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Campaign 2016

This section of the website, developed by our 2015 Summer Teacher Fellows, provides explanations of the various aspects of the election process for candidates vying to become the next President of the United States. Separated into 10 main areas, each topic is supplemented with related video clips, discussion questions, handouts, and culminating activities to reinforce students' learning.

A warm thank you to our 2015 Summer Teacher Fellows , Taylor Bauer, Patrick McGravey, and Joy Parnakian for their work in developing this section of the site.

Table of Contents

01. Meet the Presidential Candidates 04. The Presidential Election Process 08. Polls  
      01a. Presidential Bids       04a. Primaries and Caucuses *Updated       08a. History of Polls  
      01b. Candidates and the Media *Updated       04b. Conventions *Updated       08b. Understanding Polls  
      01c. Impact of Third Party Candidates       04c. Vice President Selection *New    
      01d. Race, Gender, and the Candidates   09. Debates  
      01e. Religion and the Candidates 05. Electoral College       09a. History and Significance  
      01f. Spouses of the Candidates       05a. Background and Process       09b. Role of TV and Social Media  
      01g. Endorsements       05b. Debating the Electoral College       09c. Debate Evaluation  
          09d. Primary Debates  
02. Candidates and the Issues 06. Campaign Finance    
      02a. Candidates on the Economy       06a. Campaign Finance Groups 10. Voting  
      02b. Candidate Position Research       06b. Campaign Finance Reform       10a. Voting Process *Updated  
      02c. Candidate Policy Plans         10b. Voter Values  
  07. Campaign Ads       10c. Millennials and First Time Voters *Updated  
03. Political Parties       07a. Campaign Ad History    
      03a. History of Political Parties       07b. Creating Campaign Ads    
      03b. The Two-Party System       07c. Campaign Ad Analysis *Updated    
      03c. Examples of Minor Parties       07d. Online Campaign Advertising    

 

01. Meet the Presidential Candidates

01a.) Presidential Bids (Announcements)

Return to the Table of Contents


Key Question: Evaluate the way each candidate approaches their presidential campaign announcement.



Discussion Questions:


  1. Is there a common structure to the announcement? Types of introductions? Tag lines/slogans? Music? Significance of the place they announce their candidacy?
  2. What are common topics being discussed in each of their announcements?
  3. Identify the target audience ((i.e. region, gender, party vs. general population, etc.) Explain what indicates that this is the candidate’s target audience.
  4. In your opinion, which qualities make them viable as Presidential candidates?
  5. Compare and contrast historical announcements with the current announcements.


Democratic Party Candidates (Listed alpabetically by active candidates, then by the most recently suspended campaigns)


Video Clip: Sec. Hillary Clinton (06/13/2015 - 5:22)
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced her intention to seek the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. She made the announcement from Franklin D. Roosevelt's Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island in New York City, NY.



Video Clip: Sen. Bernie Sanders (5/26/2015 – 2:21)
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) formally announced his campaign for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. He made the announcement from Waterfront Park on the shore of Lake Champlain in Burlington, VT.



Video Clip: Gov. Martin O’Malley (05/30/2015 – 4:23)
Former Governor Martin O’Malley (D-MD) announced his candidacy for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. He made the announcement from Federal Hill Park in Baltimore, MD.
***Campaign Suspended on 02/01/2016***



Video Clip: Lawrence Lessig (09/09/2015 - 16:06)
Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessig announced his intention to seek the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. He made the announcement on YouTube.
***Campaign Suspended on 11/02/2015***



Video Clip: Gov. Lincoln Chafee (06/3/2015 – 2:13)
Former Governor Lincoln Chafee (D-RI) announced his intention to seek the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. He made the announcement from Founders Hall at George Mason University.
***Campaign Suspended on 10/23/2015***



Blog Post: Sen. Jim Webb (07/02/2015)
Former Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) announced his intention to seek the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. He made the announcement in a blog post on his website.
***Campaign Suspended on 10/20/2015***





Republican Party Candidates (Listed alpabetically by last name of active candidate, then by the most recently suspended campaigns)


Video Clip: Donald Trump (06/16/2015 – 3:08)
Business magnate Donald Trump announced his intention to seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He made the announcement from Trump Tower in New York City, NY.



Video Clip: Gov. John Kasich (07/21/2015 – 3:59)
Governor John Kasich (R-OH) announced that he would seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He made the announcement at his alma mater, Ohio State University in Columbus, OH.
***Campaign Suspended on 05/04/2016***



Video Clip: Sen. Ted Cruz (03/23/2015 – 3:51)
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) declared his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. He made his announcement from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA.
***Campaign Suspended on 05/03/2016***



Video Clip: Sen. Marco Rubio (04/13/2015 – 2:51)
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) announced his intention to seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He made his announcement at the Freedom Tower in Miami, FL.
***Campaign Suspended on 03/15/2016***



Video Clip: Dr. Ben Carson (05/4/2015 – 4:15)
Retired neurosurgeon and author Ben Carson announced that he would seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He made his announcement at Detroit's Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts in Detroit, MI.
***Campaign Suspended on 03/02/2016***



Video Clip: Gov. Jeb Bush (06/15/2015 – 3:23)
Former Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) announced his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He made the announcement from Miami Dade College in Miami, FL.
***Campaign Suspended on 02/21/2016***



Video Clip: Gov. Jim Gilmore (07/30/2015 - 10:48)
Former Virginian Governor Jim Gilmore announced his intention to seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He made the announcement on YouTube.
***Campaign Suspended on 02/12/2016***



Video Clip: Carly Fiorina (5/4/2015 – 1:01)
Carly Fiorina announced her intention to seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. She made her announcement via YouTube.
***Campaign Suspended on 02/10/2016***



Video Clip: Gov. Chris Christie (06/30/2015 – 4:40)
Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) announced his intention to seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He made the announcement at his alma mater, Livingston High School in Livingtson, NJ.
***Campaign Suspended on 02/10/2016***



Video Clip: Sen. Rand Paul (04/7/2015 – 5:03)
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) announced his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He made his announcement at the Galt House in Louisville, KY.
***Campaign Suspended on 02/03/2016***



Video Clip: Sen. Rick Santorum (05/27/2015 – 3:06)
Former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) announced his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He made the announcement from Penn United Technologies in Cabot, PA.
***Campaign Suspended on 02/03/2016***



Video Clip: Gov. Mike Huckabee (05/5/2015 – 4:58)
Former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR) announced that he would seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He made the announcement at the University of Arkansas Community College in Hope, AR.
***Campaign Suspended on 02/01/2016***



Video Clip: Gov. George Pataki (05/28/2015 – 4:43)
Former Governor George Pataki (R-NY) announced his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He made the announcement from the town hall of Exeter, NH.
***Campaign Suspended on 12/29/2015***



Video Clip: Sen. Lindsey Graham (06/1/2015 – 2:58)
Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) announced his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He made the announcement in his hometown of Central, SC.
***Campaign Suspended on 12/21/2015***



Video Clip: Gov. Bobby Jindal (06/25/2015 – 4:37)
Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA) announced his intention to seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He made the announcement from the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner, LA
***Campaign Suspended on 11/18/2015***



Video Clip: Gov. Scott Walker (07/13/2015 – 5:32)
Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) announced his intention to seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He made the announcement at the Waukesha County Expo Center in Waukesha, WI.
***Campaign Suspended on 09/21/2015***



Video Clip: Gov. Rick Perry (06/4/2015 – 2:51)
Former Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) announced he would seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He made the announcement from a hangar at Addison Airport near Dallas, TX.
***Campaign Suspended on 09/11/2015***





Third Party Candidates (Listed alpabetically by Party name)


Video Clip: Constitution Party Nominee Acceptance Speech - Darrell Castle (04/16/2016 – 1:40) ***New***
Darrell Castle, the 2016 Constitution Party presidential nominee, gave his acceptance speech at the party’s convention at the Constitution Party National Convention in Salt Lake City, UT.





