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POLS 2312-001 Exam 2 Study Guide

by: Samer Hijjazi

POLS 2312-001 Exam 2 Study Guide POLS 2312-001

Marketplace > University of Texas at Arlington > POLS 2312-001 > POLS 2312 001 Exam 2 Study Guide
Samer Hijjazi
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This study guide covers chapters 4, 5, 6, and 7. I really hope you find this guide useful
State and Local Government
Kimberly Harper
Study Guide
political science
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This 11 page Study Guide was uploaded by Samer Hijjazi on Sunday October 9, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to POLS 2312-001 at University of Texas at Arlington taught by Kimberly Harper in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 131 views.


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Date Created: 10/09/16
Chapter 4: - Structure - Ideology - History - Trends STRUCTURE  The four levels of political parties 1. Federal level (Highest level) 2. State level 3. County level 4. Precinct level (Lowest level)  Texas has both permanent and temporary structures  In temporary structures, primaries and conventions: 1. Nominate candidates 2. Pass resolutions 3. Adopt a party platform 4. Select delegates to party conventions at higher levels  Temporary structures have: 1. Precinct convention - elect delegates to the county or district convention and adopt resolutions to be sent to county/district convention. 2. County or district convention - elect delegates to the state convention and adopt resolutions to be sent to state convention. 3. State convention - elect members of state executive committee, elect state chair and vice chair, and adopt resolutions and party platform.  Platform: a document that sets the position of a party on current issues  State platforms have more specific and controversial issues  While national platforms are less complicated  The objective of the political parties is to link people up  Characteristics of political parties 1. Broad (inclusive) 2. They are not experts (just regular people) 3. Main objective is elections 4. Want to shape policies (as well as interest groups)  However, interest groups are more specific 1. Interest groups are experts 2. Interest groups do not care about elections 3. They work on people who have power  Party positions filled all the time, some fill during elections  Presidential preference primary: voters can vote for the candidate who is seeking nomination as the party’s presidential candidate  Permanent structures consist of: 1. precinct chair - elected by precinct voters - registering voters, encouraging people of the precinct to vote, operating phone banks 2. county/district executive committee - elected by county voters - consists of county chair and precinct chairs - county chair recruits local candidates for office and raises funds. Also serves as spokesperson of the party 3. state executive committee - consists of one man and one woman from each of the state’s 31 senatorial districts - There are two chairs: State and vice chairs IDEOLOGY  Have a better understanding of the terms conservative and liberal  Break it down in to economic and social issues  Conservatives: want minimal intervention from government in regards to economic and social issues  Liberals: want government support in regards to economic and social issues  Economy - Conservatives: taxes, wealth redistribution. Doesn’t want government to be involved with the economy - Liberals: They want the government to be involved with the economy. Favor government to achieve a fair distribution of wealth  Social - Conservatives: Social: education, gay marriage. They don’t want the government to be involved with social issues. They want to uphold traditions - Liberals: They believe the government should keep social issues in the hands of people (women should be able to abort a child without the government interfering)  Neoliberal and neoconservative are between liberals and conservatives. In the middle  Neoconservatives are also known as compassionate conservatives because they also want to help people with public issues HISTORY  During reconstruction, the republican party was dominant  1870 – 1970, mostly Democratic - Solid south (strictly democratic, no republicans elected)  1970-1990, transitional phase. Party competition - Realignment (switching from one party to another) - Transitioning into the republican party  1990s – present: Big Red (large, loads of political power, very republican) - Texas being a battleground TRENDS  Realignment: Shifting a party affiliation from one party to another  Dealignment: Losing a party affiliation, becoming independent voters  straight-ticket voting: Voting for all candidates of one party (if you pick the democratic party, you automatically vote for all the democrats in the election)  Independent: Candidate with no party affiliation  Coattail effect: Popular candidate of a specific party attracting votes for the other candidates in the party  Split-ticket vote: informed/objective. Splitting votes among different political parties  Third party: a party other than the democratic and republican party. Has limited membership and voters Chapter 5: Chapter 5 notes: - Campaign - Race/gender - Voting - Elections CAMPAIGN  C-C-C (Candidate-centered campaign) - No focus on policy - It’s more about the candidates  Civic attitudes include: 1. Apathy (not caring/concerned/interested. The problem is that if you don’t care about the government, then that means that they don’t care about you) 2. Alienation (you are concerned/engaged with the government, but the government