1. US Ch. 1:
a. Democracy vs. Republic
i. Democracy = direct democracy
ii. Republic = people rule through representatives; their power is limited by rights
b. Constitutional democracy = a democracy with constitutional limits; the current form of government of the United States 2. US Ch. 2: Constitutional Democracy
a. Before Independence
i. What type of government (unitary, federal, or confederal)? Unitary – ruled by British crown
b. Declaration of Independence
i. John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government: inalienable rights, consent of the governed, and the right of revolution c. Articles of Confederation
i. What type of government (unitary, federal, or confederal)? Confederal Don't forget about the age old question of Who is archduke franz ferdinand?
ii. What structure did the three branches have?
1. Executive = no independent executive
2. Judiciary = no federal judiciary
3. Legislature = one-house legislature, equally
distributed between states
d. Constitutional Convention
i. Three debates. What are they? If you want to learn more check out How many ethnic are there in russia?
1. Stronger federal government vs. weak federal
2. Large states (Virginia plan) vs. small states (New
Jersey plan). Virginia wanted two-house legislature –
apportionment by population in both. New Jersey
wanted one-house legislature with equal
apportionment between states. Compromise was the
‘Great Compromise’ – two houses, House with
apportionment by population. Senate with equal
apportionment between states
3. Slave states vs non-slave states. Result was three
ii. Baron de Montesquieu’s The Spirit of the Laws: separation of powers and checks and balances
iii. Federalists (for U.S. Constitution) vs. Anti-Federalists (against U.S. Constitution)
1. What were the Federalist Papers? Expressed the We also discuss several other topics like What determines whether or not sensory info will make it into stm?
Federalist position. Who wrote them? Alexander
Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay
e. The U.S. Constitution
i. Article 1: Congress
1. Structure? How are seats apportioned? Length of term(s)?
a. Bicameral, 2 houses. 1 is based on pop; 1
equal among states
2. Enumerated Powers
a. Ex. Power to tax; spending power; commerce
3. Implied Powers
a. Implied powers, specifically the implied power
to charter a national bank, were confirmed in
the Supreme Court case McCulloch v.
b. Ex. Necessary and proper clause
ii. Article 2: Executive
1. How selected?
a. Electoral college
i. Senate plus house seats We also discuss several other topics like What is the meaning of solar flux?
2. Impeachment process?
a. House indicts; senate decides verdict (2/3
majority to impeach the president) (guilty or
iii. Article 3: Judiciary
1. How selected?
a. nominated by president – confirmed by senate
b. Texas- elected by pop. vote
2. Judicial review was not established in the
Constitution itself. It was established by the Supreme Court case Marbury v. Madison (1803).
iv. Other articles that are important?
1. Amendment process, Article 5: two thirds of both house of Congress to propose and three-fourths of
state legislatures to ratify. Vote of two-thirds of state legislatures can call a constitutional convention.
2. Any others?
a. Article 6: supremacy clause
b. Article 4- full faith and credit clause
v. Bill of Rights
1. Ratified after the Constitution
2. 10th Amendment?
f. Evolution of the US Constitution
i. Jeffersonian Democracy
ii. Jacksonian Democracy
1. Party system & spoil system
1. Who are they?
a. FDR; Woodrow Wilson; Theodore Roosevelt
2. What did they do?
a. FDR drastically expanded the power of the If you want to learn more check out What is the meaning of slum?
3. US Ch. 3: Federalism
a. Types of Government
1. Ex. England
1. Sovereignty is divided by the state and fed
2. Ex. US constitution
1. Ex. Articles of Confederation
b. Evolution of Federalism in America. Three eras:
i. Contesting Federalism
1. Jefferson vs. Hamilton on chartering a national bank
a. Implied power to create a national bank;
necessary and proper clause
2. What was the Nullification Crisis (1832-1837)?
a. South Carolina right to nullify a federal law
ii. Dual Federalism (analogous to a layer cake)
1. Responsibilities of Federal government and State are clearly separated
2. Federal government limited in ability to restrict
business by U.S v. E.C. Knight Co. (1895), which
restricted the breadth of the commerce clause to
transportation and not manufacturing. Don't forget about the age old question of What was thomas edison's original purpose for the phonograph?
3. State government limited in ability to restrict
business by Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific
Railroad Co. (1886), which applied the 14th
Amendment to corporations and established they
had to be taxed equally compared to individuals.