2016 Presidential Campaign Pre-Announcement Videos (Listed chronologically, by oldest to newest)




Historic Campaign Announcements (Listed chronologically, by oldest to newest)


Video Clip: Sen. Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 Presidential Campaign Announcement
(3/16/1968 5:14)



Video Clip: Gov. Ronald Reagan 1980 Presidential Campaign Announcement
(11/13/1979 3:02)



Video Clip: Sen. Joe Biden's 1988 Presidential Campaign Announcement
(06/09/1987 – 2:35)



Video Clip: Rev. Jesse Jackson's 1988 Presidential Campaign Announcement
(10/10/1987 – 2:04)



Video Clip: V.P. George H.W. Bush's 1988 Presidential Campaign Announcement
(10/12/1987 – 2:21)



Video Clip: Gov. Bill Clinton's 1992 Presidential Campaign Announcement
(10/03/1991 - 2:39)



Video Clip: Ross Perot's 1992 Presidential Campaign Announcement
(10/01/1992 – 2:12)



Video Clip: Sen. Bob Dole's 1996 Presidential Campaign Announcement
(04/10/1995 – 2:45)



Video Clip: Gov. George W. Bush's 2000 Presidential Campaign Announcement
(06/12/1999 – 1:39)



Video Clip: V.P. Al Gore's 2000 Presidential Campaign Announcement
(06/16/1999 – 2:10)



Video Clip: Sen. Barack Obama 2008 Presidential Campaign Announcement
(02/10/2007 3:14)





Culminating Assessment: How Would You Announce Your Candidacy?

  1. Choose a date: Be mindful of the date you select to ensure the best media exposure. Consider major events, holidays, and other potential conflicts.
  2. Create a theme and overall message: Why are you running for this office? What are the important issues in your campaign? What sets you apart? How has your background inspired you? Create a marketable slogan.
  3. Select a location to announce: It should relate to your message and be relevant to your campaign. Choose the background carefully. Consider that this is a significant opportunity for you to connect with your audience.
  4. Choose your guests: Who would you want to introduce you and why? Would you have performers, if so who would they be? Who else would you want to be in attendance (key figures, major organizations, associations, clubs, press)?
  5. Choose your music: What song would you want to be played as you enter? What song would you want to play as you exit? How do these song choices tie in with your theme and message?
Possible Extension: Create a mock video announcement with careful consideration of the aforementioned elements.

01b.) Candidates and the Media

Return to the Table of Contents


Key Question: How does traditional media and social media have an impact on a voter’s image of candidates and their campaign?



Impact of Traditional Media


  • Video Clip: Pop Politics (04/17/2016 6:26) ***New***
    Mark Warren talked about a piece in the April 2016 edition of Esquire Magazine titled “The Inevitable Takeover of Pop Politics,” which argues that the line dividing politics and entertainment has become blurred.
     
  • Video Clip: Political Coverage of Candidates (10/9/2014 6:23)
    Author and political columnist Matt Bai talks about the political coverage of candidates and scandals and the impact on their campaigns.
     
  • Video Clip: Capturing the Candidates (03/6/2008 – 4:31)
    Doug Mills, a photographer for the New York Times, talked about being on the campaign trail with the presidential candidates. He showed campaign photos of Senators McCain, Clinton, and Obama and explained how they are shot, edited, and sent to New York, often while the event he is covering is still going on.
     
  • Video Clip: Media Coverage of the Candidates vs. Issues (8/26/2008 – 5:07)
    During the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, area students talked with journalists Morgan Felchner, Michel Martin, and Michael Calderone about media coverage of the 2008 campaign. This question focused on the tendency to focus on candidates more than issues.


Impact of Social Media


  • Video Clip: Social Media & the 2012 Election (10/2/2012 – 2:23)
    Howard Kurtz of Daily Beast and Lauren Ashburn of Daily Download talked about the role of social media during the 2012 presidential campaign.
     
  • Video Clip: Durability & Persuasiveness of Social Media Campaigns (8/27/2012 – 5:24)
    Panelists Zac Moffatt of the Romney campaign, Katie Harbath from Facebook, and Adam Sharp from Twitter talked about the role of digital and social media in the 2012 election and the durability and persuasiveness of social media.


Culminating Assessment:

  1. Have students complete the “Comparing the Coverage ” chart. Then have students search through digital and social media for the same issues or candidates and compare the coverage.
Possible Extension: In addition to examining media coverage of the candidates, examine the quantity of coverage and then discuss what impact, if any, this has on the election. You may wish to compare mainstream news coverage with the popularity of the candidate on Google Trends . What accounts for the differences?

01c.) The Impact of Third Party Candidates

Return to the Table of Contents


Key Question: What impact(s), if any, do Third Party candidates have on presidential elections?





01d.) Race, Gender, and the Candidates

Return to the Table of Contents


Key Question: What role have race and gender played in the presidential election?



Race & Presidential Campaigns


  • Video Clip: Latino Voters and Issues of Importance to Them (10/30/2015 – 4:44)
    Daniel Garza talked about efforts by the Libre Initiative and other conservative Latino groups to guide the tone of the Republican party regarding immigration and other issues important to Latino voters in the lead up to the 2016 presidential election.
     
  • Video Clip: Diversity and the 2016 Presidential Field (06/29/2015 – 5:59)
    Vanessa Williams talked about her Washington Post article on whether diversity in the 2016 Republican field can help sway minority voters to support Republican candidates in the upcoming presidential election.
     
  • Video Clip: History of African-American Political Party Affiliation (09/10/2015 – 4:45)
    Joy-Ann Reid discussed the historical feelings the African-American community has had toward political parties throughout history.
     
  • Video Clip: Sen. Obama on Race & Politics (3/18/2008 – 10:16)
    Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama delivered an address on race and politics. In an attempt to calm the turmoil surrounding controversial comments by his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama rejected Wright’s comments but said that Wright had inspired his Christian faith and has been his spiritual guide for nearly 20 years. He talked at length about historical issues of racial division, black grievances, and white resentment while emphasizing that progress has been made in racial reconciliation.


Gender & Presidential Campaigns


  • Video Clip: The Number of Women in Elected Office (10/17/2015 – 5:36)
    Cynthia Terrell talked about Representation 2020's report, The State of Women's Representation 2015-2016: A Blueprint for Reaching Gender Parity, which shows women are underrepresented in national, state, and local-level elected offices. She also examined possible solutions to achieve parity.
     
  • Video Clip: Impact of Women in Politics (01/03/2014 – 3:41)
    American University Women and Politics Institute Director Jennifer Lawless talked about the number of women in political office as of 2014.
     
  • Video Clip: Statistics of Women in Politics (6/9/2008 – 1:57)
    Fred Hochberg, Dean of the Milano New School for Management & Urban Policy gave the introductory speech, which included statistics about the number of women in politics in the U.S.
     
  • Video Clip: Media Coverage of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Campaign (7/9/2008 – 6:32)
    A discussion titled, "Women in Charge: The Evolving Role of Women in Politics" was held in the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Auditorium of the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center. Panelists Andrea Bernstein, Dee Dee Myers, & Ellen Malcolm discuss the media's coverage of Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign. *Some language may be offensive to younger viewers.*
     
  • Video Clip: Benefits of Gender in Sen. Hillary Clinton's 2008 Campaign (7/9/2008 – 6:09)
    A discussion titled, "Women in Charge: The Evolving Role of Women in Politics" was held in the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Auditorium of the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center. Panelists Andrea Bernstein, Dee Dee Myers, & Ellen Malcolm discuss the ways that gender benefitted Clinton's 2008 campaign.
     
