Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media Flashcards Preview

AP Government > Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media > Flashcards

Flashcards in Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media Deck (16):

Plurality Election

The winning candidate is the person who receives more votes than anyone else, but less than half the total.


Single-Member District

An electoral district from which one person is chosen by the voters for each elected officials.


Party Era

An historical period dominated by one political party.


Critical Election

An election when significant groups of voters change their traditional patterns of party loyalty.


Party Realignment

The majority party so displaced by the minority party, thus ushering in a new party era.


Divided Government

A government in which one party controls the presidency while another party controls congress.


Interest Group

An organization of people whose members share views on specific interests and attempt to influence public policy to their benefit.


Political Action Committee (PAC)

A committee formed by business, labor, or other interest groups to raise money and make contributions to the campaigns of political candidates whom they support.


Free Riders

People who benefit from an interest group without making any contributions.


Power Elite Theory

The theory that a small number of very wealthy individuals, powerful corporate interest groups, and large financial institutions dominate key policy areas.


Pluralist Theory

The theory that many interest groups compete for power in a large number of policy areas.


Hyperpluralist Theory

The theory that government policy is weakened and often contradictory because there are so many competing interest groups.


Mass Media

Means of communication such as newspapers, radio, television, and the Internet that can reach large, widely dispersed audiences.


Linkage Institutions

Institutions that connect citizens to government. The mass media, interest groups, and political parties are the three main linkage institutions.


Horse-Race Journalism

The tendency of the media to cover campaigns by emphasizing how candidates stand in the polls instead of where they stand on the issues.


Political Party

A group of citizens who organize to win elections, hold public offices, operate governments and determine public policy.