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Rescooped by Michaela Countryman from AP Government and Politics - Assigned "Scoops"
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Gerrymandering: the recipe for dysfunctional government? - DUE 3/28

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...


Via Teresa Herrin, Kelly Grossman, Christine Thompson
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Mason Paul Lyman's curator insight, April 2, 2014 9:41 PM

1. The House redraws the congressional districts every 10 years on the census in an attempr to make the districts lend their support to whoever the current party majority is.

2. Gerrymandering allows incumbents to get reelected multiple times. 

3. Have a computerized, neutral program that would create districts based on geography and demography. A program such as this would make it more difficult for incumbents to get reelected.

4. Yes, there are. One party could earn more votes than another but still lose the election.

5. No because it is an unhonorable way to earn the respective benefits.

Jessica Markle's curator insight, April 12, 2014 2:09 PM

gerymandering is the act of redrawing a district and its has gotten its name from Albridge Garry who redrew a district in the beginning of our country in order for him to win a vote. The redrawing of the districts almost guarantees a win in voting because it allows the politicians to choose their voters. In the video, suggested possible solutions to gerrymandering would be to redraw district lines according to geography, demographics, and population density but it would cause a disruption in the current system and would make it very difficult for a representative to be reelected to a district that doesn't have the same advantages. Gerrymandering can be compared to the electoral college because these systems don't work in the favor of the public, or the majority vote because with the representatives picking the districts containing people they know will vote for them along with the electoral college being able to override the public vote, it has caused question in the democratic system of the United States.

Lauren Sargent's curator insight, April 17, 2014 9:47 PM

The term gerrymandering comes from an 1810 law that was created by Elbridge Gerry, Governor of Massachusetts, which repositioned and defined congressional districts based on population changes. After the law was passed, newspaper articles came out with pictures of the re-drawn districts in concerning shapes, such as a salamander. They linked the two words “salamander” and “Gerry” and called it gerrymandering. As time has gone on, gerrymandering has been manipulated by both the Republican and Democratic parties by them re-drawing districts specifically to change the possible outcome of their “political cartoon” if you will. House seats are being re-apportioned every presidential election year. The video suggested that these means of politics have made it so that “the politicians are choosing their voters, rather than the voters choosing their politicians”. This is causing major distrust in candidates and decrease in voter participation. Gerrymandering has been beneficial to incumbents because they change their districts to work in favor of their election. Both the Electoral College and gerrymandering can be seen as unfair or corrupt government practices because they can sometimes both not accurately depict the peoples' votes by changing their districts. With the Electoral College, they could win a majority of the electoral votes, but not the majority vote. With gerrymandering, a politician would be elected just because of the re-drawn, manipulated districts, which is ridiculous. 

Rescooped by Michaela Countryman from AP Government and Politics - Assigned "Scoops"
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Texan Hispanics Tilt Democratic, but State Likely to Stay Red - DUE 2/20

Texan Hispanics Tilt Democratic, but State Likely to Stay Red - DUE 2/20 | MichaelaC.gopo | Scoop.it
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.

Via Christine Thompson
Michaela Countryman's insight:

1. democrats are hopeful for a party comeback in texas. this is because of all the mexicans that are going toward the democrat side and soon the african american and mexican minorities may soon take over the white majority and the roles will switch.

2.white people in texas vote republican while mexican and african americans either vote consistently democrat or leaning toward it.

3.hispanic texan may lean democratic but do not register to vote but white repub/demo still make up a fair amount that actually vote.

4. Random Sampling

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Holland Coleman's curator insight, February 20, 2014 11:28 PM

1. Democrats are hopeful of a party realignment in Texas because of the state's growing Hispanic population--Hispanics are consistently left-leaning--which represents an influx of blue voters that could tip the scales of the state. Soon, the state's white cititzens will make up less than half of the population, and the state will have a minority majority.

 

2. The party identification trend in Texas is that any given demographic will be more right-leaning than nationally. For instance, even though Hispanics in Texas still lean left, the margin by which Hispanic blue voters outweigh Hispanic red voters is much smaller. 

 

3. Despite any meteoric rise in Texas' Hispanic population, this demographic is unlikely to exercise its newfound political clout because Hispanic voters are much less likely to participate in elections than other demographics. The real challenge for Democrats therefore is not to win over the Hispanic population--they already lean left--but to get them to register and vote.

 

4. The study was a random survey conducted by telephone. Respondents were found using random-dialing methods in an even geographical spread. 50% of respondents were reached by landline, and the other 50% of respondents were reached by cell phone, to control for demographic trends regarding phone use. 

Lauren Smith's curator insight, February 21, 2014 12:22 AM

1. Democrats are hopeful for a party realignment in Texas because Texas is predominantly a Republican state, yet this poll suggests that the democrats are pulling more weight in Texas than before. If Texas were to become a more democratic state, then the Democrats would have a larger advantage in the number of voters and influence. The population of Hispanics in Texas is increasing in Texas and, along with African Americans in the state, are voting more democratic. However, the majority of Texans are white and vote republican. This shows that the minority majority struggle that the minorities are beginning to surpass the number of majority people in Texas. 

