Chapter 8 - Chapter 8 Elections American Elections Basic...

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Chapter 8: Elections American Elections: Basic Facts, Fundamental Questions Popular vote: the votes cast by citizens in an election Electoral vote: votes cast by members of the electoral college After a presidential candidate wins the popular vote in a given state, that candidate’s slate of electors will cast electoral votes for the candidate on behalf of that state. Party vote: the proportions of seats in the House and Senate that are controlled by each major party. Seat shift: a change in the number of seats held by Republicans and Democrats in the House or Senate Normal election: A typical congressional election in which the reelection rate is high and the influences on House and senate contests are largely local. Nationalized elections: an atypical congressional election in which the reelection rate is relatively low for one party’s House and Senate incumbents and national-level issues exert more influence than usual on House and Senate races. What Do Elections Do? Selecting Representatives Incumbent: a politician running for reelection to the office she currently holds. Challenger: a politician running for an office that he does not hold at the time of the election. Challengers run against incumbents or in open-seat elections. Accountability Retrospective evaluation: a citizen’s judgment of an officeholder’s job performance since the last election. How Do American Elections Work? Two Stages of Elections Nomination: the selection of a particular candidate to run for office in a general election as a representative of his or her political party. Open primary: a primary election in which any registered voter can participate in the contest, regardless of party affiliation. Closed primary: a primary election in which only registered members of a particular political party can vote. General Election: the election in which voters cast ballots for House members, senators, and (every four years) a president and vice president. Absentee ballot: a voting ballot submitted by mail before an election. Voters use absentee ballots if they will be unable to go to the polls on Election Day Determining Who Wins Plurality voting: a voting system in which the candidate who receives the most votes within a geographic area wins the election regardless of whether he or she wins a majority (more than half) of the votes. Majority voting:
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Chapter 8 - Chapter 8 Elections American Elections Basic...

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