Ap government Study Guide Unit One: Constitutional Underpinnings

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Party Identification – when people identify with a political party based on issues

  • Political Efficacy – belief that you can participate in politics, or that government will respond (my vote counts)

  • Civic Duty – belief that one has an obligation to participate in civic and political affairs

    Types of Elections

    • General elections – held every four years in which president is elected

    • Primary elections – a political party’s elections to determine nominee for general election

    1. Open primaries – people from either party can vote (must choose to vote for either democrats or republicans)

    2. Closed primaries – people can only vote if they are a registered member of the party

    • Caucuses – candidate nomination process in which party members meet to discuss and decide on candidate

    Changes to System of Checks and Balances

    • Referendum – people vote on whether or not to accept a law passed by state legislature, or a proposed amendment to the state constitution

    • Initiative – people vote on laws and constitutional amendments within state (direct democracy)

    • Recall – voters remove elected officials

    Unit Three: Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media

    • Linkage Organizations – organizations that link the people with government

    Political Parties

    • Congressional elections use winner-take-all systems in which the winner of a plurality wins (single-member district)
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