AP US GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
MIDTERM EXAM: CHAPTERS 4-10
Politics—the process by which we decide who gets what, when, and how
Populists—liberal economically, conservative socially
Democracy—form of government where people are given opportunity to make decisions
Government—the institutions and processes that a society uses to make its political decisions and
shape its public policies
Public Policies—all the things a government decides to do
Republic—form of government where people elect leaders to make decisions for them
4. In a democracy, government’s authority is derived from the people (this is the idea of the
“consent of the governed.”
5. Elitist Theory holds that political power is always in the hands of insiders and military planners.
Marxist theory holds that there is competition between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.
Pluralist theory holds that no one group consistently holds power.
6. Elitist theories argue that a single minority dominates politics in all policy areas; pluralist
theories argue that many different groups compete for influence in different policy areas.
7. The primary source of campaign money in American politics is private contributions.
Presidential elections have matching funds; no other elections get public money.
8. Republic and representative democracy are ROUGHLY equivalent. Montesquieu favored small
republics, Madison argued larger ones do a better job of protecting liberty and individual rights.
9. American political culture has traditionally had strong popular support for the rule of law,
individual liberty, equality of OPPORTUNITY, and limited government. It has not supported
economic equality of RESULTS.
10. Americans have had a higher sense of individual liberties, belief in our system of government,
and rights than Europeans. Europeans have a greater sense of concern for others,and a higher
sense of class distinction. The two sides are a wash on awareness of political issues.
11. The sense that politics is understandable and that one can affect the government is political
efficacy. Internal political efficacy is your ability to understand what’s going on; external political
efficacy is your belief in your ability to make the government do what you want it to do.
12. American voter registration is much more cumbersome than in Europe, where it is usually
done automatically. Americans vote for many more offices and have many more elections than
13. Americans are more likely to support Constitutional freedoms in theory rather than in
14. Americans, as opposed to Europeans, tend to be more patriotic, have a higher sense of
political efficacy, more supportive of their political system, and more loyal to their system of
15. Since 1960, Americans have become less trusting of governmental institutions and leaders
and have less political efficacy. We’re also less trustful of public schools and more likely to think
of ourselves as ideologically moderate.
16. The increase in public cynicism should not be correlated with a rejection of our system of
17. Americans have increasingly doubted the government’s ability to provide solutions for all
problems. Case in point: LBJ and the War on Poverty.
18. American political culture has shown consistent support for limited roles for government and
support for equality of opportunity.
19. Political Socialization is the process by which individuals develop their political attitudes,
values, and behaviors. It is also the process by which political values are transferred to the next
20. For most Americans, family is the most important influence on political socialization.
21. Key factors in the political socialization process include: the media, schools, political parties,
and the family, which is #1 in importance
22. Most teenagers identify with the same party that their parents do, if both agree on which
party they prefer.
23. House of Representative seats experience less turnover than Senate seats.
24. Interest groups and political parties both promote United States democracy by linking
citizens to the political process. They do not exhibit detailed, ideologically distinct programs, and
they certainly don’t centralize the political process—they work at several levels of government.
They lobby Congress, and this hurts democracy because sometimes the voice of a minority gets
25. Primary Election types:
Open: vote for either
Closed: Only registered party members may vote
Blanket: Vote for both
Runoff primary: No candidate gets 50% of vote, best two run again
26. Political ideology is a set of attitudes and beliefs about the proper role of government and
27. Americans are more likely to label themselves liberal, but to vote conservative.
28. Demographic characteristics: education, income, social class, gender, age. The media is
NOT a demographic factor.
29. Suffrage has been expanded by removing restrictive requirements on religion, residency,
race, and sex. It has also been federalized. The 24th Amendment abolished the poll tax.
30. Review classic and contemporary Conservatism and Liberalism. (slides). Classic liberalism
includes 1) belief in gov’t protection of individual rights (individual autonomy), 2) emphasis on
preserving traditional wealth and power.