  • Video Clip: Sen. Hillary Clinton's Concession Speech 2008 (6/7/2008 – 7:51)
    Senator Hillary Clinton spoke to her supporters during a final campaign rally at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. She spoke about the race and gender barriers her and Sen. Obama broke during their campaigns.
     
  • Video Clip: Women as Voters (3/25/2008 – 7:28)
    Panelist Susan Carroll talked about women as voters and activists. She focused on the suffrage movement and emerging trends among women voters in the 2008 election and beyond. This event was held at the Sewall-Belmont House and Museum.
     
  • Video Clip: 2008 Gov. Sarah Palin Vice Presidential Acceptance Speech (9/3/2008 – 3:09)
    Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK) said she would accept the Republican Party’s nomination as vice president at the 2008 Republican National Convention.
     
  • Video Clip: 1984 Rep. Geraldine Ferraro Vice Presidential Campaign Nomination Announcement (07/19/1984 – 2:12)
    Footage from the 1984 Democratic National Convention at which Rep. Geraldine Ferraro (D-NY) accepted the Democratic party's nomination for Vice President.
     
  • Video Clip: 1972 Rep. Shirley Chisholm Presidential Campaign Announcement (01/25/1972 – 4:54)
    Representative Shirley Chisholm (D-NY) announced her bid to run for the Democratic nomination for the 1972 presidential campaign against presumed Republican nominee President Nixon.


Culminating Assessment:

  1. Have students create a timeline of historical events in the race and gender equality movements. Then discuss progress and areas where we still need to improve.
  2. Research other minorities and women who have run for office. How was their path similar or dissimilar to the examples provided above?


01e.) Religion and the Candidates

Return to the Table of Contents


Key Question: What role does religion play in presidential campaigns?



Video Clip: Sen. John F. Kennedy on Religion and the Presidency (9/12/1960 7:00)
Senator John F. Kennedy addressed a special meeting of the Greater Houston Ministerial Association at the Rice Hotel in Houston, Texas. He spoke about the separation of church and state, the issue of having a Catholic as president, and the role that his religion had played up to that point in the 1960 presidential election.



Video Clip: Gov. Mitt Romney on Religion (12/6/2007 – 3:12)
Former Governor Romney spoke about the role of faith in public service and the place of religion in American politics. In his remarks, delivered to address possible misgivings about his Mormon faith by voters, he pledged to serve the common good and no single religion if elected president, while also advocating the importance of faith and religion in the public arena.



Video Clip: Sen. Barack Obama’s Speech on Race, Religion, & Politics (3/18/2008 – 4:20)
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama delivered an address on race and politics. In an attempt to calm the turmoil surrounding controversial comments by his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama rejected Wright’s comments but said that Wright had inspired his Christian faith and has been his spiritual guide for nearly 20 years.





Reflection Questions:

  1. Explain the meaning of the phrase, the separation of church and state, as it pertains to religion in America.
  2. Does a candidate's religious beliefs and expression of those beliefs, affect your personal views of the candidate? How could their expression make them more of a viable candidate? How could it hurt their campaign?
  3. Is a candidate's religion an important issue for you as a voter? Why or why not?


01f.) Spouses of the Candidates

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Key Question: What is the role of a presidential candidate’s spouse and what challenges do they face?



Discussion Questions:

After watching the three videos below, answer the following questions about political spouses:

  1. Explain the role of political spouses for presidential candidates.
  2. In what way is a spouse a “validator” for a candidate?
  3. What role and value can a spouse play as an advisor for the president?
  4. Describe the effect that political spouses have had on elections throughout recent history.




Discussion Questions:

After watching the two videos below, answer the following questions about political spouses:

  1. How important is a candidate’s spouse? Would it make a difference in how you would vote? Explain.
  2. Would a non-married candidate be at a disadvantage in this presidential race? Why or why not?
  3. Do the wives of the candidates seem to agree on the questions asked or do they have differing opinions? Why or why not?
  4. Should there be a line between the public and private lives of candidates? How “protected” should the spouses be from media exposure? What about the children of candidates? Why or Why not?

  • Video Clip: Where They Draw the Line (10/23/2007 – 3:37)
    The spouses of leading presidential candidates from both parties talked about juggling their families, careers, and personal lives while managing the public demands of their husbands' presidential bids and protecting privacy during the 2008 Presidential election.
     
  • Video Clip: Campaign Concerns (10/23/2007 – 1:17)
    Michelle Obama talked about juggling family while managing the public demands of her husband's presidential bid, and her concerns about the campaign process.


Reflection Questions:

Imagine you were the spouse of a presidential candidate in the 2016 election. Write a journal entry addressing the following questions:

  1. What would you be most excited about for the campaign?
  2. What would be some of your concerns?
  3. Would you try to influence your spouse on policy issues?
  4. How involved would you want to be in the campaign?
  5. What dreams would you have to put on hold in order to support your spouse’s political ambitions?


01g.) Endorsements

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Key Question: What is the significance of endorsements?



Discussion Questions:

After watching the two videos below, answer the following questions about endorsements:

  1. Explain how and why a media institution, such as a newspaper, chooses which candidate to endorse.
  2. Explain how and why an interest group, such as the NRA, chooses which candidate to endorse.


Current Examples of Candidate Endorsements


Video Clip: Madeline Albright Endorses Hillary Clinton as President (02/08/2016 – 1:48)
Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright introduces Hillary Clinton at a campaign event in New Hampshire.



Video Clip: Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) Endorses Marco Rubio for President (02/02/2016 – 1:23)
In a campaign ad, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) endorses Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) for President.



Video Clip: Susan Sarandon Endorses Bernie Sanders for President (02/02/2016 – 2:39)
At a campaign event in Mason City, Iowa, actress Susan Sarandon endorses Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for President.



Video Clip: Glenn Beck Endorses Ted Cruz for President (02/02/2016 – 1:19)
Glenn Beck endorses Senator Ted Cruz for President at a campaign rally held at Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center in Waterloo, Iowa.



Video Clip: Sarah Palin Endorses Donald Trump for President (01/20/2016 – 1:15)
At a campaign event in Ames, Iowa, former Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin endorses Donald Trump for President.





Past Examples of Candidate Endorsements


Video Clip: Donald Trump Endorses Gov. Mitt Romney (2/2/2012 – 1:50)
Donald Trump spoke to reporters in Las Vegas to announce that he would endorse Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election.



Video Clip: Sen. Hillary Clinton's Endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama (6/7/2008 – 3:59)
Senator Hillary Clinton spoke to her supporters during a final campaign rally at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. She spoke about her commitment to Democratic Party unity, and urged her supporters to join her in efforts to elect Senator Barack Obama in the November presidential election.


Video Clip: President George W. Bush Endorses Sen. John McCain (3/8/2008 – 1:24)
On Wednesday, March 5, 2008, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) went to the White House to receive the endorsement of President Bush.



Video Clip: Gov. Mitt Romney Endorses Sen. John McCain (2/14/2008 – 1:52)
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney endorsed the presidential candidacy of Senator John McCain. They held a joint press conference at former Governor Romney's presidential campaign headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. Former Governor Romney cited the senator's experience and position on foreign affairs and the need to unite the party as his reason for the endorsement.





Celebrity Endorsements of Candidates


Video Clip: Chuck Norris Endorses Fmr. Gov. Mike Huckabee (1/4/2008 – 3:42)
At a campaign event in the Bridges Gymnasium of New England College, actor Chuck Norris was on the stage with Governor Huckabee and gave him an endorsement.



Video Clip: Oprah Winfrey Endorses Sen. Barack Obama (12/8/2007 – 4:07)
At a campaign rally in the Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines, Iowa, which drew the largest crowd yet in the campaign season, Oprah Winfrey gave an endorsement for Sen. Barack Obama. This was the beginning of a three-state tour by Oprah Winfrey in support of Senator Obama.





