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StudY Guide #1

by: Natalie

StudY Guide #1 Pols 1101


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American Government
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This 6 page Study Guide was uploaded by Natalie on Wednesday March 23, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to Pols 1101 at Georgia State University taught by Schaefer in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 35 views.


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Date Created: 03/23/16
American Government Chapter 8 Political Parties  Political Factions could destroy the government. A faction is a subgroup of bloc within a legislature or political party acting in pursuit of some special interest or position  A political party is a group of political activist who organize to win elections, operate the government and determine public policy. o Recruiting candidates to run for public office under the party label. o Organizing and running elections. o Presenting alternative policies to the electorate. o Accepting responsibility for operating the government. o Acting as the organized opposition to the party in power.  The three components are: party-in-the-electorate, party organization, and party-in-government.  Party-in-the-electorate is made up of members of the general public who identify with a political party or who express a preference for one party over another.  Party organization is the formal structure and leadership of a political party, including election committees; local, state, and national executives: and paid professional staff. o The national organization is responsible for the national convention, held every four years where convention delegates come from around the country. o Convention delegates are individuals chosen to represent their states at their party conventions prior to a presidential election. o Party platform is a document drawn up at each national convention outlining the policies, positions, and principles of the party. o Each of the parties chooses a national committee; a standing committee of a national political party established to direct and coordinate party activities between national party conventions.  State central committee is the principal organized structure of each political party within each state. This committee is responsible for carrying out policy decisions of the party’s state convention.  Unit rule is a rule by which all of the state’s electoral votes are cast for the presidential candidate receiving a plurality of the popular vote in that state.  Patronage is defined as rewarding faithful party workers and followers with government employment and contracts.  The party-in-government is all elected and appointed officials who identify with a political party.  Divided government is a situation in which one major political party controls the other controls the chambers of congress, or in which one party controls a state governorship and other controls the state legislature.  Ticket splitting is voting for candidates of two or more parties for different offices.  Safe seat: a district that returns the legislator with 55% of the vote or more.  Two-party system is a political system in which only two parties have a reasonable chance of winning.  Thomas Jefferson was the founder of the first Republican Party.  Era of good feelings is the years from 1817 to 1825, when James Monroe was president and had, in effect, no political opposition.  Democratic Party is one of the two major American political parties evolving out of the Republican party of Thomas Jefferson.  Whig Party is a major party in the United States during the first half of the 19 century, formally established in 1836.  The Republican Party is one of the two major American political parties. It emerged in the 1850s as an antislavery party and consisted of former northern Whigs and antislavery Democrats.  Plurality is number of votes cast for a candidate that is greater than the number of votes for any other candidate, but not necessarily a majority.  Electoral College is a group of persons, called electors, who are selected by the voters in each state. This group officially elects the president and the vice president of the United States.  Third Parties is a political party other than the two major political parties.  Splinter Party is a new party formed by a dissident faction within the major political party.  Realignment is a process in which a substantial group of voters switches party allegiance, producing a long term change in political landscape.  Dealignment is a decline in party loyalties that reduces long term party commitment.  Party Identification is the linking of oneself to a particular political party.  Straight-ticket voting is voting exclusively for the candidates of one party.  Swing votes are voters who frequently swing their support from one party to another. Tipping is a phenomenon that occurs when a group that is becoming more numerous over time grows large enough to change the political balance in a district, state, or count Chapter 9  Finance Chairperson is the campaign professional who directs fundraising, campaign spending, and compliance with campaign finance laws and reporting requirements  Pollster is the person or firm who conducts public opinion polls for the campaign  Communications Director is a professional specialist who plans the communications strategy and advertising campaign for the candidate  Press secretary is the individual who interacts directly with the journalists covering the campaign  Get Out the Vote (GOTV); this phrase describes the multiple efforts expended by campaigns to get voters out to the polls on election day  Tracking polls are a poll taken for the candidate on nearly daily basis as Election Day approaches.  Focus group is a small group of individuals who are led in discussion by a professional consultant I order to gather opinions on and responses to candidates and issues  Corrupt Practices Act is a series of acts passed by Congress in an attempt to limit and regulate the size and sources of contributions and expenditures in political campaigns  Hatch Act is an act passed in 1939 that restricted the political activities of government employees. It also prohibited a political group form spending more than $3 million in any campaign and limited individual contributes to a campaign committee to $5,000  The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) of 1971 replaced all past campaign finance laws. It’s based on the three principles: there should be limits on individual contributions, disclosure of all contributions to the public, and there should be public funding of presidential campaigns  The act placed no limit on overall spending, but restricted the total amount that could be spent on mass-media advertising  Reforms to act included 1. The creation of the Federal Election Commission, 2. Provided public financing for presidential primaries and general elections, 3. Limited presidential campaign spending, 4. Limited contributions, and 5. Required disclosure.  