Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you should be able to do the following:

  • Define the different ways in which citizens can participate in the political process.
  • Analyze the dynamics of voter turnout and explore its impact on the party system and political decision making.
  • Summarize the key factors that influence people’s voting decisions.
  • Understand how campaigns influence citizens’ choices and examine the strategic decisions campaigns face.
  • Evaluate the causes of party polarization and its impact on U.S. politics.