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Participating and Information in Politics – Review Sheet

Voting, Political Parties, Elections, Interest Groups and the Media



  1. Different ways that voting was limited in the past (literacy tests, poll taxes, etc.)
  2. How the Constitution allowed for greater voting participation over time
  3. Most significant reason people don’t vote
  4. Single greatest predictor of voting
  5. What you need in order to vote – age, registration, etc.
  6. Difference between a midterm and general election
  7. Democracy in America – Rock the Vote

Political Parties

  1. What third parties add to the political process
  2. Which groups tend to support Republicans v. Democrats
  3. Split ticket voting vs. straight ticket
  4. Party identification – do most people specifically identify with a party.
  5. Roles of political parties – party as a label, party as an organization, party in power
  6. Democracy in America – The Making of a Democrat


  1. Democracy in America – Kennedy and Catholicism
  2. Campaign spending in elections (significance and rules)
  3. Campaign spending and Buckley v. Valeo
  4. Primaries – New Hampshire (significance)
  5. National conventions at the end of the primary season – significant?

Interest Groups

  1. Define interest group
  2. How interest groups help the public and Congress
  3. Electioneering, going public, litigation, lobbying – know what they are and the difference between them.
  4. Olson’s Law, single interest groups, free rider problem

The Media

  1. Roles of media – gatekeeper, scorekeeper, watchdog
  2. Democracy in America – Washington Post and Foster Care

Civil Rights

    1. Know all 16 cases from the in-class projects.



“The media plays an indispensable role in American politics.”  (a).  State two ways this comment is true (use the roles of the media in your explanation:  gatekeeper, scorekeeper, watchdog)  (b) State one way in which you discuss how the media can actually complicate and confuse the political process.