AP US Government : Voting

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP US Government

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Political Participation

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

Possible Answers:

Hispanic-Americans

White atheists

White Protestants

White Catholics

African-Americans

Correct answer:

White Protestants

Explanation:

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

Example Question #2 : Political Participation

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

Possible Answers:

straight-ticket voting

swing voting

dependent voting

reserved 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 #3 : Political Participation

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

Possible Answers:

higher tax rates for the wealthy

an increase in gay rights and marriage equality

increased government spending on education

increased military spending

W=women’s rights to contraception and abortion

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 : Political Participation

Which of these statements about political participation is true?

Possible Answers:

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

Evangelical Christians are less likely to vote in an election.

Women are less likely to vote Democrat.

Minorities are more likely to vote Republican.

People with a higher income are more 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 #5 : Political Participation

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

Possible Answers:

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

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

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

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

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 #6 : Political Participation

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

Possible Answers:

Homeowners

Religious people

Renters

Wealthy people

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 #7 : Political Participation

Voter turnout has generally __________ throughout American history?

Possible Answers:

steadily increased

steadily declined

sharply increased

stayed about the same

sharply declined

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 #8 : Political Participation

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

Possible Answers:

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

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

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

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

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.

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