4. The Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson
(1896) permitted segregation through establishing
the standard of ‘separate but equal’
iii. Cooperative Federalism (analogous to a marble cake) 1. Federal government shares responsibilities with the
2. Fiscal federalism
a. block grant- money could be spent as long as it
is within a certain area, more flexibility
b. categorical grant- money can only be spent on
a specific program
4. TX Ch. 2: Texas Constitution
a. History of Texas Constitutions
i. Current Texas Constitution, the Constitution of 1876, is a reactionary document. It is a reaction against the
Constitution of 1869 (the ‘carpetbagger’s constitution’) and what it exemplified.
b. Current Texas Constitution (Constitution of 1876)
1. Structure? Length of term?
a. 2 house legislature; bicameral
2. Frequency of meeting?
a. Mets every 2 years
a. $7,200 paid to legislatures
ii. Executive (PLURAL)
1. Members? Method of selection?
a. All are elected except secretary of state
1. Method of selection?
c. Amending Process
i. Amendments proposed by two-thirds majority in Texas House and Texas Senate. Ratified by popular vote.
ii. Texas has not option for voter initiatives to propose
iii. Voter turnout for amendment votes is low. Mainly because the votes are scheduled for odd-numbered years.
d. Criticisms of Texas constitution
i. List four criticisms
1. Too long
2. To broad
3. To detailed
1. Legislative Branch (US Ch. 11) – House and Senate
a. Congress in the Constitution
i. How long is a House Representative’s term? How long is a Senator’s term?
1. House- 2 years; no term limits
2. Senator- 6 years; no term limits
b. Elections (the incumbency advantage)
i. House elections (districts) vs. Senate elections
1. Senator- entire state
2. House- districts
3. Who draws districts?
a. State legislature (so, by the party that has the
majority in the state legislature)
4. What is reapportionment?
a. Every 10 years a new census occurs; the states
that have gained population gain seats. States
that have lost population lose seats.
ii. Why do incumbents win?
1. More campaign funding; Have more big donors;
2. Service strategy: serve the people in their district by providing jobs, better roads, helping people in their district.
a. What is pork-barrel spending? Spending that
has a primary purpose of benefiting a congress
3. Better administrative support, as a result of having a government-supplied administrative staff as a
a. Name recognition
4. Redistricting, specifically gerrymandering
i. What is gerrymandering? Redrawing the
boundaries of districts for the purpose of
helping the majority party in the state
win the elections
c. Parties and Party Leadership
i. What are the main party leadership positions in Congress? [there are around 10 positions]. How are they selected? Which are the most powerful?
a. Speaker of the House (2nd most powerful in the
Fed govt/ most powerful in the House)
b. House Majority leader/ House Minority Leader
c. House Majority whip/ House Minority whip
a. Senate Majority Leader (Most powerful position
in the Senate) / Senate Minority Leader
b. President of the Senate (Vice-president)
i. They can cast a vote if a tie occurs
c. President Pro tempore
d. Senate Majority Whip/ Senate Minority Whip
ii. Committee membership is decided by the parties. Factors in this decision: seniority, relevance to district, work ethic, expertise
d. How a Bill Becomes Law
i. Five stages:
a. Bill can be introduced in the House or the
Senate. Exception: tax bills can only be
introduced in the House
b. Must be a senator or member of the House to introduce a Bill
c. Bills can be written by: interest groups, executive agencies, or congress members 2. Committee Action
a. Types of Committees (4)
i. Standing committee
1. They have legislative power
2. Have a jurisdiction. Bills that fall
under this jurisdiction get sent to
the committee after the bill is
introduced in Congress
3. 20 standing in the House; 16 in the
ii. Select committee
1. No legislative role
2. Serve an oversight role/ advisory
iii. Joint committee
1. Drawn from members of the House
and the Senate
2. No legislative role
iv. Conference committee
1. Drawn from members of the House
and the Senate.
2. When two versions of the same bill
have passed through the House
and Senate, a compromise bill
must be written to eliminate these
differences. A conference
committee is established to write
the compromise bill.
3. Floor Action
a. Need simple majority on the House and Senate for a bill to get to the President. If the Bill its vetoed by the President, it must receive a 2/3 vote to override the veto
i. No filibuster because debate on the
house is strictly regulated by the House
1. House Rules Committee
determines how long a debate can
be, when a vote happens and if
there can be amendments
i. Fewer rules. Debate can be unlimited.
