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Elections

Incumbent
a candidate for political office who already holds the political office he or she is campaigning for
Primary Elections/Primaries
Preliminary, state by state, contests candidates must win in order to win the nomination of their party in the general election. Congress and the President participate in primaries to get elected.
Soft Money
Unlimited amounts of money used to back candidates without backing them by name. Corporations and unions were banned from using soft money by the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act.
Split-Ticket Voting
voting for one party for one office and another for another
Political Action Committees (PACS)
organizations formed by corporations, unions, and trade associations with the purpose of raising funds (money)f or campaigns for political office. First allowed under the 1974 Federal Election Campaign Act
527 Groups
A tax exempt organization that promotes a political agenda, although they cannot expressly advocate for or against a specific candidate.
Federal Election Campaign Act of 1974
act of Congress that limited campaign contributions, but allowed loopholes such as PACs and soft money
McCain-Feingold Act/Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002
act in 2002 that further limited campaign contributions and banned soft money. Allowed the loophole of 527 organizations, organizations that cannot back a candidate directly but may spend money backing a certain political agenda, or cause.
Nomination
when a party chooses their candidate for the national election
General Election
when voters decide which candidate will hold/be elected to the national office
Closed Primary
voting is restricted to registered members of a political party. Democrats vote for Democrats and Republicans for Republicans
Open Primary
voters may vote in only one party’s , primary but may vote in whichever primary they choose
Blanket Primary
voters may vote for one candidate per office of either party (only Alaska and Washington use this system)
Delegate
a citizen of a state who goes to the national convention of a political party to help nominate a candidate based on votes received during the state’s primary
Plurality
greatest number of votes, but not more than half
Runoff Primary
if no candidate receives the required share of votes in a primary, a runoff primary is held
Super-Delegates
Democrats grant automoatic delegate status to many elected party leaders who generally vote for the front runner in the convention
Presidential Elections
elections in which the President is being determined
Midterm Elections
elections that occur in between Presidential Elections
Federal Matching Funds
Primary candidates who receive more than 10 percent of the vote in an election may apply for Federal Matching Funds, which essentially double all campaign contributions of $250 and under.
Super Tuesday
same day in March when many southern states hold their primaries, candidate can go a long way to winning nomination if he or she does well on this day
Front-Loading
states like New York and California have moved their primaries to earlier dates (more to the front) and have thus gained greater influence on the process
Federal Election Commission
government agency that monitors and enforces rules on campaign spending
Electoral College
institution created to keep the people of the USA from having too much influence on election of President by giving power to electors who cast electoral votes
Winner-take-all-System
winner of each states popular election takes all electoral votes in the electoral college
Mandate
idea that the public, by voting on one candidate or another overwhelmingly, can send a message about how they feel about the state of the nation
Created by: fdouglassapgov
 

 



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