Political Participation

ARTISANSHIP

Each unit of study is broken down into a series of essential objectives and learning points.  Each objective requires a context of understanding.  You will find that context here.  Remember learning follows after Darwin not Newton.  Artisanship is always a work in progress.  In the end we hope that by distilling the content of American government and politics to its bare essentials a larger number then before can count themselves as educated citizens.  Without such a citizenry our hope for a bright future is in peril.  Demonstrate here what you have learned.

  • How have changes in technology influenced political communication and behavior?

  • Why do levels of participation and influence in politics vary?

  • How effective are the various methods of political participation in shaping public policies?

Unit 5: Political Participation

 

Governing is achieved directly through citizen participation and indirectly through linkage institutions (e.g. political parties, interest groups, and mass media) that inform, organize, and mobilize support to influence government and politics, resulting in many venues for citizen influence on policy making.

 

Enduring Understandings:

 

  1. Factors associated with political ideology, efficacy, structural barriers, and demographics influence the nature and degree of political participation. (Methods of political analysis)

  2. Political parties, interest groups, and social movements provide opportunities for participation and influence how people relate to government. (Competing policy-making interests)

  3. The impact of federal policies on campaigning and electoral rules continues to be contested by both sides of the political spectrum. (Civic participation in a representative democracy)

  4. The various forms of media provide citizens with political information and influence the ways in which they participate politically. (Civic participation in a representative democracy)

 

Learning Objectives:

 

  1. Describe the voting rights protections in the Constitution and in legislation.

  2. Describe different models of voting behavior.

  3. Explain the roles that individual choice and state laws play in voter turnout in elections.

  4. Describe linkage institutions.

  5. Explain the function and impact of political parties on the electorate and the government.

  6. Explain why and how political parties change and adapt.

  7. Explain how structural barriers impact third party and independent candidate success.

  8. Explain the benefits and potential problems of interest group influence on elections and policy making.

  9. Explain how variation in types and resources of interest groups affects their ability to influence elections and policy making.

  10. Explain how various political actors influence public policy outcomes.

  11. Explain how the different processes work in a U.S. presidential election.

  12. Explain how the Electoral College impacts democratic participation.

  13. Explain how the different processes work in U.S. Congressional elections.

  14. Explain how campaign organizations and strategies affect the election process.

  15. Explain how the organization, finance, and strategies of national political campaigns affect the election process.

  16. Explain the media’s role as a linkage institution.

  17. Explain how increasingly diverse choices of media and communication outlets influence political institutions and behavior.

5.1     Describe the voting rights protections in the Constitution and in legislation.

 

1. According to the original U.S. Constitution who was responsible for determining voting qualifications?

 

a.  Congress

b.  The Supreme Court

c.  The President and his Cabinet

d.  Individual state and local governments

 

2. All of the following have been used as synonyms for voting or the right to vote EXCEPT

 

a.  Suffrage

b.  Enfranchisement

c.  Polling places

e.  Manumission

 

3. What impact did the Fifteenth Amendment have on voting in America?

 

a.  Gave male property owners the right to vote

b.  Extended the vote to African Americans

c.  Gave women the right to vote

d.  Eliminated literacy tests as a voting barrier

 

4. What impact did the Seventeenth Amendment have on voting in America? 

 

a.  Gave male property owners the right to vote

b.  Provided for the direct election U.S. Senators

c.  Gave women the right to vote

d.  Dramatically increased the percentage of actual voters

 

 5. What impact did the Nineteenth Amendment have on voting in America? 

 

a.  Gave male property owners the right to vote

b.  Extended the vote to African Americans

c.  Gave women the right to vote

d.  Eliminated literacy tests as a voting barrier

 

6. The Twenty-Fourth Amendment ended poll taxes.  What was the practical effect of this amendment?

 

a.  Prospective voters were no longer impeded by an ability to pay a tax

b.  Prospective voters were no longer impeded by an ability to read

c.  Prospective voters were no longer impeded by an ability to answer political questions

d.  Prospective voters were no longer impeded by an ability to own property

7. What impact did the Twenty-Sixth Amendment have on voting in America? 

 

a.  Gave women the right to vote

b.  Extended the vote to African Americans

c.  Gave eighteen year olds and older the right to vote

d.  Eliminated literacy tests as a voting barrier

 

8. What impact did the Voting Rights Act of 1965 have on voting in America? 

 

a.  Prohibited voter ID laws

b.  Extended the vote to African Americans

c.  Made general elections a national holiday

d.  Eliminated literacy tests as a voting barrier

 

9. What impact did the Voting Rights Act of 1965 have on voting in America? 

 

a.  Prohibited voter ID laws

b.  Extended the vote to African Americans

c.  Made general elections a national holiday

d.  Gave federal oversight in Southern polling places

 

10. In Shelby v. Holder (2013) the Supreme Court affirmed that “the Constitution intended States to keep…the power to regulate elections” and that “equal sovereignty” was hindered by the disparate treatment of some states and not others.  This decision impacted

 

a.  The historical consequences of the Fifteenth Amendment

b.  The historical consequences of the Seventeenth Amendment

c.  The historical consequences of the Twenty-Sixth Amendment

d.  The historical consequences of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

 

5.2     Describe different models of voting behavior.

 

1. Political science has tried to explain voting behavior for a long time.  Which of the following best characterizes political science conclusions over time regarding voting behavior in America?

 

a.  Political science can now pinpoint who votes and why

b.  Political science with great certainty can predict voting behavior

c.  Political science is in agreement over voting behavior

d.  Political science lacks consensus over numerous voting behavior models

 

2. Rational choice theory is based upon

 

a.  History

b.  Economics

c.  Sociology

d.  Anthropology

 

3. Retrospective voting models emphasize

 

a.  Prospective issues

b.  Polls

c.  Party labels

d.  Performance

 

4. Prospective voting models emphasize

 

a.  Polls and public opinion

b.  Promises and compelling visions

c.  Culture and family influences

d.  Religious and ethnic traditions

 

 5. Party line voting models emphasize

 

a.  Polls and public opinion

b.  Union memberships

c.  Culture and family influences

d.  Party labels

 

6. Tom’s parents were conservative Republicans.  When Tom went to vote for the first time many of the candidates and their issues were confusing to understand.  He voted Republican.

