Poli Sci Test #2

  1. Who is most likely to vote?
    People with high levels of education, supportive and politically active families, and better paying jobs are more likely to vote.
  2. Mobilization:
    Mobilization is quite simply asking people to participate.
  3. Party identification –
    individuals are more likely to be engaged by politics if they identify strongly with a political party.
  4. Political efficacy –
    the belief that you can make a difference in the political process. This can come from some of the same influences as political interest. If you believe that your actions can make a difference, you are more likely to participate.
  5. Political interest –
    a person develops an interest in politics based on family, education, membership in groups, upbringing, and other inputs that help to see the connections between government policy and their own lives.
  6. participation is a function of three factors
    engagement in politics, resources and mobilization.
  7. Instrumental act and Expressive act –
    Instrumental act – a means to an end (i.e. to facilitate the election of the candidate.) Expressive act – we get some benefit out of simply doing it (i.e. singing when no one is around to hear.)
  8. Rational Choice –
    individuals have preferences, and they act to achieve the best possible outcome. Their ability to do so is constrained by resources, information, and the behavior of others.
  9. Political participation –
    “those activities by private citizens that are more or less directly aimed at influencing the selection of government personnel and/or the actions they take.” (Verba & Nie). This includes voting, donating money or working on political campaigns, writing or emailing your representative, engaging in political protests, or even putting a bumper sticker on your car.
  10. Who writes the election rules?
    Election rules are written mostly by state legislatures (with some federal laws). State legislatures and Congress are dominated by Democrats and Republicans. It is not surprising that the rules they (Democrats and Republicans) write into law tend to discourage third-party and independent candidates.
  11. Rules of the Game(elections):
    the authors highlight the bias for the two-party system in the single-member, simple plurality rule.Duverger theorizes that countries that have the “single member, simple plurality system encourages a two party system while proportional representation encourages multiparty systems.n every state, the Democratic or Republican nominee for office automatically gets printed on the ballot. Third-party and independent candidates must earn a place on the ballot. This usually means collecting thousands of signatures (sometimes with strict standards as to how and where they are collected).
  12. Media coving Democratic and Republican presidential candidates
    Some see a bias in the U.S. media towards the major parties. Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, for example, are covered routinely by the evening news. Third-party and independent candidates are given little, if any, coverage. In any event, it is a fact that most of the news coverage goes to the Democratic and Republican candidates.
  13. Consensus
    A marked difference between the United States and most other democracies to which it is compared, is the strong agreement as to what “issues” are debatable and which are considered settled.For example, no serious candidate for national office in the U.S. seeks to debate the need to write a new Constitution.
  14. Why a Two-Party System?
    American history has basically been one of duality. Two groups, for whatever reasons, have dominated most of U.S. history.Early on in the history of the republic, a major division was whether or not to declare independence (Whigs and Tories). The next significant issue was the writing of the Constitution. Here, two groups developed at the Constitutional Convention: confederationists (states rightists) and nationalists (as discussed in Chapter 3). Once the Constitution was written, the nation divided over ratification: Federalists (for ratification) and Anti- Federalists (against ratification). When the first parties developed it was into two: Democratic-Republicans versus Federalists.Probably the most significant issue dividing the nation was slavery: North versus South. After the Civil War, as noted in this chapter, the division was primarily between farm (rural) interests and industrial (urban) interests. Finally, in recent decades a major division written about a great deal is that between the Frostbelt (industrial Midwest and Northeast) and Sunbelt (South and West).Thus, most of the great issues to divide the United States have resulted in two groups.
  15. proportional representation?
    In most of the world’s democracies, however, the electoral system is some version of proportional representation.
  16. Two-Party and Multi-Party Systems
    For two centuries of the country’s history, two major parties have dominated elections for national office.Most scholars believe that an important factor in determining whether a polity has two parties or more is its electoral system. At the national and state levels the United States relies almost exclusively on the single-member, simple plurality system. This system tends to manufacture majorities, or at least to exaggerate their size. Voters are not inclined to support third-party candidates since that is viewed as “wasting your vote.”
  17. The Fifth Party System (New Deal)
    The critical elections of 1932 and 1936 established the fifth party system. It was a class-based party alignment with Roosevelt and the Democrats becoming the party of the common people (farmers, blue-collar workers, housewives, and minorities)Major issues arose during this era: the Great Depression, World War II, and the “Cold War.”
