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.