An election in which voters elect officeholders is which type of election?

1.Over time, people are most likely to change their beliefs about which of the following?


a. banking regulations

b. liberty and freedom

c. abortion

d. the death penalty


2.Voters who carefully follow public affairs are known as which of the following?


a. attentive electorate

b. attentive public

c. active public

d. active electorate



3.An individual’s propensity to perceive, interpret, or act toward a particular object in a particular way is a(n) ___________.


a. ideology

b. belief

c. value

d. attitude


4.An election in which voters elect officeholders is which type of election?


a. general

b. primary

c. presidential

d. midterm


5.An election in which voters determine party nominees is which type of election?


a. general

b caucus

c. primary

d. midterm


6.What is the term for the proportion of the voting-age public that votes?


a. participatory segment

b. electoral segment

c. turnout

d. mobilization


7.An informal and subjective affiliation with a political party that most people acquire over the course of their lifetime is known as what?


a. party identification

b. voter identity

c. electoral socialization

d. platform identification


8.In public opinion research, the _________ is the group of people whose preferences the researcher wants to measure.


a. subject group

b. demographic group

c. sample

d. universe


9.Which American president once said, “What I want is to get done what the people desire to be done, and the question for me is how to find that out exactly.”


a. Andrew Jackson

b. Abraham Lincoln

c. Theodore Roosevelt

d. Bill Clinton


10.Two major schools of political ideology dominate American politics. What are they?


a. conservatism and liberalism

b. conservatism and libertarianism

c. liberalism and progressivism

d. socialism and nationalism


11.What percentage of Americans currently view themselves as extremely conservative?


a. 2 to 4 percent

b. 4 to 8 percent

c. 8 to 12 percent

d. 12 to 16 percent


12.Typically, how many people attempt to influence how another person votes?


a. less than 1 percent

b. fewer than one in ten

c. about 10 percent

d. fewer than one in four


13.How are intensity of public opinion and salience related?


a. They are often correlated on the same issue.

b. They are essentially the same.

c. As intensity increases, salience goes down.

d. Intensity is a precondition for salience.


14.When is voter turnout lowest?


a. municipal primaries

b. midterm primary elections

c. midterm general elections

d. special elections


15.Issues that people believe are important to them are __________.


a. intense

b. core values

c. salient

d. ideological issues


16.Which of the following is the most influential factor when voters develop the political attitudes they take into elections?


a. family

b. school

c. mass media

d. self-reflection


17.Voters who hold the belief that government can bring about justice and equality of opportunity subscribe to what political ideology?


a. liberalism

b. conservatism

c. libertarianism

d. socialism


18.Voters who hold beliefs in private property rights and free enterprise, and who want to enhance individual liberty by keeping government small, subscribe to what political ideology?


a. liberalism

b. conservatism

c. communism

d. fascism


19.Social conservatives differ from traditional conservatives in that they support which of the following?


a. social controls

b. economic controls

c. deregulation

d. military expenditures


20.Why do conservatives favor cutting taxes for the wealthy?


a. They believe the wealthy will spend and invest more money, benefiting the economy.

b. They believe the wealthy will contribute more to charity, benefiting people in need.

c. They believe that all taxes should be eliminated.

d. They believe the wealthy will contribute more to political campaigns, thus helping to elect conservatives.


21.Which state was the first to grant women’s suffrage?


a. Pennsylvania

b. Wyoming

c. Texas

d. Rhode Island


22.Which U.S. constitutional amendment granted women the right to vote on the national level?


a. Sixth

c. Twelfth

d. Nineteenth

e. Twenty-Third


23.Congress granted citizenship and voting rights to which group in 1924?


a. ex-Confederate soldiers

b. Japanese immigrants

c. Native Americans

d. railroad workers


24.Voting was extended to those 18 years of age or older through which constitutional amendment?


a. Ninth

b. Twenty-Sixth

c. Twenty-First

d. Fifteenth


25.Federal law prevents a state from closing voter registration more than __________ before a federal election.


a. 15 days

b. 30 days

c. 2 months

d. 6 months


26.Since 1952, there have been an equal number of Democratic and Republican presidents. Beyond party identification, the main factor that accounts for this is __________.


a. candidate appeal

b. electoral appeal

c. platform appeal

d. party appeal


27.People tend to belong to the same political party as __________.


