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UNIT 3 Study Guide

by: Allison Notetaker

UNIT 3 Study Guide PLSC2003 007

Allison Notetaker
GPA 4.0

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Test question answers throughout!
American National Government
Karen Sebold
Study Guide
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This 6 page Study Guide was uploaded by Allison Notetaker on Sunday May 1, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to PLSC2003 007 at University of Arkansas taught by Karen Sebold in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 198 views. For similar materials see American National Government in Botany at University of Arkansas.


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Date Created: 05/01/16
1 PLSC 2003 - EXAM 3 - Study Guide Public Opinion: 1. Know the bold terms used throughout the lecture and chapter. • sample—a small group selected by researchers to represent the most important characteristics of an entire population • sample error—polling error that arises based on the small size of the sample 2. What is public opinion? • public opinion is collective opinion of many people on some issue, problem, etc. especially as a guide to action or decision, or the like factors that influence beliefs and opinions: • • race, gender, income, age, religion, and region • affect individual interests but also shape their experiences and upbringing 3. What is one of the most important measures of public opinion? • trust in government in one of the most important measures of public opinion • high levels of political trust create legitimacy for democratic government, while low levels can cause concern • declining trust=linked to declines in political participation and voting 4. What is political socialization? • political socialization—the induction of individuals into the political culture • learning the underlying beliefs and values on which the political system is based • factors that shape socialization: • the family and social networks membership in social groups • • party affiliation • education • self-interest • political environment 5. How do we acquire our political and social opinions? • values (or beliefs) form a person’s opinion about politics and policy • they are shaped by: • the family • school/peers • political conditions • the media • political parties social groups/interest groups • • and the totality of your environment (race, gender, social class) 6. How is public opinion measured? • sample needs to be representative of society and population • every one in the sample needs to be given a random chance of being selected for that pole • pollsters are interested in direction and strength (saliency) of public’s opinion and what shaped it and level of knowledge on the topic • samples must be: • representative • probability sampling 7. What are the problems with polling? • only snapshots of opinions • questions weren’t properly worded push polling (if you are only given one option) • • illusion of saliency • selection bias • sampling error • measurement error 2 8. What is political ideology? • political ideology is a cohesive set of beliefs that forms a general philosophy about the role of government 9. Know the common types of political ideology in the US. and what they support and oppose. • conservatives emphasize support for social and economic status-quo and limited government action except to protect morals and traditions • wants to trim the size of the federal government • wants to diminish government regulation of business • supports harsher treatment of criminals • opposes implementation of medical marijuana laws • favors green energy laws including wind turbines • opposes many affirmative action programs • favors tax cuts • liberals emphasize social and political reform and government action to promote economic and social equality supports stricter environmental protections • • favors expanded health coverage for allAmericans • advocates increased funding for education • supports same-sex marriage • supports abortion rights and birth control • supports an increase in the minimum wage • supports more equitable tax policy that benefits middle classAmericans and imposes higher taxes on corporations The Media: 1. Understand the sources of news inAmerica. • television • print • radio • internet • social media • TV reaches the most people • newspapers are important because of journalism 2. Understand the media’s power. • gate-keeping • determine what news stories are broadcasted (what gets through the gate) agenda setting • • the power of the media to bring public attention to particular issues and problems • focus on certain stories (12/10000) • same stories get bounced around—do not cover enough • framing • the power of the media to influence how events and issues are interpreted • prompt us to think a certain way by framing stories in a positive or negative light, liberal or conservative way, or sensational way • priming • process of preparing the public to bring specific criteria to mind when evaluating a politician or issue • prime the response from the audience 3. Understand the regulation of the media by the federal government. • regulates content and ownership Government does not own the media • • US government regulates ownership and some content of the media • cannot own more than 20% of media in one given area • prevent monopoly 4. Know the TelecommunicationsAct of 1996. 3 • loosened federal restrictions of media ownership more competition • regulated content in the Internet (later struck down by USSC) • • least regulated now!!! • TV is one of the most regulated 5. Ownership of the media in the U.S. • 90% of media is owned by 5 corporations • Walt Disney • News Corporation—largest in the world, not just US • Time Warner • Viacom/CBS • GE • Consequence: • are your beliefs truly your own • greater concentration means very few voices own the media Campaigns and Elections: 1. Know the bold terms used throughout the lecture and chapter. • front runner • independent expenditures (soft money) 2. What is the function of campaigns and elections in the U.S. • Campaigns and elections are a big part of democracy: • citizens and groups can have a voice • determine confidence in government if we do not trust government, we do not show up or vote • • believe that it is an open and free process • vet the candidates 3. Understand the characteristics of modern day elections in the U.S. • last a long time (lengthy) • require $$ • require momentum in the beginning of the race • require media attention • competitive • what are we doing in the nomination stage, what is the point? 