We The People: Thomas Patterson- Chapter 8: Vocabulary Definitions
Ongoing coalition of interests joined together in an effort to get its candidates for public office elected under a common label.
Republican and Democratic parties compete across the country election after election.
Individual candidates devise their own strategies, choose their own issues, and form their own campaign organizations.
Parties serve to connect citizens with government.
Narrows voters' options to two, and in the process, enables people with different backgrounds and opinions to act together.
Organized chiefly at the local level, and available to all citizens.
Periods of extraordinary party change; includes:
1. Emergency of unusually powerful and divisive issues.
2. An election(s) contest which the voters shift partisan support.
3. Enduring change in the parties' policies and coalitions.
Uniform support of one party's candidates.
Voting for one party's presidential candidate and the other party's congressional candidate.
Two major parties; United States has had through most of history; exception rather than the rule.
Two or more parties have the capacity to gain control separately, or in coalition.
Each constituency elects a single member to a particular office.
Discourages minor parties by reducing their chances of winning anything, even if they perform well by minor-party standards; winner-takes-all.
Seats in the legislature are allocated according to a party's share of one popular vote.
Proportional Representation System
Holds that, if there are two parties, the parties can maximize their vote only if they position themselves at the location of the median voter (the voters whose preferences are exactly in the middle).
Median Voter Theorem
Groups and interests that support a party collectively.
Drawing more support from one particular gender.
Formed around a lone issue of overriding interests to their followers.
Result from a split between one of the major parties.
A liberal party that emphasizes environmental issues.
Anti-parties; arise out of a belief that partisan politics is corrupting influence.
Refers to the selection of the individual who will run as a party's candidate in the general election.
Gives control of nominations to the voters.
Party Election (Direct Primary)
Participation is limited to voters registered or declared at the polls as members of the party whose primary is being held.
Allow independent and sometimes voters of the opposite party to vote in the party's primary.
Candidates are listed on the same ballot, without regard to party; the top two finishers become the general election candidates.
Unlimited amount of donation one person can give to a candidate or party.
Soft Money Contributions
Amount of contributions candidates must incur to keep up with other candidates for a competitive campaign.
Money given directly to the candidate and can be spent as he or she chooses.
Key operatives in an election; campaign strategists, pollsters, media producers and fundraising; help the candidate to plot and execute a game plan.
Highlighting aspects of a candidate's partisanship, policy decisions, personal background, and personality that are thought most attractive to voters.
Candidates' use of televised ads; term pegged by political scientist Darrell West.
Tactic used to get new ads on the air within a few hour's time to rebut attacks and exploit fast-breaking developments.
Voters who could conceivably be swayed to vote for either side.
Swaying of voters that candidates use to make promises of what they will do if elected.
Voters make their decision based on a candidate or current official's past performance in office.