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AP Political Terms Style Guide
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By Michael Toeset
Penny Riordan manages digital content partnerships for GateHouse Media. She works out of the Center for News and Design in Austin. Prior to joining the company, she worked at Patch.com for four years, where she led social media, blogging and UGC ...
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Penny Riordan manages digital content partnerships for GateHouse Media. She works out of the Center for News and Design in Austin. Prior to joining the company, she worked at Patch.com for four years, where she led social media, blogging and UGC efforts for the company. She also launched a Patch site in Maryland. Penny has also worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Maryland and Connecticut.
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In case you missed it, AP released a Political Terms Style Guide in December, and you’ll want to keep it handy throughout this presidential election year. Here are some highlights from the guide:



- Congress, congressional: Capitalize when referring to the U.S. Senate and House together. The adjective is lowercase unless part of a formal name.



- convention: Capitalize in a formal name: Republican National Convention, Democratic National Convention; otherwise lowercase: the convention.



- Election Day, election night: The first term is capitalized, the second is lowercase.



- front-runner: Candidate who leads a political race; the term is hyphenated.



- majority leader, minority leader: Capitalize as formal legislative title before a name: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, otherwise lowercase.



- president, vice president: Capitalize these titles before names; lowercase in other uses.



- primary, primary day: Both are lowercase, including when used with a state: New Hampshire primary.



- re-elect, re-election: Both are hyphenated.



- tea party: Lowercase the populist movement that opposes the Washington political establishment. Adherents are tea partyers. Formally named groups in the movement are capitalized: Tea Party Express.



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In other political news: You’ve probably seen Kim Jong Un spelled and hyphenated a variety of ways, but AP style is to treat his name as they did his father’s: no hyphen and capitalized - Kim Jong Un.



 

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