Is Election Day a major event for you? Do you know more about the members of Congress than about some members of your own family? If so, you just might have what it takes to ace this quiz on some of the most popular politicians in the U.S.!
In a representative democracy like the U.S., citizens pick people to represent their interests in local, state and federal government. This could be as simple as electing the members of your local town council, or as major as choosing a President to serve as the head of state of the entire country. These representatives write the laws that affect your money, your liberties and your way of life. That means the selection process actually has a huge impact on you -- from how much of your paycheck is swallowed by taxes, to how much of that money is spent on education, to the safety of your family and community.
Despite the huge impact that our politicians have on our lives, a shocking number of people couldn't pick popular politicians out of a lineup. In fact, most people don't bother to vote at all! A 2016 study by Portland State University found that only around 15 percent of Americans show up to vote for mayor. Even in a hotly-contested event like the 2016 Presidential Election, only about two out of three Americans showed up to cast a vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.
With such dismal voter turnout statistics, it's clear the subject of politics isn't exactly a matter of expertise for many Americans. Think you can recognize some of the country's best-known politicians from a single image? Take our quiz to find out!
When Democrat Diane Feistein was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992, she became one of the first two female politicians from California to serve in the Senate. The Stanford grad also served as the Mayor of San Francisco from 1978 to 1988.
Democrat John Kerry served as a U.S. Senator from 1985 to 2013. He ran for president in 2004, losing to Republican George W. Bush. After leaving the Senate, the long-time politician from Massachusetts went on to become Secretary of State.
Hillary Clinton was the First Lady of the U.S. alongside her husband, Bill Clinton, from 1993 to 2001. She went on to serve as a Senator, then Secretary of State. In 2016, she narrowly missed out on becoming the first female president after losing to Donald Trump in a tight race.
Donald Trump was a reality TV star and real estate mogul when he became the 45th President of the U.S. in 2017. He started planning a run for the nation's top office as early as 1987, and briefly participated in the 2000 election before dropping out.
Bernie Sanders was elected as the mayor of Burlington, Vermont, in 1981. He moved to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990, then the Senate in 2006. He nearly won the Democratic nomination for President in 2016 before losing the nod to Hillary Clinton.
Nancy Pelosi joined the House of Representatives in the late '80s. In 2001, she became the first female House Minority Whip, and in 2017, she became the first female Speaker of the House.
Ted Cruz was one of several Republicans who fought to earn the party's nomination for President in 2016. The Senator from Texas also happens to be the first Hispanic-American from Texas to be elected to the U.S. Senate.
Marco Rubio was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2000. The Miami Republican became House Majority Leader in 2002, then won a seat in the Senate in 2010.
The son of U.S. representative Ron Paul, Rand Paul was elected to represent Kentucky in the U.S. Senate in 2011. He briefly ran for President in 2016, but dropped out after a poor showing in the polls.
Texas prosecutor Michael McCaul was elected to the House of Representatives in 2004. His wife's family fortune consistently ranks him among the richest members of Congress.
Gary Johnson founded a construction company before he became the Governor of New Mexico in 1995. He ran for president as part of the Libertarian Party in both 2012 and 2016.
Ben Carson was a renowned neurosurgeon from 1984 until his retirement in 2013. He ran for president as part of the Republican Party in 2016, then became Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Donald Trump.
Sarah Palin served as Governor of Alaska from 2006 to 2009. In 2008, she was selected as a surprise pick for VP to run with presidential candidate John McCain.
Harvard-educated doctor Jill Stein ran for Governor of Massachusetts in 2002 and 2010. She later ran for president under the Green Party ticket, but failed to secure a large number of votes.
Republican Vernon Buchanan has served in the House since 2007. The Florida businessman poured more than $5 million of his own money into his campaign.
Mike Huckabee was Governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007, after previously serving as Lieutenant Governor for four years. He also ran for president in 2008 and 2016, but failed to win the Republican nomination either time.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was elected to the first of two consecutive terms in 2009. He was considered as a potential VP pick for Donald Trump, but ultimately lost out to Mike Pence. He has consistently had one of the lowest approval ratings of any U.S. Governor.
Republican Rick Scott served as Governor of Florida from 2011 to 2014, when he was elected to his second term. Before entering politics, he served in the Navy and made millions after starting a healthcare company.
Martin O'Malley was the Mayor of Baltimore from 1999 to 2007, before becoming Governor of Maryland in 2007. In 2016, he briefly ran for president. Outside of politics, he's known for fronting an Irish band called O'Malley's March.
The son of one president and brother of another, Jeb Bush has some strong political ties. He served as Governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007, but failed in an attempt at a run for president in 2016.
Rick Santorum served as a Republican Senator from Pennsylvania from 1995 to 2007. In 2012, he was the Republican candidate for Vice-President under Mitt Romney, who lost the Presidential Election to Barrack Obama.
