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Politics 101

Top Two
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Top-Two Primary Elections, Explained

Unlike conventional open and closed primaries, top-two primary elections let political candidates appear on the same ballot, regardless of party affiliation.

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Vote Art
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Primary vs. General Election: What to Know

Primary elections come before general elections. They serve to narrow down the list of candidates who will appear on the final ballot on election day.

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Venn Diagram
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Concurrent Powers and Voter Representation

Concurrent powers are powers exercised by both the state and federal governments in the United States. This overlap has key implications for voter representation.

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Straw Poll
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What Is a Straw Poll?

Straw polls are informal surveys used to gauge public opinion on a variety of subjects, including political candidates, upcoming elections, and local issues.

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Checking Phone
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Misinformation vs. Disinformation: Challenges for Democracy

Misinformation and disinformation both describe false information that is shared with the public. The difference between them comes down to intention.

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Voter Sticker
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Caucus vs. Primary Election: Understanding Key Differences

As primary season 2024 approaches, explore the differences between caucuses and primary elections, including the advantages and disadvantages of each system.

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Bundestag, Germany
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What Is Proportional Representation?

In a system of proportional representation, the number of representatives in each district are elected in proportion to the number of voters who support them. 

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winner take all
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What Is a Winner-Take-All Electoral System?

In a winner-take-all system, the candidate with the most votes wins the election, whether or not that candidate reflects the majority of voter preferences.

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Bloc Voting
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What Are Bloc Voting and Voting Blocs?

A voting bloc is a group of individuals who have similar views and who frequently cast ballots together to influence political outcomes.

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Pie Chart
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Plurality vs. Majority Voting: What's the Difference?

Plurality and majority voting each have advantages and disadvantages, especially as we consider how best to reform elections to represent the will of the people.

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Five
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5 Examples of Third Parties in the United States

The American electoral system has historically favored two dominant parties at any one time, but third parties have always played an important role in politics.

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Wisconsin capitol
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The Core Responsibilities of State vs. Local Government

While political matters at the level of the federal government tend to dominate the news, many matters of governing happen at a much smaller scale.

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Family Tree
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Political Corruption 101: Examples of Nepotism in Politics

Nepotism, the favoritism granted to relatives by those in power, is not a new phenomenon, nor is it exclusive to any one region or regime. 

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Runoff Election
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What Is a Runoff Election?

A runoff election takes place when no candidate in a primary or original election receives an absolute majority of votes, usually more than 50%.

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Voting Signs
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What Is a Recall Election and How Does It Work?

Recall elections give voters a chance to vote on the removal of a leader from public office before the end of their current term, increasing government accountability.

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Waving a Flag
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Independent vs. Nonpartisan: Is There a Difference?

The terms "independent" and "non-partisan" are sometimes used interchangeably, but they describe political affiliation in slightly different ways.

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Planet Over Profit
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Libertarian vs. Green: Differences in Political Parties

The Libertarian and Green parties are two of most well-known third parties in the United States, each with their own unique political philosophy and platform.

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Statue of Liberty
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Libertarian vs. Democrat: Diverging Political Philosophies

The Libertarian and Democratic parties have both made important contributions to the nation's unfolding political story, though their philosophies and stances differ.

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Partisan Landscape
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Navigating the Landscape of Partisan Politics

Today's political landscape seems more partisan than ever, with increasing divisions and ideological siloing keeping the nation from making real progress.

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Stars Confetti
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How Many Political Parties Are There in the United States?

Though American politics is currently dominated by a two-party system, there are many more political parties outside of the Democratic and Republican parties.

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Voted Sticker
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Can Independent Voters Vote in Primaries?

Primary elections vary between states, from open primaries to closed primaries and varieties in between. Learn which states let unaffiliated voters participate.

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Voting Sticker
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What Is a Nonpartisan Election?

What makes an election non-partisan, and how is a non-partisan election different from a partisan race? Explore the advantages and disadvantages of each type of election.

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FDR
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Pros and Cons of Political Term Limits

Explore the history and current state of political term limits in the United States, along with arguments for and against the implementation of term limits.

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Electoral Map
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Swing States: Deciding the Fate of U.S. Presidential Elections

Swing states, or battleground states, play a big role in presidential elections. Which states are swing states, and why do these "purple" states have so much power?

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Abstract Flag
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What Exactly Is Representative Democracy? Is It Good Or Bad?

Explore the inner workings of representative democracy in our comprehensive guide. Learn how this democratic model functions, its core principles, and its impact on governance.

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Capitol Hill
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How Are Candidates Recruited to Run for Office?

How do the major political parties recruit candidates, and what path do independent candidates take toward getting on the ballot? This guide explains the differences between partisan and non-partisan candidate recruitment, with tips for running as an independent candidate.

