Public opinion – The distribution of individual preferences or evaluations of a given issue, candidate, or institution within a specific population.
Random sample – In this type of sample, every individual has unknown and random chance of being selected.
Manifest opinion – A widely shared and consciously held view, like support for homeland security.
Political socialization - The process – most notably in families and schools – by which we develop our political attitudes, values, and beliefs.
Attentive public – Those citizens who follow public affairs carefully.
Voter registration – System designed to reduce voter fraud by limiting voting to those who have established eligibility to vote by submitting the proper documents.
Australian ballot – A secret ballot printed by the state.
General election – Elections in which voters elect officeholders.
Primary election – Elections in which voters determine party nominees.
Presidential election – Elections held in years when the president is on the ballot.
Midterm election – Elections held midway between presidential elections.
Turnout – The proportion of the voting age public that votes, sometimes defined as the number of registered voters that vote.
Party identification – An informal and subjective affiliation with a political party that most people acquire in childhood.
Candidate appeal – How voters feel about a candidate’s background, personality, leadership ability, and other personal qualities.
Prospective issue voting – Voting based on what a candidate pledges to do in the future about an issue if elected.
Retrospective issue of voting – Holding incumbents, usually the president’s party, responsible for their records on issues, such as the economy or foreign policy.