US Govt Ch 8 – Political Participation and Voting

What are the traditional forms of political activity?
– voting
– donate to campaigns
– protest
– run for office
– political conversations
– sign a petition
– attend a meeting/event
What is the most important political activity and the one most Americans engage in?
voting
What is accidental mobilization?
individuals are exposed to information that they did not explicitly seek out
What is the reason most commonly given by people for why they became politically active?
Someone they know asked them to be involved
What is meant by the term “social capital”?
communities and networks that motivate political participation
What were SOPA and PIPA?
bills considered by Congress in 2012 that would have significantly expanded copyright laws and liability to the digital platforms that caused the first major online protest by social media platform users and caused Congress to end consideration of the bills
What is the digital divide?
the figurative line that separates citizens with internet access from those that are without
Which organizations participated in the online protest of SOPA and PIPA?
Wikipedia, Google, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter
Approximately what percentage of Americans still do not have high-speed internet access?
33 percent
What is the significance of the 26th Amendment?
Lowered the voting age to 18
Why was the voting age lowered to 18?
Young people were being drafted to go to war in Vietnam but did not have the right to vote in federal elections
What is the significance of the 19th Amendment?
voting rights for women
What is the significance of the 15th Amendment?
voting rights for African American males
What form of political participation was critical to the success of the Civil Rights Movement?
Peaceful Protests (in the form of sit-ins, boycotts, and marches)
Which groups are the least likely to have internet access?
racial minorities, poor, and older Americans
When did African Americans gain the right to vote in the United States without the fear of reprisals by states or local governments?
1965 with the passage of the Voting Rights Act
What is the main goal of organizations like Rock the Vote?
encourage young voters to participate politically
What bloc of voters in the U.S. is often referred to as the “sleeping giant”?
Latino Americans
Which groups are more likely to vote Democratic?
women, minorities, younger, urban, Jews, labor union members, poor, Catholics (particularly Latino)
Which groups are more likely to vote Republican?
working whites, Anglos, older, rural and suburban, Protestants, wealthy, married, males
What factors INCREASE the likelihood that someone will vote?
– higher education
– wealth
– older
– female
– professional
– identify with a party
– religious affiliation
– two party competition
Which personal factor is the greatest indicator of IF someone will vote?
education
Which personal factor is the greatest indicator of HOW someone will vote?
party identity
Approximately what percentage of African Americans nationally vote Democratic in presidential races?
90
One-third of all Asian Americans live in which state?
California
What is the “gender gap”?
the pattern that shows that women are more likely to support Democratic candidates while men are more likely to support Republican candidates
For the first time in 2015, the number of women in Congress surpassed what number?
100
What is the goal of EMILY’s List?
to raise money early for Democratic women candidates interested in running for office
Approximately what percentage of the members of Congress are women (as of 2015)?
17 percent
Which group of Americans has the highest rate of political participation?
Senior citizens
What factors are considered to be part of a person’s socioeconomic status?
level of income, level of education, and the prestige of your occupation
What is the significance of Engel v. Vitale?
Banned the official sponsoring of prayer in public schools
Why do both political parties see a growing critically important role for Latinos in American politics?
the Latino population in the United States is rapidly growing
What is the number one reason women are considered to be disadvantaged when running for office?
Males are more likely to have incumbency advantage
What is the Christian Coalition?
A group of Evangelical Christians that organized during the 1980s in a response to what they viewed as the deteriorating moral fiber of the United States
What issue sparked the beginning of growing political activity by Evangelical Christians?
the Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion
What is the most probable reason for the continued fact that Latinos have tended to favor Democratic Party candidates in national elections?
The stance of the Republican Party on the issue of immigration
Why is it difficult to determine political patterns among Asian Americans?
the population is a small fraction of the US population but contains many different national and cultural backgrounds
Forms of participation outside of voting normally differ in what ways?
They normally require more time, money, and effort than voting
In recent elections voters have been less motivated by parties to get out and vote than by what other factor?
Who the candidate is
How many electoral votes does a candidate need to receive in order to win the race for president?
270 electoral votes
Approximately what percentage of U.S. House seats are not competitive?
95 percent
What tactic have some political parties used in recent presidential and congressional elections to get voters that identify with their parties to turn out?
Placing items on the ballot that are important to their constituencies (such as raising the minimum wage, legalizing marijuana, and same sex marriage)
What efforts have been made to make voting easier and to increase voter turnout?
– same day registration
– early voting
– Motor Voter Act
– Absentee/Mail In Ballots
What recent trend has been seen by many as an effort to reduce minority voter turnout?
Voter ID Laws
According to the Constitution most of the authority to regulate elections belongs to whom?
states
What is the importance of Shelby County v. Holder (2013)?
The Supreme Court ruled that states with a history of discrimination were no longer bound by the Preclearance requirement of the Voting Rights Act which required them to get approval of their election plans and voting district lines by the Justice Department to prevent voter discrimination
How did the ruling in Shelby County v. Holder affect the number of voting locations in 2016 in states that had previously been under the preclearance requirement?
There were approximately 800 fewer voting locations, mostly in poor minority areas, than there had been in the 2012 election
Typically what percentage of registered voters vote in Congressional midterm elections?
40 percent
Typically what percentage of registered voters vote in presidential elections?
60 percent
Which state currently conducts all of its state and national elections entirely by mail?
Oregon
Which state is the only one that does not require voter registration?
North Dakota
What is the effect of state-level voter identification laws?
disproportionately affect minority and poor citizens