  18. The Second Party System (Jacksonian Democracy)
    The result was a tremendous increase in voting in 1828. Also, Jackson was the first major candidate to be nominated by delegates at a convention rather than by caucus. By the early 1850s, sectionalism and slavery resulted in the rise of third parties and a new party: Republicans.
  19. The First Party System (Jeffersonian)
    The first party system was basically between the Federalists (mostly those located in New England) who supported commercial interests and favored an expansive national government and the Democratic-Republicans (mostly located in the South and West) who advocated agricultural interests.
  20. How many years does America go through realignment?
    Some say these realignments take place with a surprising degree of regularity, about once every 30 years or so.
  21. Realigning elections in America?
    The rarest of American elections is the “critical” or “realigning” election. Realignment occurs when the pattern of group support for political parties shifts in a significant and lasting way. During realigning eras, third parties appear and turnout rises.Relignment scholars divide American political history into a series of distinct electoral eras, or “party systems.”
  22. What era did parties stop representing elites and become mass parties?
    Parties in America stopped representing merely elites during the Jacksonian Era and they became mass parties.
  23. Oversimplifying the Electoral System?
    By presenting voters with only two choices, Democrat or Republican, parties leave some voters disenchanted. What about the pro-choice Republican, or the pro-life Democrat? Sometimes only two choices can seem unsatisfactory.
  24. Recruiting Hacks and Celebrities?
    Parties sometimes recruit unqualified politicians.
  25. Divided government?
    divided government – when a single party does not control both the presidency and both houses of Congress.
  26. Party identification helps with what?
    Without parties to narrow down the choice of candidates, voters might be faced with a great number of candidates to pick from (without party labels!). Voters would have to spend a great deal of energy becoming informed about each candidate. The party identifications tell the voter a great deal about the candidate, even without knowing the candidate’s name.
  27. With one exception, what basis does every American legislature have?
    Except for Nebraska, every American legislature is organized on a partisan basis. The presiding officer is usually the leader of the majority party.
  28. Political parties
    Political parties – groups of like-minded people who band together in an attempt to take control of government. Parties represent the primary connection between ordinary citizens and the public officials they elect.
  29. Why are American elections different from other democracies?
    Unlike other countries, elections in America are usually on a workday (Tuesday). In most of the rest of the world, elections are either held on Sunday or election days are national holidays. In addition, Americans are asked to vote much more frequently.
  30. Compulsory Voting?
    In Australia and Belgium, nonvoters are subject to fines. Greek electoral law provides for imprisonment up to 12 months (a penalty that is never applied). In Italy “Did Not Vote” is stamped on identification papers, with the implication that you might get unsympathetic treatment when needing help from public officials. Their names are also posted on community bulletin boards. Turnout in democracies with compulsory voting is almost 15% higher than in countries without it.
  31. Motor voter Laws?
    “motor voter” laws that allow people to register along with driver’s license renewals or car registration have also had little impact on voter turnout.
  32. How many percent of the American voting-age population is unregistered? Why are other countries different in this regard?
    More than 30 percent of the American voting-age population is unregistered. Registration to vote is automatic in most countries, and it is the responsibility of the central government.
  33. Overvotes?
    Other countries may also count overvotes, where a ballot has more than one choice for an office, where a voter may have voted for more than one candidate or wrote in a name as well as making a mark.
  34. Undervotes?
    Other countries include undervotes, a ballot that indicates no choice for an office whether the voter abstained, or where the voter’s intention could not be determined.
  35. Voter mobilization?
    Voter mobilization is the effort of parties, groups, and activists to encourage their supporters to turn out for elections.
  36. Benefits of voting?
    Today most motivations are psychological. Some people feel a civic duty to vote, and do so in order to avoid feeling guilty.
  37. Costs of voting?
    The time spent, potential lost wages, long lines, time not spent at other activities, discomfort due to decision making, even the weather is a factor.
  38. individual motivation?
    This means that people weigh the costs and benefits of voting.
  39. What happened in the 2000 presidential election?
    2000 – Republican George W. Bush wins the electoral college vote and becomes the 43rd president of the U.S. despite Democratic candidate and sitting Vice-President Al Gore winning the popular vote.
  40. The 26th Amendment did what and was in response to what event?
    (1971) then lowered the voting age to 18, a reaction to draft of young people during the Vietnam War, and the concern that people old enough to die on a foreign battlefield were not old enough to vote for the officials who sent them to war.
  41. Amendment that gave women the right to vote in all states?
    1920- the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote in all states.
  42. In 1870, what Amendment was ratified giving black males the right to vote?
    1870 – The 15th Amendment was ratified extending the right to vote to Black males.