This is why they have filibusters
1. Filibuster- minority party blocks a
bill by speaking continuously until
the bill supporters give up
2. How can you defeat it? Invoke
cloture (ending debate); need a 3/5
d. Log-rolling = The reciprocal practice of trading
votes. A common practice in Congress
4. Conference Action
a. Needed only if the versions of the bill passed in
the senate and the house do not match
i. Conference Committee is formed to
write a compromise bill. The compromise
bill be sent back to the House and Senate
to be voted on.
5. Executive Action
a. Presidential approval is required for a bill to
b. President can veto a bill
c. Pocket veto. If congress is in session and the
president sits on a bill it become a law (10 days
must pass). If the congress is no longer in
session, the bill dies. This is a pocket veto
e. Congress’s Multiple Roles
i. Lawmaking role
2. Executive Branch (US Ch. 12)
a. The Presidency in the Constitution
i. How long is the President’s term? Are there term limits? The 22nd
amendment (1951) established a two-term limit in
1. President’s term is 4 years
2. Requirements to be a candidate for president
a. 35 years of age
b. Resident for at least 14 years
c. Natural born citizen
3. Power of President
a. Chief Executive
b. Commander in chief
c. Chief diplomat
d. Legislative leader
b. Development of the Modern Presidency
i. Presidents today are stronger than what framers expected ii. Whig theory = weak presidency theory
1. President should only do what the constitution
allows; constitution does not give the president a lot of power
iii. Stewardship theory = strong presidency theory
1. President can do anything that the constitution does not forbid
c. Choosing the President (nomination process AND general elections)
i. Nomination Process
1. Has changed over time. The people have become more involved.
2. No, nomination occurs through a national convention a. Delegates vote for nominee
b. Primary elections decide how a state’s
ii. General Election
1. Electoral college
2. Unit rule – whoever wins the majority vote in a state gets all that state’s Electoral College votes; they go as a unit;
a. Except Maine and Nebraska
d. Staffing the Executive Branch: Presidential Appointments i. Executive office of the President
1. Appointments do not need senate confirmation
2. Includes White House Chief of Staff
1. Heads of the executive departments (Department of State, etc.)
2. Does need senate confirmation
1. Director of the FBI
a. Needs senate confirmation
e. Factors in Presidential Power
i. Stage of term
1. In which stage of a president’s term do they tend to have the most power?
ii. Nature of problem (foreign or domestic?)
iii. Relations with Congress
1. Presidents have the most power over Congress when their party controls Congress.
2. Congress’s power to limit executive authority:
impeachment process (What is it?) AND pass
iv. Public support
1. Measured by presidential approval ratings.
2. The condition of the economy has a big influence on presidential approval ratings, even though presidents
have little control over the economy.
3. Judicial Branch (US Ch. 14)
a. The Judiciary in the Constitution
i. The constitution establishes the Supreme Court and leaves it to congress to create the lower courts
ii. Federal judges are appointed by the president and
confirmed by the senate
iii. Federal judges serve on good behavior (a lifetime
appointment) and are only removed if they commit heinous crime
iv. Judicial review – not in the Constitution, but from Supreme Court case Marbury v. Madison (1803).
b. Structure of the Federal Judicial System (three tiers)
i. Supreme Court of the United States
1. 9 members: 1 chief justice and 8 associate justices
2. How do these courts operate? (Juries?)
a. No jury. Cases are decided by a vote of the 9
b. Very few cases make it to the Supreme Court,
most cases are resolved by the lower courts
and even those that are appealed to the
supreme court are denied by the Supreme
3. Supreme Court decisions: DECISION vs OPINION
ii. U.S. Courts of Appeals (‘Circuit Courts’)
1. There are 13 Circuit Courts. Eleven are assigned to
states or groups of states. One is assigned to the
District of Columbia. One is reserved for appeals of a
particular types of case: cases involving patents or
2. How do these courts operate? (Juries?)
a. 3 judge panel
i. Except in some important cases, where
all the judges on the court will
collectively decide a case “en banc”
iii. U.S. District Courts
1. There are 94 U.S. District Courts.
2. How do these courts operate? (Juries?)
a. They use juries, presided over by a single judge
c. How Appointments work in the federal judiciary
i. Supreme Court
1. Appointed by the president, confirmed by the senate
2. President is typically very involved in this process.
ii. Lower courts (District and Circuit courts)
1. President delegates the decision to the Deputy
2. Senatorial courtesy- if there’s a vacancy in a district court in a senator’s state and the senator is a
member of the president’s party, that senator must
be consulted in picking the new judge
d. The nature of Judicial decision-making
i. Legal Factors
1. Law and facts of the case
a. Law has three sources:
ii. Political Factors
1. Internal factors
2. External factors
a. Popular opinion
b. Interest groups
c. Members of government (especially Congress
and the President)
e. Judicial approaches
i. Originalism vs. living constitution
1. Originalism- Constitution should be interpreted as a
reasonable person would have interpreted it when it
2. Living constitution – constitution should be
interpreted in light of changing circumstances
ii. Judicial restraint vs. judicial activism
4. Public Opinion (US Ch. 6)
a. Political socialization
i. Political socialization = how individuals acquire their
ii. Socializing agents
1. Early childhood opinions are particularly important.
Future opinions are filtered through them.