Culminating Assessment:

  1. What are the similarities and differences in the different endorsement clips?
  2. Why do former candidates endorse someone they previously competed against for their party’s nomination?
  3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of endorsements from organizations versus endorsements from individuals as well as from elected officials, such as the president?
  4. Given the focus on younger voters, do you think celebrity endorsements of presidential candidates will have more, less, or the same impact as in past elections? Why or why not? Should celebrities endorse political candidates? Are they qualified to do so? Why or why not? What are the pros and cons of celebrity endorsements?


02. Candidates and the Issues

02a.) Candidates on the Economy

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Democratic Party Candidates (Listed alphabetically, by last name)




Republican Party Candidates (Listed alphabetically, by last name)




02b.) Candidate Position Research

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Candidate Position Research Chart


Culminating Questions:

After completing the chart, answer the following questions.

  1. Describe the similarities and differences of each candidate’s views on your chosen issue.
  2. Compare the effectiveness of each candidate in explaining his/her position on the issue. Explain what made each candidate’s plan either easy or difficult to understand.
  3. Which candidate do you agree with the most on this issue? Explain why.
  4. Which candidate do you disagree with the most on this issue? Explain why.


02c.) Candidate Policy Plans

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Various Candidate Policy Plan Speeches (Listed chronologically)


*** Please note that these clips are from specific policy speeches delivered by the candidates (i.e. not a general campaign appearance). The contents of this section will continue to grow as candidates hold events that deal expressly with the specifics of their planned policies, should they become President. ***

Video Clip: Former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton on Economic Policy (07/13/2015 – 4:19)





Video Clip: Sen. Bernie Sanders on Trade Policy (07/30/2015 – 3:30)





Video Clip: Former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton on College Affordability Plan (08/10/2015 – 8:21)





Video Clip: Sen. Marco Rubio on Economic Policy (08/20/2015 – 3:33)





Video Clip: Former Sen. Rick Santorum on Immigration Policy (08/20/2015 – 4:56)





Video Clip: Former Gov. Jeb Bush on Immigration Policy (08/24/2015 – 2:28)





Video Clip: Donald Trump on Tax Policy (09/28/2015 – 4:19)





Video Clip: Former Gov. Jeb Bush on Energy Policy (09/29/2015 – 5:13)





Video Clip: Gov. John Kasich on National Security (12/09/2015 – 8:45)





Video Clip: Sen. Ted Cruz on immigration (12/10/2015 – 3:06)





Video Clip: Former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton on Homeland Security (12/15/2015 – 3:15)





Video Clip: Gov. John Kasich on Foreign Policy (03/21/2016 – 11:44)





Video Clip: Donald Trump on Economic and Trade Policy (04/27/2016 – 11:44)





03. Political Parties

03a.) History of Political Parties

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  • Video Clip: The History of Political Parties (03/08/2013 – 2:56)
    Iowa State University professor Steffen Schmidt discussed the history of political parties from their origins to the present.
     
  • Video Clip: The History of Third Parties (09/30/2012 – 1:36)
    Donald J. Green discussed the evolution and impact role of third parties in the United States.
     
  • Video Clip: Symbols of the Democratic and Republican Parties (06/01/2012 – 3:57)
    A look at a political cartoon from 1862 titled "Jeff Sees the Elephant", believed to be the origin of the donkey and the elephant representing the Democratic and Republican parties.


Culminating Assessment:

  1. Write a letter from the perspective of one of the Founding Fathers that explains why they did not include political parties in the formation of the U.S. Government. Then write a response back from the perspective of a current political party member explaining the role they play in modern politics.


03b.) The Two-Party System

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  • Video Clip: Modern Two-Party System (03/08/2013 – 2:56)
    Iowa State University professor Steffen Schmidt discussed the modern two-party system, including geographic and constituency trends.
     
  • Video Clip: Third Parties in American Politics (11/05/2013 – 5:00)
    Professor David Gillespie talked about the role of third parties in American politics.


Culminating Assessment:

  1. Choose one of the two major parties and create a short political advertisement that would appeal to a large audience and distinguish your party from the other. This can be done through video, political cartoon, brochure, short scene or monologue.
  2. Write a persuasive speech either defending the two-party system, or advocating for more third-parties in the American election process.
  3. Research other countries and how they operate with many different parties. Have each group choose a different country and then present to the class.


03c.) Examples of Minor Parties

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Current Third Parties


  • Video Clip: Constitution Party (09/10/2008 - 2:07)
    Former Constitution Party Presidential Nominee Chuck Baldwin discussed the platform and beliefs of the Constitution Party.
     
  • Video Clip: Green Party (07/30/2001- 4:50)
    Party officials spoke about the launch of a national Green Party.
     
  • Video Clip: Libertarian Party (01/02/2013 - 2:52)
    Jason Brennan broadly defines three categories of libertarian thinkers as classical liberals, hard libertarians, and neo-classical liberals.
     
  • Video Clip: Tea-Party Patriots (09/21/2014 - 1:51)
    Jenny Beth Martin talks about founding the Tea Party Patriots.


Historic Third Parties


  • Video Clip: The Know-Nothing Party (03/18/2014 – 3:32)
    Terry Golway talks about the Know Nothing Party and Tammany Hall.
     
  • Video Clip: The Prohibition Party (03/08/2013 – 2:26)
    Iowa State University Professor Steffen Schmidt discussed the history and platform of the Prohibition Party.
     
  • Video Clip: The Whig Party (10/06/2014 – 1:39)
    Author Michael Gerhardt talks about the differing beliefs of the Jacksonian Democrats and the Whig party during the mid-nineteenth century (2 mins)


Culminating Assessment:

  1. Go to the official websites for the Republican, Democratic, and two minor parties. Using this comparision chart (Google Document), identify three main issues of the 2016 campaign and research where each of the parties stands on the issue, based on the information found on their website. If there is no official stance, make an educated conjecture based off of their larger philosophy.
  2. Choose one of the minor parties and create a political poster that represents their platform.


04. The Presidential Election Process

Key Questions: How was the primary and caucus system established and how has it evolved over time? What are the differences between primaries and caucuses? How does the Republican system compare to the Democratic system? Who sets the schedule and how important is it?

Vocab Sheet: Campaigns and Elections (Google Document).



04a.) Primaries and Caucuses

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Use the Primaries and Caucuses handout to take notes on the following video clips.

Primaries & Caucuses Overview




Primaries & Caucuses History and Results


  • Video Clip: June 7 Primary Election Results (06/07/2016 – 2:27) ***New***
    A look at the June 7, 2016 Primary election results with six states having voted, and 694 delegates up for grabs. Thestates included California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Dakota.
     
  • Video Clip: Indiana Primary Results (05/04/2016 – 6:45)
    A look at the results from the Indiana primary and a discussion of whether Donald Trump can unite the Republican party as the likely nominee following Sen. Ted Cruz suspending his campaign.
     
  • Video Clip: New York Primary Results (04/20/2016 – 4:00)
    A look at the results of the Republican and Democratic primaries in New York on Tuesday, including updated delegate counts. Clips from Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton's victory speeches were included.
     
  • Video Clip: March 15 Primary Election Results and Reaction (03/16/2016 – 4:00)
    A look at the results and reaction from the presidential primaries held in five states on March 15. A clip of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's speech following her win in four of the contests was included.
     
  • Video Clip: Super Tuesday Results (03/02/2016 – 3:47)
    A look at voting results and analysis from Super Tuesday, with Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton winning the most states.
     
