Kris Seago
Political Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Community College / Lower Division
Creative Commons Attribution
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Glossary: Elections and Campaigns in Texas

blanket primary: A primary in which the ballot is not restricted to candidates from one party

campaign: the eorts of candidates to secure positions in the government or the eorts to get policy matters adopted

caucus: a form of candidate nomination that occurs in a town-hall style format rather than a day-long election; usually reserved for presidential elections

closed primary: a primary election in which only registered members of a particular political party can vote.

coattail eect: the result when a popular presidential candidate helps candidates from his or her party win their own elections

delegates: party members who are chosen to represent a particular candidate at the party’s state- or national-level nominating convention

district system: the means by which electoral votes are divided between candidates based on who wins districts and/or the state

election: the process by which government ocials are selected and matters of policy are determined

electoral college: the constitutionally created group of individuals, chosen by the states, with the responsibility of formally selecting the next U.S. president

general election: the election in which voters cast ballots to select public ocials

gerrymandering: the drawing of district lines to guarantee a desired electoral outcome

incumbency advantage: the advantage held by oceholders that allows them to often win reelection

incumbent: the current holder of a political oce

midterm elections: the congressional elections that occur in the even-numbered years between presidential election years, in the middle of the president’s term

nonpartisan blanket primary. A primary in which the ballot is not restricted to candidates from one party, where the top two candidates advance to the general election regardless of party aliation

open primary: a primary election in which any registered voter can participate in the contest, regardless of party aliation

platform: the set of issues important to the political party and the party delegates

political action committees (PACs): organizations created to raise money for political campaigns and spend money to influence policy and politics

primary election: a ballot vote in which citizens select a party's nominee for the general election

Raiding: occurs when voters of one party cross over and vote in the primary of another party, eectively allowing a party to help choose its opposition’s candidate.

runo primary: a second primary election held between the two candidates who received the most votes in the primary election if no candidate in the first primary election had received a majority

shadow campaign: a campaign run by political action committees and other organizations without the coordination of the candidate

special elections: an election that is not held on a regularly scheduled basis. In

Texas, a special election is called to ratify amendments to the Texas Constitution, fill a vacancy in a public oce, or give approval for the state government to borrow money.

straight-ticket voting: the practice of voting only for candidates from the same party

super PACs: ocially known as Independent Expenditure-Only Committees; organizations that can fundraise and spend as they please to support or attack a candidate but not contribute directly to a candidate or strategize with a candidate’s campaign

top-two primary: a primary election in which the two candidates with the most votes, regardless of party, become the nominees for the general election

winner-take-all system: all electoral votes for a state are given to the candidate who wins the most votes in that state

References and Further Reading

Hershey, Marjorie Randon (2007). Party Politics in America 12th ed. Longman Classics in Political Science. Pages 110-111

Licensing and Attribution


Elections and Campaigns in Texas: Glossary. Authored by: John Osterman. License: CC BY: Attribution.