4. Know the trends in voter turnout in presidential elections and how it compares to other countries. • low compared to other middle eastern countries 50% or less turn out for presidential elections • 5. Understand the process of voter registration in the U.S. and the Motor VoterAct of 1993. • on voters to register • in past, many states have discouraged registration=low voter turnout • historical discrimination • w/ Motor VoterAct, easier to register • not affecting turnout 6. Understand the process of how federal elections are funded. • soft money—money contributed directly to the political parties and other organizations for political activities that is not regulated by federal campaign spending laws • in 2002, federal law prohibited unregulated donation to national party committees • hard money—direct donations from individuals that is regulated by federal campaign spending laws 7. Know the Pendleton Civil Service ReformAct, TillmanAct, Taft-HartleyAct, Buckley v Valeo. The Pendleton Civil Service ReformAct (1883) • • prohibited government employees from soliciting contributions from civil service employees • TillmanAct (1907) • prohibited corporations and nationally charted banks from making direct financial contributions to federal candidates 4 • Taft-HartleyAct (1947) • extended contributions ban to labor unions • Buckley v Valeo (1976) • overturns caps on total campaign spending • overturns ban on candidate personal spending • overturns regulation of independent expenditures (soft money) magic words test 8. Know the Federal Election CampaignAct of 1971, The Bi-Partisan Campaign ReformAct of 2002, and the Citizens united v. FEC (2010) case. • The Federal Election CampaignAct (1971) • set caps on expenditures • ban use of personal wealth • required full disclosure • established presidential matching funds system • set limits on direct donations (hard money) • created the FEC • BiPartisan Campaign ReformAct (2002) • ban on corporate, bank, and labor unions from using general treasury funds for independent expenditures • increases donor limits • Citizens United v Federal Election Commission (2010) • bans limits on outside groups spending • allows corporate, bank, and labor unions from using treasury funds for independent expenditures 9. What is the difference between a PAC and Super-PAC? • pac— a type of organization that collects campaign contributions from members and donates those funds to campaign for or against candidates, ballot initiatives or legislation. • an organization becomes a PAC when it receives or spends more than $2,600 to influence a federal election super pac—an independent political action committee that may raise unlimited sums of money from • corporations, unions, and individuals but is not permitted to contribute to or coordinate directly with parties or candidates 10. What is the magic words test? • magic words test—the guideline established Buckley v Valeo to determine if an advertisement is an issue ad or an ad directly advocating or opposing candidates 11. Did the State Supreme Court of Montana overrule the Citizens United decision by the U.S. Supreme Court? • Montana Corrupt PracticesAct—banned corporations from giving money to campaigns • the Supreme Court overturned the Citizens United decision Political Parties: 1. Know the bold terms used throughout the lecture and chapter. • party v interest group • divided government political realignment • 2. What are political parties? • political parties—organized groups attempting to influence the government by electing their members to public office 3. What is the role of political parties? • most important role: mobilize voters • means to win the election—got to get people to show up to vote • vet the candidates • know who these people are—their skeletons/road blocks • opposition research • nominate candidates • party controls process 5 • most impressive candidate, the one that will bring in the most votes • propose policy alternatives • especially if they are the party not controlling the government • coordinate actions of elected officials 4. Understand the history of political parties in the U.S. • when did republicans dominate? when did the democrats dominate? • era of divided government since 1968 • • no one party has dominated 5. Understand what third parties are and why they exist. • help policy discussion even if they don't win major races • Third Parties also exist to represent the social and economic issues not represented by major parties 6. What is the ultimate success for a political party? • winning the election 7. What is a political realignment and why do they occur? • one party has dominated for a long time, then another party comes in to dominate Interest Groups: 1. Know the bold terms used throughout the lecture and chapter. • the overall strategy is to cultivate long-term relationships with government officials and policy makers or form “Iron Triangles” Iron Triangles • • interest groups, congressional $$, executive branch officials • trying to secure government contracts • tight knit relationships keep other groups out • collective goods—clean air, water, education 2. What are interest groups? • Interest Groups—organizations of people with similar policy goals who enter the political process to try to achieve those goals • influences what government does and who they represent • influencing Washington and elected officials 3. Law of Large Groups and Free Rider Problem • some groups are going to be more successful than others • Mancur Olsen’s Law of Large Groups—the larger the group, the more likely it will fall short of its goals • Free Rider Problem • lot of members that aren't really doing anything • don’t pay dues, don’t participate 4. What are the theories of interest group activity? • Pluralist Theory • politics is mainly a competition among groups • each group is pressing for its own policy preferences all interests are represented • if one gets too powerful, the other will push back • • Elite Theory • society is divided along class lines • the group with power is that with the most resources • Hyperpluralist Theory • too many groups are getting too much of what they want • government policies have become contradictory and lacking direction • groups are so strong that government is weak • pluralism gone bad 5. What is the “ideal pluralism” and the problem with achieving it. • not all groups are participating and some groups are going to have more resources than others • the ideal pluralism allows interests to be free to compete with each other for governmental influence 6 • many different groups participate and have their voice heard • free to compete more participation=more regulation • 6. What are the strategies of interest groups? • Indirect Strategies • advertising and demonstrations and create ratings systems • voters pressure government officials • score all the legislatures to see how they are voting on certain issues • Direct Strategies • lobbying (most used), testifying before Congress and rule makers, “help” draft policy, and fund campaigns • some groups have more resources than other groups • hard to achieve “ideal pluralism” • groups are working hard to “capture” government officials and form “iron triangles” 7. Growth of Interest Groups increased number of groups and their importance is a response to an increase in the size and activity of • government


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