Bill Clinton was Governor of Arkansas throughout the '80s, then served as the 42nd U.S. President from 1993 to 2001. Though he was impeached by the House in 1998, he wasn't removed from office.
Tim Kaine was Governor of Virginia from 2006 to 2010. In 2016, he was selected to serve as the Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate under Hillary Clinton, but the pair lost to Donald Trump.
Mike Pence serve in the House from 2001 to 2013, and was Governor of Indiana from 2013 to 2017. In 2017, he became the 48th Vice-President of the U.S. when Donald Trump was elected President.
Mitt Romney served as Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007. He was the Republican party nominee for President in 2012, but lost to incumbent Barrack Obama.
Paul Ryan was elected to Congress in 1999, and became Speaker of the House in 2015. He was the Republican party nominee for Vice President in 2012 under Mitt Romney, but the pair lost to Barrack Obama.
Joe Biden was a Senator from Delaware from 1973 to 2009. From 2009 to 2017, he served as the Vice President of the U.S. under Barrack Obama. He declined to run for president in 2016 after his son died of cancer.
Barrack Obama served as a Senator for Illinois from 2005 to 2008. In 2009, he became the first African-American president in history.
John McCain was first elected to the Senate in 1987. The Arizona Republican also served as the 2008 Republican candidate for President. He lost to Barrack Obama.
Al Gore served as a Senator representing Tennessee from 1985 to 1993. He was the Vice-President of the U.S. under Bill Clinton from 1993 to 2001, but lost out during the 2000 Presidential election to George Bush.
North Carolina Senator John Edwards served in Congress from 1999 to 2005. He was the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 2004, and ran a failed presidential campaign in 2008.
Republican Bob Dole from Kansas served in the House from 1963 to 1969, then in the Senate from 1969 to 1996. He ran for president in 1996, but lost to Bill Clinton.
Jerry Brown served as both the 34th and 39th Governor of California. The Democrat was previously the mayor of the city of Oakland from 1975 to 1983.
Andrew Cuomo was the elected as the 56th Governor of New York in 2011. His father, Mario Cuomo, held the office from 1983 to 1994.
As of 2017, Republican Orrin Hatch is one of the longest-serving Republican Senators in history. The Utah resident was first elected to the position in 1977.
Mitch McConnell was first elected to serve as a Senator representing Kentucky in 1985. In 2015, he was named Senate Majority Leader.
Democrat Elizabeth Warren had a long and celebrated career in law before she was elected to the Senate in 2013. She was considered a potential presidential candidate in 2013, but ultimately ended up endorsing Hillary Clinton.
With a net worth in the billions, Ross Perot has ranked among the richest politicians for decades. He ran for president as an Independent in 1992, then again under the Reform party in 1996.
Al Franken starred on "SNL" in the '70s and '80s, then served as a Senator from 2009 to 2018. He resigned from office in January 2018 after accusations of sexual misconduct came to light.
Ted Kennedy spent more than 40 years representing Massachusetts in the Senate beginning in the early '60s. He was the youngest brother of John F. and Robert Kennedy, and the father of Patrick Kennedy, who was elected to the House in 1995.
Republican Kevin McCarthy was elected to the House in 2007. The California Congressman became House Majority Leader in 2014.
Steve Scalise was elected to represent Louisiana in the House in 2008, and became Majority Whip in 2014. Before that, he served in the Louisiana State Senate.
Michigan Democrat and WWII vet John Dingell served in the House of Representatives from 1955 to 2015. In 2015, he declined to seek reelection, so his wife ran instead -- and won.
Barbara Mikulsi, a Democrat from Maryland, ranks among the longest-serving female members in the history of Congress. She served in the House from 1977 to 1987, then spent 30 years in the Senate before retiring.
Korean War veteran John Conyers was elected to represent Michigan in the House in 1965, and served all the way through 2017. During that time, he co-founded the Congressional Black Caucus.
A Democrat from California, Barbara Boxer was elected to the House in 1983, where she served until 1993. From 1993 to 2017, she represented California in the U.S. Senate.
Republican Rudy Giuliani was Mayor of New York from 1994 to 2001. He was preparing to run for re-election when on September 11, 2001, the city experienced an unprecedented terrorist attack. Giuliani became a familiar figure as he helped New York cope with the tragedy in the days and weeks that followed.
Bill de Blasio was an NYC Council Member from 2002 to 2009. In 2014, he replaced Michael Bloomberg as Mayor of New York City.
Democrat Eric Garcetti became the 42nd Mayor of Los Angeles, California, in 2013. He previously served on the L.A. City Council from 2006 to 2012.
With a net worth of $50 billion or so, Michael Bloomberg ranks among the richest politicians in American history. He served three terms as Mayor of New York City from 2002 to 2013.