  43. In 1824, what happened to Andrew Jackson in the presidential election and what did he do afterward?
    .Having lost the presidency in 1824 (Andrew Jackson received a plurality of the electoral and popular votes), Andrew Jackson took his election to the people.
  44. In 1789, what happened in the first presidential election?
    In the first presidential election, five state legislatures selected the electors and four states allowed the people to elect the electors. (North Carolina and Rhode Island—had not ratified the Constitution yet.)
  45. In 1787, what did the Constitution specify about voting?
    The Constitution did not specify qualifications for voting, leaving each state to set them.
  46. What are franchise and suffrage?
    Franchise and suffrage are both terms used for the right to vote. Voting is widely regarded as the fundamental form of democratic participation.
  47. What is Retrospective voting and Prospective voting?
    Voting by looking backwards at performance (retrospective voting) may be more common than basing a vote on what is desired in the future (prospective voting).
  48. Are Public Policies a dominant factor in elections?
    Policy concerns are not a dominant factor in most elections.
  49. Party Loyalties? and Stereotypes of the Democratic and Republican Party?
    • About two-thirds of Americans identify with the Democratic or Republican parties.
    • African Americans, Jews, union members, urban residents, Southerners, and Catholics tend to identify with the Democratic Party.
    • Businesspersons, small-town residents, Midwesterners, and Evangelical Protestants tend to identify with the Republican Party.
  50. When do Americans decide to who they want to vote for?
    About one-third of voters have decided for whom to vote before the primaries. By the end of the convention about one-half to two-thirds have made up their minds.
  51. What bias is in the Electoral college?
    Since all but two states give all their electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote in the state, there is a large-state bias in how the Electoral College works.
  52. Who really elects the president and vice president?
    Electors are who really elect the president and vice president. To win a candidate must get a majority of the electors. Currently, 270 is a majority of the 538 electors.
  53. Who nominates the Vice President?
    Now, the selection is entirely in the hands of the presidential nominee. They usually try to select someone who will help the ticket get elected.
  54. The three criticisms of the media?
    • The media are advantaged by the primary process and they are criticized for focusing on trivial matters.
    • A second criticism of the media is that it makes news by exaggerating campaign events.
    • A third criticism is that the media have become players in the election instead of mere observers.
  55. Political Activists
    These are people who are more interested in, and committed to, political issues than are ordinary citizens.
  56. Political Concerns for the nomination process?
    While the goal of those who rewrote the delegate selection rules was to increase the amount of popular participation, some have argued that party nominations should be decided by those who have a demonstrated, long-term commitment to the party and a greater familiarity with its principles and candidates.
  57. One complaint about the Nomination process?
    One complaint about the process is that it starts too early and lasts too long.
  58. How old is the current Nomination process?
    The current process is now more than 30 years old
  59. Contribution limits, Matching funds, Spending limits, Self-financing, Disclosure requirements?
    • Contribution limits: $2,000 and increased every two years as indexed to inflation.
    • Matching funds: Every contribution of $250 or less receive an equal amount, paid out of the federal treasury.
    • Spending limits: Candidates accepting matching funds are required to limit both their total spending and the amount they can spend in individual states.
    • Self-financing: As a result of a Supreme Court decision in 1976, candidates who do not take matching funds can spend as much of their own money as they want on their own campaign
    • Disclosure requirements: All presidential candidates are required to file periodic reports indicating how much money they have raised and spent, plus the source of all contributions of $200 or more.
  60. what does FECA stand for? What year did Congress rewrite the law? What are the 5 features of this Act?
    • Federal Election Campaign Act.
    • In 1974, Congress rewrote the laws governing how money could be raised and spent in federal election campaigns.
    • 1. Contribution limits
    • 2. Matching funds
    • 3. Spending limits
    • 4. Self-financing
    • 5. Disclosure requirements
  61. Superdelegates
    In 1982, the Democratic Party adopted a new set of rules under which certain kinds of party leaders – members of the U.S. House and Senate, governors, members of the national committee – became automatic or ex-officio delegates.
  62. Caucuses
    These are meetings of candidate supporters who choose delegates to the state or national convention. The precinct caucuses select delegates to county, congressional district, or state conventions, and the national convention delegates are chosen at the latter meetings.
  63. primary election
    The new rules required that delegate selection be directly tied to the presidential preference vote cast in the primaries. National convention delegates are no longer elected as relatively free agents. Instead they are pledged to vote for a particular candidate unless a candidate withdraws and “frees” those delegates.
