Shared Flashcard Set


American Politics 101
Final Exam
Political Studies
Undergraduate 1

Additional Political Studies Flashcards




7. What is the difference between a block grant and a categorical grant? Give an example of each. What do
grants have to do with federalism?
Categorical grant - federal funds provided fora specific purpose, restricted by detailed requirements.
Example: Math Education Act that would provide funds on a per-pupil basis, with standards for test scores.

Block Grant - federal funds provided for a broad purpose, unrestricted by detailed requirements.
Example: Lump-Sum of block grant to spend on general education

Congress can use grants as a means of authority over states. e.g., "make your drinking age 21 or we won't give you education grant.."
6. What is a “bicameral” legislature? How do constituency and term of office influence the legislative
process differently for Senators and Representatives?
Bicameral legislature - legislature with two chambers.

House: 2 year terms, small constituencies
Senate: 6 year terms, statewide constituencies.

Senate has a longer time period to make changes in, and thus a larger constituency to cater to.

The House focuses on earmarks for constituency, pleasing them within two years so they will be re-elected.
5. What are three differences between the Virginia and New Jersey Plans for the Constitution?

How were
they resolved in the Great Compromise?
Virginia Plan
-bicameral legislature
-representation based on population
-single executive chosen by Congress

New Jersey Plan
-unicameral legislature
-equal representation
-multi-person executive

Great Compromise: bicameral, equal representation in Senate, representation based on population in House of Reps, single executive chosen by people/electoral college, and national judicial system.
9. How do presidential elections relate to federalism?
People don't actually cast their votes for the preisdent, but rather for electors, who in turn vote for the President in December. This is the national government's way of checking the power of the people.
10. What does casework have to do with the “incumbency effect”? In your answer, be sure to define both
terms. Use an example from Clued In to Politics to illustrate how politicians take advantage of the
“incumbency effect”.

Congressmen focus on casework, or work on behalf of their constituencies, so that they can increase their chance of reelection.


casework - legislative work on behalf of individual constiuents to solve their problems with government agencies and programs.


incumbency effect - the advantages that elected representatives have over newcomers in getting re-elected (i.e. access to funding)


Incumbent Congressmen can raise much more money (up to 6x). Also, redistricting usually favors incumbents.


Clued Into Politics - ???

11. How does federalism relate to the judiciary and to criminal law?
  • National law supercedes state law in judiciary branch.
  • Most criminal laws are STATE laws.
  • Judiciary only takes criminal case if its a violation of national law, i.e. terrorism.
12. Please define “checks and balances” in the context of American politics. Please provide three specific
examples of checks and balances in practice and explain why each example is appropriate. Use at least one
example from Clued In to Politics.

Checks & Balances - principle that allows each branch of government to exercise some form of control over the others.

  •  Bush used signing statements to check the power of Congress (Clued Into Politics ???)
  • President can veto a law enacted by Congress, but can be overturned by 2/3 vote by both Senate & H of R
  • Congress can impeach and remove President
13. Please define the terms “confederation”, “federalism” and “unitary government”. Which type of
government does the United States have? Please give three specific examples of the American system you
defined above in practice and explain why the example is appropriate. Please use at least one example
from Clued In to Politics

Confederation - a government in which independent states unite for a common purpose, but retain their own soverignty


Federalism - a political system in which power is divided between state and federal governments. (or: central & regional units)


Unitary Government - Government in which all power is centralized.


Three Examples of Federalism in Practice:

  • Congress has used federal controls over highway funding to compel states to adapt national drinking age
  • Massachusetts petitioning for statewide healthcare law (Clued In ???)
  • Federal government stepped in on recount in Florida in 2000 election
14. If the U.S. Supreme Court declares a law unconstitutional, what, if anything, can be done to enact that
  • The President can appoint new justices.
  • Fine tune to be better favored by the judges.
15. What is an “incumbent”? If most Americans don’t like Congress, why do most incumbents win reelection?
Use an example from Clued In to Politics to illustrate how politicians take advantage of the
“incumbency effect”.

Incumbent - the holder of an office or position.