31. Modern liberals have favored social programs, cracking down on businesses, equality of
results, and had the faith that government could accomplish almost anything.
32. Liberals favor protecting civil liberties more so than Conservatives. They’re concerned about
police abuse of power.
33. See #12
34. Federal voting referees can be sent into any area where less than 50% of the population
votes in a Presidential election.
35. The New Right favors prayer in school, is anti-abortion, wants porn banned, and wants
school busing ended. It does not support affirmative action and is inclined to use the military
whenever U.S. interests are threatened or challenged.
36. Review the “ideological consistency” slide. Libertarians want extremely limited government
and believe in individual freedom. They’re tight with money and want you to have as much
freedom as possible. They favor drug legalization.
37. The profile of voters in the United States makes the government more responsive to
confronting the ideology of higher-status people.
38. Know statistical terms. The group whose opinions are sought is the sample. The sample
tries to measure the opinions of a larger population or universe.
39-40. Public opinion has several aspects:
Distribution: how are opinions distributed geographically?
Salience: the extent to which we feel an issue relates to us
Direction: how is opinion changing?
Stability: How much inclination is there for opinion to remain constant?
Latency: How long does it take for opinion to change after major events?
41. Election terminology:
Majority- you get 50% plus 1
Plurality- you got more votes than any other candidate by themselves
42. U.S. Congressional district borders are usually drawn by state legislatures. This always leads
to allegations of gerrymandering.
43. Superdelegates are elected officials and party leaders who are not required to pledge
themselves to a presidential candidate. They helped Mondale in 1984. They are not chosen “at
large” via elections. Party leaders pick them.
44. U.S. elections affect public policy more than in other nations. Many European nations are so
bureaucratized that even party changes don’t affect much routine business.
45. The 1939 Hatch Act, government welfare programs, and competitive bidding laws all helped
bring an end to political machines.
46. The term public opinion is misleading because 1) it implies that there is a usual consensus
opinion (there is not) and 2) Americans belong to many groups and each have a different impact
47. In most states, candidates for office are chosen by primary elections.
48. In Europe, almost the only way to become a candidate is to be chosen by party leaders
49. Jews tend to vote Democratic. Protestants are the most Conservative. More women identify
themselves as Democrats. Rural voters vote conservative (Republican), and African-Americans
tend to support the more liberal candidates within their party.
50. There is a gender gap in voting, particularly in 1992 and 1996, a little less so in 2000.
51. The media’s chief role in American politics is twofold: informing the public and shaping their
52. Media formation of public opinion has been criticized because 1) it oversimplifies issues 2) it
reduces major speeches to “sound bites,” 3) it is biased and 4) if focuses on sensationalism
rather than substance
53. The primary function of PACs is to raise money for favored candidates.
54. Political parties are weaker and their importance has not increased. Campaign costs are up
because of the hiring of expensive media consultants. Images of the candidates is more
important than issues, and many Americans are more cynical about the process.
55. The corporate mass media’s relationship to politics makes politicians appear like cult heroes,
make effective communication via TV essential, has raised campaign costs, and weakens political
parties. Voters do not vote in higher numbers because of the mass media.
56. The Christian Coalition is Conservative and pro-life.
57. Media Influence: 1) Selective exposure frames issues 2) majority of Americans get news from
TV 3) Candidate image important 4)media presentation affects public perception but not policy
58. The purpose of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) is to oversee and enforce the
provisions of the 1974 Federal Election Campaign Act and oversee Federal elections ONLY.
59. Adversarial Journalism questions or challenges information from government sources,
especially the White House.
60. According to Barbara Mikulski, the training grounds for national political activists today are
61. A key difference between interest groups and movements is that interest groups operate
within the policy arena while movements believe they are outside the policy arena.
62. Interest groups seek to influence public policy.
63. Interest groups use a combination of publicity, litigation, rule-making, and lobbying.
64. The single most important tactic of a lobbyist is to provide information.
65. An interest group would likely have the greatest influence on policy matters involving narrow,
unpublicized issues which involve only a few interest groups and lots of technical information.