a. their parents

b. their peers

c. their neighbors

d. their close friends


28.In terms of their ideology, most people in the United States are __________.


a. slightly liberal

b. slightly conservative

c. moderate

d. non-ideological


29.What is the key to ensuring that a relatively small number of people can accurately represent the opinions of a larger population?


a. random sampling

b. indexing

c. question format

d. response rate


30.What factor is associated with fluctuations in party identification?


a. involvement in foreign wars

b. political corruption

c. congressional gridlock

d. economic conditions


31.Candidate appeal focuses on which of the following questions?


a. What interest groups have endorsed the candidate?

b. Does the candidate have religious or spiritual commitments?

c. What is the candidate’s position on health care policy?

d. What party does the candidate belong to?


32.There is considerable disagreement about how to interpret low voter turnout. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, what is the principal reason that people do not vote?


a. registration problems

b. too busy

c. political ideology

d. no interest


33.Of the following factors, which is usually correlated with a propensity to vote?


a. ambition

b. ethical orientation

c. gender

d. geography


34.Libertarians support which of the following?


a. repealing laws regulating abortion

b. instituting a public jobs program

c. creating programs to protect children from drugs

d. taxing the wealthy more heavily


35.Political scientists have identified three main elements of the voting choice. What are they?


a. candidate appeal, issues, and party identification

b. candidate appeal, issues, and intensity

c. issues, intensity, and intelligence

d. issues, party identification, and social class


36.How do elections in America compare with those in other democracies of the world?


a. Americans vote more frequently than citizens in other democracies of the world.

b. Americans vote less frequently than citizens in other democracies of the world.

c. Americans vote more frequently, but for fewer offices, than citizens in other democracies of the world.

d. Americans vote more frequently and for more offices than citizens in other democracies of the world.


37.The 2010 elections, where the GOP picked up congressional seats, was which type of election?


a. presidential

b. representative

c. primary

d. midterm


38.Both political parties hope to register and mobilize __________, who comprise the largest minority group in the United States.


a. African Americans

b. Hispanics

c. Arab Americans

d. Asian Americans


39.As a result of the Voting Rights Act and the ban on the poll tax, __________.


a. there was a dramatic expansion of registration and voting by African Americans

b. the Republican Party became stronger in the South

c. the Democratic Party became stronger in the South

d. registration increased, but overall voter turnout decreased


40.What impact has the “Motor Voter” law had?


a. It has had no impact on voter registration or voting.

b. It has led to more new voters registering, most of whom claim to be Independents.

c. It has led to more new voters registering, most of whom claim to Democrats.

d. It has increased voter turnout by approximately 10 percent.


41.Enacted in 2002, the __________ established accessibility standards for voting systems in the United States.


a. Americans with Disabilities Act

b. Voting Rights Act

c. Help America Vote Act

d. Electoral Integrity Act


42.The lowest rate of voter turnout is among __________.


a. Independent-leaning Democrats

b. Pure Independents

c. Independent-leaning Republicans

d. Libertarians


43.Jennifer grows up in a politically active household, where both her parents vote, contribute to campaigns, listen to nightly news broadcasts, and read weekly news magazines. They involve Jennifer in their discussions of the political events of the day, often commenting about the social and economic policies that they favor. In time, Jennifer learns that her parents favor government bailouts of troubled national industries and that government should act to improve public education. As she matures, she adopts the political party affiliation of her parents. What process has Jennifer undergone?


a. political assimilation

b. political definition

c. political identification

d. political socialization


44.The Pew Research Center publishes survey data that indicate that 54 percent of college students plan to vote in the next presidential election. If the margin of error is 3 percent, what should the candidates expect the lowest turnout rate among college students to be?


a. 57 percent

b. 54 percent

c. 51 percent

d. less than 51 percent


45.Gabriel is a white middle-class father of two, who works as a librarian in the public library system of a large city in the American West. He is 57 years old. Although Gabriel is generally inclined to support Democratic candidates whose policies provide an economic safety net for those hardest hit by recessions, he will occasionally vote Republican or as an Independent. He is especially concerned about equal access to health care and is inclined to support more aggressive measures to protect the environment from careless polluters. In terms of political ideology, how is Gabriel likely to self-classify himself?