 

This is an example of what voting behavior model?

 

a.  Rational choice theory

b.  Retrospective voting

c.  Prospective voting

d. Party line voting

 

7. Tom is an independent voter.  His choice will come down to weighing promises made by both candidates.  As a college student with heavy debts he is leaning toward the candidate that promised to make education more affordable.

 

This is an example of what voting behavior model?

 

a.  Rational choice theory

b.  Retrospective voting

c.  Prospective voting

d. Party line voting

 

8. Tom during his presidential campaign kept asking voters one simple question, “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?”

 

This is an example of what voting behavior model?

 

a.  Rational choice theory

b.  Retrospective voting

c.  Prospective voting

d. Party line voting

 

9. Before Tom decided to vote, he considered what would be best for his small business.  Taxes were rising and health care costs were pinching his profits.  The simple facts would determine his vote.

 

This is an example of what voting behavior model?

 

a.  Rational choice theory

b.  Retrospective voting

c.  Prospective voting

d. Party line voting

 

10. Which of the following scenarios exemplifies a split-ticket vote? 

 

a.  Tom votes for a Democrat for president and a Democrat for the Senate on the same ballot

b.  Tom votes for a Democrat for president and chooses not to vote for anybody else on the same ballot

c.  Tom votes for a Republican for president and a Democrat for the House in the next election

d.  Tom votes for a Democrat for president and a Republican for the Senate on the same ballot

 

11. According to political science, what is the number one determining factor of a person’s vote?

 

a.  Age

b.  Race

c.  Income

d.  Partisan identification (ID)

 

5.3     Explain the roles that individual choice and state laws play in voter turnout in elections.

 

1. Which of the following forms of political participation is most popular in American democracy?

 

a.  Voting in presidential elections

b.  Voting in midterm congressional elections

c.  Voting in local elections

d.  Voting in gubernatorial elections

 

2. Which of the following best illustrates grassroots political behavior?

 

a.  The Supreme Court, using judicial review, rules an Act of Congress unconstitutional

b.  The governors from all 50 states meet in Washington DC to advocate for infrastructure projects

c.  A member of Congress announces his intention of running for president

d.  A group of local teachers get to together to pass a law to lower the voting age in their state

 

All voting is a sort of gaming,... I cast my vote, perchance, as I think right; but I am not vitally concerned that that right should prevail.  I am willing to leave it to the majority.  Its obligation, therefore, never exceeds that of expediency.  Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it.  It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail...Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence.

                                                                                                On Civil Disobedience, Henry David Thoreau

 

3.  What is the main idea of Henry David Thoreau’s quote above?

 

a.  Voting is an imperfect science

b.  It does not matter if somebody votes or not

c.  Voting is more than a ballot, it needs to be a lifestyle

d. Voting is meant for men only

 

Turnout of U.S. Voting Eligible Population, 2000-2012

 

2000    55%

2002    41%

2004    61%

2006    41%

2008    63%

2010    42%

2012    59%

 

Source: McDonald, United States Elections Project

 

4.  What conclusion can be drawn from the voting data above?

 

a.  Voting around the world is more popular than in the U.S.

b.  Voting rates are relatively high in the U.S.

c.  Presidential elections elicit a higher voter turnout

d.  Congressional elections draw high turnout rates

 

5. All of the following demographic characteristics would describe the typical voter EXCEPT 

 

a.  White

b.  Older

c.  College-educated

d.  Non-religious (Secular)

 

6. Not everyone who wants to vote can.  Some of us can be labeled “cannot voters.”  There are a number of institutional obstacles that prevent certain citizens from voting.  All of the following are examples of these institutional obstacles EXCEPT

 

a.  Lack of absentee provisions

b.  Citizenship requirements

c.  Strict registration requirements

d.  Prohibition against convicted felons

 

7. All of the following could be classified as “do not voters” EXCEPT

 

a.  Members of minority groups

b.  High school dropouts

c.  Young people

d.  Retired professionals

 

8. A Democrat would most likely say

 

a.  “Make voting easier”

b.  “Only the educated should be allowed to vote”

c.  “Voting is for old people”

d.  “Requiring voter ID is the right thing to do”

 

9. A Republican would most likely say

 

a.  “Make voting easier”

b.  “Only the educated should be allowed to vote”

c.  “Voting is for old people”

d.  “Requiring voter ID is the right thing to do”

 

10. The Motor Voter Bill (1993) required all states to offer opportunities to register to vote when renewing your driver’s license.   In effect it made registration easier.  Who was most likely to have advocated for this?

 

a.  Democrats

b.  Republicans

c.  Libertarians

d.  Independents

 

11. The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) in 2002 modernized voting procedures.  It hoped to eliminate any possibility for fraud on Election Day by improving the machinery used in counting votes.  Who was most likely to have advocated for this?

 

a.  Democrats

b.  Republicans

c.  Libertarians

d.  Independents

 

12. In a recent Supreme Court decision it was argued, “It is for state legislatures to weigh the costs and benefits of possible changes to their election codes, and their judgment must prevail unless it imposes a severe and unjustified overall burden upon the right to vote, or is intended to disadvantage a particular class,” (See Crawford v Marion County Election Board, 2008)

 

The Supreme Court justice who wrote this opinion would most likely be a

 

a.  Democrat

b.  Republican

c.  Libertarian

d.  Independent

 

13. The health of our democracy can be measured by looking at political efficacy.  Efficacy relates to our belief that we can affect our governmental institutions.  All of the following would be examples of high political efficacy EXCEPT

 

a.  Higher voter turnout in presidential elections

b.  Higher turnout in political party primaries

c.  Higher turnout in street rallies for economic justice

d.  Higher rates of political apathy

 

14. Evidence suggests that the single greatest factor determining political opinion is

 

a. Family influences

b. A teacher

c. Experience

d. A close personal friend

 

15. What is the number one determinant of a person’s vote?

 

a. Family influence

b. Income

c. Race

d. Partisan identification

 

16. Clearly candidate centered campaigns have changed our political landscape.  Candidate centered campaigns have helped to make the process more democratic, utilized new technologies and provided greater intimacy with voters.  Which of the following, however, is seen as a negative consequence of candidate-centered campaigns?