won’t respond. People feel separated from the process of policy making) 3. Civic duty  What to know about C-C-C 1. Money is really important - Because they are constantly spending lots of money to get people to vote - Money needed to run campaigns and for the media to broadcast their campaigns 2. Social media has changed the way campaigns go - Politicians use social media for campaigns 3. They also need hired consultants (used for packaging) - Told what to say, what to wear, prepare them for debates 4. They’re always trying to win (do what it takes to win) 5. Importance of newspapers and bumper stickers  Soundbite: A brief statement of a candidate’s campaign theme (they’ve gotten shorter over time) - They’re very cautious about what they say in public  Campaign Reform: 1. Eliminating Negative ads and campaigns: - Negative advertising was done almost 25 years ago - Candidates exaggerated claims just to win 2. Increasing Free Media Access: - Helps communicating with a larger amount of people - Very important in receiving more votes and campaign exposure  Money issues - Some people think that money is too influential in politics - The flow of money in politics is crazy - It’s really hard to stop the flow (because money is too important)  Political action committees (PACs): are a way in which cooperations can funnel their money into campaigns - They must disclose where they’re getting their money from - There are spending limits (10,000 dollars per election) - But there is no limit in TX - A loop hole is found (Super PAC): No spending limit, no disclosure issues - Ultra PAC  Hard money and soft money - Hard money: donations that go to the candidate - Soft money: donations that go to the political party - They can shape the money the way they want - However, soft money got banned, while restrictions were placed on hard money (Campaign Reform Act, 2002) - Section 527 committees, non for profit political organization  Texas Ethics Commission: A state commission that requires financial disclosure from public officials RACE/GENDER  Really important in campaigns - More than half of Texas’s population is made up of Latinos and African Americans - The minorities have a lot of power in voting - Many of them vote for the democratic party - Not many women are present in politics - By 2015, many Latinos had positions in office, as well as African Americans  The reason why not many women are in office: is because they don’t run for positions in office - They don’t run because of how expensive starting campaigns are, as well as family and house responsibilities  Men v women (how society sees them) - Men are seen as strong. Women seen as weak - Men are rational. Women are emotional - Men are associated with truth. Women are associated with deception - Men are associated with their minds. Women are associated with their bodies - Men are associated with being out in public. Women are associated with privacy VOTING  15 amendment happened in 1870 (Men of color have the right to vote) - However, didn’t occur until 1965 (Voting Rights Act 1965). Minorities were fighting hard for America in WWII, therefore they were granted the right to vote - Voting Rights Act gets amended in 1975 for Language Minorities  19 amendment occurs in 1920 (Women get the right to vote). - World War I gave a reason to add the 19 amendment, because many women worked in factories and helped during WWI - 80 years ago, Women were beaten and put in jail when they tried to vote th  24 amendment: abolishes poll taxes (Voter Id law) th  26 amendment: People 18+ received the right to vote. - Many young Vietnamese fought and died for America. - Universal Suffrage: Voting open for people 18+ (didn’t take action until mid- 1960s)  Obstacles people faced when voting in 19 and 20 centuriesh 1. Literacy tests 2. Grandfather Clause (exempt from educational and tax requirements to vote if they were qualified to vote before 1867) 3. Poll Tax 4. All -White Primaries 5. Racial Gerrymandering (was used to underrepresent minorities) - However, Affirmative Racial Gerrymandering favors election of more racial and ethnic candidates  Voter turnout is still a problem - Texas has the fifth lowest turnout percentage (44%) - Voter turnout is less in state and local elections due to less media coverage - Socioeconomic and ethnic/racial factors affect the voter turnout. As well as education (more education, more votes)  In order to vote, you must: 1. Be native-born or a citizen of the United States 2. Be at least 18 years old 3. Not be a felon 4. Be registered to vote 30 days in advance 5. Be a resident of the state 30 days in advance  Early voting - About 20% - Early voting is allowed for people who are at least 65, in the military, or physically disabled during the election period - Precincts: areas for conducting primaries and elections (locations include rec. center, school, post office) ELECTIONS  3 types of elections 1. Primary elections: picking the nominee within the party (ex. Hillary was picked from the democratic party) - Keep in mind that financing primaries is a big part (spending money on renting facilities and printing ballots) - Many people go against each other in the primary elections 2. General elections: Happens in November of even years to elect county and state officials - Whoever receives the largest number of votes wins - There is also an off-year/midterm (this is when the governor is elected) - Example: 2008, Obama was elected. 2010, Governor was elected. 