Chapter 9

Term Definition
political party an association of voters with broad common interests who want to influence or control decision making in government by electing the party's candidates to public office
two-party system a system of power in which two parties compete for power
third party a party that challenges the two major parties
platform a series of statements expressing the party's principles, beliefs, and positions on election issues
plank each individual part in a party's platform
national committee representatives from the 50 state party organizations who run a political party
caucus a meeting of political party members to conduct party business
precinct a geographical area that contains a specific number of voters
ward several jointing precincts making up a larger election unit
political machine a strong party organization that can control political appointments and deliver votes
direct primary an election in which voters choose candidates to represent each party in a general election
closed primary an election in which only the declared members of a party may vote for that party's nominees
open primary an election in which voters need not declare a party's preference to vote for a party's nominees
plurality the most votes among all those running for a political office
majority a number that is more than 50 percent of the total
petition a formal request for government action

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