AP Gov Practice test for Chapters 10-15

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If proportional representation primaries are fairer to the public, why might some state parties choose not to adopt them?

They can lengthen the nomination process.

On Table 11.2, Who Identifies as a Democrat? A Republican?, Hispanics are most likely to identify as __________.


The federal government has worked to regulate campaign finance __________.

for more than a century

Which of the following was a prominent feature of the era called the "Golden Age" of political parties?

political machines

What is lobbying?

Communicating with government officials to persuade them to support a particular policy position.

Two types of errors are common to polls. What are they?

Margin of error and sampling error.

Which is a primary reason that news cameras are not allowed in the Supreme Court?

to avoid politicization of Court activity.

What is a political action committee (PAC)?

An organization that solicits campaign contributions and distributes them to political candidates.

Which amendment removed the election of U.S. senators from the hands of state legislators and placed it in the hands of citizens?

The seventeenth amendment.

Political action committees (PACs) are an attractive option for campaign contributions because __________.

they combine many individual contributions, resulting in one large contribution that is greater than what one individual could do alone.

What typically precedes a major party realignment?

critical election.

According to the "Explore Your World" feature box, Rwanda currently has the highest percentage of female lawmakers in the world. You can infer from this statistic that __________.

the quota system put in place by Rwandan women writing the new constitution has worked.

As discussed in the "Take a Closer Look" box, what has a significant impact on a news agency’s ability to influence what is discussed at a White House press briefing?

seat assignments in the briefing room.

Of the following public opinion poll topics, which is more likely than the others to be subject to a screening procedure?

the federal budget

In 1964, which candidate tried too hard to appeal to his party’s activists and lost the election as a result?

Barry Goldwater

What is the difference between simple random sampling and stratified sampling?

Stratified sampling combines random selection with predetermined weighting of a population’s demographic characteristics, whereas random sampling does not.

What is the term for change in public opinions and voting preferences caused by media coverage?

media effects

In 1948, the Chicago Tribune wrongly predicted that Republican Thomas E. Dewey would beat incumbent President Harry S. Truman. Knowing what you know about the accuracy of various polls, what kind of poll would most likely have led the Chicago Tribune to make this erroneous prediction?

a straw poll

One of the most basic methods of canvassing is __________.

going door to door to solicit votes

Which of the following events during the 2012 general election caused consternation for President Obama’s campaign?

the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi

Which of the following is an example of a public interest group?

a consumer rights group

What is said of a successful presidential candidate who helps members of Congress get elected as well?

The president has long coattails.

When is the initiative process the most useful?

when a state legislature wants to avoid a controversial vote on increasing taxes

"All government rests on public opinion." Where is this sentiment expressed?

in The Federalist Papers

Which demographic group currently most closely identifies with the Democratic Party?

African Americans

The first penny press paper was called the __________.

New York Sun

A form of journalism, popular in the late nineteenth century, featuring pictures, comics, color, and sensationalized, oversimplified news coverage was called __________.

yellow journalism

In the White House Press Room, which group would you find closest to the podium?

wire services

What institutional feature of U.S. politics prevents the success of third parties?

the electoral college

If you are attempting to influence the political process through extreme measures, such as boycotts and picketing, you are engaging in __________.

unconventional political participation

What key issue led to the dissolution of the Whig party?

slavery in the South

The 1996 Telecommunications Act resulted in expanded media services. What helped expand media services in the nineteenth century?

cheap paper

Campaign advertisements can work both for and against a candidate in what ways?

Ads deliver the desired message, but news media are increasingly analyzing and reporting on their accuracy.

President __________ is as close to a nonpartisan president as modern America has ever had.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Americans’ opinion of the news media has become __________.

Increasingly unfavorable in recent years.

According to the feature "How Are People Involved in Politics?" which of the following is the political activity in which people most often engage?

signing a paper petition

What institution is responsible for electing the president of the

United States?

Electoral College

The most dominant feature of traditional media coverage of campaigns is __________.

coverage of the "horse race"

Which of the following is a provision of the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007?

lobbying disclosure requirements

Modern American political liberals generally believe that __________.

The government should provide social programs

In your American government class, you learn that most Americans’ level of knowledge about history and politics is quite low and is declining every year. You also learn that political knowledge and political participation have a reciprocal effect on one another. Which of the following statements aligns with the statements presented in this scenario?