2012, Obama was re-elected 3. Special election: in the cases of bond issues/resignation/death. Filling vacancies - Not many people vote in this election Chapter 6: - Media - Functions - Bias - Regulations MEDIA  We get information from a variety of sources, such as the internet, newspapers, and television  Television is how people receive most of their news  The growth of newspapers is slowing down due to the presence of technology - However, they still remain to be very important for news information  Another important source of news is the radio, with many news-stations reporting the news on a daily basis  A massive rise in social media - News websites, political blogs, internet (Facebook, Twitter) - The use of online advertisements to spread the word - Traditional media (TV, newspaper) v social media (internet) FUNCTIONS  The role of media in politics 1. To provide us with information - What’s happening at the moment - Trusted sources are important - Many news providers broadcast soft news (more entertainment, less public policy) to attract viewers - This results in the decrease of hard news (more about public policy) reported. 2. To help maintain democracy - Reporting must be objective, neutral, and accurate - Investigating scandals and wrongdoings by the government 3. To help shape the agenda setting - Influencing which issues are dealt by the government 4. To shape our views - Attack ads (personal attack against opposition) can cause a change in opinion - Priming and framing - Priming: indicating the important part of the issue - Framing: Defining the central theme of the issue  Campaigning - Many candidates use social media as a platform for campaigning - Horserace journalism (focuses on who’s winning) - Whoever’s winning gets more support (the bandwagon effect) - The use of digital media has lowered the level of civic engagement (actions by citizens to address issues) BIAS  News can be very biased as it comes from a variety of sources, involving many different opinions and positions. REGULATIONS  The regulation is done through the federal government - Federal Communications Commission (FCC, responsible for media regulation)  Net neutrality: Internet providers and government should treat all data on the internet equally, without discrimination  Shield Law: protecting journalists from revealing confidential information  Fairness doctrines: presenting contrasting opinions on controversial issues  Rise of cable news and talk news (more focus on soft news, and less attention toward state and local news) Chapter 7: - Interest groups - Types - Activities - Regulation INTEREST GROUPS  Interest groups: organizations that want to influence the government by promoting their interests  Interest groups are trying to shape public policy  Reasons for forming interest groups: 1. Legal and cultural reasons - Culture encourages people to bond together through associations 2. The Strength of the Party System and Political Ideologies  Characteristics of interest groups: 1. They are pretty specific (NRA are pretty specific about gun laws) 2. They have experts 3. They want people with power 4. They don’t care who’s elected, as long as the candidates elected have power 5. Interest groups spend a lot of money on campaigns  Organizational pattern: the structure of a special interest group - Divided into two: 1. Centralized: single controlling body (example: National Rifle Association) 2. Decentralized: consists of loose alliances and subgroups (example: American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations)  Group leadership: are the individuals who make the decisions in the interest groups - In order to be a leader of an interest group, you need time and money TYPES  Economic and non-economic interest groups  Economic groups have money (helpful in gaining access) - Economic groups are organized - Economic groups are broken down into agriculture, labor, business, and professional groups  Social groups are concerned with social issues - Social groups include racial and ethnic groups, women’s groups, and religion- based groups  Public interest groups promote and represent the general interests of society - Examples include environmental, political participation, and education-related groups  Texas power groups have strong links with legislators and bureaucrats - Have an influence on politics - An example would be the Texas Medical Association (TMA) ACTIVITIES  Interest group technique: Actions used by interest groups to influence government decisions  These activities include: 1. Lobbying: communicating with legislators/government officials to persuade the decision makers. The process of lobbying involves: - Personal Communication: communicating a position in a positive manner - Favors and Gifts: Free dinner gatherings and tickets for events are provided for legislators - Grassroots Activities: generating information that is favorable of the interest group’s position and spreading it 2. Electioneering: active campaigning by an interest group. Either supporting or opposing a candidate to encourage the public to act on a certain issue - Get Out the Vote (GOTV) Campaigns 3. Campaign Financing by Political Action Committees: Raising funds for candidates who are passionate about their cause - Texas has no limitations on what is contributed to candidates 4. Bribery and unethical practices: money given to legislators by interest groups REGULATION  Texas Ethics Commission is responsible for enforcing and regulating state standards for lobbyists and public officials  TEC asks public officials and lobbyists for detailed records of political contributions and the how the money is spent  Texas’s campaign finance laws often involve public disclosure by lobbyists and public officials


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