  • Video Clip: South Carolina Republican Primary and Nevada Democratic Caucuses (02/21/2016 – 9:29)
    Bloomberg Editor Derek Wallbank discussed the results of the South Carolina Republican primary and the Democratic caucuses in Nevada.
     
  • Video Clip: New Hampshire Primary Results (02/10/2016 – 10:48)
    Reid Wilson discussed the results of the February 9, 2016 New Hampshire primary and how voters from other states could respond in upcoming primaries and caucuses.
     
  • Video Clip: 100th Anniversary of the New Hampshire Primary (02/08/2016 – 8:36)
    The year 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the New Hampshire primary. A documentary by WMUR-TV in Manchester looked back at its history and influence in presidential politics.
     
  • Video Clip: History, Role, and Process of the Iowa Caucuses (01/28/2016 – 8:24)
    David Redlawsk, co-author of the book, Why Iowa?: How Caucuses and Sequential Elections Improve the Presidential Nominating Process, talked about the history of the Iowa caucuses and their role in presidential elections.
     
  • Video Clip: History of the Iowa Caucuses (6/23/2014 – 8:06)
    Kathie Obradovich, political columnist for the Des Moines Register, talked about the history of the Iowa Caucuses and how Iowa became so important to the U.S. presidential election process.
     
  • Video Clip: Republican Perspective on the Relevance of the New Hampshire Primary (11/13/2015 – 2:58)
    New Hampshire Republican Party Chair Jennifer Horn talks about the significance of the NH Primary.
     
  • Video Clip: Democratic Perspective on the Significance of the New Hampshire Primary (11/13/2015 – 2:06)
    New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Raymond Buckley talks about the relevance of the NH Primary.
     
  • Video Clip: History of the New Hampshire Primary (10/2/2007 - 5:06)
    Michael Chaney talked about an exhibit on the history of New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary
     


Democratic Caucus Videos


  • Video Clip: 2016 Iowa Democratic Caucus Meeting (2/01/2016 - 20:08)
    Democrats from three Polk County, Iowa, precincts held their caucus at Roosevelt High School in Des Moines. Participants broke into groups supporting different candidates, selected team captains, and then tried to persuade uncommitted voters or those supporting "not viable" candidates to join their group.
     
  • Video Clip: 2008 Organizing Preference Groups (1/3/2008 - 2:05)
    The Democratic Party held a caucus for Precinct 53 of Des Moines at Theodore Roosevelt High School.
     
  • Video Clip: 2008 Viability Count (1/3/2008 - 1:29)
    Video of caucus preference groups determining their candidate's viability by vote.
     
  • Video Clip: 2008 Reshuffling of Preference Groups (1/3/2008 - 2:37)
    Video of non-viable preference groups trying to convince other non-viable groups to combine numbers and increase their candidate's viability.
     
  • Video Clip: 2008 Democratic Iowa Caucus Results (1/3/2008 - :46)
    Video of the Precinct 53 caucus awarding 3 delegates to Sen. Barack Obama, 2 delegates to Sen. John Edwards, and 1 delegate to Sen. Hillary Clinton.


Republican Caucus Videos


  • Video Clip: 2016 Iowa Republican Caucus Meeting (2/01/2016 - 9:05)
    Republicans from six Boone County, Iowa, precincts held their caucus in the Des Moines Area Community College Gymnasium. After surrogates for each campaign gave a short speech in favor of their candidate, residents voted and nominated delegates to county and state conventions via paper ballot.
     
  • Video Clip: 2012 Republican Caucus Voting in Iowa (1/3/2012 - 1:51)
    Video of voters gathering to vote at a Republican caucus in Treynor, Iowa. After surrogates for each campaign gave a short speech in favor of their candidate, residents voted and nominated delegates to county and state conventions.
     
  • Video Clip: 2012 Republican Caucus Ballot Count (1/3/2012 - 1:03)
    Video of election officials beginning the process of counting votes.
     
  • Video Clip: 2012 Republican Caucus Vote Certification (1/3/2012 - 2:25)
    Video of Republican Caucus leaders in Treynor, Iowa calling in their caucus vote results.


Culminating Assessment:

  1. What is a presidential caucus? How is it different from a primary?
  2. Describe the atmosphere at the Democratic and Republican caucus sites. Explain how the Democratic caucus works versus the Republican caucus.
  3. What is "viability"? How does this affect the lower-tiered Democratic candidates? How does this affect the top-tiered Democratic candidates?
  4. Why do Iowa & New Hampshire receive a lot of attention? How does it impact the rest of the primary elections?
  5. Why do candidates spend a substantial amount of time and campaign funds in the first primaries/caucuses?
  6. Why do campaigns gain or lose momentum during the primary season?
  7. Would you consider this method of choosing the party's nominee 'democratic'? Why or why not?
  8. Choose one of the minor parties and create a political poster that represents their platform.


04b.) Conventions

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National Party Conventions


Key Question: What is the role of National Conventions in the presidential election process?



  • Video Clip: History of Political Conventions (5 ½ min)
    Thomas Whalen discussed the history of the national conventions. He discussed famous and inspirational past conventions, how they have changed over the years, and whether or not they still matter.
     
  • Video Clip: Significance of Party Conventions (4 ½ min)
    Gov. Mitt Romney's campaign managers and senior strategists talked about the Republican National Convention and the significance of party conventions.


Planning a Convention


Key Question: What goes into planning a national convention?


  • Video Clip: Funding of Conventions (8/26/2012 – 6:45)
    David Levinthal talked about the spending and the logistics that go into the political conventions, as well as who’s behind the money.
     
  • Video Clip: DNC & RNC Convention Preparations (7/16/2012 – 4:42)
    Segments from local television news on preparations at the convention centers for the Democratic and Republican conventions was shown.


National Convention Videos




Delegates


Key Question: Who are delegates and what is their role?


  • Video Clip: Is the Delegate Selection Process Fair? (04/18/2016 – 6:42) ***New***
    A look at the controversy over the delegate selection process as well as the Democratic and Republican Parties' nominating rules in the 2016 presidential election. A clip of Donald Trump and RNC Chair Reince Preibus discussing their views of the process was included.
     
  • Video Clip: Contested Convention Scenarios (02/25/2016 – 1:50)
    A look at the rules and possible scenarios if there is a contested GOP convention, including backroom deals and delegates trading favors.
     
  • Video Clip: Pledged Delegates & Super Delegates (8/24/2008 – 5:53)
    A panel discussion was held on the presidential selection process. Topic included the role of delegates in the election process.


Memorable Moments


Key Question: What are some memorable moments in convention history?

Overview: Since 1952, when national political conventions were first televised across the country, party organizers and candidates have a chance to communicate directly to the voters watching at home. While serving to propel the campaigns forward, conventions may also produce one or two moments, some scripted, some unscripted, which make an even more lasting impression in America’s collective memory.


Moment #1: The Fight for Delegates: 1980 Democratic Convention, New York

The 1980 Convention marked the last time in the 20th century that a major party's nomination was decided at the Convention. Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy and then-President Jimmy Carter competed against each other through a nine month primary season before reaching the Convention in New York City. Through the primary season Kennedy received 1,225 delegates and Carter received 1,981 delegates. There were 122 uncommitted delegates. Kennedy tried an unsuccessful bid to get a rule passed that would release delegates from their voting commitments.

Video Clip: Senator Edward Kennedy 1980 Convention Speech (8/11/1980 – 2:48)





Moment #2: The First Woman: 1984 Democratic Convention, San Francisco

"Emotional" and "exciting" is how Geraldine Ferraro describes the moment she was nominated for vice president. Chosen by Walter Mondale as his running mate, Geraldine Ferraro became the first woman nominated for the vice presidency by a major party.