In the future, the degree of political participation in America is likely to go down.

In order to overcome the free rider problem, many interest groups offer material benefits. What are material benefits?

benefits given only to group members

Which is true of citizens who are highly interested in politics?

They constitute to a small percentage of the population.

When covering Congress, reporters typically focus on which of the following?

party leaders

How many electoral votes are needed to be elected president?


You are a policy analyst in the Department of Energy. You were just offered a job with a renewable energy company. How long must you wait before you can lobby the Department of Energy on behalf of your new employer?

2 years

The brief, clever quotes that candidates hope will be replayed after media events are known as __________.

sound bites

Runoff primaries __________.

blur the line between primary and general elections

Which type of survey question is best suited to addressing concerns about errors in public opinion polling resulting from difficulty in measuring intensity?

"feeling thermometer" questions

Which of the following is the clearest example of a push poll question?

Would you approve of the candidate’s vote for the antipoverty bill if you knew that the candidate never read the legislation?

What is a public interest group?

A group that works to gain benefits for society as a whole.

You are the leader of an environmental organization working to address the problem of climate change. Given the free rider problem, what would be the most effective way to get others to join your cause?

Offer an incentive, such as a t-shirt, to those who join the campaign.

If a state wanted to increase its influence in the presidential nomination, what could the state do?

frontload the primaries

Candidates’ efforts to meet as many voters as possible are __________.

to some degree symbolic

Which democratic function of political parties was nonexistent until the early twentieth century and has given voters greater input into politics?

primary elections

Modern tabloids are most similar to __________.

yellow journalism

Deep Throat of the Watergate scandal was which kind of journalistic source?

deep background

Which news medium has had the hardest time keeping up with modern technological developments?


Which branch of the U.S. government interacts very little with the media?


One reason that candidates visit many localities is to __________.

motivate locate activists

When can a party change its platform?

during the national party convention

What is the purpose of a "name recognition survey"?

to discover how many people have heard of a potential candidate for office

One of the various ways in which parties contribute to democratic governance is by __________.

running candidates

Which is one problem with online voting discussed in your text?

access for lower-income Americans

The media is also known as the __________.

fourth estate

According to your text, what is the general purpose of elections?

to confer legitimacy on government

Which of the following is an element of a political party’s organization at the state level?

congressional district committees

In New York Times Co. v. U.S. (1971) the Supreme Court affirmed the principle of __________.

prior restraint

The years 1860-1928 saw the ascendancy of which party?


Imagine you are a journalist covering a scandal that may destroy a member of Congress. You obtain your information from a source at the Department of Justice. In your story, you make no reference to the source’s name or to the Department of Justice. This source is __________.

on deep background

When they become ten or eleven, what political opinion of Democratic presidents would you expect of children raised in politically active Republican households?

that they would be more skeptical of Democratic presidents than Republican ones

In terms of speaking to the press on behalf of Congress, __________ command center stage when subjects in their domain are newsworthy, occasionally achieving fame.

key committee chairs

Since the 1980s, American public opinion of the credibility of news media has __________.

lowered significantly

As a pollster for Smart Polling, you are concerned about gauging the public’s attitudes about arms-control policy, because you believe that the public not only has little information on this complex topic but also has thought little about it. What procedure might you implement to decrease the inaccuracy of your polling data because of this lack of information?

a screening procedure

Why was Madison particularly concerned about factions in Federalist No. 10?

He believed that factions pursuing their self-interest would work against the broader public interest.

At what age do parents exercise the greatest influence on the political socialization of their children?

from birth to age 5

Which Amendment to the U.S. Constitution lowered the voting age to eighteen?


Most candidates running in a general election tend to move their campaigns toward the __________.

ideological center

How might pluralism serve to enhance democracy?

by ensuring that no single interest becomes dominant

What is a potential downside of narrowcasting?

It allows people to ignore news contradicting their points of view.

According to Table 12.5, which of the following reasons do voters most often give for not voting?

too busy

What serves as the glue that holds together the disparate elements of the U.S. governmental and political apparatus?

the political parties

A critical election is typically associated with __________.

electoral realignment

Married voters today are most likely to identify as __________.


