AP Gov – unit 3

Term Definition
independent expenditures Spending by political action committees, corporations, or labor unions that is done to help a party or candidate but is done independently of them
winner take all system An election system in which the candidate with the most votes wins
closed primary have to be a registered member of the party to participate
open primary can decide which party you vote for – don't have to be registered w/ party
caucus a meeting where people are aware of how people vote
dealignment Weakening of partisan preference that point to a rejection of both major parties and a rise in the number of Independents
single member district electoral district that returns one officeholder to a body with multiple members such as a legislature
minor party a political party whose electoral strength is so small
multiparty system multiple political parties across the political spectrum run for national election, and all have the capacity to gain control of government offices
bipartisan the agreement or cooperation of two political parties that usually oppose each other's policies
coalition an alliance for combined action, especially a temporary alliance of political parties forming a government or of states
incumbent person already holding an elective office
midterm election some members of the US Senate, all members of the House of Representatives, and many state and local positions are voted on every 2 years
franchise an authorization granted by a government or company to an individual or group enabling them to carry out specified commercial activities
term limits laws that limit the number of terms elected officials can serve
primary election An election held to choose candidates for office
political culture set of attitudes, beliefs, and sentiments which give order and meaning to a political process
divided government the situation in which one party controls the presidency while the other party controls Congress
realigning election occurs when the population that supports one/both of the country's major political parties undergoes a major shift
proportional representation awards legislative seats to political parties in proportion to the number of votes won in an election
electoral college a body of people representing the states of the US, who formally cast votes for the election of the president and vice president
safe seat An elected office that is predictably won by one party or the other, so the success of that party's candidate is almost taken for granted
coattail effect: tendency of candidates to win more votes in an election b/c of the presence at the top of the ticket
candidate appeal the tendency in elections to focus on the personal attributes of a candidate, such as his or her strengths, weaknesses, background, experience, and visibility
name recognition the number of people who are aware of a politician
franking A policy that enables members of Congress to send material through the mail by substituting their facsimile signature (frank) for postage
national party convention political convention held every four years in the United States by most of the political parties who will be fielding nominees in the upcoming U.S. presidential election
FEC Federal Election Commission – disclose campaign finance information, to enforce the provisions of the law such as the limits and prohibitions on contributions, and to oversee the public funding of Presidential elections
hard money When cash is contributed directly to a political candidate
mass media television, radio, newspapers, magazines, the Internet
news media any outlet where a reporter's story could be printed or spoken