Incumbents usually win re-election because

  •  they can raise much more money (6x)
  • redistricting usually favors them
  • can promise experience
  • familiar face
  • casework to boast
16. What is “descriptive representation”? Does the United States have it? Should we? How does “racial
gerrymandering” relate to “descriptive representation”? In your answer consider “The Ascent of a
Woman” from Clued In to Politics.

descriptive representation - the idea that an elected body should mirror demographically the population it represents


Racial gerrymandering - redistricting to enhance or reduce the chances that a racial or ethnic group will elect members to the legislature.


Racial Gerrymandering relates to descriptive representation in that it contributes to it as ethnic groups are more likely to vote for candidates who "look like them."


Ascent of a Woman - American not ready for woman in power...READ INTO MORE.

17. What is the difference between a trustee and a delegate? How does this difference relate to public opinion?
Do you think a member of Congress should act as a trustee or delegate? Why?

trustee - people elected by constituents who act in favor of greater common good even if it goes against short-term intersts of own constituencies.


delegate - people elected by constiuents as mouth pieces for the wishes of the constiuency 


Relates to public opinion - ???


Congress should act as trustees because the good of the nation is more important than the good of constiuencies and makes for less bias...

18. What is the difference between a presidential and a parliamentary system of government? Would Congress
be more efficient under a parliamentary system? What would be lost?

Presidential System - President selected separately from legislature


Parliamentary System - Majority party in Parliament selects prime minister among self


In a gridlock, Presidential system makes policymaking more difficult, BUT, in the Parliamentary system, people lose their power. 

19. What is the “double-expectations” gap? Why are we often disappointed by presidential performance?
Please provide specific examples to illustrate your point.

Double-expectations gap: a.    Head of State vs Head of Government (15 points)
b.    Campaign Promises vs. Constitutional limits on Presidency (15 points)


(B)    Why are we often disappointed by presidential performance?  (10 points)
a.    We expect the president to act as a symbol of the nation, but he or she acts in a partisan fashion OR
b.    Once a candidate is elected, he or she can’t fulfill campaign promises because Congress and/or the courts will not go along.  We then feel as if the candidate lied to us and made promises just to get elected.

(C)    Please provide specific examples to illustrate your point. 
You did not need to use these exact examples to receive credit.
a.    President Bush landed on aircraft carrier with Mission Accomplished banner to symbolize end of Iraq War, but then tried to use images for partisan purpose of shoring up support for the war.  (5 points)
b.    During his campaign, President Clinton promised to enact health care reform if elected.  However, once he became president, Congress refused to enact health care reform.   (5 points)

20. Why was the civil service created? What system of government employment did it replace? Is it an
improvement over the previous system? Why or why not? According to the presentation, most civil
service workers live and work outside Washington, D.C. What is the influence of this situation on
government downsizing?

Civil Service - created after assassination of President Garfield by unbalanced & dejected job seeker. It replaced patronage.


It was an improvement, because it assured more competency and less partisan favoritism.


Civil service workers are important to their own constiencies, making them difficult to cut (incumbency effect).

21. Using at least two articles from Clued In to Politics, please illustrate our “love-hate” relationship with the
22. How can the President control the bureaucracy? How can Congress control the bureaucracy? How does
congressional control over the bureaucracy relate to checks and balances?

President can control bureaucracy by:

  • all major regulations must be approved by OMB (part of Executive Office)
  • he can make certain that political appointees are steadfast in support of President's agenda

Congress can control bureaucracy by:

  • control budget process
  • pass additional legislation to limit powers of executive agencies
  • oversight hearings as means of embarrassment
23. What is the difference between an iron triangle, policy subsystem and issue network? Please provide a
specific example of each.

iron triangle - fixed relationship between Congress, Bureaucracy, and a single interest group

 e.g. public land use policy: The Forest Service works with Congress and interest groups of nation's timber interests


policy subsystems - fixed set of players for same issue, usually both pro & con interest groups

e.g. groups investigate dead zone in Gulf of Mexico, decide what the proper response is


issue network - changing set of players depending on the issue, including think tanks & inversities as well was interst groups

e.g. in timber example, Wilderness Society works to weaken dominance of timber industry by lobbying Congress & Court members to contest Bush's reinterpretation of Endangered Species Act

24. How do federal justices get their jobs? What is the role of Senatorial courtesy? How does this process
relate to checks and balances? Use an example from Clued In to Politics to illustrate your point.
A)    How do federal justices get their jobs? (15 points)
Federal judges are nominated by the president and approved by a majority vote in the Senate.  