2. The trends in party identification in Texas are that the white Texans vote mostly republican, while the minorities vote more democratic. The Hispanic Texans were mostly republican in 2008 during the time of Obama's election, but now they have tended to follow the national trend to vote more democratic.  

3. Gallup suggests that the current situation of small percentages of Hispanic adult registered voters will unlikely cause a realignment of Texas to a democratic state. This is related to political participation in that there is a low percentage of Hispanic Texans who are actually registered to vote. This causes the Hispanic democrats to be poorly represented in the state.  Therefore the republicans who vote will keep Texas a more republican state.

4. Steps that were taken by Gallup to reduce sampling error were to conduct recent telephone interviews (in Spanish as well if needed to communicate to the respondent) with a random sample that included over 178,000 adults in all 50 states and in D.C., the interviews were 50% on cell phones and 50% on land lines, and there were weighted samples based on unequal selection probability and national demographics. 

Jordan Nguyen's curator insight, February 23, 2014 5:04 PM

1. If Texas has a party realignment it could be a huge change to the republican-democrat ratio. Texas is the largest republican majority state.  The minority Hispanic population as a cumulative has become the larger majority. The population is under the democratic influence more than anything else. 

2. The larger white majority will identify republican. The rest of the population will identify as democratic. 

3. Even though the minority is slowly becoming a majority the minority Hispanic population does not yet build the larger portion of population.The smaller Minority groups that makeup a majority combined are least likely to vote as well. This hinders the democratic party because there is no political participation.

4. There are several different groups looked at and not a single controlled specific type targeted, but the idea that the poll only targets people in Texas and divides them by race is not helping low sampling error. 

Rescooped by Michaela Countryman from AP Government and Politics - Assigned "Scoops"
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Americans' Satisfaction With Economy Sours Most Since 2001 - DUE 2/24!

Americans' Satisfaction With Economy Sours Most Since 2001 - DUE 2/24! | MichaelaC.gopo | Scoop.it
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.

Via Christine Thompson
Michaela Countryman's insight:

1. yes the events of this time period do effect and explain the changes in public opinion. this is caused by war,political decisions and economic troubles or gains.

2. the chart does coincide with our expectations because it shows that 13 years ago democrats help office, so therefore the democratic party is happy.. and this would happen just the same if republicans held office also.

3. these results can conclude that the republicans will/would support conservatve policies mindsets like pro-gun, anti abortion, and immigration laws. the democrats would ultimately have a liberal mindset and support abortion, anti gun laws, and medical reform.

4. This 4% is sign that the poll is not accurate down to the key. it also means that i should understand and take into consideration that not every democrat or republican is strictly set in those ideals of the party's and can vote either way.

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Anna Fisher's curator insight, February 24, 2014 1:41 PM

1. The historical events do change the opinions of the people, specifically 9/11, because it makes people lose trust in the government. The people are much less satisfied with the world affairs.

2. They do coincide with my expectations, because liberal/conservative usually go with republican and democratic ideas. Liberals believe that the state shouldn't play such a big role, while conservative believes in more strict law.

3. Republicans believe that the environment is doing pretty well, while the Democrats disagree. Democrats think that health care is doing great, while Republicans differ. The key points that Republicans and Democrats believe in, they disagree on.

4. This is the margin of error, so the people interviewed are fairly confident in their answer. Smaller the margin of error, the more reliable the poll. 

Sean Kelly's curator insight, February 24, 2014 11:34 PM

1. The terror attacks and the dot-com boom changes do explain the changes in public opinion because the relative feelings of safety and economic immunity, i.e. no one will mess with the US, are gone.

2. These results do coincide because the Democrats liberal views fit in with the government doing more to intervene with certain policies, and the conservative Republican views fit into the idea of Conservatives limiting government controls across all fronts, and their "return to the good times" attitude.

3. The Democrats would be more likely to support gun control and penal system reform, while the Republicans would enjoy a cut on the higher income bracket taxes and the loss of gun control laws.

4. The 4% error potential means that the sampling is most likely within 4% of the general popluations overall view. This means the data is not exactly precise, but does give a good ball park idea to work in for the numbers.

Mason Paul Lyman's curator insight, March 3, 2014 4:32 PM

1. For the most part, yes, due to the war in the Middle East, however, not all social factors would be.

 

2. Yes. Democrats are more satisfied with liberal issues, and Republican favor conservative issues.

 

3. Democrats would probably push for more concern for global warming and tighter gun laws, as democrats are generally liberal. Republicans would probably push for less government intervention, as republicans are generally conservative.

 

4. The results could be shifted +/- 4%, which is relatively small. It puts into mind the thought that much of our information in corrupt.