The Associated Press released its Election Day styleguide in August, but honestly, who was paying attention then? (OK, we were. But you weren't.) Here are the most common phrases to get right.


  • Democrat, Democratic Party
  • Republican, Republican Party
  • House and Senate


  • tea party
  • conservative, liberal
  • congressman, congresswoman (preferred: Sen. or Rep., uppercase & abbreviated)


  • Election Day, election night
  • Congress, congressional


  • re-elect, re-election

And finally, a distinction that may be important:

majority, plurality
A majority is more than half the votes cast; a plurality is the largest number of votes, but less than a majority.

Related: What journalists need to know & explain about the Electoral College