66. A major source of conflict within both political parties is that party leaders and activists are
more extreme than the rank-and file voters, and far far extreme from the public as a whole.
67. The poor have no real national lobbying organization, whereas retirees, gun owners,
realtors, manufacturers, and union members have powerful lobbies.
68. The number of PACs has NOT been relatively stable over the past decade. They have
increased. Most PAC money goes to incumbents, PACs try to influence legislation and elections,
PACs are legal in all states, and PACs can only $5,000 to a candidate.
69. Many interest groups exert their biggest influence through the bureaucracy. Bribery is
illegal, but contributions usually lead to access.
70. PAC activity is not limited to direct contributions; they often provide info and advisors. PAC
spending has more than kept up with inflation.
71. See #11.
72. Some people believe that PAC contributions
73. Ideological interest groups tend to be narrower in their focus than other groups and less
likely to ever accept compromise. For some interest groups, amicus curiae briefs offer the best
options in advancing policy. Interest groups participate extensively in rule-making within the
bureaucracy. The explosion of interest groups is seen by many experts as a key to the increasing
fragmentation of American politics.
74. Interest group politics promote fragmentation, allow narrow, well-funded groups like NRA to
exercise disproportionate influence, and represent comparatively older, wealthier, and better-
75. An interest group is likely to have influence in Congress when an issue at stake is narrow in
scope and low in public visibility.
76. Theodore Lowi believes that modern interest group politics corrupts democratic government,
renders government impotent, demoralizes society because it hurts the justice system, and
corrupts government by weakening the capacity to operate by our formal rules.
77. A winner take all election system virtually guarantees a two-party system of politics.
78. The chairperson and the national committee are the head units of the 2 major political
79. Major political parties clarify stands on issues, recruit candidates, help campaigns with
technical and financial support, and try to stimulate voter interest.
80.Interest groups seem better able to accomplish specific policy than political parties, hence
they have risen in importance.
81. In most states, candidates for election are chosen in primary elections.
82. See #25
83. In the past decade, both major parties have worked to increase the fund raising role of the
national committees and increased the role of consultants.
84. Doctrinal or ideological third parties last the longest in American politics.
85. There is an increasing # of Americans who claim to be independents.
86. The primary election system of selecting Presidential candidates has loosened the control of
party leaders over the nomination process.
87. During the 1980s, Republican dominance of Presidential elections did not carry over to
Congressional, state, and local elections
88. The best predictor of whether citizens will vote is education.
89. Realigning elections show a long-term transformation of party loyalties and voting blocks.
90. When the media covers a campaign by emphasizing standing in the polls, it is called horse-
91. See #52
92. Campaign costs have increased because of the mass media’s role in American politics.
Media consultants have become key figures, cynicism has increased, and image is more
important as a basis of campaigns. See #54
93. The media and political news makers struggle to set the agenda of American politics, frame
issues, and create memorable and important images.
94. See #57
95. See #59
96. See #55
97. The major disagreement in American politics has been over economic issues.
98. Television has produced some profound changes in the nature of American politics including
changes that have weakened political parties. America’s leading newspapers, the New York
Times and the Washington Post, exert tremendous influence on the discussion of issues and
policy in America. The nature of television news coverage has changed as candidates and their
staffs look for ways to use TV to their advantage. Overall, the increase in TV coverage has had a
positive impact on the quality and depth of discussion of issues.
99. A member of Congress who disagrees with the President is well-served to go on TV because
they need to be try to frame the issue before the media and the President have success
100. The least likely to vote are young, minority men with low education levels.
101. Between 1968 and 1972, Democratic candidates for President were out of step with voters
on issues of taxation and social policy
102. The largest amount of political coverage in newspapers during Presidential campaigns is
devoted to day to ay campaign activities., not candidate stands on domestic policy, foreign
policy, or candidate experience and qualifications.
