AP US Government : Political Action Committees

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP US Government

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Special Interests And Mass Media

Which of these groups is most likely to be supported by a Political Action Committee (PAC)?

Possible Answers:

Incumbents seeking reelection

Conservative Federal Judges

Liberal Federal Judges

A religious figure

Candidates challenging an incumbent

Correct answer:

Incumbents seeking reelection

Explanation:

Political Action Committees are most likely to support an incumbent seeking reelection. Political Actions Committees are groups set up to ensure the election of one candidate over another.

Example Question #1 : Political Action Committees

Which of the options listed below is not one of the most prevalent reasons why PACs choose to give money to a particular candidate?

Possible Answers:

The candidate is a new politician and is running against an incumbent candidate

The candidate is from a region or state where the PAC is also located

The candidate supports the same issue(s) as the PAC

The candidate is on a committee which handles matters relevant to the PAC’s concerns

Correct answer:

The candidate is a new politician and is running against an incumbent candidate

Explanation:

PACs give money to political campaigns for a variety of reasons but when faced with an election between an incumbent and a new candidate, PACs time and again overwhelmingly choose to sponsor the incumbent. Statistically speaking, incumbents are more likely to win re-election, even when faced with a seemingly intriguing new opponent. PACs therefore view incumbent candidates as sound investment opportunities– if a PAC’s monetary gift is able to help an incumbent retain their position, then the PAC has automatically gained a friend and potential ally who may later reciprocate by supporting PAC issues.

Example Question #3 : Political Action Committees

What is a political action committee (PAC)?

Possible Answers:

An organization within a political party that coordinates campaign events

An organization that conducts voter registration drives

An organization that works to educate voters on policy

An organization that solicits campaign contributions and distributes them to political candidates

An organizations that focuses on grassroots/outside lobbying

Correct answer:

An organization that solicits campaign contributions and distributes them to political candidates

Explanation:

Political Action Committees or (PACs) are organizations created to support campaign finance for a candidate.

Example Question #3 : Special Interests And Mass Media

Which of these best describes the intended role of Political Action Committees?

Possible Answers:

They serve as institutions to bolster the electoral chances of challenges

They raise funds to support their desired candidates

They are meant to preserve the power of incumbents and ensure continuous re-election

They keep the public informed about abuses of government power

They encourage effective monitoring of the Judicial process

Correct answer:

They raise funds to support their desired candidates

Explanation:

In American elections, Political Action Committees (PACs) are organizations that raise money by collecting campaign contributions and donations. They then use this money to fund the campaign of someone running for office. They can be used to fund either an incumbent or a challenger. They can also be used to fund desired legislation, although this is less common and more of a secondary purpose.

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