  64. What three major ways are Delegates chosen?
    • 1. primary election
    • 2. caucuses
    • 3. Superdelegates
  65. The central thrust of the new rules:
    Take a process that had been dominated by party leaders and formal party organizations and turn it into one where almost all delegates were chosen to reflect the preferences of ordinary voters.
  66. What era did the direct primary became popular and event did it become popular by?
    The direct primary became popular during the Progressive Era. Still, primaries did not become popular in presidential elections until after Hubert Humphrey won the Democratic nomination in 1968, having never entered a primary.
  67. The differences between voting in person and voting by mail?
    Voting early in person does not require any special circumstances, additional paperwork, or procedures. Voters simply choose an early voting location convenient to them.Early voting begins seventeen days before and ends four days before election day in most elections.To vote early by mail, you must be either out of the county during the early voting period and on Election Day – or age 65 or older, sick, disabled, or confined to jail.
  68. Transaction costs in Texas are exacerbated because?
    In Texas, these transaction costs (e.g., time spent waiting in line, the frustration of contending with crowds) are exacerbated by the fact that polls close at 7:00 p.m. There is little time after the end of the work day to vote.
  69. Transaction costs?
    are the costs of making a transaction in the marketplace. Voting can impose numerous and substantial transaction costs. Voters must spend time that could be used for other productive or leisure activities.
  70. Why is the associated costs of gathering electoral information higher in Texas?
    The associated costs of gathering electoral information are higher in Texas than in many other states because so many executive and judicial branch offices are elective.
  71. Information costs?
    Information costs are the costs of acquiring and processing information – in this case, political information necessary for or useful in voting and other forms of political participation. These range from the simplest facts about voting procedures to arcane knowledge about politics, policy, and candidates.
  72. Can state-wide elections be very close?
    state-wide contests in the United States, elections can be very close.
  73. Three critical areas related to voting and non-voting:
    • 1.probability that your individual vote will make a difference
    • 2.so-called "barriers to entry" – such as the cost of acquiring and processing the tons of necessary political information
    • 3.effects of the dominance of only two parties in our system
  74. The requirements for voting in Texas?
    First, you must be a citizen of the United States, at least 18 years old, and registered to vote. Also, you must be a resident of Texas for at least thirty days.
  75. Are city council elections non-partisan?
    As a result of both state tradition and local city charters, city council elections are non-partisan
  76. Special elections are held in Texas for one of three reasons:
    • To fill mid-term vacancies in the state Legislature or in a Texas seat in the U.S. Congress.
    • To vote on proposed amendments to the state Constitution.
    • On the local level, to select city council members.
  77. What constitutional amendment was adopted by Texas in 1974?
    In 1974 Texas adopted a constitutional amendment that extended the term of the Governor and other executive branch offices from two to four years.
  78. How can Independent candidates get on the general election ballot?
    Independent (non-partisan) candidates can get on the general election ballot by collecting a certain number of signatures on a nominating petition equal to a percentage of the total number of votes cast in the previous general. The percentage required varies depending on the office sought. Independent candidates do not have to pay filing fees.
  79. How many percent must Minor parties receive to be listed on the ballot for the subsequent election?
    Minor parties that received at least 5 percent of all votes cast in the previous general election are guaranteed to be listed on the ballot for the subsequent general election.
  80. What is different about Minor Parties and their primaries?
    Minor parties do not hold primaries. Their candidates for the general election are chosen in county and state conventions.
  81. Closed primaries
    Closed primaries require advance declaration of partisan affiliation in order to vote in a specific party's primary.
  82. Open primaries
    Open primaries do not require voters to declare in advance the party with which they wish to be associated.
  83. What must a candidate do win the nomination in primary election and what happens if this does not happen?
    To win the nomination in a primary election a candidate must win a clear majority (more than 50 percent) of the votes cast. If no candidate wins a majority – as often happens when more than two candidates run for an office – a runoff election is held between the two candidates that won the most votes.
  84. What does a primary election do?
    primary election allows members of a political party to choose the party's candidates for an upcoming general election.
  85. What does the Constitution require for elections?
    The Constitution requires direct election for numerous state offices in the executive branch and in the judiciary, as well as for a number of county-level offices.
  86. How many levels of government do Texans choose candidates for?
    Texans choose candidates for a great many public offices at all levels of government in the state.
Card Set
Poli Sci Test #2
Cards for Poli Sci Test II