Unit 3 Study Guide-Media, Primaries, and Elections



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Unit 3 Study Guide—Media, Primaries, and Elections

AP U.S. Government and Politics

Mr. Vasquez


  1. CONCEPTS: Identify and define each concept.



Party machines Investigative journalism

Winner-take-all system Mass media

Patronage Fairness Doctrine

Coalition Trial balloons

Proportional representation Sound bites

Party identification Media event

Party image Press conferences

Political party Broadcast media

Linkage institutions Policy agenda

Rational-choice theory Chains

National convention Nomination

Third parties Campaign strategy

Party realignment McGovern-Fraser Commission

High-tech politics Superdelegates

Caucus Presidential primaries

Federal Election Commission Federal Communications Commission

Political Action Committees SuperPACs

Citizens United v. FEC Motor Voter Act

Initiative petition Suffrage

Electoral college Political efficacy

Referendum Mandate theory of elections

McCain-Feingold Act Policy voting

II. SHORT RESPONSES: Answer the following questions in complete sentences.

1. Describe how the media shape public opinion.

2. Explain how the news media affect the scope of government and American individualism. How have they helped and hindered the growth of democracy in the United States?

3. What is the policy agenda? Who are the policy entrepreneurs and how do they utilize the media to get their issues on the policy agenda?

4. Explain the Downs model.

5. Cite the differences between a caucus and a presidential primary.

6. How does the Electoral College function? Describe the Framers’ intention of the Electoral College.


7. How has the American election system evolved? How did the election of 2000 contrast with elections of the past, particularly the elections of 1800 and 1896?

8. What factors determine why people choose to vote? What groups are most likely to vote and what groups are least likely to vote? What are the implications of these differences in electoral participation?

9. What are the elements of a successful political campaign? What impacts do campaigns have on voters?

10. How is a candidate nominated for the presidency? What functions do national party conventions perform? What criticisms have been raised about the nomination process? Is it a representative process?

III. REFLECTION: Answer the following questions in complete sentences.

1. According to your opinion, how can the U.S. electoral system be changed to meet the people’s interests? Explain and provide TWO examples on how your solutions would more democratic.

2. What is your opinion about Citizens United v. FEC? Should political speech (unlimited contributions through independent expenditures) be protected under the First Amendment? Why or why not?

3. According to your opinion, what is your view about mass media? Explain how should the mass media be used to help people and policymakers.











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