A legislature consisting of two separate chambers or houses. The US Congress consists of the Senate and House of Representatives.
Cooperation on an issue or issues by two political parties, usually the two major parties controlling a government.
A face-to-face meeting of party members for selecting delegates to a state or national nominating convention.
A figure with moderate political opinions and policies.
The legislative branch of the US federal government. It is endowed with all law-making powers by the Constitution. The US Congress is composed of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
All the people, especially the voters, who are served by a particular elected official.
The amount by which budget expenditures exceed government revenues or income in a given time period.
The use of obstructionist tactics, especially prolonged speech making, for the purpose of delaying legislative action. In US politics it usually refers to the ability of any senator to speak as long as they wish on a topic unless 60 of the 100 senators vote to end debate. The filibuster can be used to prevent bills from ever being voted upon.
Acronym for the First Lady of the United States.
A redistricting of voting areas to advantage one party or weaken the voting strength of an ethnic group, urban population, region, etc.
Nickname for the Republican Party, short for "Grand Old Party."
The selection of a governor by a state's voters.
The person presently holding a particular political office. Generally, an incumbent seeking re-election has a better chance of winning than those challenging the incumbent.
Elections that occur halfway through the president's four year term. The American electorate votes for members of Congress and state governors during midterm elections.
Occupy Wall Street
A populist protest movement that emerged in late 2011, the movement has since spread to other cities and countries. The protest came about as a reaction against growing inequality and the role of corporate money in politics.
Acronym for Political Action Committee, a group of private citizens who raise money with the aim of getting a political candidate elected or advancing the outcome of a political issue or legislation. Their fundraising activities face restrictions from the Federal Election Commission.
An election to select a party's candidates for public office.
Canvassing or surveying a select or random group of people to collect information.
Acronym for the President of the United States.
The process of redrawing the geographic boundaries of congressional districts. The majority party in the state legislature typically controls the process.
A form of government in which citizens rule through elected representatives or proxies. Representatives are put up for re-election periodically in order to keep them accountable to the people they represent.
Acronym for the Supreme Court of the United States.
Separation of powers
Each of the three branches of government (legislative, executive and judicial) possesses independent powers which allow them to monitor and limit the powers of the other two branches. The framers of the Constitution set up this system of "checks and balances" so that no official or group of officials could establish a monopoly on power.
In US politics it refers to the 60 senators needed to invoke cloture and end debate on an issue. If 41 senators oppose a bill they can filibuster which prevents the bill from being voted upon.
A political action committee that is able to raise unlimited funds from corporations, unions and other groups or individuals.
A state that is not typically loyal to a particular political party and which can go either way in a given election.
Acronym for Troubled Asset Relief Program.
A populist US protest movement motivated by a belief in fiscal conservatism. The movement emerged in response to the federal government's stimulus package, officially known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009.
Limitations on the number of times that an individual may hold a particular political office. State offices can be subject to term limits but states cannot set term limits for members of US Congress.
The act of a political candidate presenting his or her ideology as being "above" and "between" the "left" and "right" sides of a traditional democratic political spectrum.
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