Political Parties in the United States

Vocabulary

base

group of voters who almost always support a particular party's candidates

caucus

meeting in which party members choose candidates to run for office

Democratic Party

one of the two major political parties in the United States, typically more liberal in political ideology

Green Party

minor U.S. political party that promotes environmentalism and social justice

independent

voter who chooses not to align with any political party

leaner

nonaligned voter who tends to favor the programs and candidates of a particular political party but does not firmly identify with that party

Libertarian Party

minor U.S. political party that favors limited government and individual rights

nominating convention

meeting at which specially chosen party members gather to choose candidates for their party

party activist

person who works to advance a political party's interests

party identification

individual's loyalty to a particular political party

party platform

formal set of goals endorsed by a political party

polarization

extreme differences in positions between the two major political parties

political party

organized group or association that seeks to attract members, field like-minded candidates, and direct government policymaking

primary election

election in which voters select the candidates who will run in the general election

Progressive era

period between the 1890s and 1920s characterized by widespread social activism and zeal for political reform

Republican Party

one of the two major political parties in the United States, typically more conservative in political ideology

third party

political party that competes with the two major parties in a two-party system