B)    What is the role of Senatorial courtesy?  (5 points)
Senatorial courtesy occurs when the president checks with the senior Senator of his/her party from the relevant state before nominating a judge to the U.S. district court.  

C)    How does this process relate to checks and balances? (15 points)
Because the Senate must approve judicial nominations, the legislative branch has a “check” or control over the nominations made by the President (executive branch).  In addition, both the legislative (Senate) and executive (President) branches have a “check” or influence over who is nominated to the judicial (courts) branch.

D)    Use an example from Clued In to Politics to illustrate your point. (15 points)
You did not have to use this specific example from Clued In to Politics, but you did need to use an example from Clued In to Politics.
George Will article encouraging the Senate to reject President Bush’s nomination of Harriet Miers, the White House counsel, to the Supreme Court.  Ultimately, Bush and Miers withdrew her name from nomination and Bush nominated John Roberts for Chief Justice and Samuel Alito for Associate Justice.
25. What is “administrative discretion”? How can the executive branch make laws (isn’t that the role of
Congress)? What are some advantages of “administrative discretion” for Congress?

Administrative discretion - the exercise of professional expertise and judgment in making a decision or performing official acts or duties.


The executive branch can make laws through signing statements and executive orders. The President can also put an issue on the public agenda.


Advantages for Congress - shrinks their responsibility, so they won't be blamed if a policy goes awry. 

26. What is the difference between dual, cooperative and picket fence federalism? Give an example of a public
policy that follows each approach and explain why.

Dual Federalism - national & state government's responsible for separate areas

e.g. drinking age


Cooperative - national & state governments share responsiblity for domestic policy areas.

e.g. environmental policy: states can apply to national government to implement & enforce a law


Picket Fence - involves all parts of government, responsibilites handed out regardless of level

e.g protection of U.S. from terrorism (9/11)


27. What did Marbury v Madison (1803) do for the judicial branch that the Constitution did not? What is
judicial review? Why is it important for the judicial branch? How does this relate to checks and balances?

It gave the judiciary branch judicial review.


Judicial review - power of the Supreme Court to rule on the constituionality of laws


It's important for the Judicial Branch because it makes them much more powerful, can now check Congress

28. Use an example from Clued In to Politics to illustrate the point of varying political cultures in the United
29. Use an example from Clued In to Politics to illustrate the shift in the balance of power of federalism.

The federal government forcing states to comply with drinking age laws by threatening to take away highway funding.



30. Use an example from Clued In to Politics to illustrate checks and balances.

Bush used signing statements to check Congress's power.



31. Use an example from Clued In to Politics to illustrate executive privilege.

Bush restricting public access of presidential papers.


32. Please give a specific example of each of the following:
a. An executive branch check on the legislative branch.
b. An executive branch check on the judicial branch.
c. A legislative branch check on the judicial branch.
d. A legislative branch check on the executive branch.
e. A judicial check on the executive branch.
f. A judicial check on the legislative branch.

a) Veto a law

b) Appoints justices

c) Impeach & Remove justices

d) Override veto / impeach

e) Can declare executive orders unconstitutional

f) Can declare laws unconstitutional


33. Please give a specific example of a government bureaucracy that fits each of the following definitions:
a. A department
b. An independent agency
c. A regulatory board or commission
d. A government corporation

a) Department of Defense

b) CIA / Peace Corps

c) SEC - Security & Exchange Commission

d) United States Postal Service

34. How do political parties, the President, constituents and interest groups influence members of Congress?

Political parties help get their nominees elected to Congress, and then develop a policy agenda for them.


The President has a legislative liason office that specializes in figuring out how legislation can be tailored to get their support. Also, Presidents can go public to get the people's support and sway Congress.


Constiuents influence Congress because they elect them and expect earworks if reelection is expected. 


