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How the Tea Party Works

Like the more politically liberal Occupy Wall Street movement, the Tea Party has attracted intensive media coverage. But what does this now formalized entity stand for, and who makes up its ranks?

Are politics genetic?

Until recently, much of the research into why and how people vote focused on nurture, rather than nature. But could your genes actually influence who you choose at the polls?

Top 10 American Political Dynasties

It took just about as much time for the ink to dry on the Declaration of Independence as it did for American politics to become another type of family business. What are 10 of the most successful political dynasties?

Are women better politicians?

Women have the right stuff to excel in politics, but they still make up well under 20 percent of the U.S. Senate and House. Could this minority status actually be making them better politicians?

American Politics in Souvenirs and Slogans

Come convention time, you’ll see attendees sporting head-to-toe political regalia. What’s the history of these tiny statement-makers, and which campaign tchotchkes make plain old buttons look dull?

5 Strangest Political Parties

Whenever a presidential election rolls around, third parties often have a moment in the limelight. From Internet-privacy-loving Pirates to Ayn Rand-toting Objectivists, what are some of the most unusual third parties out there?

How the Cabinet Works

We always hear about major government figures like the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, but who are these people, and how do they help the president? Meet the ladies and gentlemen of the Cabinet.

10 Pioneering Female Politicians

When it comes to politics, men tend to dominate, with women accounting for only about 10 percent of government leaders internationally. Which female politicians have trail-blazed a path to close that gender gap?

How Libertarianism Works

Libertarians are certainly enjoying their moment in the spotlight, but does anyone know what they really believe? This article will shed some light on a political philosophy that could influence the upcoming election.

5 Historic Presidential Campaign Collapses

All they had to do was sit back and count the votes. They thought they had the presidential election in the bag -- until they didn't. Here's our list of some of the biggest collapses in presidential campaign history.

How Political Attack Ads Work

The use of political attack ads -- those that focus on rivals' shortfalls rather than preferred candidates' achievements -- has shot up in recent years. These negative ads may leave a bad taste in voters' mouths, but are they effective?

5 Great Presidential Debate Moments

Presidential debates aren't really known for their fireworks, but these off-the-cuff moments definitely made sparks fly.

Top 10 Most Successful Third-party Presidential Candidates

Historically in the United States, third parties have successfully steered political discourse and lawmaking, yet largely haven't stuck around long enough to get their own candidates into office. Which have had the best shot?

Why do people vote?

The probability of a single vote actually making a difference in a presidential election is one in 60 million. With those kinds of odds, what keeps people going out to the polls?

How Lobbying Works

Lobbying has a long and storied history in American politics, but does it also deserve the bad rap it's taken for so long?

Do men and women vote differently?

For years, pollsters and pundits have puzzled over how U.S. adults decide to cast their votes. Party affiliations and personal stances on electoral issues have a lot to do with it, of course, but does gender play a role, too?

5 Most Offensive Campaign Ads Ever Produced

Campaign ads are designed to grab voters' attention, but what if an ad attracts eyeballs for all the wrong reasons? Here are five of the most offensive campaign ads ever produced.

5 Most Effective Campaign Ads

Do you remember boring campaign ads? Of course not. That's why campaigns spend millions of dollars to send messages to voters. Here are five ads that worked -- and that's why we remember them.

10 Reasons Why Voting Systems Are Not Created Equal

There may be no perfect way to cast a ballot. Human error, hanging chads, and hackable software -- it seems every voting system has some flaw.

How Voter Suppression Works

Voter suppression has become a hot topic during the 2016 election season, but the practice has a frighteningly long and storied history in the U.S. What is it and how can it affect elections?

How Political Recalls Work

If the news is any indication, Americans have officially caught recall fever. Why (and how) are everyday voters taking the extraordinary step of recalling officials they've already elected to their posts?

What's the Difference Between a Caucus and a Primary?

The presidential election season is chock-full of straw polls, caucuses and primaries to determine the nominees for each party, but what's the difference between these things? Do they matter?

How Political Polling Works

News broadcasts and Web sites are filled with polls detailing public opinion on everything from the president's job performance to stem cell research. But who selects the people who respond? And what do the numbers mean?

How Many Cities Have a Ban on Plastic Bags?

It's probably more than you think. Learn more about how many cities have a ban on plastic bags.

Are There Limits to Freedom of the Press in the U.S.?

The U.S. Constitution touts freedom of the press, but a closer look at the law — especially as interpreted by the Supreme Court — shows that press "freedom" has its limits. How are journalists bound by the law?