2. Primary socializing agents: family, school, church
3. Secondary socializing agents: peers, media, leaders, events
b. Divisions in public opinion
i. Party identification = does not have to be formal
membership. Rather, just loyalty or emotional attachment to a party
ii. Political ideology = beliefs about the scope and limits of government. Examples in America:
1. Economic conservative = free market should solve
economic problems; government should be small and
2. Economic liberal = accept redistribution and believe
government should intervene in the market to help
3. Social conservative = government should promote
4. Social liberal = government should leave lifestyle
choices to the individual
5. Libertarian = economic conservative and social
6. Populist = economic liberal and social conservative
iii. Group membership
1. Influential examples: race (black Americans strongly support the Democratic party), religion: white
Protestants tend to support Republican party; Jews
tend to support the Democratic party
2. Less influential examples: gender, economic class,
c. Measurement of public opinion
ii. Representative sample, typically a random sample
d. Influence of public opinion on policy KNOW THIS
5. Media (US Ch. 10)
a. Historical changes in the media (four main eras)
i. Partisan press era (1780s-1890s) – newspapers are
intimately connected to political parties
ii. Yellow Journalism (1890s-1910s). Yellow journalism = sensational or false reporting for the purpose of increasing circulation
iii. Objective Journalism (1910s-1980s)
iv. The ‘New’ News (1980s on)- high media choice
b. The influence of journalism in politics (four functions of the media)
i. The media has four functions: (1) signaling (2) common carrier (3) watchdog (4) partisan KNOW THESE
c. The news audience today
i. Shrinking and fragmenting
ii. Information divide = people are reading the news less; young people read the news even less than older people iii. Partisan divide = people who identify with different parties read different news sources
6. Political Participation (US Ch. 7)
a. Participation through voting
i. History of voting rights (suffrage)
1. Voting rights are typically set by the states
2. Founding era: men with property (mainly whites)
3. Property qualifications disappear by mid-1800s
4. 15th Amendment (1870) gives black Americans the
vote nationally. In practice, this right is obstructed in
the South – until the Voting Rights Act of 1965
5. 19th Amendment (1920) gives women the vote
6. 26th Amendment (1971) set voting age nationwide at 18
ii. Voter turnout
1. US voter turnout is lower than comparable countries. Maxes out at around 60% voter turnout in
2. Poor and uneducated citizens are least likely to vote
3. Reasons for voter turnout: frequency of elections,
scheduling of elections (weekdays rather than
weekends), voter registration (US voter registration is
the responsibility of individuals, rather than
b. Electoral participation other than voting
i. Campaigning (formal or informal), participation via the internet, community participation
c. Unconventional forms of political participation (protests and social movements)
i. Tea Party = opposed high taxes; participated in elections – supporting conservative Republicans against moderate
Republicans. What is the name of Tea Party politicians in the House? House Freedom Caucus
ii. Occupy Wall Street = targeted wealth inequality, especially the super rich; protest camps – did not participate in
electoral system; clashes with policy damaged popularity 7. Political Parties (US Ch. 8)
a. History of US Parties
i. Three main eras
1. First Parties (1790s-1810s) – Federalists vs.
2. Jacksonian era (1820s-1850s) – Democratic
Republicans vs. themselves and the Whig Party
3. Current era (1860s)- Republicans and Democrats
ii. What is a party realignment? [KNOW THIS – NOT
iii. Four realignments in current era [KNOW ALL FOUR – WE ARE ONLY REVIEWING LAST REALIGNMENT]
1. Today’s Party Alignment (since 1960s): Democratic
Party loses the south over Vietnam War and civil
rights. South becomes, over time, reliably
Republican. Republicans have a slight dominance
during this era.
b. Current Party System and Current Electoral System
i. Party system = two-party system, rather than a multiparty (3+ parties) system
1. In a two-party system, parties seek to have moderate policies.
ii. Electoral system
1. US has a single-member district (a.k.a. plurality)
system = divide the country into constituencies.
