FEC; imposed restrictions on $$ from certain sources; forced public disclosure of money in federal elections; created public funding for presidential elections: if accepted, places limit on how much money can be raised overall
Motor Voter Act (1993) National Voter Registration Act; voter registration must be offered at places where you can get your driver's license, schools, or by mail
Citizen's United v. FEC (2009) case that gave corporation speech rights that are the same as an individual's; allowed companies to finance campaign ads without limits; cannot contribute directly to candidate's campaign.
Political Party a group that seeks to elect candidates to public office
Direct Primary a primary where voters directly select the candidates who will run for office
National Convention A national meeting of delegates elected in primaries, caucuses, or state conventions who assemble once every four years to nominate candidates for president and vice president, ratify the party platform, elect officers, and adopt rules.
Congressional Campaign Committee an organization maintained by a political party to raise funds to support its own candidates in congressional elections
National Chairman Appointed by the DNC or the RNC as head of the party.
Political Machine well organized political organization that controls election results by awarding jobs and other favors in exchange for votes
Plurality System an electoral system in which the winner is the person who gets the most votes, even if he or she does not receive a majority; used in almost all American elections
Realignment when popular support switches from one party to another
Party Platform A political party's statement of its goals and policies for the next four years. It is the best formal statement of a party's beliefs.
Ideological party A party that values principled stands on issues above all else.
Created by: jdzech