 

a.  Weakened political parties

b.  Decreased the cost of campaigns

c.  Decreased voter turnout

d.  Centralized campaign strategies

 

5.4     Describe linkage institutions.

 

1. What is the political science term for those institutions that allow individuals to communicate their preferences to policy-makers?

 

a. Policy-making institutions

b. Linkage institutions

c. Partisan institutions

d. Publicly held institutions

 

2. In our democracy political parties, interest groups, elections and media are examples of

 

a. Policy-making institutions

b. Linkage institutions

c. Partisan institutions

d. Publicly held institutions

 

3. Political parties have the primary purpose to

 

a. Nominate candidates

b. Raise money

c. Run campaigns

d. Win elections

 

4. All of the following are examples of how political parties link us to the government EXCEPT

 

a. Party leaders pass agreeable pieces of legislation

b. Partisan presidents follow through on campaign promises

c. Politically motivated court appointees rule favorably in partisan judicial hearings

d. Fat cats raise large sums of money to fund issue advocacy ads

 

5. Interest groups have the primary purpose to

 

a. Impacting the nomination process

b. Impacting the policy-making process

c. Impacting media coverage

d. Impacting voting procedures

 

6. Why do you suppose interest groups are vital to any civil society?

 

a. Healthy democracies cannot grow without the freedom to join groups of our choosing

b. Civil societies require frequent elections

c. Healthy democracies cannot grow without a well-funded two party system

d. Civil societies require an independent judiciary

 

7. Which of the following linkage institutions give “we the people” the most direct way to influence our government?

 

a. Political parties

b. Interest groups

c. Elections

d. Media

 

8. Which of the following statements about American elections is NOT true

 

a. We are election crazy – we have so many

b. Elections are held at the national, state and local levels

c. No democracy has as many elected positions to fill as we do

d. No democracy has as high a voter turnout as we do

 

9. Today’s media plays all of the following roles EXCEPT

 

a. Nominator

b. Gatekeeper

c. Scorekeeper

d. Watchdog

 

10. Perhaps the most important role of the media is to “police” our government.  What does this mean?

 

a. The media sends elected officials to jail

b. The media holds the government accountable

c. The media moderates political choices

d. The media is responsible for picking qualified candidates

 

5.5     Explain the function and impact of political parties on the electorate and the   government.

 

1. All of the following would be considered a linkage institution EXCEPT:

 

a.  Political parties

b.  Interest groups

c.  Elections

d.  Congress

 

2. The U.S. Constitution says NOTHING about political parties.  Why?

 

a.  The founding fathers feared factions

b.  There were no parties at that time in history

c.  There was only one party at that time in history

d.  It was considered an oversight

 

3. Which of the following political party objectives is considered their primary goal?

 

a.  Staff the government

b.  Nominate candidates

c.  Fund campaigns

d.  Win elections

 

4. Political parties create broad-based coalitions.  Which of the following provides the best example?

 

a.  Tom and Ken agree on every issue but rarely participate in civic activity

b.  Tom and Ken disagree on every issue and join two different groups to fight it out

c.  Tom and Ken disagree on a number of issues but agree on enough to join together

d.  Tom and Ken disagree on a number of issues but agree to respect each others differences

 

 5. According to political science, what is the number one determining factor of a person’s vote?

 

a.  Age

b.  Race

c.  Income

d.  Partisan identification (ID)

 

6. Which of the following scenarios exemplifies a split-ticket vote? 

 

a.  Tom votes for a Democrat for president and a Democrat for the Senate on the same ballot

b.  Tom votes for a Democrat for president and chooses not to vote for anybody else on the same ballot

c.  Tom votes for a Republican for president and a Democrat for the House in the next election

d.  Tom votes for a Democrat for president and a Republican for the Senate on the same ballot

 

7. Which of the following best describes the political party system in the United States?

 

a.  Dominant party system

b.  Multi-party system

c.  Two-party system

d.  Three-party system

 

8. The primary functions of the modern political party include all of the following EXCEPT

 

a. Educate voters

b. Nominate candidates

c. Raising money to support candidates

d. Negotiate trade agreements

 

9. Political parties play all of the following important roles in our democracy EXCEPT

 

a. Provide labels to voters

b. Educate citizens

c. Choose court justices

d. Nominate candidates

 

10. Though partisan identification (ID) continues to be a major determinant of ones vote, today’s political parties are generally

 

a. Stronger

b. Weaker

c. Similar

d. Bipartisan

 

5.6     Explain why and how political parties change and adapt.

 

1. Political scientists agree that primary elections have weakened political parties.  This is because primary elections

 

a.  Only happen every four years

b.  Do not allow party labels to appear on state and local ballots

c.  Bypass party filters and let people vote directly on candidates

d.  Do not allow for any campaigning prior to the election

 

2. Political scientists agree that information technology has weakened political parties.  This is because information technology

 

a. Has enabled candidate-centered campaigns

b. Has made campaigns significantly more expensive

c. Has considerably increased voter turnout

d. Has increased trust and faith in the political process, but not political parties

 

3. Voters in the South tend to be solid supporters of the

 

a. Democratic Party

b. Republican Party

c. Minor Parties

d. Voters in the South show no consistent preference

 

4. This term is used when a local party leader builds loyalty and devotion by passing out perks and privileges.  As our political process has grown more and more democratic and as our political parties have grown weaker and weaker we see these less and less.

 

a. Party machine

b. Party platform

c. Party plank

d. Party caucus

 

5. Laws have been passed in attempt to reform big money in politics.  It is much more difficult to give large amounts of money to campaigns. Which of the following was an unintended consequence of this reform measure?