Referring to the information in Table 14.1, if you were a Democratic strategist, and you wanted your message to mobilize the biggest number of your supporters, on which media outlet would you run your advertisements?

local TV news

How did many city-dwellers and European immigrants view political parties during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries?

as purveyors of housing, employment, and food

Since the __________, governmental decision makers have relied heavily on public opinion polls.


Leslie is a white, middle-class mother of two, who works as a librarian in the public library system of a large city in the American West. She is 57 years old. Given her demographic profile and the information presented in Table 10.1 on differences in the political opinions of women and men, which of the following statements about her political opinions would pollsters expect to be true?

Leslie believes that American military interventions are usually a bad idea.

How does the textbook answer this question: why are traditional telephone polls becoming increasingly difficult to conduct?

Many people do not have landlines

One of the primary dangers of the nomination campaign is that __________.

candidates can become too ideologically extreme

What is an amicus curiae brief?

a written argument submitted to a court in support of one side of a case

Which candidate, running in 1796, was portrayed as an atheist and a coward?

Thomas Jefferson

Considering the large number of candidates for the Republication nomination in 2012 and the many debates among these candidates, what could you have expected of Mitt Romney’s debate performance in the general election?

Romney would do very well because he had been debating his points for months.

A public official has the most control over the spin of his or her message __________.

in a press release

Why do small interest groups have an easier time enrolling potential members than large interest groups?

In a small group, any individual’s share of the collective good may be great enough to make it rational for him or her to join.

The __________ is a measure of the accuracy of a public opinion poll.

margin of error

A gradual shift in party coalitions that is based more on demographic shifts than on shocks to the political system is known as a __________ realignment.


According to the information in the "How Has Campaign Financing Changed Over Time?" feature, the Super PAC that spent the most in the 2012 election __________.

was a Republican group

How are third parties usually significant?

They push major parties to incorporate new ideas or elucidate current ones.

Why are some people concerned about electronic voting?

Electronic voting could increase election fraud

Which of the following statements, if true, would confirm the theory of pluralism?

Elected officials seek out the opinions of multiple interest groups when creating policy.

Which is an exception to the equal time rule?

News stations may exclude third party candidates from debates

The U.S. media has a great deal of journalistic freedoms guaranteed by law, but its corporate ownership subjects it to pressures from __________.

the market

How can redistricting threaten incumbent members of Congress?

It can pit incumbents against one another.

Since 1952, researchers at the University of Michigan have conducted surveys to assess the political attitudes and behavior of the American electorate. By what name is this research known?

National Election Studies

How does lobbying Congress differ from lobbying the judicial branch?

Lobbyists often meet personally with members of Congress, whereas they cannot meet with judges.

The __________ problem occurs when people fail to join a group because they can get the benefits the group offers without contributing to the group’s efforts.

free rider

Which of the following is an example of grassroots/outside lobbying?

a petition sent to representatives in Congress

A candidate with limited funds available would most likely want to build a staff consisting of __________.

a campaign manager and a large number of dedicated volunteers

How does the institutional weakness of political parties affect voter turnout?

voters are distant from and do not identify with weak parties

A campaign looking for support from various political action committees would find that __________.

support would be more readily available from a 527 group if the candidate is a Democrat

What did the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 achieve?

a ban on gifts and honoraria to members of Congress and their staffs

What was one result of nineteenth century muckraking?

popular demand for anti-trust regulations

Of the following, which is considered a demographic characteristic?


If you wanted to improve voter turnout, which of the following would you suggest?

turning Election Day into a national holiday

In a random sample of 1,000 high-school students, 29 percent indicated that they had read the Declaration of Independence at least once. If the margin of error is calculated to be 4 percent, which of the following statements is more likely than the others to be true?

If the poll were conducted again, the percentage of those questioned who have read the Declaration of Independence would likely be between 25 and 33 percent.

A live engagement with the press, in which the range of questions is limited, is called a __________.

press briefing

Based on the information in the "Explore Your World" bar chart, what country would you think is LEAST likely to have a female head of government in the foreseeable future?


Why is Walter Lippmann credited with spurring the growth of public opinion polling?