Video Clip: Geraldine Ferraro 1984 VP Acceptance Speech (7/19/1984 – 2:12)





Moment #3: “No New Taxes”: 1988 Republican Convention, New Orleans

Although George H.W. Bush, then Ronald Reagan’s Vice President, was not new to the national stage, his speech the night he accepted the 1988 Republican nomination for president made history. The line written by Peggy Noonan, "Read my lips, 'No new taxes,'" came back to haunt him in his re-election bid. Two years after making his pledge, Bush raised taxes as a part of a budget agreement. His 1992 Democratic opponent, Bill Clinton, made hay of Bush’s miscalculation.

Video Clip: Read My Lips: No New Taxes (8/18/1988 - :59)





Moment #4: The Kiss: 2000 Democratic Convention, Los Angeles

As Vice President Al Gore took to the stage to accept the Democratic nomination, polls showed voters did not perceive him as a "regular guy" who connected easily with people. Before he began his acceptance speech, he embraced his wife Tipper, and gave her a kiss.

Video Clip: The Kiss (8/17/2000 -:23)





Moment #5: The First African American: 2008 Democratic Convention, Denver

The Democratic Party’s 2008 primary season lasted longer than expected. After about eighteen months of campaigning, Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) became the first African American nominated for president by a major political party. About 80,000 people witnessed the historical event when Sen. Obama accepted his party's nomination.

Video Clip: Sen. Barack Obama 2008 Acceptance Speech (8/28/2008 – 5:37)





Surveying Convention Speeches


Key Question: What makes a good speech at a national convention?


Handout: Convention Speech Guide and Evaluation (PDF)



Speeches from the 2012 Republican National Convention


Video Clip: Gov. Mitt Romney Accepts the Republican Party's Nomination as its 2012 Presidential Candidate (8/30/2012 – 40:17)





Video Clip: Rep. Paul Ryan Accepts the Republican Party's Nomination as its 2012 Vice-Presidential Candidate (8/29/2012 – 37:59)





Speeches from the 2012 Democratic National Convention


Video Clip: Barack Obama Accepts the Democratic Party's Nomination as its 2012 Presidential Candidate (9/6/2012 – 39:48)





Video Clip: Joe Biden Accepts the Democratic Party's Nomination as its 2012 Vice-Presidential Candidate (9/6/2012 – 40:43)





Extension Activity:

Lesson Plan: Survey Additional Historical Convention Speeches



05. The Electoral College


Key Question: How Does the Electoral College Work?

04c.) Vice President Selection

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Key Question: Why is the selection of a vice presidential candidate important in the presidential election process?


The Process of Selecting a Running Mate

  • Video Clip: Importance of Vice President Selection (04/22/2016 - 2:29) ***New***
    Anita Dunn, former White House Communications director, discusses the importance of selecting a vice presidential candidate.
     
  • Video Clip: Process of Selecting a Vice President (04/22/2016 - 1:47) ***New***
    Robert Bauer, Co-Chair of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, talked about the process of choosing a vice presidential candidate.


Vice Presidential Selections of the 2016 Candidates

  • Video Clip: Senator Ted Cruz Picks Carly Fiorina as Running Mate (04/27/2016 - 4:51) ***New***
    Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) spoke to supporters at a campaign rally in Indianapolis, Indiana. He announced his selection of former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina as his running mate should he win the Republican Party nomination.
     

Culminating Assessment:

After watching the videos, answer the following questions.

  1. What must a presidential candidate consider when selecting a vice presidential candidate?
  2. Describe the process of selecting a vice-president.
  3. What qualities do presidential candidates typically look for in a running mate?
  4. What challenges might confront vice presidential candidates?


05a.) Electoral College Background and Process

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Vocab:

  • Electoral College
  • Popular Vote
  • Direct vs. Indirect Election of the U.S. President
  • President of the Senate
  • Red State vs. Blue State
  • Swing State
  • U.S. Census
  • Political Polls
  • “In-Play States” vs. “States Leaning towards a Candidate”
  • Electoral College Tellers
  • Joint Session of Congress
  • Founding Fathers
  • Controversies of the Election of 2000
  • House of Representatives
  • The U.S. Senate
  • Inauguration
  • Video Clip: Electoral College Process (11/06/12 – 1:06)
    Greg Giroux discussed the process of the Electoral College and why the system was created for electing the President.
     
  • Video Clip: Electoral College Scenarios (11/06/12 – 2:02)
    Greg Giroux talked about the process of the Electoral College and described what would happen if the electoral vote ended in a tie.
     
  • Video Clip: Electoral College Overview (10/19/12 – 1:59)
    Jonathan Turley describes the Electoral College process, the role of electors, and historical examples of presidents who were elected with less than 50% of the national vote.
     
  • Video Clip: Ohio's Electoral College Cast Their Votes (12/17/12 – 3:47)
    Ohio’s Electoral College met in the Ohio Statehouse Senate Chamber to cast their votes, one for president and one for vice president. All 18 members cast their votes for President Obama and Vice President Biden.
     
  • Video Clip: North Carolina's Electoral College Cast Their Votes (12/17/12 – 3:38)
    North Carolina’s Electoral College met in the House Chamber at the state capitol to cast their votes, one for President and one for Vice President. All 15 members cast their votes for former Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) for President and U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) for Vice President.
     
  • Video Clip: Electoral College Ballot Count (1/4/13 – 1:12)
    The Electoral College ballots, cast during the 2012 Election, were taken to the U.S. House Chamber to be counted.
     
  • Video Clip: Electoral College Ballot Certification (1/4/13 – 1:59)
    Vice President Biden certifies the 2012 Election's Electoral College Vote Count.
     
  • Video Clip: Vice President Al Gore certifies the results in the 2000 Presidential Election (1/6/2001 – 1:39)
    On January 6, 2001, following the 2000 Florida recount and a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Democratic presidential candidate Vice President Al Gore presided over the Electoral College vote count conducted in a joint session, which resulted in his Republican opponent, George W. Bush, officially winning the presidency.
     
  • Video Clip: Teaching the Electoral College (12/17/2012 – 4:00)
    Tracy Van Dusen, C-SPAN senior fellow spoke by phone about how she teaches the Electoral College and uses C-SPAN Classroom resources at her school. Ms. Van Dusen teaches regular and advanced placement government and American History at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Culminating Assessment:

After watching the videos, answer the following questions.

  1. Using a map, explain the Electoral College system.
  2. In what ways can a presidential candidate meet the goal of 270 electoral votes necessary to win the U.S. Presidency?
  3. Explain the role of the electors in the voting process.
  4. What happens when there is no winner in the Electoral College? Who selects the U.S. President and who selects the Vice President?
  5. What is the difference between the popular vote (direct election) and the electoral vote (indirect election)?
  6. Explain the pros and cons of the Electoral College system. Do you think it should be reformed? Why or why not?


05b.) Debating the Electoral College

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Vocab:

  • Electoral College
  • Popular Vote vs. Electoral Vote
  • Amendment Process
  • “Winner Take all” vs. “Split district” system of releasing Electoral Votes
  • Congressional Redistricting
  • US Census
  • National Popular Vote
  • Electoral Recount (Ex. Florida in 2000)
  • Presidential Election of 2000
  • Bush v. Gore Supreme Court case of 2000
  • Founding Fathers
  • National Recount



Culminating Assessment:

After watching the videos, answer the following questions.

  1. Why did the Founding Fathers adopt the system of the Electoral College to elect the United States President?
  2. Explain the pros and cons of the Electoral College system.
  3. Do you think that we should keep the Electoral College, switch to a popular vote, or create a new system? Explain your position citing specific reasons.