a. conservative

b. liberal

c. extremely liberal

d. non-ideological


46.When Representative Barbara M. Calhoun left office in the middle of her fourth term, she did so at the behest of the president, who appointed her to be U.S. ambassador to Chile. As soon as she had accepted the post, she informed state officials in Georgia of her plans. What did they immediately organize to fill her vacant seat?


a. a midterm election

b. a primary election

c. a replacement election

d. a special election


47.Why are latent opinions important?


a. These opinions help to explain low rates of political participation in the United States.

b. These opinions are highly salient and thus influence people’s political attitudes and behaviors.

c. These opinions are formed early in life and comprise people’s core values.

d. Politicians can make these opinions salient to voters and can use them to build public support for their policies.


48.Compared to liberals, conservatives take a more __________ view of human nature.


a. optimistic

b. pessimistic

c. holistic

d. biased


49.The __________ of public opinion means the proportion of the population that holds a particular view.


a. distribution

b. intensity

c. level

d. margin


50.The statements of a Libertarian voter that the government should not regulate social choices of adults and that the free market is a better supplier of goods and services than a centralized government are representative of his or her what?


a. intensity

b. latency

c. ideology

d. salience


51.How does contemporary liberalism differ from classical liberalism?


a. Contemporary liberals place greater emphasis on individualism.

b. Unlike classical liberals, contemporary liberals believe that government intervention in the economy is necessary.

c. Contemporary liberals focus more on morality and lifestyle.

d. Unlike classical liberals, contemporary liberals favor limited government involvement in foreign affairs.


52.A country that has complete state ownership of property, no relevant property rights, and does not allow for political opposition or voter choice has which type of political system?


a. socialist

b. fascist

c. communist

d. oligarchy


53.Which of the following is an advantage of open-ended questions in public opinion polls?


a. They allow respondents to express their views more clearly.

b. They are easier to interpret and analyze than other types of questions.

c. They reduce the margin of error in public opinion polls.

d. They allow survey researchers to increase their sample sizes.


54.Protest is a form of political participation, including Rosa Parks’s civil disobedience, Tea Party demonstrations, and Occupy Wall Street marches. In extreme cases, people may feel so strongly about an issue that they would rather fight than accept the verdict of an election. The most extreme example from American history of voters rejecting the outcome of an election is which of the following?


a. Jim Crow laws

b. the civil rights movement

c. Vietnam protests

d. the American Civil War


55.Of the following, which is more closely associated with social capital?


a. attitudes

b. awareness

c. interests

d. networks


56.Which type of survey question is best formulated to address concerns about errors in public opinion polling resulting from difficulty in measuring intensity?


a. yes-or-no questions

b. approve-or-disapprove questions

c. scale questions

d. close-ended questions


57.In what way do libertarians and conservatives differ?


a. Unlike conservatives, libertarians favor government regulation of the financial markets.

b. Unlike conservatives, libertarians oppose restrictions on illicit drugs.

c. Unlike libertarians, conservatives favor deregulation.

d. Unlike libertarians, conservatives cherish individual liberties.


58.Why are some people opposed to vote-by-mail?


a. They believe that vote-by-mail alters the turnout in presidential general elections.

b. They believe that vote-by-mail is subject to potential fraud.

c. They believe that Independents unfairly benefit from the practice of voting by mail.

d. They believe that vote-by-mail makes it easier for states to purge voters from the rolls.


59.Race and ethnic background are linked with different levels of voting, largely because they correlate with what third factor?


a. education

b. political ideology

c. salience

d. voter awareness


60.Although as a group, African Americans vote at lower rates than white Americans, when are African Americans likely to vote at the same rate as Caucasians?


a. when they are part of two-earner families

b. when their income levels mirror those of white Americans

c. when they have college degrees

d. when they live in geographic zones other than the Deep South




p True-False Questions



61.Social conservatives focus less on economics and more on morality and lifestyle.


62.Socialism is the belief that the state owns property in common for all people and a single political party that represents the working classes controls the government.


63.The National Voter Registration Act allows people to register to vote while applying for or renewing a driver’s license.


64.Random sampling is a technique that can eliminate the margin of error in public opinion polls.


65.As people get older, they are less likely to vote.


