Tx Govt Ch 5 Vocab

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1

Pragmatism

The philosophy that ideas should be judged on the basis of their practical results rather than on an ideological basis. American political parties are pragmatic because they are more concerned with winning elections than with taking clear, uncompromising stands on issues.

2

Decentralization

Exercise of power in political parties by state and local party organizations rather than by national party institutions.

3

Grassroots

The lowest level of party organization. In Texas, the grassroots level is the precinct level of organization.

4

Single-member district system

A system in which one candidate is elected to a legislative body in each election district.

5

Two-party system

A political system characterized by two dominant parties competing for political offices. In such systems, minor or third parties have little chance of winning.

6

Evangelical (fundamentalist) Christians

A number of Christians, often conservative supporters of the Republican Party, who are concerned with such issues as family, religion, abortion, gay rights, and community morals.

7

Party platform

The formal issue positions of a political party; specifics are often referred to as planks in the party’s platform

8

Precinct convention

A gathering of party members who voted in the party’s primary for the purpose of electing delegates to the county or district convention.

9

Primary

An election held by a political party to nominate its candidates. Texas party primary elections are usually held in the spring.

10

Presidential preference primary

A primary election that allows voters in the party to vote directly for candidates seeking their party’s presidential nomination.

11

Party realignment

The transition from one dominant- party system to another. In Texas politics, it refers to the rise and possible dominance of the Republican party in recent years.

12

Partisan identification

A person’s attachment to one political party or the other.

13

Dealignment

The situation that arises when large numbers of voters refuse to identify with either of the two parties and become increasingly independent of party affiliation.

14

Ticket splitters

People who vote for candidates of more than one party in a given election.

15

Tipping

A phenomenon that occurs when a group that is becoming more numerous over time grows large enough to change the political balance in a district, state, or county.

16

Swing Voters

People who cast their ballots on the basis of personality and other factors rather than strictly on the basis of party affiliation; swing voters are often those “ independents” who are persuadable by either party’s campaign.