103. Voter turnout 1960-1995 averaged about 55% of the electorate for Presidential elections
104. Older, more wealthy, professional, better educated voters are more likely to vote. Jews and
Protestants both vote at equally high levels.
105. See #88
106. Voter turnout in the U.S. is lower than in most Western democracies.
107. Compared to voters in a general lection, voters in presidential primaries tend to be more
likely to be affluent and well educated, as well as more politically active.
108. In Presidential elections, party ID is the most important factor; in Congressional elections,
the candidate themselves is the most important factor
109. Blacks vote most heavily democratic. Mexicans and Puerto Ricans vote Democratic; Cubans
are more conservative.
110. Anything that produces cross-pressures in an election reduces turnout.
111. The most dramatic example of winner-take-all is the Electoral College.
112. The 1974 FEC law set a maximum limit of $1,000 contributions from individuals per
candidate per election.
113. House Incumbents get more support from their party than challengers, are better known to
voters, find it easier to raise funds, and can use staff members to do constituent service.
114. when 18-21 yr olds received the right to vote in 1971, in the 1972 elections they turned out
at a rate lower than the rest of the electorate.
115. A corporate lobbyist might likely have an informal discussion with: 1) A member of the
House whose district is affected 2) White House staff 3) A member of a Senate or House
Committee and 4) the media. They do not talk with judges involved in corporate cases.
116. Congressional elections over the last 25 years have not been very competitive, have become
more candidate-centered, have used more technology and media, and have become increasingly
coordinated by political parties (esp. Republicans)
117.Spending by individuals or groups outside the party or campaign of a candidate are called
independent expenditures and are considered free speech, so they are not limited by law
118. The boundary lines of Congressional districts are usually drawn by state legislatures
119. Majority-Minority districts, according to the Supreme Court, violate the principles of
compactness, interests of voters, and community boundaries.
120. Direct primaries increase costs of election campaigns while depriving party leaders of power
and increase the 3 of people choosing candidates. They do not improve voter turnout in midterm
121. Since 1960, the Presidential election process has been affected by the increase in the # of
independents, influence of consultants, # of primaries, and the role of TV
122. Only Presidential candidates receive campaign matching funds. Most American voters
believe Congress does a lousy job.
123. Membership in either of the two political parties is based on personal choice.
124. Minor parties do not accept the platform of major parties; major parties, however, often
adopt some minor party ideas (Progressives and income tax)
125. Minor parties have two roles: 1) Spoiler role, and 2) Get major parties to adopt their ideas
(far more important than #1)
126. Factors leading to political party decentralization include: 1) Neither party has a clearly
delineated chain of command at any level, 2) Federalism, 3) Nominating candidates creates party
127. Weakened political parties are symbolized by the large # of independent voters and split
128. A runoff primary occurs in some states when no candidate has a majority of the vote.
129. In supporting Reagan, the gap between blacks and whites increased 1980-84.
130. A majority of people with incomes $10,000-$50,000 think of themselves as Conservative.
131. In the nomination process, European parties play a huge role.
132. Crucial election phrases: Get nominated, get elected
133. Presidential races are generally more competitive
134. David Broder argues the first task facing anyone who wants to be President is to get
135. For a Presidential candidate to be eligible for federal matching funds, they must raise
$5,000, in $250 individual contributions, in 20 states.