06. Campaign Finance

Vocab:

  • Super PACs
  • Campaign Finance Reform
  • Third Party Candidates
  • Independent Candidates
  • DNC
  • RNC
  • Capped Campaign Limits
  • Legal Limits
  • Campaign Finance Organizations
  • 501 (C) (4)
  • Candidate Committees
  • Unlimited Contributions
  • Campaign Donors
  • Tax Code Section 527
  • McCain/ Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Law (2002)
  • Citizens United Supreme Court Case (2010)
  • Federal Election Commission (FEC)
  • Testing The Waters
  • Mega Donors
  • Donor Maintenance
  • Campaign Fundraisers
  • The Koch Brothers
  • Private Political Fundraising Organizations
  • Litmus Test
  • Amendment Process
  • Buckley V. Valeo Supreme Court Case (1976)
  • Soft Money
  • Capping Donations
  • Corporate Money
  • Real Money
  • Tillman Act Of 1907


06a.) Campaign Finance Groups

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  • Video Clip: Campaign Finance Groups (7/28/2015 – 3:50)
    Michael Beckel talks about various campaign finance groups and their role on elections.
     
  • Video Clip: Campaign Finance and the 2016 Election (5/3/2015 – 2:23)
    Meredith McGehee talked about campaign finance in the 2016 presidential elections, including a constitutional amendment to fix the system.
     
  • Video Clip: Is Money Free Speech? (5/3/2015 – 3:17)
    Meredith McGehee talks about campaign finance, the influence of money and Super PACs.
     
  • Video Clip: 2016 Presidential Race Fundraising (4/7/2015 – 6:05)
    Sheila Krumholz talked about campaign fundraising rules and regulations for declared and undeclared candidates in the 2016 presidential race.


06b.) Campaign Finance Reform

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Watch the four video clips below and answer the following questions.


Discussion Questions:


  1. Explain the arguments for and against Campaign Finance Reform.
  2. Do you think the Campaign Finance system should be reformed? Explain your position citing arguments from the videos.


Debate on Campaign Finance Reform


  • Video Clip: For Campaign Finance Reform (5/16/2014 – 2:53)
    John Bonifaz presents arguments for reforming campaign finance laws.
     
  • Video Clip: For Campaign Finance Reform (6/20/2015 – 1:45)
    Sen. Bernie Sanders on his opposition to the decision in the Citizen's United Supreme Court case.
     
  • Video Clip: Against Campaign Finance Reform (1/15/2015 – 1:34)
    Former FEC Commissioner Lee Goodman discussed how the Citizens United decision improved the election process and campaign finance.
     
  • Video Clip: Against Campaign Finance Reform (6/2/2014 – 1:46)
    Hans Von Spakovsky provides examples of historical political speech and how he interprets the issue of Campaign Finance in relation to First Amendment free speech rights.
     
  • Video Clip: Campaign Finance Complexity and Reform (8/21/2015 – 2:02)
    Former Republican Presidential candidate Steve Forbes discusses the complexity of Campaign Finance laws and his ideas for reform.


Culminating Assessment:

  1. Who gives what, when, where and how to political candidates running for the U.S. Presidency?
  2. What is the most effective method of spending money during a presidential campaign?
  3. What is the state of campaign finance reform and should it be amended?
  4. What is the role of PACs, Super PACs and other outside groups?


07. Campaign Ads

07a.) Campaign Ad History

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  • Video Clip: Early Political Ads (3/27/2013 - 2:12)
    Archivist Mike Mashon talks about an early political ad from 1912 that is featured in the Library of Congress' Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation located in Culpeper, Virginia.
     
  • Video Clip: Modern vs. Past Campaign Ads (3/19/2012 – 5:11)
    Darrell West talked about the evolution of political advertising from the first ads for Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 to the fast-moving Internet ads of the 2012 presidential campaign.


07b.) Creating Campaign Ads

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  • Video Clip: Campaign Ad Creation (8/26/2014 – 2:50)
    Brian Donahue and Joe Fuld talked about the ways candidates build communication and ad strategies for political campaigns.
     
  • Video Clip: Effective Campaign Ads (10/26/2014 – 5:21)
    Political campaign consultants Joe Fuld and Dan Allen talked about some of the best and worst candidate and issues ads during the 2014 midterm campaign. Topics also included what goes into creating an ad, and whether negative ads work.
     
  • Video Clip: Campaign Targeting (2/27/2012 – 4:10)
    Kenneth Goldstein talks about how campaigns target individuals and how this may be a more effective strategy than TV commercials.
     
  • Video Clip: The “Branding” of Political Advertising (9/24/2012 – 8:15)
    Thom Mozloom discusses campaign ads in the 2012 election and their influence on the public.


07c.) Campaign Ad Analysis

Return to the Table of Contents


Use the Campaign Ad Analysis Chart (Google Doc) with this section.


Campaign Ad Analysis


Video Clip: "I Like Ike" Campaign Ad (2:04)
Patrick Meirick discusses the "I Like Ike" ad from the 1952 Presidential Campaign.



Video Clip: "Jingle" Campaign Ad (1:02)
John F. Kennedy's "Jingle" ad from 1960.



Video Clip: "Taxes" Campaign Ad (:58)
Richard Nixon's "Taxes" ad from 1960.



Video Clip: "Daisy" Campaign Ad (1:48)
Patrick Meirick talks about the "Daisy" ad from the 1964 Presidential election.



Video Clip: "Essence" Campaign Ad (:33)
Jimmy Carter's "Essence" ad from 1976.



Video Clip: "Morning in America" Campaign Ad (2:16)
Ronald Reagan's "Morning in America" ad from 1984.



Video Clip: Gov. Bill Clinton Campaign Ad (:34)
An attack ad against President George H.W. Bush from Gov. Bill Clinton's 1992 Presidential campaign.



Video Clip: Gov. George W. Bush Campaign Ad (:32)
An attack ad against V.P. Al Gore from Gov. George W. Bush's 2000 Presidential campaign.



Video Clip: V.P. Al Gore Campaign Ad (1:01)
A biographical political ad from V.P. Al Gore's 2000 Presidential campaign.



Video Clip: Ralph Nader Presidential Campaign Ad (:31)
An attack ad against Gov. George W. Bush and V.P. Al Gore from independent candidate Ralph Nader's 2000 Presidential campaign.



Video Clip: Sen. John Kerry Presidential Campaign Ad (1:10)
The Democratic National Committee released a campaign ad in 2004 focusing on the service of Sen. John Kerry in the National Guard, and attacking President George W. Bush's policies.



Video Clip: President George W. Bush Presidential Campaign Ad (:33)
An attack ad against Sen. John Kerry from Gov. George W. Bush's 2004 Presidential campaign.



Video Clip: Sen. John McCain Presidential Campaign Ad (:24)
An attack ad against Sen. Barack Obama from Sen. John McCains's 2008 Presidential campaign.



Video Clip: Sen. Barack Obama Presidential Campaign Ad (1:00)
A biographical political ad from Sen. Barack Obama's 2008 Presidential campaign.



Video Clip: Gov. Mitt Romney Presidential Campaign Ad (:23)
An attack ad against President Obama and Vice President Biden from Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan's 2012 Presidential campaign.



Video Clip: President Barack Obama Presidential Campaign Ad (:27)
A political ad from Sen. Barack Obama's 2012 Presidential campaign.



Video Clip: Sec. Hillary Clinton Campaign Ad (:38)
A political ad from SuperPAC, Priorities USA, supporting Sec. Hillary Clinton's 2016 Presidential Campaign.



Video Clip: Sen. Marco Rubio Campaign Ad (1:05)
A political ad from SuperPAC, Baby Got PAC, supporting Sen. Marco Rubio's 2016 Presidential Campaign.



Video Clip: Gov. Jeb Bush Campaign Ad (:38)
A political ad from SuperPAC, Right to Rise, supporting Gov. Jeb Bush's 2016 Presidential Campaign.



