TX and American Government

Actual Groups

have members, have funding, and buildings and office space, they are more real and official. Some examples of actual groups are religious organizations.

Potential Groups

groups that haven't formed yet but have the potential too and are working towards becoming an actual group.

relative deprivation

deals with people coming together and forming groups when they see their actual life is different than how it should be. In other words we have expectations but the expectations have not been met yet

rational choice

the idea that we are rational people, so therefore we wont want to help anyone out, but if we do we usually evaluate the costs and benefits and usually the cost every time outweighs the benefits. An example is free rider

Free rider

not participating, but knowing someone else will and we still benefit

resource mobilization

This theory says that groups will form when the necessary resources are available; some examples are: the number of people joining and money

political opportunity

This theory states that political doors will open and close to make things more difficult. An example of political opportunity is elections


the idea of a diverse group of people where the people share the power. One group does not have all the power and the power of pluralism is in the people. Pluralists are very committed to the idea of democracy


the idea that interest groups all work together on the same cause. The power is in a certain number of peoples' hands and they make the decisions

Economic groups

groups that fight for the idea of promoting that interest in the economic sphere

Professional groups

groups that help promote a professional organization

Public Interest groups

groups that are out to improve society and life for all people, they usually want to do good for everyone and example of this group are seat belt laws

Single interest groups

these groups focus on one specific issue, the fight for a single goal and are very passionate about the goal of the group some examples of this group are religious groups, civil rights groups, or ideological groups, which focus on a specific slant of an i

Civil society group

groups that tie each of us together, they bring communities together, but are NOT political. Examples are book clubs

Outside lobbying

very public, broad, and less expensive


bringing a lawsuit to improve your group's position

Grass roots

people who are independently going and asking for change


form emails that you send to the member of congress which are much more general and fake

Putnam's Bowling Alone

If we are not connected, there is a decrease; the number of bowlers increase but the number of leagues decreases, the reason why this is occurring is because more woman are working and as more go into the workforce there is less time to join organizations

Political Action Committees



has a cap on the amount of money you can give, 5,000 dollars


have unlimited donations, you can spend the money, but cannot advocate for one candidate, BIG

Independent Expenditures

They are the money that is spent outside of the campaign on the candidate's behalf or the party. The Supreme Court has ruled that individuals, groups, and parties can spend unlimited amounts in campaigns or against candidates as long as they operate indep


Collecting money from different people, turning in all checks in a "bundle, you look like you raised a lot of money, but you really didn't. A tactic in which PAC's collect contributions from like-minded individuals (each is limited to 2,000) and present t

Hard Money

given directly to the candidate and there is usually a limit on how much you can give

Soft Money

money that was unlimited and used for party building

Self financing

when the candidates use their own pocket money to finance, in other words write themselves there own check

Public Money

taxes or fees are given and it goes into a big checking account, the candidates qualify for public funds, but you cannot spend anymore than you are given


Organizations that are apart of the IRS tax code and are considered charities, can have unlimited funds and they are not regulated by the federal elections, and private funding, semi-new


Have to know information about the poll- how did they poll and when did they poll

Search for the truth

it shouldn't try and sway you one way or another, it should engage you

Random sample

of the population that they're trying to snapshot, everyone must have the same likelihood of being selected

Fair Questions

close ended or open ended

Response Rates

see margin of error usually, Socially Desirable Response (occurs when a person lies about how they feel about an issue or candidate)

Push polls

look like a poll, shorter than a poll, three to four questions, goal is to give negative information, spread rumors

Advocacy polls

done by a certain organization to support their organization or viewpoint


selective listener opinion polls, people who are being asked right then to text or call in, there is no disclosure and is rather a snapshot

Political Socialization

Process where we achieve our opinions. There are factors:
Family- tend to vote the same way
School- learning about the basic forms of government
Friends and Peers
The media- watch only one sided channel
Life changing events- assassination of JFK and 9-11


how important is the issue to the overall population


are they constant, how stable are the opinions


what directions are the opinions going toward


how important is this issue to an individual, how intense do you feel about it


opinions that are out there but haven't actually been brought up, under the surface opinions


don't vote

Voting Specialist

vote on a regular basis, but that is all they do

Parochial participants

vote and reach out to their elective officials but only when they have an issue that effects them directly


really involved with the community and get people involved in bigger issues, neighborhood associations


people who usually volunteer for campaigns

Complete Activist

highest income level, volunteer, donate money and time, tend to be very partisan

Why is participation low? Why has voter turnout decreased?

Registration- have to register 30 days before voting begins: time consuming, north dakota-no registration


we should have fewer elections, other side says we should have more elections to improve participation, have election days on a Saturday and Sunday, or should be a national holiday, have early vote, and voting by mail can improve election

what do voters use to base voting decision on

party affiliation
candidate appeal


tend to look towards the future (hope it gets better)


vote for the past (hope it will continue)


much more public, you go to your local precinct, in a big room and in that space you have various areas for each candidate, and you have to walk to the candidate that you are supporting, very public because everyone knows who you're electing. if a candida

Primary election

elections in which voters determine party nominees, new hampshire is always first

General election

in November, the number of voters who come out is based on the type of election; elections in which voters elect officeholders

Open primary

you do not have to be registered with a party before you vote, TX

Closed primary

you have to be registered with a party before you vote

Safe seat

a seat where either the incumbent is running, or a seat that is drawn so a certain party will win

open seat

two brand new candidates, no incumbent, more excitement and participation

Electoral College

538 electors, takes 270 to win, District of Columbia has 3, Elector for each state for the number of congress, based on state law and are usually party favored, if it is split, it goes to the house and each state gets one vote--> if the house can't decide

Pros of Electoral College

makes smaller states matter, decreases urban focus, non urban, protects federalism, increases minority participation, and maintains 2 party system

Cons of Electoral College

popular vote doesn't count, only need to focus on 11 states, smaller states=power, and decreases 3rd parties

Faithless elector

votes against the part, very rare, someone who switched their vote

Motor Voter law

when you want to renew your license you were asked to register to vote right there

straight ticketing

you can vote democratic or republican -> then move on. way to gage party strength, TX

Split ticketing

splits their ticket between parties->vote some democratic and some republican

Selective exposure

how you see things (part of framing); individuals choosing to access media with which they agree or avoiding media with which they disagree in

Selective perception

the process by which individuals perceive what they want in media messages

Yellow journalism

focuses on sensational news stories, example: the globe, national enquirer, star


more investigated reports, the goal is to find out the truth, requires some knowledge, and takes time to develop and research

Prior restraint

the government can prohibit certain types of stories cause it can violate security, the media is not allowed to ask about a story, example: watergate