136. Primary candidates must take extreme views and play to party activists.
137. To win nomination, candidates must take more extreme views.
138. McGovern was at a big disadvantage in 1972 because he took ideologically extreme
139. The 1st test of Presidential candidate strength is the Iowa caucus.
140. When candidates like neither candidate, they will often cast a “clothespin” vote.
141. Funding of congressional elections is all private.
142. Current campaign finance rules benefit incumbents big time.
143. PACs can raise money from their members or employees.
144. Voters are most likely to switch parties between elections when it serves their economic
145. Republicans dominate in winning the independent vote.
146. Incumbents, PACs, and ideological candidates have benefited from CFR.
147. Most Presidential elections are decided by retrospective voting.
148. Economic prosperity is a valence issue.
149. Interest groups are common in the U.S. because parties are weak.
150. Institutional interests represent industries.
151. Solidary groups fulfill companionship and pleasure needs.
152. Members of Farm Bureau join for material incentives.
153. Purposive incentives draw people to groups like NOW.
154. Groups to know: NOW, AARP, NARAL
155. Public-interest organizations benefit nonmembers (Clean Air groups for example)
156. A PIRG is an organization dedicated to working on and studying local consumer/political
157. Public interest law firms file lots of amicus curiae briefs.
158. Know about WEAL, the Women’s Equity Action League, which is primarily a material
159. Know about the following: Lilly Foundation, Ford Foundation, Pew Memorial Trust, Sloan-
160. Common Cause is a liberal organization founded in 1970 that gets its financial support from
direct-mail solicitation. Know about this group!
161. For direct mail to succeed, 2% of people must respond.
162. Members of organizations or unions or both are likely to be college educated earning more
than $30,000 per year.
163. The single most effective technique of lobbyists is supplying information.
164. Lobbyists are restrained from misrepresenting facts or misleading legislators by the fear of
losing legislators’ faith and trust, NOT BY ANY LAW.
165. Airline Companies pressured the Civil Aeronautics Board for deregulation and when it was
setting airline rates and air routes.
166. The NRA’s beliefs differ widely from the beliefs of most citizens,
167. The AFL-CIO use legislator ratings to influence politician behavior.
168. Ignoring public opinion on the Panama Canal Treaty could have cost a legislator an election.
169. Grassroots opposition to governmental action can influence Congress. Example: FDA
banning of saccharin.
170. Members of Congress may start PACs
171. Business PACs divide money between Democratic and Republican candidates.
172. The IRS revoked the tax-exempt status of the Sierra Club because of its extensive lobbying.
173. Campaign finance laws limit individual contributions to PACs to $5,000.
174. In recent years, the relationship between the media and government officials has become
175. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) virtually guarantees that some secrets will seep out.
176. U.S. TV and radio stations are privately owned, unlike most of Europe.
177. In the early years, newspapers were supported by parties and politicians.
178. AP news coverage had to be nonpartisan because it serves papers of various political views.
179. Electronic journalism contributed to the decline in party loyalties because politicians
developed personal followings.
180. A politician seeking TV coverage might attack the President because only the President
routinely gets TV coverage.
181. The national media plays the role of gatekeeper; they influence which subjects become
national political issues.
182. Horse-race election reporting focuses more on the campaign itself than issues.
183. The national media often play the role of watchdog.
184. For a newspaper to be guilty of libel, the accused party must provide clear and convincing
evidence that what was published was malicious.
185. The fairness doctrine is officially dead, but most broadcasters still follow it voluntarily.
186. A candidate for Senate uses TV more than a house candidate because a Senator’s
constituency is more widely spread geographically.
187. Negative ads are better for campaigning because they are more memorable.
188. An interpretation of campaign events that is most favorable to a candidate’s position is
189. The media play an important role in setting the public agenda for government.
190. Qualities of public opinion include fluidity, intensity, stability, latency, and relevance. See
191. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was an attempt to regulate indecent material on the
internet. Reno v. ACLU declared most of it unconstitutional.
192. Thomas E. Patterson’s analysis of media bias indicates that the real bias is towards cynicism,
not liberal or conservative biases.
193. U.S. v. Harris ruled the Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act was constitutional.
194. Alliance-forming between interest groups shares the expenses and multiplies the benefits.
195. The recent changes to the Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act are expected to increase the
# of lobbyists 3-10X
196. Interest groups have a middle to upper class bias.
197. The nation’s largest interest group is AARP.
198. The great advantage for democracy in interest group activity is that individual citizens are
empowered to influence government.