Each constituency gets one seat in the legislature.
Party that wins plurality in the popular vote in that
constituency gets the seat.
2. Alternative electoral system, popular in Europe is
proportional representation = share of seats in
legislature equals the party’s share of the national
iii. Party Coalitions
1. Party coalition = groups and interests that support a
2. In a two-party system, parties want broad appeal so
they try to build broad coalitions
iv. Third parties
1. Examples: Green Party, Libertarian, Progressives, Bull Moose
c. Party Organization (primaries and party structure)
i. Growth of primary elections has made parties weaker. Elections are now often candidate-centered
ii. Party structure: national, state, local. No strict chain of command between them.
d. Candidate-Centered Campaigns
i. Weak parties mean that campaigns, especially highly visible ones, are candidate centered
ii. Candidates need: money, consultants, votes
8. Interest Groups (US Ch. 9)
a. What is pluralism? KNOW THIS – NOT REVIEWING
b. The Interest-Group System (economic groups vs. non-economic groups)
i. Economic Groups
1. Includes: business groups, labor groups, professional groups
ii. Non-economic Groups
1. Represent a social group (NAACP), an ideology
(American Conservative Union), or a single issue
c. Inside Lobbying
i. Direct contact with lawmakers
ii. Operates through the provision of information, rather than money (which would be bribery)
d. Outside Lobbying
i. Seeking influence through public pressure
ii. Two forms
1. Constituency advocacy (grassroots lobbying
2. Electoral action: Donate money to campaigns.
Funneled through: (1) PACs (2) Super PACs. Super
PACs enabled by Citizens United v. Federal Election
Commission (2010). KNOW THE DISTINCTIVE
FEATURES OF SUPER PACS.
e. Pros and Cons of the Interest-Group System
i. Con: Interest group system is not an equal playing field. Economic groups, especially business groups, have much
more influence than other groups
ii. Pro: The interest group system does assist in ensuring
more groups get their voices heard.
iii. Pro: Radically restricting the interest group system would probably require serious infringements on individual rights. Drastic changes are not likely
Texas Constitution (TX Ch. 2)
1. Seven constitutions of Texas [KNOW THESE]
a. #7: Current constitution is the Constitution of 1876. This constitution was a reaction against the centralization tendencies of the Constitution of 1869
2. Description of the Current Texas Constitution
a. Bill of Rights
i. Similar to the US Bill of rights: secures freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the rights of the accused.
i. Bicameral: House and Senate
ii. House has 2-year terms (150 members)
iii. Senate has 4-year staggered terms (31 members)
iv. Legislature must meet every two years. Sessions are 140 days in length. Special sessions (30 days) can only be
called by governor.
i. Consists of six executive officers: (1) governor (2)
lieutenant governor (3) comptroller (4) commissioner of
general land office (5) attorney general (6) secretary of
ii. Only secretary of state is NOT elected.
i. Two highest courts: Texas Supreme Court (civil cases) and the Court of Criminal Appeals (criminal cases)
e. Amendment procedure
i. Two primary methods for modifying state constitutions: (1) voter initiatives (2) proposals from legislature. Both must
be ratified by voters
ii. Texas does NOT have voter initiatives
Texas Legislature (TX Ch. 3)
1. Structure of the Texas legislature
a. Two-house legislature: House of Representatives and Senate. House has 2-year terms and 150 members. Senate has 4-year staggered terms and 31 members.
b. Salary is $7200, plus per diem and retirement benefits. And support for staff
c. Constituents per Senate district =?. Constituents per House district =?
a. Formal qualifications for House and Senate (KNOW THESE). Informal qualifications = tend to be wealthy, mainly lawyers, ethnically they tend to reflect their district
b. Electoral system = single-member plurality districts
c. Redistricting must meet two qualifications: (1) equity of representation = roughly same number of people in each district (2) minority representation can’t be weakened
a. Leadership positions
i. Speaker of the House = leads the Texas House. Perhaps the most figure in Texas government. Powerful because of
ability to regulate debate in the house and through
ii. Lieutenant-Governor = leads the Texas Senate. Influential through managing debate and committee assignments.