Interest groups - lobbying: send gifts, paid travel

35. What are the five steps in the policymaking process? Select a public policy of your choice and give an
example of each. Why does the book say the process is “iterative”?

1) Agenda-setting

2) Policy Formulation

3) Policy Choice

4) Implementation

5) Policy Evaluation




Iterative - takes many attempts to get a policy that will successfully solve a problem

36. Why can divided government not occur under a parliamentary system of government? Why does it occur
in the United States? Is divided government good or bad? Why?
In Parliamentary system, Parliament is all the same party and President is among the Parliament. In the U.S., Congress and President elected separately.
37. Why is what is not on the policy agenda as important as what is on the agenda? What if an issue never
reaches the political agenda?

If it's not on the agenda, it's not considered a public problem. If an issue never reaches the political agenda, it will have to be solved privately.


Look more into.

38. How are interest groups and political parties alike? How are they different?
38. Both trying to influence public policy. Different: Parties try to elect, interest groups just try to lobby.
39. How do interest groups form? What is the difference between the pluralist and elitist theories of interest groups?

Interest groups often form after a disturbance in the political, social, or economic environment that threatens the members of a group. They organized to protect their interests through political action.


Pluralists argue that interst groups are a great equalizing force in American politics.


Elitsists suggest that interest group resource advantages (money, staff) mean interst groups skew toward wealthy. Elitists use example of neighborhood that was being torn down; they did nothing to stop it from happening.

40. According to the textbook and the course lectures, there are three primary ways of distinguishing civil
liberties from civil rights. What are the differences between civil liberties and civil rights?

Civil Liberties - conflict between freedom & order

-found primarily in Bill of Rights

-restricts what government can do

Civil rights - conflict between freedom & equality

-found primarily in Civil War Amendments (13-15) & Civil Right Act

-government has responsibility to protect and make sure people are treated equally

41. Use at least two examples from Clued In to Politics to illustrate the conflicts that often arise with civil

1) Gay Marriage Looms as "Battle of Our Times"

  • same-sex marriage: impinges on sense of self of many religious people, as well as gay people.
  • denied structure for many loving relationships and families
  • conflict between legal marriage & religious marriage
  • Christian high school expelled two students on suspicion of being lesbian

2) At Guantanomo Bay, Dying Is Not Permitted

  • Many of the prisoners have been detained without being charged with a crime
  • prisoners try to hunger strike but are force-fed to avoid major embarrassment
  • force feeding is done through over large tubes through the nose, and they are often fed too much--which can cause nausea & diarrhea
42. Use at least two examples from Clued In to Politics to illustrate the challenges of obtaining civil rights for
all Americans.

1) Black and White Proms

  • segregated proms
  • student-funded, so the state officials can't intervene
  • parents don't want to stick their necks out
  • some students want change, but most (especially the whites) don't
  • principal doesn't get involved
43. What are the two clauses of the 1st amendment related to freedom of religion?

The Establishment Clause - guarantees that the government will not create & support an official state church


The Free Exercise Clause - the guarantee that citizens may freely engage in the religious activities of their choice.

44. Why has it been difficult for the courts to enforce bans on obscenity? Can pornography be banned? Is it a
form of sex discrimination?

One man's vulgarity is another man's lyric--what is obsecene to one person may be art or enjoyment to another. There's little in the Constitution that addresses this.


Pornography can be banned, but only locally under the Miller test. It's not sexual discrimination, because there's homosexual pornography as well as heterosexual.

45. What are two different interpretations of the 2nd amendment?

Conservatives argue that the Second Amendment needs to be understood to prorect the right to bear arms in a modern contest, when militias are no longer necessary or practical.


Liberals tend to rely on a strict reading of the Second Amendment to support their calls for tighter gun controls--only in the contest of militia membership.

46. How did the cases of Gideon v Wainwright (1963) and Miranda v Arizona (1966) increase the rights of the

Gideon v. Wainwright: Gideon was denied a lawyer, and lost his self-defended case to a far more knowledgable prosecutor. He wrote a hand-written appeal, and in a landmark decision, the Court incporated the Sixth Amendment right to "have the assistance of counsel for his defense."


