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POLS 203-Ch. 9

Ch. 9 Vocabulary

TermDefinition
General Election a regularly scheduled election to choose the US President, Vice-president, and senators and representatives in Congress. General elections are held in even-numbered years on that Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
Special Election an election that is held at the state or local level when the voters must decide an issue before the next general election or when vacancies occur by reason of death or resignation.
Australian Ballot a secret ballot that is prepared, distributed, and counted by government officials at public expense; used by all states in the United States since 1884.
Poll Watcher a representative from one of the political parties who is allowed to monitor a polling place to make sure that the election is run fairly and that fraud doesn’t occur.
Elector in American politics, a member of the electoral college.
Electoral College the group of electors who are selected by the voters in each state to officially elect the president and vice-president. The number of electors in each state is equal to the number of that state’s representatives in both chambers of Congress.
Winner-Take-All System a system in which the candidate who receives the most votes wins. In contrast, proportional systems allocate votes to multiple winners.
Caucus a meeting held to choose political candidates or delegates.
Nominating Convention an official meeting of a political party to choose its candidates. Nominating conventions at the state and local levels also select delegates to represent the citizens of their geographic areas at a higher-level party convention.
Delegate a person selected to represent the people of one geographic area at a party convention.
Primary Election an election in which voters choose the candidates of their party, who will then run in the general election.
Direct Primary an election held within each of the two major parties – Democratic and Republican – to choose the party’s candidates for the general election. Voters choose the candidate directly, rather than through delegates.
Closed Primary a primary in which only party members can vote to choose that party’s candidates.
Open Primary a primary in which voters can vote for a party’s candidates regardless of whether they belong to the party.
Credentials Committee a committee of each national political party that evaluates the claims of national party convention delegates to be the legitimate representatives of their states.
Political Consultant a professional political adviser who, for a fee, works on an area of a candidate’s campaign. Political consultants include campaign managers, pollsters, media advisers, and “get-out-the-vote” organizers.
Campaign Strategy the comprehensive plan developed by a candidate and his or her advisers for winning an election.
Opposition Research the attempt to learn damaging information about an opponent in a political campaign.
Soft Money campaign contributions not regulated by federal law, such as some contributions that are made to political parties instead of to particular candidates.
Independent Expenditure an expenditure for activities that are independent from (not coordinated with) those of a political candidate or a political party.
Created by: Maddyjo