Initiative- an election that allows citizens to propose legislation (as opposed to voting for candidates) and submit it to the state electorate for popular vote- need a certain number of signatures on petitions supporting the proposal
Referendum- an election whereby the state legislature submits proposed legislation to the state’s voters approval
Recall- voters can remove an incumbent from office by popular vote (very rare)
State party organizations use several types of primary elections or caucuses to election national convention delegates:
Winner take all primary- candidate who wins the most votes in a state secures all of the state’s delegates (Democrats do not permit this, while GOP prefers this way)
Proportional representation primary- candidates who secure a threshold % of votes are awarded delegates in proportion to the number of popular votes won. (Democrats favor this system)- lengthens the primary race
Beauty Contest- serves as an indication of popular support for the conventions to consider as they choose actual delegates
Caucus- party members meet in small groups throughout a state to select the party’s delegates to the national convention
Electoral College- representative so f each state who cast the final ballots that actually elect a president – was a result of a compromised between Framers who argued for selection of the president by the Congress, and those who favored selection by direct popular election.
Elector- member of the electoral college chosen by methods determined in each state
1876,1888,2000- Popular vote winner did not win Electoral College
In 1824 John Quincy Adams received neither the popular vote nor the Electoral College vote and was appointed President by the House of Representatives.
Incumbency Advantage- already holding a public office (more $$, more free media)
Redistricting- Every 10 years, all congressional lines are redrawn- 435 seats
Gerrymandering- legislative process through which the majority party in each statehouse tries to assure that the maximum number of representatives from its political party can be elected to congress through the redrawing of legislative districts
Mid term elections- take place in the middle of a presidential term