Lippmann wrote a book in which he observed that research on public opinion was far too limited, especially in light of its importance

The most visible instrument that parties use to formulate, convey, and promote public policy is __________.

its platform

If you were a campaign manager trying to target the largest population of likely voters, at which place would you suggest your candidate campaign?

at the local senior citizens association

Suppose you are a candidate and you want to re-craft your campaign message. With which of the following staff members would you MOST likely work closely to create a compelling and effective message?

communications director

A command, indicated by an electorate’s votes, for the elected officials to carry out a party platform or policy agenda is known as a (an) __________.


Why do interest groups typically offer material benefits to their members?

to overcome the free rider/collective action problem

What are "feeling thermometer" questions?

questions that ask respondents how they feel about a particular issue by using a 0-to-100 scale

Which of the following religious groups maintains the most consistent voting patterns?

Jewish voters

How does a delegate become a representative to a party convention?

selection by citizens

George Gallup undoubtedly had a vested interest in fostering reliance on public opinion polls. Why?

He was a pollster

According to the "How Are People Involved in Politics?" feature, a person who believes he or she has no say in government is LEAST likely to engage in which of these activities?

sign a paper petition

The __________ is an example of way in which the Federal Communications Commission works to ensure that the airwaves "serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity."?

equal time rule

"Are American Political Parties Polarized?" suggests that both major political parties are moving ideologically __________.

apart, but Republicans are more extremely polarized

AIM and FAIR are __________.

partisan watchdogs of the media, checking the accuracy of news stories

When a news outlet like the Wall Street Journal reports a story from the secretary of commerce, that story is said to be what?

on the record

Front-loading benefits __________.

front runners

The role of campaign consultants has become so important in today’s campaigns because __________.

candidates need specialists to help them make the most of fund-raising, media relations, and Internet outreach

According to the "Explore Your World" feature, one way that many countries ensure that candidates represent the entire population is by __________.

adopting quotas that mandate a certain percentage of candidates come from traditionally underrepresented groups

What was a key contributor to the rare stability in Republican and Democratic political identities during the "Golden Age" (1860-1932)?

political machines

A polling firm has been commissioned by the New York Times to assess public opinion about the performance of FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. What should the firm do first?

determine the content and phrasing of the questions they want answered

How would you go about strengthening political parties in the United States?

Allow a multi-party system

According to Table 12.2, how many states require no voter registration?


Media effects is the term used for changes in__________ due to the influence of news sources.

public opinion

When did the last political realignment occur, according to most political scientists?


What are some of the major barriers to third-party political success?

ballot access, campaign finance rules, and voter perception

When a party’s base of supporters undergoes a fundamental and enduring alteration, what is this called?

party realignment

When does party identification matter most in voting?

in a low visibility election

If you wanted to have the most informed voters during a party nomination, you would use which nomination system?


How do political scientists define political socialization?

as the process through which individuals acquire their political beliefs and values

Libertarian, Constitution, and Green Party presidential candidates receive very little media coverage, including omission from most debates. This would seemingly be a violation of what?

equal time rules

Prospective judgment is voting based upon __________.

the candidate’s policy promises

Why have National Election Studies (NES) researchers conducted surveys before and after every mid-term and presidential election since 1952?

to compile long-term studies of the electorate

The challenges to the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act suggest that __________.

special interest groups want to be able to support their candidate of choice without financial restrictions

When a citizen votes for candidates from different parties in the same election he or she is __________.


Unscientific surveys used to gauge public opinion on a variety of issues are known as what?

straw polls

Proponents of a government that includes minor parties might suggest that the United States consider Europe’s system of __________.

proportional representation

Which of the following conditions, if true, would eliminate the free rider/collective action problem?

if participation in an interest group were mandatory

Democrats no longer use the winner-take-all primary because __________.

it was generally less representative

As shown in Figure 13.2, which shows how PACs allocate their campaign contributions, if you are challenging an incumbent and looking for PAC money to support your campaign, you can expect to receive __________.

significantly less money than if you were an incumbent

According to the box, "Who Owns the News Media," over the last thirty years, media ownership __________.

has consolidated

Grassroots lobbying is best defined as __________.

getting the media to cover an issue

What reason does Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center, give to explain why public opinion polls have become critical players in national and international politics over the last three decades?

the rise in the number of public opinion polls

The traditional media __________.

I and III

How do some analysts explain media inattention to stories critical of government?

The typical journalist is white, male, and affluent.

