About This Chapter
U.S. Political Parties & Elections - Chapter Summary
These fun and engaging political science lessons outline the core components of the United States' political party systems. You'll learn about the beliefs and roles of these systems and review the congressional and presidential election processes. You'll also familiarize yourself with concepts such as campaign finance regulations, the electoral college and incumbency. After completing the lessons in this chapter, you'll be able to:
- Understand the purpose, history, organization and structure of U.S. political parties
- Assess the advantages and disadvantages of the two-party system
- Name minor (third) parties and understand their roles
- Summarize the social and economic issues surrounding republican and democratic beliefs
- Describe the process of nominating a presidential candidate
- Compare and contrast presidential vs. congressional campaigns
- Identify campaign finance sources and regulations
- Recognize factors that influence voters during presidential elections
- Outline the electoral college process
- Analyze incumbency in modern-day House and Senate elections
These lessons are taught by expert instructors who design each lessons to cover important political definitions and concepts in a straightforward, yet memorable fashion. After completing each lesson, you're encouraged to take the accompanying self-assessment quizzes to make sure you've fully understood essential political party and election topics. You can also print word-for-word lesson transcripts to review key terms. Course material is accessible at any time, which helps you study whenever it's convenient.
1. U.S. Political Parties: Purpose, History, Organization & Structure
In this lesson, you will explore the history and structure of American political parties, including the current dominant groups. Then, test your understanding with a brief quiz.
2. The Two-Party System: Definition, Advantages & Disadvantages
In this lesson, we will explore the U.S. two-party system. What are the benefits of the U.S two-party system? What are the common criticisms of the U.S. two-party system?
3. Minor (Third) Parties: Definition, Role & Examples
The following lesson will introduce the concept of third parties, as well as explain their role in the national political party system. A short quiz will follow to check your understanding.
4. Republican & Democrat Beliefs: Social & Economic Issues
If you pay even a little attention to politics, you've probably heard about some debates between America's two major political parties. In this lesson, we'll explore some political beliefs of each party and see where they overlap and where they differ.
5. Nominating a Presidential Candidate: The Process & Its Strengths & Weaknesses
The nomination process for United States president contains several different steps. This lesson outlines the modern nomination process for the offices of president and vice president and evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the process.
6. Primary Election Versus General Election: Definition & Differences
In the United States, we use two different types of presidential elections. Both primary and general elections are used to determine a winning candidate. This lesson explains primary and general elections, including the differences between the two.
7. Presidential vs. Congressional Campaigns: Similarities & Differences
In this lesson, we will review the difference between presidential and congressional campaigns. We will take a closer look at their differences and how they affect the campaign.
8. Campaign Finance: Sources, Regulations & Reform
Modern presidential campaigns often last up to two years and involve extensive media operations. This means a successful campaign will be expensive. This lesson discusses campaign finance, including sources, regulations, and reform efforts.
9. Factors that Influence Voters During Presidential Elections
Many factors influence voters during presidential elections. The voter's background, party identification and view of the government's past performance are some of the important influences. This lesson examines influences on voter behavior.
10. The Electoral College: Definition & Process
In the U.S., our presidential elections are decided using the Electoral College. The system is meant to balance election power between the federal and state governments. This lesson explains what the Electoral College is and how it works.
11. Incumbency in Contemporary House & Senate Elections: Definition & Advantages
In this lesson, we will review the importance of incumbency in congressional elections. We will take a closer look at the factors that make it an advantage and what they mean to the outcome of an election.
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Other chapters within the Praxis Government/Political Science (5931): Practice & Study Guide course
- U.S. Constitutional Foundations
- American Constitutional Principles
- U.S. Executive Branch Overview
- U.S. Legislative Branch Overview
- U.S. Judicial Branch Overview
- State & Local Governments
- Civil Rights & Liberties
- Landmark American Supreme Court Cases
- Political Participation in the U.S.
- Comparative Politics & International Relations
- Praxis Government/Political Science Flashcards