CH 13

Closed Primary
Definition: An exclusive primary in which people can cast their vote for the candidate only of the party for which they are registered. Voters registered for a party are only allowed to cast their ballot.
Significance: Closed primaries promote the party system. They also keep members of a party from swaying the outcome of the primaries of an opposing political group.
Definition: A meeting in which the people of an entire state would gather together and listen to representatives of the main candidates to send to the National Convention. These representatives explain why the people should vote for their respective candidates. Then, people cast their ballot and nominate a candidate for each party.
Significance: takes hours. Low participation rate and work best in small states because it would be easier to gather the population.
Front Loading
Definition: when states try to hold their primaries or caucus early in the primary calendar to have a greater influence in the election outcome.
Significance: Front loading can lead to choosing a nominee too soon before the voters can truly know the candidates and the press can analyze the nominees. Reveals the importance for candidates to start raising money and campaigning unofficially about a year before the primary season begins.
Definition: When legislation is written by state legislatures and sent to the people for voting
Significance: may not accurately represent the view of the people because only a small group of people takes part in this particular vote. Used to pass laws that Congress would deny.
Political Efficacy
Definition: The belief that ordinary people can influence the government.
Significance: People who believe this are more likely to vote.
Electoral College
Definition: A group of electors that decide the president during General Elections. The number of electors equal the number of senators and representatives each state has.
Significance: Actually decides the winner of the election, makes the popular vote powerless. Uses the winner-take-all system, candidate who receives majority of electoral votes wins the election.
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Retrospective Voting
Definition: when voters vote based evaluation of the incumbent part based on current events. Ex: voters do not like the way a party has been running for the past 3 years. They vote for a different party.
Significance: If a voter deems the current conditions of the nation as good, the party currently in power would have the advantage. The opposite holds true
Definition: A proposition written by the citizens that can be given to the state electorate to be put on the ballot for popular vote. However, an initiative requires a specific amount of signatures for petitions in favor of the proposal.
Significance: Usually, initiatives concern issues that the state does not want to deal with, such as gay marriage. The people can have more voice in making policies through initiatives. Some people argue that interest groups influence initiatives.
Party Realignments
Definition: The event in which voters switch from one party to another and new voters may lastingly support the new party in power.
Significance: Party realignments occur after critical elections. New issues and concerns can cause party realignments.
Secular Realignment
Definition: slow and gradual realignment of party affiliation caused by shifts in demographics rather than critical elections and sudden changes in issues.
Significance: In secular realignment, voters can switch parties more easily. not as abrupt or permanent as party realignments
Definition: A group of people selected by party leaders who represent a party, its ideals, and constituency at political conventions.
Significance: Delegates are generally more well-to-do and more liberal or conservative than most. These people have a notable interest in politics. Delegates epitomize the differences between parties.
Midterm Elections
Definition: Elections in the middle of a presidential term for public to vote for Congressmen and senators.
Significance: In a midterm election, the incumbents or those in the President’s party is in most jeopardy because the public may not be satisfied with the performance of the party in power. Also, voter turnout is considerably lower for midterm elections; almost no one votes.
Direct Elections
Definition: An election where the people vote directly for the president, without the vote of the Electoral College; the candidate would win by the majority or popular vote.
Significance: Direct elections represent ideal democracy because each vote counts equally, and the candidate wins by majority vote. However, some argue that direct elections are not ideal because corruption can occur and there is possibility for long disputes over the results.
Definition: Winning number of votes received in a race containing more than two candidates but which is not more than half of the total votes cast.
Significance: Also known as the relative majority. When a candidate does not receive a majority of the votes, the election gets sent to the House of Representatives.
Solid South
Definition: Southern states’ support for the Democratic Party since 1860.
Significance: The South supported the Democratic Coalition’s view on slavery: it was pro-slavery. Southerners would vote for Democratic candidates in all levels of public office.
Single Member District System
Definition: A system in which one representative is elected in each electoral district of each state for Congress.
Significance: This system relies heavily on setting district lines
General Election
Definition: The election in which voters cast their ballot for candidates to take the country’s elective public office.
