ap gov ch 8 vocab

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blanket primary

A primary in which voters can vote for the Democratic candidates, the Republican candidates, or some from each party

closed primary

A primary election in which voters must first declare to which party they belong


The tendency of lesser-known or weaker candidates to profit from the presence on the ticket of stronger candidate

direct mail

A means of soliciting funds from millions of people

general election

An election used to fill an elective office


Drawing a district in some bizarre or unusual manner in order to create an electoral advantage


The person currently in office


A voter describing herself or himself as neither a Democrat nor a Republican

independent expenditures

Ordinary advertising for or against candidates but not coordinated with or made at their direction

open primary

A primary in which voters can vote for the candidates of either the Democratic or the Republican party


The result of having districts of very unequal size

political action committee (PAC)

A group legally able to solicit campaign contributions from individuals within an organization and, under certain restrictions, to funnel these to candidates for office

position issue

An issue dividing the electorate on which rival parties adopt different policy positions to attract voters

presidential primary

A primary held to select delegates to the presidential nominating conventions of the major parties

primary election

An election intended to select a party’s candidates for elective office

prospective voting

Voting for a candidate because one favors his or her ideas for addressing issues after the election

retrospective voting

Voting for the candidate or party in office because one likes or dislikes how things have gone in the recent past

runoff primary

A primary in which, to be successful, the candidate must receive a majority of all votes cast in that race

soft money

Can be given to the parties in limitless amounts so long as it is not used to back candidates by name

sophomore surge

The tendency for newly elected members of Congress to become strong in their districts very quickly


Short television advertisements used to promote a candidate for government office

talking heads

Televised pictures showing nothing more than individuals speaking

valence issue

An issue on which voters distinguish rival parties by the degree to which they associate each party with conditions or goals that the electorate universally supports or opposes


A filmed episode showing a candidate doing something newsworthy

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