Miranda v. Arizona - Police have to inform suspects of their rights to remain silent and to have a lawyer present during questioning to prevent them from incriminating themselves.

47. How does the 9th amendment relate to Griswold v Connecticut? Roe v Wade?

Griswolr v. Connecticut - The Ninth Amendment can be interpreted to imply the right of privacy, which includes those within marriage and the decision to use contraceptives.


Roe v. Wade - the 9th amendment implied rights to privacy, including the choice to have an abortion.

48. How does the 9th amendment relate to sexual orientation? How has the court reversed itself on this issue recently?

In Bowers v. Hardwick, the Court ruled that outlawing homosexual (or heterosexual) sodomy was not a violation of the 9th Amendment. The course reversed itself in Lawrence v. Texas, finally overturning the Bowers case on privacy grounds.


49. What is “affirmative action”? Why might this be controversial?

Affirmative action is a policy of creating opportunities for members of certain groups as a substantive remedy for past discrimination.


It's contraversial on the grounds of "equal opportunity"--not "equal outcome."

50. What are three different concepts of equality? Which one is most easily accepted by the American public
and why? What is the approach that is most controversial and why?

Equality under law - govenrment treats all people equally

Equality of opportunuty - idea that people should have an equal chance to develop talents in the private sector. Effort & ability should be reward equitably.

Equality of outcome - greater uniformity in social, economic & political power among different social groups. Proportional representation, descriptive representation. Equality of results.


Equality under law is most easily accepted, because equality is Constitutional. Outcome is most contraversial because it means the most deserving won't necessarily be the most successful.

51. What is the difference between de jure and de facto segregation?

De Jure Segregation - government (legally) imposed

De Facto segregation - segregation that occurs independent of direct government action (e.g. housing)

52. What are five roles of interest groups? Give an example of each.

Representation - represent people before government

Participation - vehicles for political participation

Education - educate their members, the public at large & government officials

Agenda building - bring new issues to government attention

Program Monitoring - follow government programs of interest to Interest Group, events in D.C., communities where programs are implemented.



53. How do pluralists and elitists disagree in their understanding of how interest groups form and the role they
play in American politics?

Pluralists think interest groups will form whenever individuals are threatened by change, they form groups to defend themselves (Disturbance Theory)


Elitists think that some groups are more likely to form than others. E.g. Hebert Gans' The Urban Villagers - community was faced with threat of being relocated, did nothing to prevent it.

54. What is the “free-rider problem”? What can be done to overcome it?

The free-rider problem is a recruiting difficulty groups face because potential members can gain the benefits of the group's actions whether or not they join.


Overcoming it: selective incentives - benefits available only to group members.


e.g. Material benefit - bookbags, umbrellas

Solidary benefit - the interaction and bonding among group members

Expressive benefit - selective incentive that derives from the opportunity to express values & beliefs and to be commited to a great cause.

55. What are the five key functions of a political party? Give a specific example of each.
  • Nominating candidates - recruit candidates
  • Structuring the voting choice - party ID, mobilization
  • Proposing alternatives to government programs - party platforms
  • Coordinating the actions of government officials - control within government, party discipline




56. How is a “critical election” related to “electoral realignment”?
change in electorate…all of a sudden a majority of Americans support a different party than had been the case in the past. Critical election symbolizes electoral realignment. i.e. FDR, 1968.
57. What is “party identification”? Why is it important in electoral politics? How has it changed in the United
States in the past half century?

Party identification is voter affiliation with a political party.


It's important helps predict how much support a candidate has...research more on this...


Overall, voter attachment to the parties have declined; more people identify themselves as independents than with either other party. Democrats decreased, Republicans increased.

58. What is responsible party government? Does the United States have it? Why or why not?

A responsible party model is the party government when four conditions are met: clear choice of ideologies, candidates pledged to implement ideas, party held accountable by voters, and party control over members.


The United States rarely measures up to the responsible party model in reality. For example, even though voters theoretically make decisions based on each party's programs, a host of other factors, such as candidate image or evaluations of economic conditions also influence voting behavior. In addition, parties themselves do not always behave as the model dictates. For instance, American parties cannot always control candidates who refuse to support the party's program. 