 

a.  Political parties grew weaker

b.  PACs too were banned

c.  Fewer elections were held

d.  Less ideological candidates

 

6. More and more voting Americans consider themselves

 

a.  Democrats

b.  Republicans

c.  Independents

d.  Libertarians

 

7. All of the following have been shown to weaken today’s political parties EXCEPT

 

a.  Candidate centered campaigns

b.  Information technology

c.  Campaign finance laws

d. Partisan identification has increased

 

8. Before any candidate can win an election they first must win their political party’s nomination.  Today that is done primarily through

 

a.  Winning the spoils system

b.  Winning at the party conventions

c.  Winning party caucuses

d.  Winning primary elections

 

9. The Democratic and Republican parties are decentralized.  Which of the following provides an example?

 

a.  The two political parties hold to rigid platforms

b.  The leader of the two respective political parties controls all decisions

c.  Leadership and issues can vary from state to state

d.  Democrats in some states align with Republicans in other states

 

10. What is the current state of political parties in American political life?

 

a.  Stronger

b.  Weaker

c.  Splintering

d.  Irrelevant

 

5.7     Explain how structural barriers impact third party and independent candidate success.

 

1. Which of the following best describes the political party system in the United States?

 

a.  Dominant party system

b.  Multi-party system

c.  Two-party system

d.  Three-party system

 

2. Plurality elections go a long way to explain our political party system.  What is true of plurality elections?

 

a.  Most votes win

b.  Majority wins

c.  Run-off elections are required

d.  You must win twice

 

3. Which of the following provides an important role played by third parties in American politics?

 

a.  Third parties champion new issues

b.  Third parties champion rising new candidates

c.  Third parties unite the other two parties

d.  Third parties distract voters from the real issues

 

4. All of the following help explain why the United States maintains a two-party political system EXCEPT

 

a. Rigid ideological policy commitments

b. Plurality elections

c. Winner-take-all rules

d. Single-member districts

 

5. Most of our elections in the United States follow plurality rules. Plurality elections mean

 

a. The most votes win

b. Only two political parties can be on the ballot

c. At least two names must be on the ballot

d. You must receive a majority of the votes to win

 

6. On occasion third parties gain attention by championing an issue that garners wide support.  What typically is the outcome when this happens?

 

a. A new competitive party replaces one of the older parties

b. The third party fights for the right to champion that issue in court

c. The media chooses to stop covering the issue

d. One of the two major parties adopts the issue

 

7. Our two-party system can be explained by all of the following EXCEPT

 

a. Plurality elections

b. Winner-take-all rules

c. Parties as broad based coalitions

d. Lack of third parties

 

8. According to French sociologist and political scientist Maurice Duverger structural barriers impact political processes.  Which of the following best summarizes Duverger’s Law?

 

a.  Winner-take-all rules tend to favor liberal candidates

b.  Single member districts tend to support two party systems

c.  Plurality elections tend to recruit extreme third party candidates

d.  Thirds party candidates do better if they were once elected by a major party

 

9. Parliamentary governments typically use proportional rules when determining election outcomes.  Which of the following best describes the political party system in most parliamentary governments?

 

a.  Dominant party system

b.  Multi-party system

c.  Two-party system

d.  Three-party system

 

10. Single member districts characterize what is at stake in most American elections.  A simple explanation of single member districts would be

 

a.  Winner-take-all outcomes

b.  Incumbency dominates

c.  Constituent service determines outcomes

d.  Party labels no longer assist voters

 

5.8     Explain the benefits and potential problems of interest group influence on elections and policy making.

 

1. What did James Madison say about factions in Federalist 10?

 

a. Such activity was natural

b. Such activity was reserved for elites

c. Such activity should be avoided at all costs

d. Such activity would imperil our democracy

 

2. Which of the following best describes how most Americans perceive interest group activity?

 

a. 25% believe interest groups have too much power and authority

b. 50% believe interest groups have too much power and authority

c. 75% believe interest groups have too much power and authority

d. 100% believe interest groups have too much power and authority

 

3. Who is most likely to join an interest group?

 

a. The poor

b. Working class

c. Young activists

d. Those with better than average incomes

 

4. Interest groups have proliferated in the United States for all of the following reasons EXCEPT

 

a. Social diversity

b. Great trust in government

c. Federalism

d. Weak political parties

 

5. The act of influencing government is called

 

a. Lobbying

b. Peddling

c. Needling

d. Huckstering

 

6. Which of the following statements about interest groups is most true?

 

a. Many try to remain bipartisan

b. Many align with one elected official

c. Avoid writing legislation

d. Find their greatest success demonstrating and making noise

 

7. Interest groups can affect litigation through

 

a. The nomination of judicial candidates

b. Fund raising for federal judges

c. Stacking juries

d. Writing amicus briefs

 

8. Using the following passage to answer the question that follows:

 

The coin of lobbying, as of politics, is trust . . . truth telling and square dealing are of paramount importance in this profession. If [one] lies, misrepresents, or even lets a misapprehension stand uncorrected—or if someone cuts his corners too slyly—he is . . . dead and gone, never to be resurrected or even mourned.

 

Which of the following best exemplifies the main idea of this passage?

 

a. Tom, representing a pharmaceutical company, told Senator Conin that the new drug would be expensive.

b. Tom, representing an oil company, hid information about pollutants from Senator Conin.

c. Tom, representing an oil company, hid information about pollutants from Senator Conin

d. Tom, representing realtors, spread rumors about impending mortgage interest rates

 

9. All of the following are players within an “iron triangle” EXCEPT

 

a. Congressional committee

b. Executive agency

c. Interest Group

d. Members of the media

 

10. In the past “iron triangles” made policy-making difficult and immovable.  Today political scientists refer to a more fluid, flexible policy-making coalition called

 

a. Issue networks

b. Ad hoc coalitions

c. Broad based coalitions

d. Issue boxes

5.9     Explain how variation in types and resources of interest groups affects their ability to influence elections and policy making.

