AP US Government : Political Participation

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP US Government

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Political Participation

Liberal voting patterns are least likely to be followed by which of these social or ethnic groups?

Possible Answers:

White Catholics

White atheists

African-Americans

Hispanic-Americans

White Protestants

Correct answer:

White Protestants

Explanation:

The most consistently conservative voting bloc in contemporary America is white Protestants.

Example Question #1 : Political Participation

The action of voting exclusively for members of one political party on an election ballot is called __________.

Possible Answers:

swing voting

dependent voting

reserved voting

straight-ticket voting

line-item voting

Correct answer:

straight-ticket voting

Explanation:

Straight-ticket voting refers to the action of voting exclusively for members of one political party on an election ballot. It essentially means that an individual, when faced with a choice between two candidates, does not consider the nature or beliefs of the candidates at all and simply votes based on party lines. It was particularly common in American politics up until the 1960s, but still remains common today.

Example Question #1 : Voting

Someone who describes themselves as “liberal” would be least likely to vote for __________.

Possible Answers:

higher tax rates for the wealthy

W=women’s rights to contraception and abortion

an increase in gay rights and marriage equality

increased government spending on education

increased military spending

Correct answer:

increased military spending

Explanation:

Someone who self-identifies as liberal would be likely to support an increase in marriage equality and the right of a woman to have access to contraception and abortion. Liberals also generally support higher government spending on social programs—particularly welfare and education. Liberals favor tax breaks for the poor and higher tax rates for the wealthy; however, in contemporary American society Liberals do not generally support an increase in military spending. This is something of an anomaly as far as the political spectrum is concerned. Liberals are supposed to favor greater government spending, and Conservatives are supposed to favor limited government spending, but when it comes to the military this is reversed. This is partially a by-product of the way in which the two major political parties are constructed in contemporary American society.

Example Question #1 : Voting

Which of these statements about political participation is true?

Possible Answers:

Minorities are more likely to vote Republican.

Women are less likely to vote Democrat.

Evangelical Christians are less likely to vote in an election.

People with a higher income are more likely to vote in an election.

Well-educated people are less likely to vote in an election.

Correct answer:

People with a higher income are more likely to vote in an election.

Explanation:

All of these statements are false, except that people with a higher income are more likely to vote in an election. Those with a higher income are much more likely than the average citizen to vote; well-educated people are also more likely to vote; minorities and women are both, in current times, more likely to vote Democrat; Evangelical Christians are more likely than average to vote in an election and often swing the Republican primaries quite dramatically.

Example Question #3 : Political Participation

The Reverse-Income Effect refers to the fact that __________.

Possible Answers:

as taxation is raised on the wealthiest in society the economy tends to perform worse

as immigration rates increase the average income of the immigrant population tends to decline

Americans believe in keeping taxes low for the wealthiest in society because they might one day be wealthy and would not want to pay high taxes

since the beginning of the twenty-first century, the income equality in the United States has expanded dramatically

poorer areas support the Republican Party and wealthier areas support the Democratic Party

Correct answer:

poorer areas support the Republican Party and wealthier areas support the Democratic Party

Explanation:

The Reverse-Income Effect refers to the fact that, in poorer areas of the United States the Republican Party enjoys majority support, while in wealthier areas the Democratic Party enjoys majority support. This is considered unusual, because the Republican Party’s policies appear to favor the wealthy, while the Democratic Party’s policies appear to favor the poor. People do not generally (historically speaking) vote against their own economic interests so there must be other important factors at play.

Example Question #4 : Political Participation

Which of these demographic groups is least likely to vote in an election?

Possible Answers:

Wealthy people

Religious people

Renters

Homeowners

University-educated people

Correct answer:

Renters

Explanation:

The list of people that is more likely than average to vote in an election include the wealthy and well-educated, those with active community involvement, those with strong religious beliefs, and homeowners. For reasons that probably relate to the concept of permanency, people who rent property are much less likely to vote in an election.

Example Question #2 : Voting

Voter turnout has generally __________ throughout American history?

Possible Answers:

steadily increased

steadily declined

sharply declined

stayed about the same

sharply increased

Correct answer:

steadily declined

Explanation:

Voter turnout has generally steadily declined throughout American history, from it’s high point in the middle of the nineteenth century to its general low point today. The highest elections for voter turnout were 1876 and 1860. Part of the reason for declining voter turnout is the dramatic increase in eligible voters over the years, another reason might be the declining (although not dramatically declining) sectarian nature of American politics.

Example Question #1 : Political Participation

The phrase, "Civic Duty," refers to the idea that __________.

Possible Answers:

It is the duty of every representative to act in the best interests of the district which elects him or her.

It is every American citizen's duty to pick a candidate who will serve the greatest good of the nation.

It is each and every American citizen's duty to vote and engage in the political process.

The media has a duty to report responsibly on the armed forces whenever America is engaged in a state of war.

The media has a responsibility to report on elections with equal and fair treatment.

Correct answer:

It is each and every American citizen's duty to vote and engage in the political process.

Explanation:

"Civic Duty" refers to the idea that every able and eligible American has a responsibility to vote in elections and engage in the political process. The phrase is generally intended to encourage people to appreciate and take advantage of the fact that they live in a liberal and democratic society.

Example Question #1 : Political Participation

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was a protest that was instrumental in the passage of

Possible Answers:

the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Education Amendments Act of 1972.

Equal Pay Act of 1963.

Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972.

Correct answer:

the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Explanation:

The March on Washington was one of the largest protests in American history, with an estimated 250,000 people gathering on the Washington Mall to force congress to pass civil rights legislation. After the August 28, 1963 March, many Civil Rights leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. and A. Philip Randolph met with members of congress. After a long legislative process, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which legally prohibited discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, or national origin, was passed on July 2, 1964.

Example Question #2 : Political Participation

An individual who is described as “reactionary” is most likely to have __________.

Possible Answers:

somewhat liberal political opinions

somewhat conservative political opinions

moderate political opinions

extremely conservative political opinions

extremely liberal political opinions

Correct answer:

extremely conservative political opinions

Explanation:

On the political spectrum liberals are on the left, moderates in the middle, and conservatives on the right. Reactionary is the term given to conservatives who are extremely far to the right. Reactionaries are generally very opposed to political or social reform and want to see the status quo maintained at all costs.

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