Which of the following candidates in the 2012 Republican nomination campaign won the Iowa caucuses?

Rick Santorum

When questioned about their views of politics in Congress, the majority of__________ expressed their desire for compromise over standing firm in their beliefs.


The __________ is the formal governing body of both major parties.

national party committee

"Soft news" about politics tends to make viewers’ political behavior more __________.


Party identification is __________.

most determined by one’s parents and is declining in its utility to predict voter behavior

The key exception to the rule that state parties are free to act within the limits set by their state legislatures, without interference from the national party, is in the selection of __________.

national convention delegates

According to the "How Has Campaign Financing Changed Over Time" feature, the largest increase in 527 political committees occurred in which year?


What does the Pew Global Attitudes Survey assess?

the attitudes toward global powers held by citizens in a sample of countries

Voting is a form of __________.

conventional participation

Which of the following surveys is more likely than the others to generate self-selection error?

a mail-in survey of retirement community members about the privatization of Medicare

When did the Era of Good Feelings occur?

as the Federalist Party declined (1820)

Bloggers, television news anchors, and radio hosts all have what in common?

tendency toward coverage bias

A member of the Electoral College is known as a(n) __________.


Today, most news is written by __________.

citizen journalists

During his campaign for reelection in 2012, Barack Obama deemphasized his work on health care reform. Which of the following reasons is the most plausible explanation for this decision, given what you know about the interaction between public opinion and policy and politics?

Deep divisions in public opinion on the issue were apparent.

Which of the following is an example of a faction, asconceptualized by Madison in Federalist No. 10?

an interest group

What is the single greatest influence in establishing a person’s first party identification?


While the national congressional campaign committees work to garner more seats for their respective parties, the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee focus on __________.

aiding presidential campaigns and conducting general party- building activities

Which of the following statements best reflects the Framers’ attitudes about public opinion?

Public opinion is potentially counterproductive and should, therefore, be tempered.

What 1907 legislation prohibited corporations from making direct contributions to candidates for federal office?

Tillman Act

What do Americans often have difficulty forming opinions about?

about policies that do not affect them personally

What strategy was MOST likely behind Senators John McCain and Russell Feingold working together to pass the 2002 campaign finance reform bill?

Having two senators work across the aisle limited accusations of partisanship.

Who is considered the founder of modern-day polling?

George Gallup

The rise of Spanish language television and news programming is an example of __________.


Even though a candidate may not approve of negative ads, what is one reason he or she might agree to run them?

A negative ad can give a voter a reason to vote against an opponent.

What is the main objective of most labor unions?

to protect jobs and secure favorable wages and benefits for their members

What is the MOST likely reason that candidates use sound bites instead of long explanations of their agendas and positions?

The news media devote little time to campaign coverage.

How do lobbyists typically seek to influence members of Congress?

by providing technical expertise on policy issues

Suppose you are quite wealthy and contributed money to the campaign of one candidate in a primary election, then gave money to another campaign after that first candidate dropped out. You also contributed to the national party committee and your state party committee, as well as to a political action committee. By the time the general elections come in November, what is the most that you could have contributed?


When a case that an interest group is interested in, but not actually sponsoring, comes before a court, the group can __________.

file an amicus curiae brief to present the group’s analysis of the case

What is one reason why incumbents have the advantage in elections?

Incumbents tend to have greater amounts of money to spend on campaigns.

Information provided to a journalist, that will not be attributed to any source, is __________.

deep background

Until 2002, the primary federal regulation of campaign finance occurred according to the __________.

Federal Election Campaign Act

Based on information in Figure 13.4 showing candidate visits to various states in the 2012 general election campaign, which of the following states did both candidates consider a high priority requiring many visits?


Refer to "How Do Demographic Characteristics Affect Public Opinion?" and indicate which is true about how age impacts views on whether or not the government should guarantee every citizen enough to eat and a place to sleep.

Citizens between thirty and forty-nine years old feel the most strongly that every citizen has enough to eat and a place to sleep when compared to the other age groups.

According to the "Explore Your World" feature, in which country do women lag behind men in both public and private leadership positions?


Which of the following is an assumption of pluralism?

Interest groups are integral to government decisions.

According to the "Take a Closer Look" box in your text, which of the following is true if you are a young voter?

You are less likely to vote than older voters.

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