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Ch 10: U.S. Political Parties & Elections

About This Chapter

This study resource covers elections and political parties in the United States. These comprehensive lessons will show you the election process and the history of the country's political party systems.

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.

11 Lessons in Chapter 10: U.S. Political Parties & Elections
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
U.S. Political Parties: Purpose, History, Organization & Structure

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.

The Two-Party System: Definition, Advantages & Disadvantages

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?

Minor (Third) Parties: Definition, Role & Examples

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.

Republican & Democrat Beliefs: Social & Economic Issues

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.

Nominating a Presidential Candidate: The Process & Its Strengths & Weaknesses

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.

Primary Election Versus General Election: Definition & Differences

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.

Presidential vs. Congressional Campaigns: Similarities & Differences

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.

Campaign Finance: Sources, Regulations & Reform

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.

Factors that Influence Voters During Presidential Elections

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.

The Electoral College: Definition & Process

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.

Incumbency in Contemporary House & Senate Elections: Definition & Advantages

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.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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