POLI 10 S10 STUDY GUIDE
Final, Friday, 06/11/2010 11:30a - 2:29p PCYNH 109 (I didn’t pick the time or day)
Bring two exam books
Review session, 06/09/10 W 03:00-04:20 CENTR 216
As with the midterm, your exam will be comprised of 4 out of 5 “explanatory T/F” mini-essays (worth 25% of your
You will also have one cumulative essay (appended--15%)* that will ask you to integrate material
from throughout the class. A guide for that essay appears at the end of this study guide.
Use the following set of questions to help you prepare for your exam. Try to combine lecture material, text and
other readings into a thorough understanding of the material. Most of these items are mainly from lecture, but you
should be prepared to discuss relevant material from the readings.
This is fairly lengthy, but I’d rather err on the
side of completeness.
PARTIES AND ELECTIONS
1. What are the costs of voting? What are the benefits?
Separate those that are election specific and more
generalized. How have these costs/benefits changed over time?
Which groups are most likely to participate
and, using the cost/benefit model, why?
Breakdown: How do perceived costs and benefits explain the relatively low level of turnout in the U.S.?
Terms and concepts: transaction costs, Motor Voter Bill, information costs, opportunity costs, uncertainty, perceived
differences between alternatives, “comfort index.” importance of an individual vote, level of competition,
coefficient of obligation.
2. What is partisanship? How is it developed? How does it affect individual voting decisions?
Breakdown: Of those who do vote, partisanship is still the most important single predictor of
they will vote. Why
are partisans more likely to vote than independents? How can one use partisanship as a way of reducing costs and
increasing the perceived benefits of voting?
Terms and concepts: partisanship, perceptual screening, how is this screening affected by primaries?
3. How has the nominating system been reformed?
Breakdown: What were the outcomes of the most recent changes (to primaries) on the types of candidates who
seek nomination? on the willingness and ability of voters to participate?
on the types of voters who participate?
on the types of candidates that receive the nomination and the policies that they espouse?
on the public’s view
of politicians and government generally?
Terms and concepts: The complexity of the system, national conventions, boss caucus, direct primary the
length of a primary campaign, the negativity of a primary campaign, increased voter uncertainty,
weakening of the “perceptual screen” (see #2) 4. How have campaign finance rules been reformed?