The Lord’s Prayer is 66 words, the Gettysburg Address is 286 words, there are 1,322 words in the Declaration of Independence, but government regulations on the sale of cabbage total 26,911 words.

– The National Review

Essential Questions

  1. In what ways does political culture affect and inform political participation? (For example, students should know that individuals often engage in multiple forms of participation, including voting, protests, and mass movements. Students should understand both why individuals engage in various forms of political participation and how that participation affects the political process. Note: this is a Free-Response question #2 in the 2003 exam)
  2. What leads citizens to differ from one another in their political beliefs and behaviors, and what are the political consequences of these differences?
  3. What are the demographic features of the American population, and how do the beliefs and behavior systems held by specific ethnic, minority and other groups affect their view of the political process?
  4. How have U.S. political parties evolved over the years?
  5. What are the functions and structures of political parties and what effect do they have on the political process?
  6. How have party reform, new campaign strategies, and financing in the electronic age impacted political parties?
  7. What are the ideological and demographic differences between the two major parties, as well as third parties?
  8. What are the political roles of the massive number of lobbying and interest groups?
  9. Why are some interests represented by organized groups while others are not, and what are the consequences of these differences?
  10. What do interest groups do, how do they do it, and how does this affect both the political process and public policy?
  11. Why are certain segments of the population, such as farmers and the elderly, able to exert pressure on political institutions and participants in order to obtain favorable policies?
  12. What is the role of the media in the political system?
  13. How has the media impacted public opinion, voter perceptions, campaign strategies, electoral outcomes, agenda development, and the images of political officials and candidates for public office?
  14. Why is understanding the often symbiotic, and frequently conflictual, relationship between candidates, elected officials and the media so important?



  1. Caucus (Nominating).
  2. Congressional Campaign Committees
  3. Direct Primary
  4. Economic-protest Parties
  5. Factional Parties
  6. First Party Systems
  7. Ideological Party
  8. Initiative
  9. Mugwumps (Progressives)
  10. National Chairman
  11. National Committee
  12. National Party Convention
  13. Old Guard
  14. One-Issue Party
  15. Personal Following
  16. Plurality System
  17. Political Machine
  18. Political Party
  19. Second Party System
  20. Solidary Incentive
  21. Special-Interest Caucus
  22. Sponsored Party
  23. Super delegates
  24. Two-Party System
  25. Unit Rule
  26. Winner Take All System


  1. Blanket Primary
  2. Closed Primary
  3. Coattails (Political)
  4. Critical Realigning Periods
  5. Electoral coalition
  6. Electoral realignment
  7. General election
  8. Incumbent
  9. Negative ad
  10. Office-bloc ballot
  11. Open primary
  12. Party-column ballot
  13. Political action committee
  14. Position issue
  15. Presidential primary
  16. Primary election
  17. Prospective voting
  18. Public finance laws
  19. Retrospective voting
  20. Runoff primary
  21. Split-ticket voting
  22. Spots
  23. Straight-ticket voting
  24. Theme
  25. Tone
  26. Valence issue

Chapter 11

  1. Cue
  2. Direct Mail
  3. Federal Regulation and Lobbying Act of 1946
  4. Ideological Interest Group
  5. Incentive
  6. Institutional Interests
  7. Interest Group
  8. Lobby
  9. Lobbyist
  10. Material Incentive
  11. Membership Interests
  12. Pluralistic Political System
  13. Political Action Committee
  14. Public-Interest Lobby
  15. Purposive Incentive
  16. Ratings
  17. Solidary incentives

Social Movement

Chapter 12

  1. Adversarial Press
  2. Attach Journalism
  3. Background Story
  4. Confidentiality
  5. Equal Time Rule
  6. Fairness Doctrine
  7. Feature Stories
  8. Federal Communications Commission
  9. Gatekeeper
  10. Inside Stories
  11. Loaded Language
  12. Market
  13. Mental Tune-Out
  14. Muckraker
  15. Party Press
  16. Political Editorializing Rule
  17. Popular Press
  18. Prior Restraint
  19. Right-of-Reply Rule
  20. Routine Stories
  21. Scorekeeper
  22. Selective Attention
  23. Sound Bite
  24. Trial Balloon
  25. Watchdog

Yellow Journalism

Civic Engagement Project – Task #3

The purpose of Task 3 is for students to analyze the relationship between their domestic policy problem and both public opinion and political ideology. Students will write a paper that:

  1. Presents two public opinion polls from a polling service or website, such as Gallup, the Pew Research Center, a news website, or FiverThirtyEight, that present public opinion data related to the policy problem. Describe the data presented in each poll, describe patterns and trends in the data, draw at least one conclusion based on the data, explain how the poll relates to the policy problem, and account for any differences in the data presented by both polls. Evaluate the veracity of the polls by analyzing the sampling techniques and question types.
  2. Describe the stance of the Republican Party, Democratic Party, and ONE third party as it relates to the policy problem based on the information presented in the most recent national party platforms. Also explain the relationship between the Republican Party’s stance on conservatism, and Democratic Party’s stance on liberalism, and the relationship between the stance of the third party and the two major parties.
  3. Explain how individual political beliefs related to your topic develop as well as how the policy problem is related to ONE of the core values underlying American political culture (e.g., individualism, equality of opportunity, free enterprise, rule of law, limited government) and how the major parties differ in their attitudes towards this core value.
  4. Explain how the information researched in this benchmark might influence the strategic approach of the interest group in attempting to influence policy around the policy problem.
Sub Units

Political Parties

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Elections and Campaigns

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Interest Groups

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The Media

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Unit Review & Project

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