Elections, Parties, and Pressure Groups
Session 16: Sample Assessment Items

Essay Questions

1. What is the role of political parties in the U.S. political process?

2. Compare and contrast the two major political parties.

3. What role does the media play in elections?

4. How has the high cost of campaigning changed American elections?

5. What factors determine the voter turnout in an election?

6. How does the Electoral College elect a President?

7. What role does the media play in setting the public agenda?

8. How do special interest groups reach lawmakers to help set policy?

Multiple Choice Questions

9. The most important function of political parties is to
A. conduct public opinion polls.
B. help candidates win elections.*
C. organize debates.
D. hold campaign rallies.

10. Political Parties do all of the following EXCEPT
A. nominate candidates.
B. raise money for campaigns.
C. monitor office holders.
D. count the electoral vote.*

11. In order to win elections political parties
A. appeal to the political center.*
B. the same position on issues as their opponents.
C. avoid all propaganda techniques.
D. try to attract only liberal voters.

12. One example of mass media used in political campaigns is
A. campaign flyers.
B. posters.
C. political mailings.
D. newspapers.*

      • Separating fact from opinion
      • Detecting bias
      • Evaluating sources
      • Identifying propaganda

13. The best title for the chart above is "Strategies for ____________________."
A. Assessing voter registration
B. Selecting a PAC (political action committee)
C. Evaluating campaign information*
D. Increasing voter turnout

14. The high cost of getting elected has changed campaigns for political office by
A. giving special interest groups an increased influence.*
B. expanding the opportunities for people to run for office.
C. discouraging the development of PACs (political action committees).
D. requiring the national government to pay all campaign costs.

15. The cartoon above implies that PACs (political action committees)
A. are an important source of funding for campaigns.*
B. handle all of the communications for a candidate.
C. organize the candidates calendar.
D. are not important to campaigns.

16. In Virginia, a citizen may register to vote in all of the following ways EXCEPT
A. at the registrar's office.
B. by mail application.
C. at the division of motor vehicles.
D. by absentee ballot.*

17. The President and Vice President are elected by
A. a popular vote of the people.
B. a majority vote in the Senate of the United States.
C. a majority vote in the Electoral College*
D. a presidential primary in the states.

18. The winner-take-all system in the Electoral College leads to
A. targeting large states for campaigning.*
B. electors from two or more parties in the same state.
C. an equal number of electors from each state.
D. frequent ties in elections.

19. The mass media has an important effect on elections by
A. financing a particular candidate.
B. reporting only one candidate's information.
C. creating ads for candidates they support.
D. emphasizing selected issues.*

20. Elected office holders use the mass media to
A. communicate with the public.*
B. pre-approve their ideas.
C. serve as fundraisers.
D. give their opponents equal

    In the last election, Tamara Goldstein voted for a candidate who shares her views on maintaining a clean environment.

21. Tamara's action shows one way she
A. can influence public policy.*
B. can be a lobbyist.
C. fulfills the duties of citizenship.
D. registers to vote.





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