Video Clip: Republican Presidential Campaign Ads (1:09) ***New***
Two campaign ads for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination were shown ahead of the Wisconsin Republican primary on Tuesday, April 5, 2016.



Video Clip: Democratic Presidential Campaign Ads (1:11) ***New***
Political ads for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination campaigns of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) were shown. The ads were released in New York ahead of that state’s April 19, 2016, primary elections.





07d.) Online Campaign Advertising

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  • Video Clip: Online Campaign Advertising (11/14/2015 – 1:10)
    Melissa Yeager talked about a Sunlight Foundation report on online campaign ads and challenges to tracking online political spending.
     


Culminating Assessment:

  1. Which kinds of campaign ads are most effective, and why?
  2. Why do some ads tell a personal story instead of address campaign issues?
  3. How trustworthy are attack ads in your opinion?
  4. Do you think it would be more effective for a candidate to advertise on social media or traditional media? Why?


08. Polls


Key Question: How are polls conducted, and what purpose do they serve?

08a.) History of Polls

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  • Video Clip: History of Political Polling (11/2/2012 - 5:48)
    Vanderbilt University history professor Sarah Igo on the history of political polling in America, including discussion of straw polls, and scientific sampling polls.
     
  • Video Clip: The Origins of Public Opinion (12/14/2011 - 2:17)
    Columnist Richard Brookhiser discusses James Madison and his beliefs in the use of public opinion in politics.


08b.) Understanding Polls

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  • Video Clip: Understanding Polling (10/30/2012 – 5:46)
    Scott Keeter explains the various aspects of polling.
     
  • Video Clip: Millennial Voters (4/30/2015 – 6:30)
    John Della Volpe talked about a survey by the Harvard Institute of Politics on young Americans’ views on politics and the 2016 Presidential Election.



Extension Activity:

Create your own Political Poll.

  1. Discuss with your group what you would like to research for your poll.
     
  2. Define your universe. The universe is the total population that you are trying to gather research on. Typically the smaller the universe the more accurate the poll, however the larger the universe the more useful it is.
     
  3. Determine the demographics of your universe. Find the percentages of each of the following:
     
      - Age of students
      - Race of students
      - Gender of students
     
      Example: There are 30 students in a class - 10 sixteen year olds, 12 seventeen year olds, and 8 eighteen year olds. So 33% of the class is sixteen, 40% of the class is seventeen, and 27% of the class is eighteen.
     
  4. Create 5 questions for your poll. Be careful not to use wording that is biased because that could skew your results. Your polling questions should also have a multiple choice answer or provide a scale for how much participants agree or disagree with a statement.
     
  5. Conduct your poll and record responses.
     
  6. Analyze your data, and create a graph representing your results.
     


Follow up questions:

  1. Did you get any surprising results from your poll? Why or why not?
  2. What are some things you could do to improve your polling?
  3. How could this information be used by a candidate in an election?


09. Debates

Vocab:

  • Incumbent
  • Independent Candidate
  • Third Party Candidate
  • Commission on Presidential Debates
  • Fifteen Percent Rule
  • Debate Moderator
  • Debate Panel
  • Partisan
  • Non-Partisan

09a.) History and Significance of Debates

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09b.) Role of TV and Social Media

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  • Video Clip: The Impact and Influence of Television on Debates (4/22/2013 – 1:34)
    PBS Newshour anchor Jim Lehrer on televised debates and why he believes they are more about style than substance.
     
  • Video Clip: Role of Social Media in Debates (10/2/2012 – 1:44)
    Howard Kurtz and Lauren Ashburn talked about the role of social media during the 2012 presidential campaign, and they answered questions from viewers live on the C-SPAN network. They discussed media coverage and the significance of the presidential debates.


09c.) Debate Evaluation

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09d.) Primary Debates

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Culminating Questions:

  1. How have political debates evolved in the last few decades?
     
  2. How has the impact of technology (television/social media) influenced the debate process?
     
  3. How are the Presidential debates set up and planned?
     
  4. Who makes the decisions concerning the rules and style of the debates?
     
  5. Does a candidate’s performance during a debate critically impact their standing in the election?
     
  6. How do the questions that the debate moderators ask and the presentation of candidates on TV affect the candidate during the general election?


10. Voting

Vocab:

  • Apathy
  • Ballot
  • Citizen
  • Democracy
  • Elect
  • Electorate
  • General election
  • Incumbent
  • Independent voter

10a.) Voting Process

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  • Video Clip: State Ballot Deadlines for the General Election (05/10/16 – 1:45) ***New***
    A look at the various deadlines for independent candidates to file petition in order to appear on each state's ballot in the general election.
     
  • Video Clip: Electoral Reform and Campaign 2016 (04/22/2016 – 5:43) ***New***
    Former Nirvana bass player Krist Novoselic talked about his work as chair of FairVote, an organization that advocates for a variety of electoral reforms. Topics included proportional representation, ranked choice voting, reforming the Electoral College, and partisanship in government.
     
  • Video Clip: Efforts to Improve the U.S. Voting System (03/04/2016 – 2:43)
    Thomas Hicks, Commissioner of the Election Assistance Commission discussed efforst to improve the U.S. voting system. Topics included reforms following the 2000 Florida recount and ways to improve the voter registration process.
     
  • Video Clip: Should the U.S. require mandatory voting? (03/22/2015 – 1:57)
    “Should the U.S. require mandatory voting?” The question was asked of President Obama at a town hall meeting held the previous week in Cleveland. The president in his reply said he could support mandatory voting as a short-term fix for counteracting the influence of money in politics.
     


10b.) Voter Values

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  • Video Clip: How Do Voters Really Decide? (09/02/2015 – 4:28)
    Christian Science Monitor Senior Writer Peter Grier talks about how voters choose a candidate in a presidential election campaign.
     
  • Video Clip: Latino Voters and Issues of Importance to Them (10/30/2015 – 4:44)
    Daniel Garza talked about efforts by the Libre Initiative and other conservative Latino groups to guide the tone of the Republican party regarding immigration and other issues important to Latino voters in the lead up to the 2016 presidential election.
     
  • Video Clip: Black Women Voters in 2016 (09/19/2015 – 3:44)
    Melanie Campbell and Vanessa DeLuca discuss a joint poll conducted by the National Coalition of Black Civic Participation and Essence Magazine on what issues were important to black women in the 2016 election.
     
  • Video Clip: Women as Voters (3/25/2008 – 7:28)
    Panelist Susan Carroll talked about women as voters and activists. She focused on the suffrage movement and emerging trends among women voters in the 2008 election and beyond. This event was held at the Sewall-Belmont House and Museum.
     


10c.) Millennials and First Time Voters

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  • Video Clip: Millennial Generation and Campaign 2016 (04/26/16 – 6:10) ***New***
    John Della Volpe talked about a Harvard Institute of Politics poll of millennial generation views of Campaign 2016.
     
  • Video Clip: Millennial Generation on Economic Policy (04/26/16 – 2:34) ***New***
    John Della Volpe talked about the millennial generation's views of economic policy and socialism versus capitalism.
     
  • Video Clip: Millennial Generation on Education Policy (04/26/16 – 1:53) ***New***
    John Della Volpe talked about a Harvard Institute of Politics poll of millennial generation views of education policy and Campaign 2016.
     
  • Video Clip: Millennial Generation and Voter Participation (04/26/16 – 2:01) ***New***
    John Della Volpe talked about a Harvard Institute of Politics poll of millennial generation views of Campaign 2016 and the voter participation rates of the generation.
     
  • Video Clip: Millennials & Campaign 2016 (11/18/2015 – 8:31)
    Matthew Segal talked about issues important to younger voters in the 2016 presidential election and what candidates are doing to win their support. Topics included race relations, college affordability and student debt, the economy, and youth voter participation rates.