 

1. Despite James Madison’s fear that factions would be harmful to American democracy, interest groups have proliferated in our political arena.  American society has become a breading ground for interest groups for all of the following reasons EXCEPT

 

a.  Social diversity

b.  Federalism

c.  Weak political parties

d.  Weak candidates

 

2.  Who is most likely to join an interest group?

 

a.  High school dropouts

b.  Unemployed suburbanites

c.  Better than average incomes

d.  College students

 

3.  Invariably interest groups help produce inequities when it comes to having access to decision makers. What percentage of Americans believes interest groups have too much power?

 

a.  100%

b.  75%

c.  50%

d.  25%

 

4.  All of the following are commonly used names for interest groups EXCEPT

 

a.  Factions

b.  Special interests

c.  K Street

d.  Hobby Lobby

 

 5. In American politics a free rider is someone who

 

a.  Votes against all incumbents in both primary and general elections

b.  Receives a benefit from an interest groups without participating

c.  Gives money to local interests but not national interests

d.  Wins an election without facing any opposition

 

6. Tom resigned from the Senate after serving four consecutive terms.  He was quickly hired by a large special interest group in Washington DC where he utilized his contacts to influence public policy.  In political science terms Tom 

 

a.  Violated the non-delegation doctrine

b.  Took advantage of an amicus curiae brief

c.  Went through the “revolving door”

d.  Is now employed as an earmark

 

7. Most political scientists recognize that the single greatest commodity held by interest groups is

 

a.  The ability to mobilize large numbers of voters

b.  The ability to raise large sums of money

c.  The ability to provide invaluable information

d.  The ability to nominate winning candidates

 

8. All of the following are valuable techniques used by interest groups EXCEPT

 

a.  Write policy proposals

b.  Testify before Congressional committees

c.  Help candidates campaign

d.  Negotiate with foreign governments

 

9. If political parties primarily want to win elections what do interest groups primarily want to do?

 

a.  Raise money for campaigns

b.  Influence public policy

c.  Choose candidates

d.  Also win elections

 

10. Political Action Committees (PACs) were created to circumvent restrictive campaign laws.  PACs primary responsibility is to

 

a.  Collect money and give it candidates

b.  Disseminate negative campaign ads

c.  Recruit volunteers to work door-to-door for the candidates

d.  Vet potential vice presidential candidates

 

11. Which of the following best describe an iron triangle?

 

a. A bureaucratic agency, an interest group, and a congressional committee

b. The president, an interest group, and a congressional committee

c. Senate majority leader, an interest group, and the president

d. A Cabinet secretary, a state governor, and a congressional committee

 

5.10   Explain how various political actors influence public policy outcomes.

 

1. Interest groups come in all shapes and sizes.  The AARP represents a vast number of

 

a.  Elderly

b.  Youth

c.  Small business owners

d.  Defense contractors

 

2. Interest groups come in all shapes and sizes.  EMILY’S List advocates for this single issue

 

a. Pro-Choice

b. Pro-Life

c. Pro-Gun

d. Pro-Charter School

 

3. Interest groups come in all shapes and sizes.  Black Lives Matter is a protest movement that

 

a.  Attracts attention to unparalleled deficiencies and inequalities in public education

b.  Attracts attention to prenatal health issues in poor communities

c.  Attracts attention to excessive use of state violence against black youth

d.  Attracts attention to inequalities in the admission process at leading graduate schools

 

4. In our Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson wrote,

 

That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

 

Jefferson seems to be saying

 

a.  Interest groups should be careful before they act

b.  Interest groups have been empowered to incite foreign revolutions

c.  Protest politics in American society is found in our DNA

d.  Protest politics in American society is subject to strict scrutiny

 

 5. All of the following constitutional provisions empower influence peddlers in the public policy process EXCEPT

 

a.  First Amendment’s free speech clause

b.  First Amendment’s free press clause

c.  First Amendment’s petition clause

d.  Fourth Amendment’s exclusionary rule

 

6. All of the following legal interest group techniques appear to have helped advance the civil rights movement in America EXCEPT

 

a.  Mass demonstrations

b.  Written petitions

c.  Engaging in acts of terror

d.  Litigation

 

7. It can be said that the public policy process is influenced greatly by all of the following EXCEPT

 

a.  Elections

b.  Public opinion

c.  Interest groups

d.  Third party candidates

 

8. Critical elections, often called realignments, are rare occurrences in American politics.  Which of the following would be an example of a critical election?

 

a.  Turnout rates in a presidential election drop below 50%

b.  A leading candidate drops out of a race just prior to the election

c.  A third party candidate receives the endorsement of a major party

d.  African Americans switch from being Republican to being Democrat

 

9. If political parties primarily want to win elections what do interest groups primarily want to do?

 

a.  Raise money for campaigns

b.  Influence public policy

c.  Choose candidates

d.  Also win elections

 

10. All of the following would be seen as critical players in the federal budget process EXCEPT

 

a.  Professional organizations

b.  Foreign ambassadors

c.  Bureaucratic agencies

d.  Military leaders

 

5.11   Explain how the different processes work in a U.S. presidential election.

 

1. Before any candidate can win an election they first must win their political party’s nomination.  Today that is done primarily through

 

a.  Winning the spoils system

b.  Winning at the party conventions

c.  Winning party caucuses

d.  Winning primary elections

 

2. To win any modern political office you must actually win two separate elections.  They are

 

a. Primary and general elections

b. Convention run-offs and caucuses

c. Primary and Plurality elections

d. Caucuses and primaries

 

3. Tom has decided to get involved in this year’s presidential election.  He wants to be a part of choosing the candidates for next fall’s presidential election.  His party, however, has an incumbent running without a challenger.  Tom goes instead to cast a vote for an opposition candidate.  At the polling place he is told that unless he switches his membership he cannot vote for a candidate from the opposing party.  What rule is his state following?

