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GOVT 2306 Exam 2 Study Guide

by: Malvi Mehta

GOVT 2306 Exam 2 Study Guide GOVT 2306

Marketplace > University of Texas at Dallas > Government > GOVT 2306 > GOVT 2306 Exam 2 Study Guide
Malvi Mehta
GPA 4.0

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About this Document

This comprehensive study guide covers material in Chapters 4, 5, and 6, which will all be on Exam 2.
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This 4 page Study Guide was uploaded by Malvi Mehta on Saturday October 1, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to GOVT 2306 at University of Texas at Dallas taught by Davis in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 38 views. For similar materials see State and Local Government in Government at University of Texas at Dallas.


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Date Created: 10/01/16
GOVT 2306 Exam II Study Guide (Chapters 4,5,6) Chapter 4: Political Parties in Texas  Why Political Parties Matter o Domination of Republican Party in TX; growing minority population  (increasingly Latino) o TX has largely been a one party state o The future depends on how parties are organized, how candidates are  selected, and the role of partisanship  The role of political parties o Help candidates win elections o Assist voters in making choices o Raise money and increase voter turnout o Provide a label under which candidates run and with which voters can  identify  Partisan polarization: the degree to which Republicans have become more  conservative and Democrats have become more liberal  Political socialization: the introduction of individuals into the political culture,  learning the beliefs and values on which the political system is based; typically  influenced by parents, teachers, mentors, etc.  Contemporary Republican Party in TX o Currently dominating o All major, partisan, executive offices in TX held by republicans  Contemporary Democratic Party in TX o African Americans, Latinos, and white/liberal transplants in urban areas o Before 1994, TX usually voted democrat at the state level and republican  at the national level   Party Organization in TX o OPEN Primaries – any registered voter can participate, regardless of  political affiliation  Provides voters privacy while being able to vote for either party  Provides voters more influence in the political system  Third Parties in TX o Dixiecrats – conservative democrats who abandoned the Democratic party in the 1948 presidential election o La Raza Unida Party – formed in TX in order to bring attention to the  concerns of Mexican Americans  Additional Vocab: o Plurality: winner has the most votes in comparison to other candidates o Majority: winner has more than 50% of the votes o Single member district: an electorate that is allowed to elect only one  representative for each district o Duverger’s Law: in a single member system, a 2 party system will emerge o Proportional representation: a multimember district system that allows  each political party representation in proportion to its percentage of the  total vote Chapter 5: Elections in Texas  Features of TX elections o Select candidates in all branches of government and local elections o Vote for changes in state constitution o One party dominance and LOW levels of voter participation  Primary Elections o Determine a party’s nominees for the general election (both Republican and Democrat parties do this) o Open primary: allows voting in either, but not both, primaries o Closed primary: voters must declare their party affiliation o Runoff primary: held only if no candidate receives an absolute majority. Whoever gets majority between two tied candidates wins.  General Elections o Held in November o Major state officials are elected in NON presidential election years  Special Elections/Independents o Not held on a regularly scheduled basis o Used to fill vacancies in office, give approval to borrow money, or ratify/reject amendments to the TX constitution o Dates specified by TX legislature o Running as an independent is unusual in TX!  Tough to get on the ballot; lack of party support  Participation in Elections o Voting o Signing petitions o Protesting o Writing letters to officials  Restrictions on the franchise (franchise means the right to vote) o Poll tax: required voters to pay a tax (disenfranchised poorer people) o TX used to require early registration of voters (disenfranchised migrant workers) o White primary: designed to minimize strength of African American voters  Contemporary Barriers to voting o Reduced number of polling sites o Broken voting machines o Misleading info provided to voters o Voter intimidation o TX voter ID law  Expanding the voting franchise o Voting Rights Act of 1965: ensured African Americans the right to vote o Moter voter law: allows voter registration when applying for or renewing a drivers license  Factors that contribute to low voter turnout o Low education, income, socioeconomic status o Young population in the South o Traditionalistic and individualistic political culture o Lack of media attention to issues o Large number of undocumented residents and felons o Candidate centered elections and little competition  Reapportionment: determines how many congressional seats each state will receive  Redistricting: used to redraw district lines in TX legislature and US House  Issues in TX elections o Abortion rights o Affordable Care Act o Voting rights Act o Gun rights o Education policy o Immigration policy o Tax policy Chapter 6: Interest Groups and Lobbying  Interest group: an organization established to influence government policies o Have a variety of forms o Can be set up to serve small or large groups of people Why Interest Groups matter o Provide support for existing policies o Support legislators in their campaigns o Articulate ideas from which policies can be crafted o Mobilized to challenge ideas and interests of others Interest group resources and strategy o Number of members o Money (well funded interest groups can influence policy more!) o Information/credibility o    Bundling: combining campaign contributions from several sources into one larger contribution from the group, to increase the group’s influence on the candidate   Lobbyist:  an individual employed by an interest group who tries to influence governmental decisions on behalf of the group o They try to gain access to policy makers o Former lobbyists may become legislators Defeating Opponents o Incumbents (people already in office) have the advantage to challengers o Citizens United v. FEC  Resulted in new funding structures such as “dark money” (donors of the money do not have to be disclosed)   Interest group capture: a government agency serves the interests it is supposed to regulate o Example: Texas Railroad Commission


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