66.Most political scientists agree that issues, though important, have less influence on how people vote than does party identification or candidate appeal.


67.Every state has some kind of voter registration rules.


68.Oregon is the only state to have switched to vote-by-mail as its means to conduct elections and has suffered lower voter turnout because of it.


69.Political socialization is a process that continues throughout our lives.


70.When a substantial percentage of a sample selected to give opinions on an issue agrees on that issue, researchers say that there is a polarization of opinion.


71.In a state where the level of education is higher than the national average, voter turnout will be lower than the national average.


72.Retrospective voting is more common than prospective voting.


73.Intensity of public opinion refers to the degree to which people feel strongly about their opinions.


74.As a retrospective issue voter, you are likely to vote against incumbents during a bad economy.





Fill-in-the-Blank Questions



75.When people come together, listen to each other, exchange ideas, and learn to appreciate each other’s differences, they are engaging in __________.


76.The Twenty-Fourth Amendment prohibited the use of ____________ in federal elections.


77.The electoral process during which voters replace members of the House of Representatives who have died or left office is called a(n) _______________.


78.A common element of political socialization in most cultures is __________, a consciousness of the nation-state and of belonging to it.


79.__________ are issues that motivate particular segments of the electorate to vote and on which the opposing candidate or party is less popular.


80.In a recent Pew Research Center Global Attitudes Survey, corruption was seen as a bigger problem for most people in India, Nigeria, Japan, and Mexico than in __________, which allows neither the free expression of public opinion nor free elections.


81.Voters who cast their ballots in the 2014 election did not vote for a president and therefore voted in a(n) _____________ election.


82.As a group, African Americans vote ___________ than Caucasians, although this is beginning to change.


83.After passage of the Twenty-Sixth Amendment, which increased the number of eligible voters by lowering the voting age to18, voter turnout between 1968 and 1972 ___________.


84.Because public opinion can change from day to day and even from hour to hour, polls are really only __________ of opinion at a particular point in time.


85.Conservatives who focus less on economics and more on morality and lifestyle are known as __________.


86.__________ believe that people are the architects of their own success or failure.


87.The United States compares favorably with other nations in political interest and awareness, but for a variety of institutional and political reasons, about ____________ percent of all eligible citizens fail to vote.


88.The fact that today’s Americans are not well informed about politics is consistent with the conclusions of scholars who have found that users of _________ “are no more knowledgeable about politics (in general and about the field of presidential candidates) than are their counterparts and, in fact, seem to be less so.”






Campaigns and Elections



Multiple-Choice Questions



1.Elections for members of Congress occur __________.


a. on the second Tuesday in November

b. every two years in odd-numbered years

c. on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of even-numbered years

d. in the first week of November in odd-numbered years


2.The term of office for senators is __________.


a. 2 years

b. 4 years

c. 6 years

d. 8 years


3.Which candidate in 2000 lost the Electoral College vote and did not become president?


a. Al Gore

b. George H. W. Bush

c. Bill Clinton

d. John McCain


4.California has 53 seats in the House of Representatives. How many Electoral College votes does it have?


a. 12

b. 25

c. 53

d. 55


5.Women in what two states were allowed to vote well before women throughout the country were granted the right to vote?


a. Colorado and New York

b. New Jersey and Wyoming

c. Pennsylvania and Virginia

d. Massachusetts and Missouri


6.Barack Obama’s successful campaigns for president in 2008 and 2012 resulted in __________ in both elections.


a. a gain of House seats for Republicans

b. a gain of seats in the House and a loss of seats in the Senate for Democrats

c. a loss of House seats and a gain of Senate seats for Republicans

d. a gain of both House and Senate seats for Democrats


7.How often do candidates for House seats have to campaign?


a. every year

b. every 2 years

c. every 4 years

d. every 6 years


8.Incumbent senators are able to outspend their challengers by what ratio?


a. 2:1

b. 3:1

c. 5:1

d. 10:1


9.What states did the Democratic National Committee attempt to punish in 2008 for moving their primaries to January?


a. California and Maine

b. Ohio and Georgia

c. Washington and South Carolina

d. Florida and Michigan


10.Which candidate in 1964 gave an acceptance speech that included the words, “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice”?