 

a.  Open primary

b.  Closed primary

c.  Blanket primary

d.  Non-partisan primary

 

4. National party conventions, held every four years, have all of the following important objectives EXCEPT

 

a.  Hold debates between the two leading candidates

b.  Nominate their presidential candidate

c.  A kick-off to the general election campaign

d.  Showcase their platform and prospective ticket

 

5. Some critics have argued that the national political conventions held every four years would soon become extinct for all of the following reasons EXCEPT

 

a. Falling TV ratings

b. Lack of any newsworthy events

c. Overly staged

d. Party nominations are no longer necessary

 

6. Early primaries and caucuses in a national presidential campaign play a disproportionate role.  The influence of these early primaries and caucuses is called “frontloading.”  The two states that traditionally frontload their primaries and caucuses are

 

a. Iowa and Nevada

b. Iowa and New Hampshire

c. New Hampshire and Nevada

d. Minnesota and New Mexico

 

7. What kind of election is meant to choose candidates?

 

a. Primary

b. General

c. Presidential

d. Midterm

 

8. All of the following could be expected at a party national convention EXCEPT

 

a. Selection of presidential nominee

b. Selection of vice-president nominee

c. Selection of Congressional leaders

d. Promotional ads for party nominee

 

9. What is it called when only registered party members can participate in selecting a party nominee?

 

a. Open primary

b. Closed primary

c. General election

d. Organized primary

 

10. The national political party conventions held every four years allow every day citizens a voice in the presidential selection process.  As with the Founding Fathers, so too today’s political party leaders have built in a protection against the fickleness of public opinion.  Both parties include these delegates at their conventions to protect against possible mistakes made by the rank and file.

 

a. Base delegates

b. Super delegates

c. Partisan delegates

d. Plurality delegates

 

11. The modern campaign can be characterized in all of the following ways EXCEPT

 

a. Longer

b. More expensive

c. Higher voter turnout

d. More democratic

 

5.12   Evaluate the extent to which the Electoral College facilitates or impedes democracy.

 

1. This institution was created to provide a filter between the direct votes of citizens and the selection of our chief executive

 

a.  Free media

b.  Electoral College

c.  Political parties

d.  State referendums

 

2. The Electoral College is the means by which we indirectly elect the president of the United States.  The Electoral College is comprised of 538 votes.  How many votes are necessary to win in the Electoral College?

 

a. 538

b. 356

c. 270

d. Most votes wins

 

3. When assessing the Electoral College it becomes apparent that large amounts of campaign resources are applied in bellwether states.  Why?

 

a. These are the few competitive states

b. These are the home states of the candidates

c. These are the few states with the highest media costs

d. These are the most populated states

 

4. You must win 270 of the 538 electoral votes to become president.  If no candidate wins a simple majority in the Electoral College how is our next president chosen?

 

a.  Supreme Court

b.  Run off election

c.  Vote by state governors

d.  House of Representatives

 

 5. All of the following make it difficult to reform the Electoral College EXCEPT

 

a.  Elites increasingly would like to see the Electoral College changed

b.  Most likely would require a constitutional amendment

c.  No clear consensus exists on an alternative

d.  Key battleground states would hate to lose the attention they receive

 

6. Look at the following data set and determine the most likely Electoral College outcome for the states provided.  [For each state listed their total Electoral College vote is in parenthesis].

 

2012 Results              Votes for Obama       Votes for Romney

 

Illinois (20)                 3,019,512                    2,131,216

Indiana (11)                1,152,887                    1,420,543

Iowa (6)                      822,544                       730,617

Wisconsin (10)           1,620,985                    1,407,966

 

a.  Obama wins 36-11

b.  Obama wins 25-22

c.  Obama wins 3 states to 1

d.  Romney wins 24-23

 

7. The size of the Electoral College is determined by the total number of representatives serving in Congress plus three for the District of Columbia.  Or in other words there are ________ Electors.  To win the presidency you must receive at least ________ votes in the Electoral College.

 

a.  538; 270

b.  435; 220

c.  100; 51

d.  678; 340

 

8. Due to the winner-take-all rule in the Electoral College the outcome in most states becomes predictable.  This means that presidential campaigns focus on a few key battleground states.  All of the following would be considered presidential battleground states EXCEPT

 

a.  Ohio

b.  Florida

c.  Colorado

d.  Illinois

 

9. The rule in the Electoral College that makes it likely that presidential candidates campaign in only a small number swing states is called

 

a. Rule of hard knocks

b. Majority rule

c. Winner-take-all

d. Plurality

 

10. The Electoral College exemplifies what foundational principle?

 

a.  Separation of powers

b.  Minority rights

c.  Federalism

d.  Rule of law

 

5.13   Explain how the different processes work in U.S. Congressional elections.

 

1. Congressional elections are held every

 

a. Year

b. Two years

c. Four years

d. Six years

 

2. Congressional elections held without a president on the ballot is called a

 

a. Presidential election

b. Midterm election

c. Non-binding election

d. Local election

 

3. All of the following are characteristics of Congressional campaigns EXCEPT

 

a. Long

b. Require large sums of money

c. Negative campaign ads

d. High turnout rates

 

4. What is the name given to a current office holder running for reelection?

 

a. Pink elephant

b. Incumbent

c. Lame duck

d. Pork barrel

 

5. Incumbency in this institution is over 90%

 

a. House of Representatives

b. U.S. Senate

c. Office of President

d. State governors

 

6. Incumbents have all of the following advantages EXCEPT

 

a. Name recognition

b. Media endorsements

c. Ease of raising money

d. Gerrymander protections

 

7. Gerrymandered districts have this impact on congressional districts

 

a. Less competitive

b. More competitive

c. More male oriented

d. Less diverse

 

8. What does it mean when congressional elections are nationalized?

 

a. National issues overtake local issues

b. Local issues overtake national issues

c. National candidates overtake local candidates

d. Local candidates overtake national candidates

 

9. What is a natural result of nationalized congressional elections?

 

a. Incumbency rates decline

b. Incumbency rates increase

c. Less money is collected

d. Media coverage declines

 

10. In which of the following elections would you expect the lowest voter turnout?

 

a. Presidential elections

b. Midterm elections

c. Presidential primaries

d. Congressional primaries

 