199. The impact of strong public opinion on government action is that it restrains public officials
from taking truly unpopular actions.
200. The first attempt by Congress to regulate campaign spending was the Corrupt Practices Act.
The U.S. system has been tried in many other countries without success.
Alexis DeTocqueville in a nutshell:
Felt that U.S. democracy succeeded because of the abundance of land, the absence of a
feudal aristocracy, the presence of rich resources, and the minimal taxes imposed by
Even after the frontier had been basically closed, democracy in the U.S. flourished.
Know the difference between political ideology and political culture. Ideology deals with what
the government should do, and culture deals with how government should operate.
People CAN share a common political culture but disagree on ideology.
Liberty, individualism, and civic duty are all basic elements of American political culture.
Know the text’s 3 critical questions about political culture!!!
Gunnar Myrdal described race relations as a conflict between American behavior and American
ideals. We believe in equality, yet Jim Crow Laws were rampant.
Confidence in U.S. institutions tends to be lowest among those Americans who have a strong
political ideology (think of Mr. Baysdell on this one, also think of how liberals don’t trust the
People may have common beliefs, but interpret what these beliefs mean in different ways. Good
example: Affirmative action policy.
Most Americans believe in “Equality of opportunity” but NOT “Equality of Results.”
Americans are much more likely to tolerate economic inequality than political equality.
Swedes tend to be more deferential in their political culture, and are biased in favor of equality
over liberty. Japanese stress social cohesion more than Americans or Swedes.
Know about the Almond and Verba study—read this over at least twice!!!
Italy had highest level of respondents indicating legislature could not be trusted.
Americans were the most willing to go to war for their country, and had the highest level of civic
duty and civic competence. Americans also are more likely than Europeans to believe in God,
pray daily, and acknowledge clear standards of right and wrong.
The “Moral Majority” advocated amendments to require daily prayer in public schools and ban
abortion. The Christian Coalition attracted an enormous amount of media attention and was a
prominent force from the 1990s on.
The U.S. Constitution had to reconcile personal liberty with the need for social control.
The dominant religious tradition in the early U.S. was Protestantism, and especially Puritanism.
The Protestant ethic is often called the “work ethic.” This term was coined by Max Weber.
Congregational churches provided many Americans with political experience.
Religious diversity in the U.S. is primarily the result of the absence of an established religion.
Early competition between the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans
Horatio Alger attributed success in the U.S. to personal effort and proper living.
The absence of class consciousness in the United States is due to the following factors:
Religious and ethnic diversity
Equality within families
An individualistic philosophy that predominates
The family is by far the most important source of political values in the U.S.
The culture war pits the Orthodox vs. the Progressives. Think of Orthodox as Conservative. The
following issues are areas of conflict: Abortion, school prayer, gay rights, pornography, drug use.
The Orthodox favor morality and the Progressives favor personal liberty. As you can imagine,
compromise is virtually impossible.
Jimmy Carter first publicly noted Americans’ lack of confidence in their political institutions.
Among Americans who mistrust their government, the most frequent reason they cite is that tax
money seems to be wasted. The Watergate Affair destroyed trust in government. Confidence in
other social institutions like religion has also declined.
Make sure you understand the terms:
Internal political efficacy—what is your ability to understand issues?
External Political efficacy—your ability to affect policy—will the system let you change policy?
Americans have experienced a decline in external political efficacy, but not internal political
efficacy. Still, American political efficacy is higher than European political efficacy.
Demonstrations for the legalization of marijuana in the 1970s were likely to garner little public
tolerance. Greater tolerance is generally given to Feminists, right-to-life groups, and
environmental protestors, but not Atheists or the KKK.
Unpopular groups tend to keep a low profile, don’t act on many of their stated beliefs, and courts
protect their right to peaceably assembly.
Only rarely does the general public have a dominant opinion on an issue.