a. Lyndon Johnson

b. John Kennedy

c. Richard Nixon

d. Barry Goldwater


11.Which constitutional amendment requires presidential electors to vote for one person for president and another for vice president?


a. the Twelfth

b. the Fifteenth

c. the Nineteenth

d. the Twenty-Second


12.What organization was created in 1974 to administer new campaign reform laws?


a. U.S. Electoral Commission (USEC)

b. Federal Finance Commission (FFC)

c. Federal Election Commission (FEC)

d. Electoral Finance Commission (EFC)


13.The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act is also known as the __________.


a. McCain-Kerry bill

b. Palin-Biden Act

c. McCain-Feingold bill

d. Reid-Boehner bill


14.The Supreme Court decision in which case rejected the longstanding ban on unions and corporations using their general funds on ads about the election or defeat of a candidate?


a. Citizens United v. FEC

b. McConnell v. FEC

c. McCain v. Buckley

d. Buckley v. Valeo


15.Reformers who want more aggressive reforms than those found in BCRA are most eager to control what kinds of groups?


a. 527s

b. PACs

c. Democratic action groups

d. Super PACs


16.Some critics of state presidential primaries argue in favor of __________.


a. a national presidential runoff race

b. a national presidential primary

c. a regional caucus

d. eliminating primaries altogether


17.Competition in congressional elections is most likely when __________.


a. both candidates have adequate funding

b. Super PACS spend money on campaign advertising

c. both candidates accept federal matching funds

d. electoral districts have been subject to partisan gerrymandering


18.In most parliamentary democracies, the party in power calls elections __________.


a. at a time of the party’s choosing

b. every five years on average

c. at fixed intervals of two years

d. only when the government receives a no-confidence vote


19.Term limits for members of the U.S. Congress can be imposed only by __________.


a. state legislatures

b. congressional legislation

c. a public referendum

d. constitutional amendment


20.The constitutional amendment limiting presidents to two terms was adopted in __________.


a. 1791

b. 1865

c. 1920

d. 1951


21.How many times has the House of Representatives determined the outcome of a presidential election?


a. 0

b. 2

c. 5

d. 10


22.In the early years of the United States, suffrage was a right for __________.


a. white male property owners over 21

b. all white males

c. all property owners

d. all adults over 21


23.Which of the following was a source of controversy in the 2012 and 2014 elections?


a. the move by some states to allow noncitizens to vote

b. the move by some states to ban advertising funded by Super PACs

c. the move in some states to reduce the number of early voting days

d. the move in some states to eliminate primaries


24.According to political scientist Gary Jacobson, coattail effects are __________.


a. large and unusual

b. modest and predictable

c. erratic and modest

d. large and predictable


25.When running for the House of Representatives, a candidate’s main hurdle is gaining __________.


a. ballot access

b. coalition support

c. visibility

d. support from his or her family


26.The tendency in elections to focus on the personal attributes of a candidate, such as his or her strengths, weaknesses, background, experience, and visibility, is known as __________.


a. candidate appeal

b. the incumbency advantage

c. party platforms

d. issue-oriented voting


27.An election with no incumbent running is called __________.


a. a toss-up

b. party polling

c. an open seat

d. a referendum


28.Following the 1972 election, an effort was made to give more influence in the selection of the presidential candidate to party leaders and elected officials, leading to the creation of __________.


a. Super PACs

b. superdelegates

c. strong electors

d. primary delegates


29.To win the general election, presidential candidates have to win support from __________ who often do not vote in primaries.


a. intensely conservative voters

b. committedly liberal voters

c. moderate and pragmatic voters

d. Evangelical Christians


30.Which of the following probably has the MOST bearing on who wins a presidentialelection?


a. the current state of the economy

b. the state of foreign affairs

c. which candidate has aired the most ads

d. which candidate is backed by unions


31.What does it mean for the party leadership to “clear the field” in campaigns?


a. to the purge the voter rolls of people who are ineligible to vote

b. to discourage some candidates from running while endorsing a preferred candidate

c. to discourage minor parties from running candidates in the general election

d. to discourage the opposing campaign from running negative ads


32.Ads that typically attack a candidate but allow the sponsor to avoid disclosure and contribution limitations because the ads do not use electioneering language such as “vote for” or “vote against” are classified as __________.


a. soft money

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