5.14   Explain how campaign organizations and strategies affect the election process.

 

1. All of the following would be true about the modern presidential campaign EXCEPT

 

a.  More expensive

b.  More democratic

c.  Candidate centered

d.  More moderate candidates

 

2. Historically political campaigns in America were characterized by all of the following EXCEPT

 

a.  Candidate centered campaigns

b.  Run by party bosses

c.  Funded by political parties

d.  Less democratic

 

3. All of the following are considered critical elements to running a successful political campaign EXCEPT

 

a.  Raising money

b.  Paying your party the necessary candidate fees

c.  Create a campaign organization

d.  Create a ground game - strategy

 

4. To win a general election candidates worry about “getting out the vote” (GOTV).  All of the following are important strategies to getting out the vote EXCEPT

 

a. Likeable branding of the candidate

b. Money to pay for peoples’ votes

c. Use of social media

d. Sophisticated micro targeting of potential voters

 

 5. WANTED: “…a professional who is engaged primarily in the provision of advice and services, such as polling, media, creation and production, and direct mail fundraising, to candidates, their campaigns and other political committees.”

 

This sounds like a job description for a

 

a.  Political campaign consultant

b.  Candidate for president

c.  Investigative journalist

d.  Political scientist with an interest in campaign theory

 

6. “Handlers” are responsible for all of the following EXEPT

 

a.  Advance work

b.  Counting official votes

c.  Scheduling

d.  Speech writing

 

7. Technology has changed the modern political campaign in all of the following ways EXCEPT

 

a.  Gamified volunteer activities

b.  Big data analytics used to find voters

c.  Majorities now vote online

d.  On-line coordination of national strategies

 

8. The modern political campaign has grown more expensive.  This can be explained by all of the following EXCEPT

 

a.  More and more media use including TV ads

b.  Candidate centered campaigns

c.  National organizations in all 50 states

d.  Candidate salaries are now competitive with corporate salaries

 

9. Political scientists talk about “the permanent campaign.”  All of the following help to explain why campaign season is every season EXCEPT

 

a.  Time needed to recruit candidates

b.  Time needed to raise large sums of campaign money

c.  Time needed to develop name recognition

d.  Time needed to build the proper campaign staff

 

10. The modern campaign can be characterized in all of the following ways EXCEPT

 

a. Longer

b. More expensive

c. Higher voter turnout

d. More democratic

 

5.15   Explain how the organization, finance, and strategies of national political campaigns affect the election process.

 

1. The mother’s milk of politics is money.  For most of our history money in politics

 

a.  Was unregulated

b.  Was outlawed

c.  Was strictly regulated

d.  Was collected under the table

 

2. What is the most commonly held perception about the modern political campaign?

 

a.  The candidates spend too much time talking about the issues

b.  The media spends too much time focusing on the fringe candidates

c.  Controlled by fat cats with their deep pocketbooks

d.  We have truncated the schedule so as not to give enough time to the candidates

 

3. Recent campaign finance reforms passed by Congress have had the expressed purpose of

 

a.  Leveling the playing field

b.  Protecting the rich

c.  Amending our understanding of free speech

d.  Protecting third and minor parties

 

4. The Federal Election Campaign Act [FECA] of 1971 was the first major piece of legislation that addressed money in politics.  It included all of the following provisions EXCEPT

 

a.  Created the Federal Elections Commission (FEC)

b.  Put strict hard money limits on campaigns

c.  Allowed for soft money to be used only for issue advocacy and get out the vote efforts

d.  Prevented political parties from participating in funding political campaigns

 

 5. Buckley v. Valeo (1976) is considered a landmark Supreme Court case that addressed campaign finance.  Its most enduring legacy is

 

a.  Both hard and soft campaign money cannot be limited

b.  Campaign money is protected under the First Amendment’s free speech clause

c.  Candidates cannot give more to their own campaign than private citizens can

d.  Political Action Committees (PACs) can only give to the national political parties

 

6. Political Action Committees (PACs) were created to circumvent restrictive campaign laws.  PACs primary responsibility is to

 

a.  Collect money and give it candidates

b.  Disseminate negative campaign ads

c.  Recruit volunteers to work door-to-door for the candidates

d.  Vet potential vice presidential candidates

 

7. The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act [BCRA] of 2002 was another attempt to reform big money in politics.  Hard money limits were indexed to inflation and unlimited soft money was banned.  Which of the following was an unintended consequence of this reform measure?

 

a.  Political parties grew weaker

b.  PACs too were banned

c.  Fewer elections were held

d.  Less ideological candidates

 

8. All of the following are true of independent expenditure groups EXCEPT

 

a.  They cannot coordinate with a candidate’s campaign

b.  They can collect unlimited amounts of money

c.  They help reduce the perception that big money is behind politics

d.  They can also be called 527s and Super PACs

 

9. Many additional reforms have been proposed to limit big money in politics.  Many have proposed publicly financed campaigns.  Which of the following best describes a publicly financed campaign?

 

a.  Tom’s campaign is fully funded by the federal government

b.  Tom’s campaign is fully self-funded by his own personal wealth

c.  Tom’s campaign can only spend money given by his own constituents

d.  Tom’s campaign must fully disclose the exact amounts of the money received

 

10. The relatively new roots of campaign finance reform in American elections can be found in all of the following reasons EXCEPT

 

a. Perception that money buys influence

b. Historic role played by fat cats in American politics

c. Annoyance with excessive TV ads

d. Attempt to bring transparency to our political system

 

11. What type of campaign finance is directed toward issue advocacy and not given directly to candidates?

 

a. Hard money

b. Soft money

c. Bundled money

d. PAC money

 

12. Though still prevented from giving money directly to candidates, this highly charged U.S. Supreme Court case opened the door for corporations to give money to campaigns through independent expenditures.

