AP US Government : Organization of Interest Groups

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP US Government

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Organization Of Interest Groups

People who benefit from the policies of interest groups without participating in those interest groups are called __________.

Possible Answers:

grass roots

outcasts

hanging chads

free riders

lazy boys

Correct answer:

free riders

Explanation:

The problem faced by most interest groups is that the majority of people who benefit from the policies of the interest group can do so without actively participating in the interest group. This is known as "The Free Rider Problem." One of the main things that interest groups try to accomplish is to convince those who benefit from their policies and goals is that it benefits them so much that it behooves them to get involved and help accelerate the movement.

Example Question #2 : Organization Of Interest Groups

Bundling is best described as __________.

Possible Answers:

the series of tax loopholes that allow certain corporations to keep more money than is seemingly legal

the collection of multiple campaign contributions from numerous individuals within a community or organization by one individual

the redrawing of electoral districts to diminish the influence that minority groups can have on the political process

the grouping together of various legislative acts in order to conceal one less desirable act within a collection of more desirable ones

the redrawing of electoral districts to favor the re-election of an incumbent candidate

Correct answer:

the collection of multiple campaign contributions from numerous individuals within a community or organization by one individual

Explanation:

In recent years, the government has placed limitations on the amount of money one individual can contribute to a political campaign. One of the consequences of this ruling has been the increased use of bundling. Bundling is when one individual or organization campaigns for and collects contributions from a large group of people within a community.

Example Question #3 : Organization Of Interest Groups

Select the choice below which correctly lists the top three factors most crucial to an interest group’s success.

Possible Answers:

Funds, intensity, and size

Clear organization, Congressional connections, and favorable legal rulings

Funds, powerful patrons, and political orientation

A relevant topic, emotional appeal, and widespread advertising

Correct answer:

Funds, intensity, and size

Explanation:

When it comes to assessing a particular interest group’s chances of success, three factors are key: funds, intensity, and size. Adequate funding is quite naturally necessary in order for a group to promote its goals among both governmental figures and the larger public audience. But financial wealth alone is not enough to guarantee victory, especially in the competitive world of lobbying. Intensity is also crucial– members of a group must truly believe in the issue for which they are advocating. The law of intensity applies to the public as well, because if a group chooses a topic which has great emotional resonance (such as abortion or gun control), regular citizens are more likely to offer their support and are more willing to navigate the messy avenues of politics to promote their cause. A group’s size is also key but, contrary to common perception, larger groups are not in fact necessarily more effective. Practice has proven that it is quite difficult to adequately mobilize massive numbers of people, both in terms of gleaning participation and in sustaining enthusiasm. Interest groups with smaller membership rosters actually tend to achieve their goals more often, because it is much easier for them to organize themselves, to continually generate intensity, and to share in the benefits of success together.

Example Question #4 : Organization Of Interest Groups

Which of the following is not of the four most prevalent strategies used by interest groups to influence policies and win over allies?

Possible Answers:

Lobbying 

Litigation 

Direct public appeals 

Corporate welfare

Correct answer:

Corporate welfare

Explanation:

While interest groups employ many tactics to accomplish their goals, the four most popular (and proven effective) tools of their trade are: direct public appeals, lobbying, litigation, and electioneering. Corporate welfare, on the other hand, is instead one of the benefits which interest groups sponsored by corporations reap as a result of their efforts to win over members of Congress. Common examples of corporate welfare include tax exemptions, fee rebates, and loopholes written into bills passed by Congress, all advocated for and put forward by those Congressional members who gratefully received corporate interest group support and now are motivated to return the favor.

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