Significance: While primaries are races between candidates of the same political party, the general election is b/w candidates of different parties. General elections can take place at various levels from within the community to throughout the nation. Voters can vote any way they want and are not bound to their ore
Baker v Carr (1962) or Wesberry v Sanders (1963)
Definition: States must redraw their districts every 10 years. The districts must be equal in population.
Significance: Allows equal, fair representation of the state’s population. Ruled during the Warren Court.
National Convention
Definition: Meetings where party leaders are in charge of choosing the nominee for the presidential election held every four years.
Significance: The national convention is covered by the media and used to be controlled by big leaders. Helps to ratify a campaign platform.
Open Primary
Definition: Primaries in which voters, regardless of which party they are registered for, can vote for all candidates. Independents and people of the opposing party can vote in an open primary.
Significance: Smaller states would usually conduct open primaries because there are not as many people and it would be easier to regulate, unlike a large state.
Blanket Primary
Definition: A primary in which voters cast their ballot choosing from a list of candidates without a party name; the candidates’ party affiliation is not identified. Thus, voters must vote on what they know about the candidates.
Significance: unconstitutional b/c violates freedom of assembly; candidates have every right to assemble with their party name.
Definition: election within a party that determines who will represent the party during the general election.
Significance: Narrows down the amount of candidates for the general election. Receives low turnouts, but helps one person receive a majority vote during the general election.
Definition: any Elected party officials to the Democratic Party. party professionals, such as mayors or governors without having to run in primaries and caucuses and pledge upon a candidate
Significance: Superdelegates serve to prevent the common people from nominating an extreme liberal, as has happened in the past.
Voter Registration
Definition: Eligible voters must register to vote before they can do so.
Significance: Voter turnout is low because of low voter registration. Many reasons for why many people do not register to vote. Registration prevents voting more than once. Voter registration must be renewed when a person moves residence.
Civic Duty
Definition: A responsibility to serve democracy by voting.
Significance: Civic duty has high political efficacy.
Winner Take All
Definition: The situation where the candidate who wins the most votes in a state receives all of that state’s electoral votes.
Significance: Candidates only campaign in “battleground states” or “swing states” because of the idea of winner take all. They need the electoral votes of these states the most.
Prospective Voting
Definition: The way voters cast their ballot by looking into the future and deciding which candidate would be best for the times to come. A voter would consider what the candidate promises to do about certain issues if elected to office.
Significance: Prospective voting uses a positive view to come to a decision and voter must take a stance on the issues, current events, and recognize the differences b/w the two parties on those issues; requires the voter to thoroughly know the issues and the candidates.
Critical Elections
Definition: Presidential election when the members of party coalitions switch parties because the issues change (party realignment).
Significance: Ushered in five different party eras throughout American history. Caused by issues like slavery, gold/silver, and state of the economy.
National Primary
Definition: A primary for the presidential nominations.
Significance: 1st primary is held in New Hampshire. The candidates try to collect as many delegates as they sweep through the states. Republicans do Winner-take-all, and Democrats do proportional and super delegates.
Coattail Effect
Definition: When winner of the presidential elections brings a lot of people of the same party into governmental offices, especially Congress.
Significance: An easy ride into office. Coattails are short-lived since the midterm elections usually reduce the number of office holders.
Super Tuesday
Definition: The Tuesday at the start of March during a presidential election year when a number of states hold their primaries. Southern states hold their primaries on Super Tuesday.
Significance: Super Tuesday was a regional primary established by Southern Democrats in attempt to influence the voters to nominate a moderate candidate. The results of Super Tuesday usually influence voters in other states to cast their ballot for the winning candidates in this primary of each party.
Safe Seat
Definition: Seats in Congress that are protected by gerrymandering.
Significance: State legislatures redraw districts so that the incumbents usually win their elections.
Running Mate
Definition: The Vice Presidential candidate that runs alongside their presidential nominee.
Significance: Vice Presidents are of the same political party as the party nominee. They are chosen at the National Convention and usually are the balancing ticket.