 

a. Buckley v. Valeo (1976)

b. FEC v. Akins (1998)

c. McConnell v. FEC (2003)

d. Citizens United v. FEC (2010)

  

5.16   Describe the media’s role as a linkage institution.

 

1. Linkage institutions connect “we the people” to the government.  A healthy democracy depends upon these linkage institutions.  All of the following would be considered imperative linkage institutions EXCEPT:

 

a.  Political parties

b.  Interest groups

c.  Media

d.  Congress

 

2. A common refrain in America politics today toward the media is

 

a.  “Thank goodness for the media”

b.  “Freedom of the press stinks”

c.  “Newspapers for president”

d.  “Blame the media”

 

3. The media plays a number of important roles in today’s political arena.  Which role is being played in the following scenario?

 

“Today the New York Times exposed a presidential scandal that is bound to raise up those in Congress calling for an impeachment.”

 

a.  Gatekeeper

b.  Scorekeeper

c.  Watchdog

d.  Manipulator

 

4. The media plays a number of important roles in today’s political arena.  Which role is being played in the following scenario?

 

“Television stations all night broke into regular programming to alert viewers of an act of terrorism that took place in Paris.  It was the headline in every newspaper the next morning.”

 

a.  Gatekeeper

b.  Scorekeeper

c.  Watchdog

d.  Manipulator

 

 5. The media plays a number of important roles in today’s political arena.  Which role is being played in the following scenario?

 

“The Iowa caucus is over nine months away but the mainstream media has reports every day who is most likely to win.  Looks like the Vice President will be the winner.”

 

a.  Gatekeeper

b.  Scorekeeper

c.  Watchdog

d.  Manipulator

 

6. Media consultants today tell us that we expect our news in all of the following ways EXCEPT

 

a.  Page length

b.  Portable

c.  Personalized

d.  Participatory

 

7. Famed newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer underscored the vital importance of freedom of the press.  He wrote:

“Our Republic and its press will rise and fall together.  An able, disinterested, public spirited press, with trained intelligence to know the right and courage to do it can preserve that public virtue without which popular government is a sham and mockery.  A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself.  The power to mold the future of the republic will be in the hands of the journalists of future generations.”

What is the main idea of this passage?

 

a. An objective media is critical to a healthy government

b. An objective media challenges the vibrancy of a modern government

c. A subjective media is critical to a healthy government

d. A subjective media challenges the original idea of the Founders

 

8. Typically the relationship between journalists and politicians today is

 

a. Love-hate

b. All about working together

c. Strictly a business relationship

d. Contentious and combative

 

9. Citizens today, not unlike throughout our entire history, demand all of the following from media outlets EXCEPT

 

a.  Fair and honest reporting

b.  Investigative journalism

c.  Political commentary

d.  Pick winners and losers

 

10. In 1961, Daniel Boorstin wrote: “In this book I describe the world of our making, how we have used our wealth, our literacy, our technology, and our progress, to create the thicket of unreality which stands between us and the facts of life.  I recount historical forces which have given us this unprecedented opportunity to deceive ourselves and to befog our experience...We want and we believe these illusions because we suffer from extravagant expectations…”

 

Using the passage above and what you already know which of the following best summarizes Boorstin’s criticism of modern politics?

 

a.  Too many candidates

b.  Low voter turnout

c.  Excessive campaign costs

d.  Consumed by image

 

5.17   Explain how increasingly diverse choices of media and communication outlets influence political institutions and behavior.

 

1. With unprecedented numbers of media options available to us, “we the people” have increasingly taken on the role of

 

a.  Gatekeeper

b.  Scorekeeper

c.  Watchdog

d.  Manipulator

 

2. The Supreme Court in Associated Press v. United States (1945) said,

 

 The indirect possible dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic sources is essential to the welfare of the public.

 

Which of the following best exemplifies what the Court meant?

 

a.  Availability of multiple cable new channels like FOX, CNN and MSNBC with different viewpoints

b.  Listening to the president’s State of the Union address on C-SPAN with no commentary before or after

c.  Congress publishes a daily Record that highlights both actions in committee and on the floor

d. Finding a reliable news station and committing to watching at least thirty minutes of new each day

 

3. Which of the following is an example of how our federal government early on tried to assure that citizens received diverse channels of information?

 

a.  Owned and operated the major newspapers

b.  Using prior restraint, edited and censored the major news stories

c.  Subsidized newspaper distributions

d.  Prohibited subscriptions

 

4. Which of the following federal executive agencies is given the task of regulating media?

 

a.  Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

b.  Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

c.  National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)

d.  Federal Reserve Board

 

 5. For much of history elite opinion controlled what “we the people” learned.  TV and Internet sources of news have dramatically changed these assumptions.  A consequence of the proliferation of news sources, however, has been

 

a.  The rise of international terrorism

b.  The rise of hard news stories

c.  The rise of third party candidates

d.  The rise of unfair and biased news outlets

 

6. Which of the following best describes a political consequence of Internet growth?

 

a. A decline in the influence of elites

b. Voter turnout has increased

c. Less partisanship

d. The corrupting influence of money has declined

 

7. Media has changed dramatically.  All of the following are examples of recent media changes EXCEPT

 

a. Many more options and choices are available

b. Less likely to be fair and unbiased

c. More competitive

d. Transcendence of print sources

 

8. Which of the following most closely describes our historical understanding of an objective media?

 

a.  We have never lived in an era with more bias

b.  Bias is increasingly making our democracy more and more vulnerable

c.  Bias has always characterized our media choices

d.  You cannot criticize what you cannot recognize

 

9. Thomas Friedman has said,

 

“When widely followed public figures feel free to say anything, without any fact-checking, it becomes impossible for a democracy to think intelligently about big issues.”

 

He appears to be warning us about

 

a.  The dangers of “fake news”

b.  Large rallies held by elected officials

c.  Democracies are unable to speak the truth

d.  Big issues are elusive

 

10. A recent study showed that 80% of teenagers had “difficulty judging the credibility of news sources.”  All of the following tips can help discern “fake” from “real” news EXCEPT

 

a.  “Read beyond the headline”

b.  “Check the author”

c.  “Consult the experts”

d.  “Check the number of ‘likes’”

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