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Local Government Responsibilities
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What Are the Local Government Responsibilities?

Explore the pivotal roles of local governments in shaping communities. Dive into their significance, from ensuring public services to fostering civic engagement. Stay informed and be part of the change. #LocalGovernanceMatters

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Differences Between Partisan and Nonpartisan
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Partisan vs Nonpartisan

Understand the fundamental distinctions between partisan and nonpartisan politics. Explore the implications of these approaches and gain insights into their significance in shaping political landscapes.

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What is Political Efficacy
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What Is Political Efficacy?

Uncover the concept of political efficacy and its impact on citizen engagement. Explore how political efficacy influences active participation and empowers individuals to make a meaningful difference in the political process.

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Mitch McConnell
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Gerontocracy in U.S. Politics: The Challenges of an Elderly Political Class

With an aging Congress and the United States' oldest president yet, gerontocracy is becoming an increasing concern for the state of American democracy. How are younger citizens affected, and what can we do to ensure fair representation?

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What are Political Donations?
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What are Political Donations?

In the realm of politics, financial contributions play a significant role in shaping the democratic process. Many feel that money plays an outsized role in elections, but an adequately funded campaign is often directly related to successful election outcomes. Read on to find out more.

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Political Polarization
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What is Political Polarization?

Delve into the intricate world of political polarization: its causes, manifestations, and far-reaching implications. Uncover the role of media, social networks, and cognitive biases in shaping divergent ideologies. Gain valuable insights into how understanding and empathy can mend societal rifts.

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Volunteers
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Volunteerism in Politics: Empowering Citizens to Shape Their Nation

Empower your nation through volunteerism in politics. Discover how citizens can actively engage, drive change, and shape a brighter future. Get involved today!

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Electoral College Pros&Cons
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Electoral College Pros and Cons: Analyzing the Strengths and Weaknesses of the U.S. Electoral System

Explore the benefits and drawbacks of the Electoral College system in the United States. Delve into the arguments supporting and challenging this unique presidential election method. Gain insights into the ongoing debates surrounding its effectiveness and relevance.

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Local Politics
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How to Get Involved in Local Politics

Creating a network of like-minded individuals in your local area can also be beneficial. Individuals can support your causes and increase your collective influence on local issues.

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State Legislatures
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The Main Purpose of State Legislatures: A Comprehensive Guide

The State legislature is of great significance in the US political system because bills initiated at the national level are sent to state legislatures for approval.

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Gerrymandering politicians
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What Exactly Is Gerrymandering? Why Is It So Bad?

Gerrymandering is among the sneakiest anti-democratic practices politicians in power use to entrench their own rule against the will of the voters. It's a gross, utterly corrupt practice -- and it's the status quo. Let's break it down.

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differnt types of elections
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Types of Elections Explained: Navigating the Electoral Landscape

Let's explore the diverse landscape of elections, from local to presidential elections, and shed light on their significance.

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Politics:101
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Politics 101: A Beginner's Guide to Understanding American Politics and Getting Involved  

The Constitution of the United States underscores this principle by defining the functions and powers of the three branches of government: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. Understanding the role and responsibilities of these branches is vital in understanding politics.

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Ballot Boxes
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Open Primary vs. Closed Primary: Exploring Different Primary Election Systems

Open primaries allow voters to choose any party's primary, while closed primaries restrict participation to registered party members. Open primaries have higher turnout but face concerns of strategic voting, while closed primaries preserve party ideology.

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Understanding Political Affiliation: Exploring Different Political Perspectives
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Political Affiliation: Exploring Different Political Perspectives

In today's dynamic world, it's crucial to grasp the significance of political affiliation. It shapes perspectives and beliefs. Political affiliation is identifying with a particular political party or ideology.

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The Role of Volunteers in Building Political Change  
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The Role of Volunteers in Building Political Change

Volunteers in political campaigns and movements engage in various duties depending on the specific needs of the campaign or movement. Some of the everyday tasks that political volunteers often undertake include:

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What Is The Electoral College And How Does It Work?
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What Is The Electoral College And How Does It Work?  

The College is an integral part of the presidential election process, yet many people don't fully understand how it works or why it is necessary. This blog post will explain the basics of the College, its role in American politics, and the criticisms that have been raised against it.

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what are independent voters in the US?
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What Are Independent Voters?

Learn what independent voters are and why they're a crucial demographic in elections. Discover how to appeal to independent voters and win their support.

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two-party system
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How the Two-Party System Works in the U.S.

The two-party system has always controlled American politics. Here we analyze what that means and potential alternatives.

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democrats vs republicans
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Differences Between Democrats vs. Republicans

The two main political parties in America have a lot of power but they differ quite a bit in their beliefs. Here is what you need to know and how they each work.

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