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Chapter Eight: Vocabulary

Blanket primaryA primary in which voters can vote for the Dem. candidates, the Rep. candidates, or some from each party
Closed primaryPrimary in which voters must first declare to which party they belong
CoattailsTendency of down-ballot candidates to profit from the presence on the ticket of a stronger candidate
Critical or realigning periodTime during which a sharp, lasting shift occurs int he popular coalition supporting 1 or both parties
Direct mailMeans of soliciting funds from millions of people
General electionElection used to fill an elective office
IncumbentPerson currently in office
Office-bloc ballotBallot listing all candidates for a given office under the name of that office
Open primaryPrimary in which voters can vote for the candidates of either the Democratic or the Republican party
Party-column ballotBallot listing all candidates of a given party together under the name of that party
PACGroup legally able to solicit campaign contributions from people within an organization and to funnel these to candidates for office (with some restrictions)
Position issueIssue dviding the electorate on which rival parties adopt different policy positions to attract voters
Primary electionElectio intended to select a party's candidates for elective office
Prospective votingVoting for a candidate b/c one favors his ideas for addressing issues after the election
Retrospective votingVoting for the candidate or party in office b/c one likes or dislikes how things have goine in the past
Runoff primaryPrimary in which, to be successful, the candidate must receive a majority of all votes cast in that race
Split ticket votingPractice of voting for one major party's candidates in state or local elections and the other's at the national level
SpotsShort TV ads used to promote a candidate for government office
Straight ticket votingVoting for candidates who are all of the same party
Talking HeadsTelevised pictures showing nothing more than individuals speaking
Valence issueIssue on which voters distinguish rival parties by the degree to which they associate each party with goals that voters universally support or oppose
VisualFilmed episode showing a candidate doing something newsworthy

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