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Flashcards in Elections - presidential and congressional Deck (70)
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1

How long do representatives in each house serve?

2 year in the House; 6 years in the Senate

2

What is the invisible primary?

The period between presidential nomination candidates declaring their intention to run, and the Iowa Caucus.

3

Why is Governor Rick Perry a good example of the importance of the invisible primary?

Because during a 2011 debate for the Republican nomination, he forgot the name of one of the departments he planned to cut if he became president. He said, "Oops" - so this is now known as the "Oops moment", and it shows how the invisible primary can whittle down candidates.

4

What is the "full Grassley"?

When a candidate tours all 99 counties in Iowa in an attempt to win election. It's named after Chuck Grassley, the Iowa senator who does it. Ted Cruz did prior to the 2016 Iowa Caucus; he won.

5

The winner of the invisible primary is...

the person who tops the polls going into the Iowa Caucus.

6

In the primaries and caucuses, how do the two major parties allocate their delegates?

Democrats: always proportionally.
Reps: mostly proportionally but there are some winner takes all states, like South Carolina and Florida.

7

What is frontloading?

The idea that states want to schedule their primaries early, to ensure maximum publicity and influence.

8

What is an open primary?

One in which any registered voter can vote, regardless of the party they support.

9

What is a closed primary?

One in which only those who are registered to the party holding the primary can vote.

10

What is party crashing?

When supporters of one party vote in the primaries of another, to try to get a poorer candidate elected.

11

How many independent Senators are there, who are they and where do they represent?

Two: Angus King from Maine and Bernie Sanders, Vermont.

12

How many incumbent Senators were defeated in primaries between 1982 and 2016?

Only 8, of which two went on to stay in their role as Senator.

13

In the 2012 election, how many incumbent Senators lost their seat and why?

13, of which 8 lost to fellow incumbents, following the 2012 census

14

How many incumbent senators were defeated in primaries between 1982 and 2016?

8, and 2 of these still managed to win the seat: one as an independent (Joe Lieberman) and the other, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska as a write-in candidate.

15

What were the key recommendations of the McGovern-Fraser Commission?

Greater transparency, that voters should choose candidates, and that delegates should be awarded proportionally.

16

What is the coattails effect?

When a strong candidate at the top of a ticket helps other candidates get elected; they are said to ride in on the senior candidate's coattails.

17

How predictive of the eventual nomination winner is the Iowa Caucus?

It's been successful about 43% of the time for Dems, and 50% for Reps.

18

What is a "balanced ticket"?

Where the presidential and vice-presidential candidate complement - balance - each other. For example, the young, black, relatively inexperienced Obama chose the more experienced, white, Beltway insider Joe Biden as his running mate.

19

Why are Iowa and New Hampshire not necessarily good places to hold the early caucuses and primaries?

Because they are unrepresentative of America: whiter, older.

20

Do incumbent presidents face primary challenges?

They can - it's up to individuals to challenge them if they want to. GH Bush was challenged by Pat Buchanan in 1992 but there have been no serious challengers to an incumbent since.

21

Roughly, what is the turnout in primaries?

Around 20-25% (28% in 2016).

22

Prior to the McGovern-Fraser reforms of the Dem primary process (1968), decisions on the nomination were said to take place in what type of potentially cancerous environment?

"Smoke-filled rooms" - i.e. a stitch-up by party grandees.

23

What were the key recommendations of the McGovern-Fraser Commission?

Greater transparency, that voters should choose candidates, and that delegates should be awarded proportionally.

24

What did Mitt Romney's adviser mean when he talked of an "etch-a-sketch" moment?

That during the primaries, candidates have to appeal to primary voters who tend to be from the more extreme ends of the parties, but during the general election campaign candidates tack back to the centre. In other words, they shake it up and start again, like an etch-a-sketch.

25

Roughly how much does it cost to run for president?

$1bn.

26

In 2013 the RNC agreed the Growth and Opportunity Project (GOP, nice!). It aimed to:

Shorten the length of time it takes the Reps to choose a candidate. The 2016 party convention was held in June, the earliest since 1948.

27

"Have you ever met anyone who read the party platform?" So said:

John Boehner, when Republican Speaker of the House.

28

How many electoral college votes are there, and why?

538: one for each member of Congress (535) plus three for DC.

29

In which two states are College votes distributed proportionately rather than winner-takes-all?

Maine and Nebraska.

30

What is the name given to an elector who does not vote for the winner in their state, and how many have there been ever, and in 2016?

Faithless elector; there have been 164 altogether, and were seven in 2016. (NB faithless electors have never influenced the result of the election so do not get too hung up on them in your essays.)