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Politics Vocabulary

1. Political Party – A group of persons who seek to control government through the winning of elections and the holding of
public office.

2. Partisanship – Government action based on firm allegiance to a political party.

3. Plurality – In an election, winning more votes than the other candidates, but not a majority.

4. Bipartisan – Supported by two parties.

5. Consensus – General agreement among various groups on fundamental matters; broad agreement on public questions.

6. Incumbent – The current officeholder.

7. Electorate – All of the people entitled to vote in a given election.

8. Split-ticket voting – Voting for candidates of different parties for different offices at the same election.

9. Straight – ticket voting – The practice of voting for candidates of only one party in an election.

10. General Election – The regularly scheduled election at which voters make a final selection of officeholders.

11. Caucus – As a nominating device, a group of people who meet to select the candidates they will support in an upcoming
election.

12. Direct Primary – An election held within a party to pick that party’s candidates for the general election.

13. Closed Primary – A party nominating election in which only declared party members can vote.

14. Open Primary – A party nominating election in which any qualified voter can take part

15. Coattail Effect – The effect of a strong candidate running for an office at the top of a ballot helping to attract voters to other
candidates on the party’s ticket.

16. Political Action Committee (PAC) – The political extension of special interest groups which have a major stake in pubic
policy. They raise money for interest groups and lobby the government.

17. Soft Money – Money given to State and local party organizations for voting-related activities.

18. Hard Money – Campaign money that is subject to regulations by the FEC.

19. Mass Media – Those means of communication that reach large audiences, especially television, radio, printed publications,
and the internet.

20. Interest Group – Private organization whose members share certain views and work to shape public policy.

21. Random Sample – A certain number of randomly selected people who live in a certain number of randomly selected places.

22. Sound Bite – Short, sharply focused reports that can be aired in 30 or 45 seconds.

23. Lobbying – Activities by which group pressures are brought to bear on legislators, the legislative process, and all aspects of
the public-policy-making process.

24. Propaganda – A technique of persuasion aimed at influencing individual or group behaviors to create a particular belief,
regardless of its validity.

25. Grass Roots – Of or from the people, the average voters.


Politics
Vocabulary Concept Card Assignment
Mr. Smith- Rm. A105
American Government

Objective: Students will create concept cards for 8 words from the Politics unit to illustrate
their knowledge of the meanings of these words.

Directions:
 Read all of the words and their definitions to become familiar with the terms in the
politics unit.
 Pick 8 words that you either feel very comfortable with the definitions of or that you
want to more thoroughly understand the definitions of to include in your concept
cards.
 Divide both sides of your paper into 4 sections, 1 section for each word.
 For each word you choose, you must include 3 of the 4 options:
o the word’s definition from the book,
o a picture to illustrate its meaning (with color),
o the word used in a sentence
o a synonym for that word or a word that can be associated with it.