a way of organizing a nation so that two or more levels of government have foraml authority over the same land and people
system of shared power between units of government
political action committee (PAC)
a private group that raises and distributes funds for use in election campaigns
a party that organizes to compete against the two major American political parties
a group of people organized around a shared belief or mutual concern who try to influence the government to make policies promoting their belief or concerns.
one who enjoyes the benefits of collective goods bud did not participate in acquiring them
a group that attempts to influence the policy process though persuasion of government officials.
a lobbying campaign in which a group mobilizes its membership to contact government officials in support of the group's position
the process by which we develop our political values and opinions through out our lives
the public's expressed views about an issue at a specific point in time
a scientific method of selection for a poll in which each member of the population has an equal chance at being included in the sample
also called margin of error; a statistical calculation of the difference in results between a poll of a randomly drawn sample and a poll of the entire population
a special type of poll that both provides information to campaigns about candidate strengths and weakness and attempts to skew public opinion about a candidate
determination by Congress of which public issues the government should consider for legislation
What are interest groups and what is lobbying?
Organizations trying to achieve at least some of their goals with government assistance
Lobbying – the efforts of interest groups to influence government
why do people join interest groups?
Political goals or a cause
“Coercion” (ex. state bar associations)
What are some ways govt. officials can assess public opinion?
Push polls – "...if you knew he was ___ would you vote for him in the next election?"
What are 5 types of interest groups?
Private: seek economic benefits for their members
Business: most numerous and powerful
Labor: principal competitor with business
Economic/social justice/rights issues
Single issue vs. multi-issue
Why do we have primaries and what are the 2 types?
closed primary – limits participation to those who are registered with the party
open primary – voters can vote in either party’s primary
**Primaries/caucuses held in each state to pick national party convention delegates.
**Winners of each state primary get all or most of the delegates.
What is the Electoral College and how does it work?
System for election of U.S. president
Candidates needs 270 electoral college votes
Each state gets votes = # of Reps + # of Senators
In most states the candidate with most popular votes gets ALL electoral college votes
Encourages campaigning in bigger and “swing” states
****Nebraska and Maine are exceptions; all others are Winner Take All
Nebraska: winner of electoral votes gets 2 votes from DC.***
What are parties and what do they do?
Organizations between government and people
Recruit, nominate and elect people to office
Organize people ideologically
What are 527's and why are they significant?
527 groups or organizations are types of tax-exempt organizations after “Section 527” of the U.S. IRS Code. They are created primarily to influence the selection, nomination, election, appointment or defeat of candidates to public office at any level.
No upper limits on contributions to 527’s and no restrictions on who may contribute. There are no spending limits on these organizations; however, they must register with the IRS, publicly disclose their donors, and file periodic reports of contributions and expenditures.
Run by interest groups and used to raise money to spend on issue advocacy and voter mobilization outside of the restrictions PAC’s.
Money in Politics
It deters the recruitment of good candidates
Average Senate race costs almost $7M and House race is almost $1M
Money helps win elections and is necessary for candidate legitimacy, but other factors influence also who wins elections
Money buys access, can sway votes in Congress and influence the executive
The influence on public opinion caused by the way a story is presented or covered, including details, explanations, and context offered
Sources that provide information to the average citizen, such as newspapers, television, radio stations, and websites
The influence on the public's general impressions caused by positive or negative coverage of a candidate or issue
a tax-exempt group focused primarily to influence elections through voter mobilization efforts and issue ads that do not directly endorse or oppose a candidate. Unlike PACS, 52's are not subject to contribution limits and spending caps
A citizen's loyalty to a specific political party
A situation in which the House, Senate, and Presidency are not controlled by the same party
The percentage of voting-aged population who cast a ballot in a given election
The body that votes to select America's president and vice president based on the popular vote of each state. Each candidate nominates a state of electors who are selected to attend the meeting of the college if their candidate wins the most votes in a state or district
The practice of relying on others to contribute to a collective effort while failing to participate on one's own behalf, yet still benefiting from the group's successes
Free Rider Problems
Many people benefit from interest groups without joining or showing support.
ex: Civil Rights helping everyone even if they weren't involved.
A formal order issued by the president to direct action by the federal bureaucracy
power of supreme court to declare laws and actions of local, state, or national government unconstitutional
What is media and give some examples:
Where we get political ideas and information
Examples: TV, Newspapers, Internet, and Radio
*MEDIA SHAPES OUR OPINIONS*
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Equal time rule
Right of rebuttal - individuals must be given the right to respond to personal attacks made on radio or television
How does media influence the public opinions about politics?
PAC - Political Action Committees
a way for groups to give money legally to politicians
occurs when there is a major shake up of the party or when their party loses domination
another party wins
shift of people from one party to another
split party - no dominant parties
Why is it difficult to conduct telephone surveys?
Not many people have home phones anymore. Technology has made it difficult because of cell phones.
Why people vote:
they affect government
Why people don't vote:
How do interest groups shape public opinion?
Interest groups shape public opinion by using the media, staging demonstrations and protests, and using outside lobbying.
Voter turnout has decreased compared to voting in the 1960's.
Outside lobbying - activities directed at the general public to raise awareness and interest and to pressure officials.
Inside lobbying- appealing directly to lawmakers and legislative staff either in meetings, by providing research and information, or by testifying at committee hearings.
random digit dialing
phone numbers dialed randomly across the country
What affects public opinions?
The set of underlying orientations, ideas, and beliefs through which individuals come to understand and interpret politics
A polling error that arises when a sample of public opinion overrepresents or underrepresents some opinions