59. What are three types of political participation? For each type you name, indicate whether it is ______ and
a. active or passive
b. destructive or constructive
c. conventional or unconventional (considering both my definition and the book’s definition)
60. Why do we know before the political party convention who the party’s nominee for president will be?
The Primaries. Look more into it.
61. What specific reforms did the Progressive Movement give to the U.S. political system?

Nonpartisanship - fought for merit-based hiring (civil service) in the belief that administration should be separated from politics. At the state level, many executive functions were turned over to independent, non-partisan boards & commissions, thus taking patronage and contracts polices from the political parties.


Electoral reforms - direct primary: party nominees for the general election are chosen in a preliminary election by the voters rather than at party conventions run by party officials.


Direct democracy - allowed citiizens to take charge  of lawmaking themselves.

  • initiative - a citizen petition to plae a proposal or constitutional amendment on the ballot, to be adopted or rejected by majority vote, bypassing the legislature
  • referendum - an election in which a bill passed by the state legislature is submitted to voters for approval
  • recall election - avote to removean elected official from office
62. What is the difference between a party-centered, issue-oriented or image-oriented campaign? Give a
specific example of each type of campaign strategy.

Party-centered - relies on voter identification and party organization

e.g. John F. Kennedy ran as a Democrat and a representative of change.


Issue-oriented - seeks support from groups with strong opinions on some issues

e.g. running on promise of allowing gays into military - Bill Clinton


Image-oriented - depends on candidate's personal qualities, such as integrity and leadership

e.g. John McCain running on the history of being a POW

63. What are three types of state political culture? Please define each.
Individualistic, Moralistic, Traditional. See #1.
64. Name a specific policy that fits into each of the following categories and explain why the policy is an
example of the category.
a. Regulatory
b. Distributive
c. Redistributive.

Regulatory - environmental policy, because it is designed to restrict or change the behavior of certain groups or individuals.


Distributive - Homeowner tax deductions, because it's funded by the whole taxpayer base and addresses the needs of a particular groups


Redistributive - Medicaid/Food Stamps, because it shifts resources from the "haves" to the "have-nots"

65. Using at least two examples from Clued In to Politics, please illustrate some of the problems facing modern
American political parties.

1) In Kansas, there's a split in the Republican party between moderates and religious conservatives. The moderates emphasize economic development while the religious conservatives are concerned with limiting abortion and gay rights. This is causing several moderate Republicans to switch to the Democratic Party.


2) Democratic senator Joe Lierberman's positions on foreign policu, trade, and Social Security have become out of sync with those of his region (Connecticut) and party. Despite having 35 years of experience and being named VP candidate in 2000, Connecticut voted a new Senator in because of his lack of loyalty. 

67. Using at least two examples from Clued In to Politics, please illustrate how interest groups influence the
American political system.

1) Roberto Hernandez is one of many activists who protests violations of minority rights. He has protested anti-Muslim cartoons and demanded increased support for the ethnic studies program by fasting and campoint outside the Chancellor's office. This is called a social movement, which generally takes place when interest groups are unable to work within the political system.


2) Black women have banded together to launch the first national Black women's political action committee (PAC). Through it, they hope to determine not only whom to vote for, but who is going to run and if they are serving their interests. No Black Senators or Governors. Now that there's a limit on soft money, money raised by PACs have become even more important.

68. Using at least two examples from Clued In to Politics, please illustrate some of the challenges facing the
American electoral system.

1) Although Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000 by about 500,000 votes, he lost the election because Bush won the electoral college. This heated up the debate of whether or not the U.S. should keep the electoral college.


2)  There is a great deal of concern about whether or not ineleigible voters might be affecting election outcomes. Because there is no requirement to show photo identification, some think that illegal immigrants are voting.

69. Should the United States retain the electoral college in the presidential selection process? What are some
arguments in support of the electoral college? What are some arguments against? What is your view and
why? (You might consider the relevant article in Clued In to Politics in your answer.)


