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rattle the cage

To “rattle the cage” is an attempt to get attention, often through annoying, angering, or protesting.

In politics, rattling the cage of a politician or party typically happens when a large group of people get together to protest and demand …

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recall election

A recall election allows voters to oust an elected official, by means of a direct vote,while that official is still  in the middle of their term. Recall elections are relatively rare and usually take place after the official does something …

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recess appointment

A recess appointment is a presidential appointment typically requiring Senate approval that is made during a Senate recess.

To be confirmed, the appointment must be approved by the Senate by the end of the next session of Congress or the …

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red herring

A “red herring” is a political diversion which draws attention away from something of significance.

Michael Quinlan notes the term likely originates from an article published on February 14, 1807 by journalist William Cobbett in the Weekly Political Register. …

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red meat

“Red meat” is rhetoric on an issue used to inflame supporters. It is often associated with populist ideas and campaigns.

The phrase was first seen in 1911 in the movie industry, describing movies that were sensationalized. It shifted into a …

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red state

A “red state” is one whose voters elect primarily Republican candidates. It is the opposite of a blue state.

There are different levels of how ‘red’ a state can be. If a Republican candidate wins the vote in that …

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Richards effect

The “Richards effect” is the phenomenon in which polls consistently underestimate support for female candidates relative to white male candidates.

The termed was coined by political scientists Christopher Stout and Reuben Kline who noted that in the 1990 Texas gubernatorial …

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RINO

Republican In Name Only (RINO) is a disparaging term that refers to a Republican candidate whose political views are seen as insufficiently conforming to the party line.

The phrase, without the RINO acronym, became first popularized during the Theodore …

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robocall

A “robocall” is an automated telephone call that delivers a prerecorded message to multiple phone numbers. Typically, robocalls are used for mass messaging.

In politics, robocall are used in campaigning. Robocalls are sent out to potential voters, and the fact …

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roorback

“Roorback” is a false, dirty or slanderous story used for political advantage, usually about a candidate seeking political office.

In 1940 the Chicago Tribune offered this definition: “A roorback is a false report about some alleged misdeed in a candidate’s …

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rubber chicken circuit

In politics, a “rubber chicken circuit’ is the nickname given to the endless parade of dinners that political candidates must attend during a campaign for office in order to meet donors and raise money.

The term refers to the pre-cooked, …

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