Hard money refers to political contributions and campaign spending that is recorded under the regulations set forth in law and by the Federal Election Commission  Political Action Committee (PACs) is the committee that set up by and representing a corporation, labor union, or special-interest group. PACs raise and give campaign donations  Soft Money; campaign contributions unregulated by federal or state law, usually given to parties and party committees to help fund general party activities  Issue Advocacy Advertising is advertising paid for by interest groups that support or oppose a candidate or a candidate’s position on an issue without mentioning voting or elections  Super PAC is a political committee that can accept unlimited contributions from individuals and corporations to spend supporting a candidate as long as its efforts are not coordinated with the candidate’s own campaign  Independent Expenditures are nonregulated contributions from PACs, organizations, and individuals. The funds may be spent on advertising or other campaign activities, so long as those expenditures are not coordinated with those of a candidate  Presidential Primary (Hey that was today!:)) is the statewide primary election of delegates to a political party’s national convention, held to determine a party’s presidential nominee  “Beauty Contests”; a presidential primary in which contending candidates compete for popular votes but the results do no control the selection of delegates to the national convention  Superdelegates is a party leader or elected official who is given the right to vote at the party’s national convention. They are no elected at the state level  Front-runner is the presidential candidate who appears to be ahead at a given time in the primary season  Front-loading is the practice of moving presidential primary elections to the early part of the campaign to maximize the impact of these primaries on the nomination  Credentials committee is a committee used by political parties at their national conventions to determine which delegates may participate. The committee inspects the claim of each prospective delegate to be seated as a legitimate representative of his or her state  Battleground states is a state likely to be so closely fought that the campaigns devote exceptional effort to winning the popular and electoral vote there  Voter turnout is the percentage of citizens taking part in the election process; the number of eligible voters who actually “turn out” on election day to cast their ballots  Rational Ignorance Effect is an effect produced when people purposely and rationally decide not to become informed on an issue because they believe that their vote on the issue is not likely to be a deciding one; a lack of incentive to seek the necessary information to cast an intelligent vote.  Registration is the entry of a person’s name onto the list of registered voters for elections. To register, a person must meet certain legal requirements of age, citizenship, and residency  Caucus is a meeting of party members designed to select candidates and propose policies  Closed Primary is a type of primary in which the voter is limited to choosing candidates of the party of which he or she is a member  Open Primary is a primary in which any registered voter can vote (but must vote for candidates of only one party).  Australian Ballot is a secret ballot prepared, distributed, and tabulated by government officials at public expense. Since 1888, all U.S. states have used the Australian ballot rather than an open, public ballot  Office-Block Massachusetts ballot is a form of general election ballot in which candidates for elective office are grouped together under the title of each of office. It emphasizes voting for the individual candidate, rather than the party  Party- column or Indiana ballot is a form of general- election ballot in which all party’s candidates for elective office are arranged in one column under the party’s label and symbol. It emphasizes voting for the party, rather than the office or the individual  Coat-tail effect is the influence of a popular candidate on the electoral success of other candidates on the same party ticket. The effect is increased by the party’s column ballot, which encourages straight-ticket voting  Electors are members of the Electoral College, which selects the president and vice president. Each state’s electors are chosen in each presidential election year according to state laws Chapter 10  Media is the means of communication- such as radio, television, and news outlets- that reach people widely  Social media are websites and other online places where people can interact, form social contacts and share personal or business information  Managed news is information generated and distributed by the gov. in such a way as to give government interests priority over candor  Yellow journalism is a term for sensationalistic irresponsible journalism  Electronic media is communication channels that involve electronic transmissions, such a radio, television, and the internet  Selective information processing, for an individual, only thinking about the information that is really needed and disregarding the rest of the presented info  Narrowcasting is broadcasting that is targeted to one small sector of the population  Blog is a website or personal online space where an individual makes public his or her opinions, comments, or suggestions  Blogosphere politics is the online arena of politics where the comments of bloggers become news  Podcasting is a method of distributing multimedia files, such as audio or video files, for downloading onto mobile devices and computers  Public agenda is the issues that are perceived by the political community as meriting public attention and gov. action  Spin is a n interpretation of campaign events or election results that is favorable to the candidates campaign strategy  Spin Doctors is a political campaign advisor who tries to convince journalists of the truth of a particular interpretation of events  Microtarget is to use demographic and consumer data to identify individuals or small groups of people who will receive specific advertising  Selective attention is the tendency for individuals to only pay attention to info that reinforces their held beliefs  White house press corps are the reporters assigned full- time to cover the presidency  Press secretary is the presidential staff member responsible for handling White House media relations and communications  Agenda setting is the process by which the media identifies the issues the public should be concerned about  Priming is the process by which the media suggest the importance of an issue  Framing is the presentation of an issue by the media which influences how audiences understand it  Media access is the public’s right of access to the media  Bias is an inclination or a preference that interferes with impartial judgment  Racial profiling is making negative assumptions about a person or class of person based on racial characteristics


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