  • it's what the founders wanted
  • there's no better ideas yet
  • dumping the electoral college will still leave people on the sidelines, e.g. Democrats will still take blacks' block vote for granted
  • democracy's not first among our founding principles--our Constitution is all about limiting government, not saying "the majority rules, you can do _____"



  • some states are showered with attention (battleground) while others are forgotten because they always vote with one party
  • critics complain that the system is undemocratic: it overrepresents small states (Wyoming gets 3 votes but only has the population to garner 2/3 a vote)
  • the danger of the electoral vote contradicting the popular vote (it doesn't happen very often)
70. Using at least two examples from Clued In to Politics, please illustrate the influence of the media on the
American political system. Are these influences positive or negative? Why?

1) One blogger is part of a "people-powered" movement to upend the traditional power elite in the Democratic party and make it responsive to the "netroots"-the Internet community that he sees as the new version of grassroots in American democracy. He wants to start identifying young progressives and encouraging them to run for local and state offices. He has encouraged Brian Keeler to run for New York Senate and hopes other bloggers and readers will join in the effort.


2) Television stations and newspapers are more interested in making money than providing sufficient news. Rather than hire investigative reporters to keep politicians honest, newspapers settle for exapanded lifestyle sections that please advertisers. Instead of reporting on what government is doing local stations offer "action news" that are really pre-packaged formulas bought from consultants. More focused on celebrity interviews, disasster and crime reports.

71. Using at least two examples from Clued In to Politics, please illustrate some of the challenges involved in
making domestic policy.

1) Zero Tolerance Policy - one kid expelled from school because of a knife in his pick-up truck, but it had fallen out of his Grandma's box for Goodwill after she had a stroke.


2) Bush wants to promote marriage through welfare reform. This is a sticky situation because it reaches into the private sector of marriage. Also, it is arguable that the government should be more concerned with discouraging reproduction out of wedlock than congratulating teen marriages that rarely work out. 

72. Winning in 2008 makes an argument for reforming the presidential primary and caucus calendar. What are
primaries and caucuses? What reforms are recommended and why do the authors think they are necessary?
Do you agree? Why or why not?

Primary - an election by which voters choose convention delegates committed to voting for a certain candidate. Only party members can vote.


Caucus - local gathering of party members to choose convention delegates


The Ohio Plan would rearrange the nomination schedule by placing nearly all of the states and territories into four "pods" with roughly equal population and electoral vote allocations. Every four years, the pods would rotate their voting positions. Smaller states would still vote first, though.


Why they're necessary/the problem: The present schedule is heavily "front-loaded"--many states schedule primaries or caucuses at the begining of the calender year. This results in a de facto "national primary," that is skewed toward high name recognition and campaign cash. 



73. According to Winning in 2008, the Super Tuesday results provided an advantage for McCain, but a more
mixed result for Democrats. What is Super Tuesday? What do the authors mean by this analysis ?

Super Tuesday is the day on which several U.S. states hold their primary elections. In '08, 24 states.


The Super Tuesday results provided an advantage for McCain because many state Republican Party's adopted the "winner-take-all" format of awarding delegates, which helped McCain take a huge lead. On the other hand, the Democratic Party doesn't use this policy, and so Obama and Clinton were in an almost dead-heat after Super Tuesday.

74. Select three of the “states to watch” as identified in Winning in 2008. Why is each important? Which
candidate won the state in 2008?

Florida - 27 electoral votes, decided the 2000 election. 4th most electoral votes. Cuban-American Hispanics tend to lean toward Republicans, but Democrats have announced that more Florida Hispanics are registered as Democrats.


Pennsylvania - 21 electoral votes. Has sided with the White House winner in each of the past nine elections.


Ohio - 20 electoral vots. No Republican has ever been elected without winning Ohio. Decided the 2004 election.


Wisconsin - 10 electoral votes. Democrats have won past five elections, but Bush came extremely close to winning last election.

75. How might political scientists use the 2006 midterm elections to predict the outcome of the 2008
presidential election? Were these predictions accurate? Why or why not?
  • Both Senate & House were won by Democrats
  • Polls showed that 80% of voters preferred a Democratic Congress
  • Disapproval of Bush
  • Republican scandals
showing a casual and cheerful indifference considered to be callous or improper
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