This not an assignment... but I wanted to post this because I'm seeing many misconceptions about caucuses in the FRQs. Some of the misconceptions:
1. A caucus is not the same as a closed primary, though you do have to be a member of the party. How caucuses differ from primaries:
- People discuss the issues and candidates before voting.
- The candidates or their representatives give speeches to try to sway votes their way.
- The voting is much more informal. In some primaries, people move to the side of the room designated for the candidate they support - and they can try to win over voters from other sectors.
2. Another common misconception is that only party leaders attend caucuses. Like primaries, the elite (economic, political, and/or educational) tend to be the ones who vote... but all members of the party are eligible to take part in the caucus.
Video on msnbc.com: The age-old practice of politicians re-drawing Congressional districts to find friendly voters, or, gerrymandering, has allowed members of the House of Representatives from both sides of the aisle to stay in power regardless of...
(CNN) - The Lone Star state held its primary contests Tuesday, kicking off the 2014 election season with two top Republicans guarding their seats in Congress against conservative challengers and gubernatorial candidates Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott ready to square o...
More Americans today are satisfied with where the nation stands on acceptance of gays and lesbians, federal taxes, and healthcare availability than were satisfied in 2001. But Americans' satisfaction with the economy has declined.
Christine Thompson's insight:
Rescoop to your own page and write a reflection on the reading in which you answer the following questions - by class time on Monday, 2/24!
1. The article explains why Gallup chose a 13-year comparison. Do the historical events of this period explain the changes in public opinion? Why or why not?
2. Examine the chart comparing Democrats' and Republicans' levels of satisfaction. Do these results coincide with your expectations (based on the textbooks' depiction of American liberalism and conservatism)? Why or why not?
3. Based on these results, which public policy changes are likely to be supported by each party?
4. The sampling error for this poll is +/- 4%. What does this mean, and how might it impact your interpretation of the data presented?
Rescoop to your own page and write a reflection on the video in which you answer the following questions - by class time on Friday, 4/25!
1. What are the reasons OMB Deputy Director Brian Deese gives for the rapid rate of decline in the deficit (debt-GDP ratio)? 2. According to Mr. Deese, how would the president's proposed budget for 2015 affect future deficits? Explain. 3. How does the president’s budget try to build on Congress’s effort to compromise in the allocation of discretionary spending? Provide a description of at least one component of this initiative. 4. Knowing that you do not have all of the pertinent information to make a fully-informed decision, what do you see as the pros and cons of this budget proposal?
The Senate filibuster has come under attack - again. The names of its critics might be different, but one thing's the same: the party in charge is the one threatening to change the rules. They want to limit the highly-effective procedural tactic to block the Senate's business.
First, a brief history:
The word filibuster comes from a Dutch word that means pirate. It was used to indicate that the Senate floor is being seized and legislation is being held up by force.
Senate historian Donald Ritchie believes that although the first filibuster took place in the very first Congress but the word filibuster was not used until the 1850s. With the formalization of the filibuster, a senator would hold up business by consistently talking on the Senate floor, and there was no way to stop the rogue Senate - until 1917. At that time, the Senate changed the rules to allow a cloture vote, which enabled 67 senators to defeat the stalling tactic.
The filibuster was famously used to block two different versions of the Civil Rights Act. Former Sen. Strom Thurmond's successful 24-hour talk-a-thon helped to kill the 1957 civil rights legislation. Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., tried the same tactic in 1964. His 14-hour filibuster was part of a 57-day marathon that, ultimately, was not effective in killing the legislation.
The next - and last - major change to the filibuster came in 1975, when the threshold to route a filibuster was lowered from 67 lawmakers to 60.
In recent years, the number of filibusters has risen dramatically. According to the Democrats, Republicans.... [MORE]
Rescoop to your own page and write a reflection on the reading in which you answer the following questions - by class time on Thursday, 3/6!
There are many, MANY articles about the potential candidates in the 2016 presidential election. We chose this one for a variety of reasons, but you should understand that anything printed this early is pure speculation – so don’t take it to heart.
1. Based on this article, what would you say that the media is looking for in an ideal candidate for 2016? Is it the same for both parties?
2. To what extent is Sabato focused on the issues (platform) of the candidates?
3. Sabato refers to the “permanent presidential campaign.” What does this mean, and what are the implications for government?
4. Do you think that there is an advantage to being identified as an early leader in the presidential race? Why or why not?
Texas remains a Republican-leaning state because its white residents are becoming increasingly Republican and its large Hispanic population, though solidly Democratic, is less so than Hispanics nationally.
Christine Thompson's insight:
Rescoop to your own page and write a reflection on the reading in which you answer the following questions - by class time on Thursday, 2/20!
1. Why are Democrats hopeful of a party realignment in Texas? How is this related to the concept of minority majority?
2. What are the trends in party identification within the state of Texas?
3. Why does Gallup suggest that the current situation is unlikely to result in party realignment in the near future? How is this related to the concept of political participation?
4. What steps were taken to ensure a low sampling error in this poll?
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