Public policy often differs from public opinion because:
The U.S. Constitution places many checks and roadblocks on the influence of public
Public opinion polling is not always accurate
Public policy may reflect the views of elite segments of the population.
The validity of public opinion polls is often compromised by the wording of questions in a poll and
rapid shifts in public opinion.
60% of adults adopt the party preference of their parents. Democratic party preference is the
most widely-transferred political ideology from parent to child. Party preference transfer,
however, is not as high as it once was. The stronger the parents’ views are, the more likely
partisan identification will be transferred. Voters DO NOT lose their party ID as they age—in fact,
it gets stronger.
White Protestants are least likely to be liberals.
Different experiences of immigrants have led to different political affiliations. Remember how
Hispanic Americans vote differently.
Women have traditionally been opposed to war, and this issue creates the largest gender gap,
which is also a party gap.
Republicans have benefited more from direct mail; Democrats have benefited more from the
The gender gap used to benefit Republicans, now it benefits Democrats (isolationism and anti-
Men and women are most closely in agreement on the question of abortion.
College makes students more liberal—particularly if they do not major in Economics or
Engineering. Liberal arts colleges and big, prestigious universities are the most liberal
We think college makes people more liberal because professors are liberal, college exposes
people to more information about their world, and because the personal traits of people who
attend college promote liberalism.
Cleavages in public opinion are more frequent in the U.S. than in Europe because the U.S. has a
socially heterogeneous society.
Study what the textbook has to say about public opinion polling and how it is accomplished!!
Know terms like “random sample” and “margin of error”
Workers in the U.S. are far less class-conscious; Europeans call themselves “working class,” but
Americans refer to themselves as “middle class.” Class voting in all Western democracies have
An individual’s choice of political philosophy today is most likely to be based on one’s position on
Blacks tend to vote Democratic, but are often more conservative on social issues like drug
legalization and abortion than their voting would seem to indicate. More political cleavage exists
among blacks than whites.
An issue that divides blacks and whites is the debate over reparations for slavery.
White Protestants in the south and in other areas of the country are very similar ideologically.
During the 1970s, business executives, college graduates, and high-status whites became
noticeably more Democratic and liberal.
The Democratic party has been weakened dramatically in the south as Southern Democrats are
being replaced by southern Republicans.
The South is usually more conservative—especially on issues like abortion, gay rights, and
Only a small % of Americans take ideologically consistent views. Many times, Americans will
express opinions directly at odds with their self-given ideological label.
Ideological thinking can vary from year to year—many liberals threw out ideology in 1980 and
1984. Ideological thinking increased greatly during the 1960s. Most Americans, however, do not
think of politics ideologically—they think pragmatically and try to analyze how a potential policy
will affect them and their pocketbooks.
Originally, a liberal favored free market trade. Conservatives favored protectionism and the
Know political issues and be able to distinguish conservative and liberal views!!!!
This is extremely important and many questions on the test are based on this!!!!
Be able to define a Libertarian and a Populist.
Political elites exist in all societies. Every society has elites because government officials have
more power than others.
The traditional middle-class drew its strength from business, but the new middle class derives its
strength from government. The theory of the new class holds that power and status are
increasingly based on education and technical skills.
Members of the new class are likely to be young, urban, and liberal. They are also much more
critical of business, attend church less, be liberal on social issues, and live in urban centers.
Know about the Harvard survey and the 1984 election.
The Democrats have suffered from the emergence of the “New Class” because their liberal social
politics alienate the traditional “UAW kind of Democrat. ” Difference between New Class
Democrats and Old Class Democrats would be smallest on economic issues and greater on social
issues and civil rights.
Political elites in the U.S. have a disproportionate influence on public issues because:
They identify the new public issues for action
They define the terms of new public issues
They state the norms by which issues are settled
Public opinion is most likely to bring up unemployment as a public agenda issue—not political
elites. The numerous elites in the U.S. that exist all hold widely divergent views, so their
influence on public opinion will not be uniform.