POLI 10 STUDY GUIDE
FINAL, Wednesday, June 11*, 11:30-2:30, room TBA—bring at least one exam (blue) book
REVIEW SESSION TBA, probably late Thursday afternoon or Friday morning, Week 10
As with the midterm, your exam will be comprised of 4 out of 6 “explanatory T/F” mini-essays (worth 25% of
your total grade).
You will also have one, cumulative essay (15%) that will ask you to integrate material from
throughout the class.
A guide to this essay appears at the end of this study guide.
Remember the deal I made
with all of you if you improve on that T/F section.
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.
Some of these items are mainly from lecture,
some mainly from the text and readings.
This outline may seem long, but I’d rather err on the side of
PUBLIC OPINION, PARTIES AND ELECTIONS
What are the costs of voting?
What are the benefits (both short-term/election specific and
How do these two interact to determine someone's voting decision?
have the costs changed over time?
Which groups are most likely to participate in the electoral process?
Try to develop your answer within
the context of the cost/benefit analysis.
Most U.S. citizens do not vote on a regular basis.
How do the perceived costs and benefits of
voting help to explain this?
Terms and concepts:
procedural/transaction costs, the Motor Voter Law, information costs/opportunity costs, uncertainty,
perceived differences between candidates/“comfort” index, imortance of one’s vote—level of competition,
civic obligation/coefficient of obligation
life cycle theory/generational theory, educational differences/partisan differences/other demographic
What is partisanship?
How is it developed?
How does it affect individual voting decisions?
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?
The U.S. operates under a winner-take-all single member districting scheme, with separate elections for
presidential and congressional offices.
How does this differ from the electoral systems in most other
In particular, what are the different outcomes in systems operating under proportional
Why are the outcomes different?
(this comes from the text and online supplements)
Our electoral system makes third party candidacies extremely difficult, but not impossible.
GOP, for example, started off as a third party, replacing the Whigs in the 1850s.
The key, particularly in the 19
Century, was for these “third” parties to be regionally concentrated, so as to maximize their supporters into as