POLITICAL TERMS TO KNOW
In order to truly have your voice heard, it is essential for people of all ages, and especially our youth, to become involved in politics and to vote in upcoming elections. We must research issues and formulate our own opinions, based on our values and what we hold true to our hearts. For many people who are new to voting and participating in politics, it can be challenging to understand the various terminology that is used throughout the political realm. However, that should not hold anyone back from voting. Here is a list of common political terms and phrases for both young and old to learn so that everyone can feel more prepared for the next voting season.
Bipartisan: This term refers to a mutual agreement made by both political parties who typically disagree. This is typically used with a policy or plan that both parties are in support of.
Caucus: When members of a local party meet to register and discuss candidates of the party to elect, this is referred to as a caucus. Members may also be chosen as delegates to attend conventions.
Delegate: A delegate is a chosen individual who is selected to represent a party. Based on population, every state is assigned a specific number of delegates.
Gerrymander: This term is in reference to when voting districts are reorganized to benefit a specific party.
GOP: This is an acronym dating back hundreds of years, which at one time stood for “Gallant Old Party,” and now refers to as “Grand Old Party.” It is a nickname for the Republican party.
Incumbent: An incumbent is an individual who is currently holding office.
Primary: Before determining how many delegates a candidate from each party gets, a primary is held where members vote for candidates in their party. This is a state election and is preliminary to the general election.
Swing vote: Swing votes can become a determining factor of an election. It refers to the undecided votes that may choose either party during an election.
Whistle-Stopping: During an election, politicians or those running for presidency often stop in several small towns in a short amount of time. This phrase is used when a candidate makes multiple speeches for their campaign, often scheduled back-to-back.
Pundit: This is a name given to an individual who typically works for a news outlet as a commentator or analyst.