Powers are established through rules of the Senate – these can be changed by the Senate.
b. How a bill becomes law (six steps)
ii. Committee Action
iii. Calendar Committee
1. Two tracks for scheduling bills: (1) minor bills, which
are uncontroversial (2) major bills, where conflict is
expected. Minor bills go to ‘Local and Consent
Calendars’ committee. Major bills go to ‘Calendars’
iv. Floor Action
1. In Texas Senate, before 60th day of session a simple
majority is needed to bring a bill to the floor. After
60th day, 2/3 vote is needed.
v. Conference Action
1. Only occurs when House and Senate versions of a bill
do not match. Serves to reconcile the two versions.
vi. Executive Action
1. Governor has veto. Can be overridden by two-thirds
vote of legislature.
c. Sunset Advisory Committee [TEXTBOOK CONCEPTS – KNOW THIS]
Texas Executive (TX Ch. 4)
1. Parts of the executive
a. Consists of six executive officers: (1) governor (2) lieutenant governor (3) comptroller (4) commissioner of general land office (5) attorney general (6) secretary of state
b. All are elected EXCEPT the secretary of state. Secretary of State is appointed by the Governor
c. Two important boards are also elected: Railroad Commission and State Board of Education
2. Description of Texas governor
a. Formal qualifications [KNOW THESE]
b. Informal qualifications = experience in government, wealth, c. Term of office: four years, no term limits
3. Powers of Texas governor
a. Legislative powers [strong – because of veto and line-item veto] b. Budgetary powers [weak – because the Texas budget is formed by the Legislative Budget Board]
c. Power of appointment [weak – many positions are elected; removal powers are limited – can only remove own appointees and even this requires 2/3 vote of Senate]
d. Judicial powers [weak – governor can only stay executions 30 days]
e. Power over party [weak]
f. Informal powers [moderate – governor is the state official with the highest visibility]
4. State agencies
a. Many are elected or appointed by someone other than the governor
b. Many have a ‘board’ structure. Rather than single head [KNOW THIS]
Texas Judiciary (TX Ch. 5)
1. Introduction to Texas Judiciary
a. US has dual-court system. That means separate state and federal courts.
2. Structure of Texas Judiciary
a. Texas has THREE levels of trial courts and TWO levels of appellate courts [KNOW THE NAMES OF THESE COURTS, THEIR JURISDICTIONS, AND THE ROUTES THAT APPEALS MUST TAKE] 3. Judicial selection
a. Methods of judicial selection used across the US
i. Partisan elections
ii. Nonpartisan elections
iii. Appointment by governor
iv. Appointment by legislature
v. Merit or Missouri system (KNOW THAT)
b. Judicial selection in Texas
i. Partisan elections. Exception: municipal judges
4. Removing judges
b. Texas Supreme Court can remove any judge.
Voting in Texas (TX Ch. 7)
1. Current voter turnout in Texas
a. Voter turnout in Texas is lower than the national average across the US (which is itself lower than the voter turnout in other comparable countries)
2. History of voting restrictions in Texas
a. Poll taxes
i. 24th Amendment (1964) ended poll taxes in federal
elections In 1966, the courts struck poll taxes down in state elections.
b. Property qualifications (in local elections in Texas, these continued into the 1970s)
c. Women were excluded up until 19th amendment
d. White primaries [KNOW THESE]
3. Current factors in voter turnout
a. Voter registration. Must register 30 days before election b. Voter ID laws
c. Social and economic factors. Poor Americans vote less. Ethnic groups vote at different rates [know this]
4. Political participation other than voting
a. Campaigning (formal and informal)
Elections in Texas (TX Ch. 8)
1. Election regulations
a. Federal elections must be held in November of even-numbered years. States tend to follow this schedule as well.
2. Ballot access (three cases) [KNOW THESE]
b. Minor parties
c. Major parties
a. Texas uses open primaries
b. What are runoff primaries?
i. Occur when no individual achieves a majority of the vote in the original primary. A second primary is held between the top two finishers.
4. Special elections
a. Elections that occur outside of November
b. Three cases:
i. Local elections
ii. Constitutional amendments
iii. Elections to fill vacancies
Political Parties in Texas (TX Ch. 9)
1. Reasons for the weakness of parties nationally and in Texas a. Transition from labor-intensive politics to capital-intensive politics b. Establishment of secret voting
c. Progressive era changes [THREE CHANGES – KNOW THESE] i. Eliminated spoils system
ii. Established primary elections
2. History of Political parties in Texas (5 eras) [KNOW THOSE ERAS] 3. Party organization in Texas
a. Permanent Party organization [KNOW THESE]
i. Precinct chairs
ii. County Chair
iii. County executive committee
iv. State executive committee
v. State party chair
b. Temporary party organization