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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 | Lauren Smith's 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
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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. 

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Roberts Pulls Supreme Court to the Right Step by Step - DUE 4/18!

Roberts Pulls Supreme Court to the Right Step by Step - DUE 4/18! | Lauren Smith's GOPO | Scoop.it
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. may work slowly, but he has a long-term strategy for putting his mark on the Supreme Court.

Via Christine Thompson
Lauren Smith's insight:

1. The majority of the Roberts court decisions have been favoring businesses and conservatives. "In lower-profile cases, the court’s rulings continued to be good for business interests and bad for the Obama administration." 

2. The precedent is a "previous case or legal decision that may be or must be followed in subsequent similar cases." Many liberal cases (involving business and election regulations) that were presented to the court were ruled on conservative precedents. 

3. The Obama administration has an overall poor performance in defending their interests in the supreme court because Roberts has a strong influence on the two liberal justices to join compromise options that favor the majority's conservative decisions. 

4. Justice Kennedy is the swing vote of the court because he could vote either conservative or liberal, however Kennedy has voted with the majority 83% of the time in divided cases. Therefore, as the swing vote, his vote is the most valuable. 

5. Yes there is a bias towards conservatism in that the majority of this article focus' on the conservative decisions made by Roberts and the court. The Obama administration and the liberals aren't regarded favorably and are seen as failures. 

 

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Anna Fisher's curator insight, April 21, 2014 11:56 PM

1. The opposite party has been favored in Robert's court conditions. "He took pains to note that eight members of the court, including its four liberals, had already agreed that “things have changed in the South” and that the voting law seemed at odds with principles of federalism and “equal sovereignty” among the states."

2. "In the last term, the court issued 73 signed decisions in argued cases, in line with recent terms and about half the number the court routinely issued two decades ago. Justice Kennedy was in the majority 83 percent of the time in divided cases, trailed by Chief Justice Roberts at 73 percent. Justice Scalia brought up the rear, at 58 percent." So, Chief Robert's precedent would be Justice Kennedy and the majority does not typically rule in Robert's court.

3. “Obama’s poor overall record,” Professor Winkler added, “is largely due to philosophical differences with the court’s conservative majority.” The way this could be fixed is through compromise in parties, maybe not being too liberal and considering some of the conservative ideas. 

4. Justice Salina is considered the swing vote. Salina said that the majority needs to respect the President and the views of this. People still needs the power to govern themselves.

5. No, this article is factual and simply allows the reader to make their own opinion on the matter. 

Stephanie Shirley's curator insight, April 23, 2014 12:35 AM

1.The Roberts Court has a very conservative record that has been beneficial for business interests and detrimental to consumers and employees. They  cut back on class action lawsuits and favored arbitration. 

2. Precedent is making a decision based on prior decisions. In business cases, the court largely reaffirmed its prior decisions.
3. Obama's poor record is due to philosophical differences with the Supreme Court Justices. One strategy that the President could pursue to see greater success in the Court would be to compromise on issues and try to get legislation passed that is more bipartisan. 4. Justice Kennedy is considered the "swing vote" on the court because in some cases he votes liberal and in some he votes conservative. There are four liberals and four conservatives on the Court. 5. Yes, because it describes Chief Justice Roberts and his accomplishments in a positive way. "His patient and methodical approach has allowed him to establish a robustly conservative record."  
Ivan Dominguez's curator insight, April 24, 2014 12:41 AM

Roberts strongly supports conservative parties and decisions; “seven justices, including two liberals, agreed to sign an opinion that over time could restrict race-conscious admissions plans at colleges and universities.” This court has been the most pro-business in the past few years. A precedent is citing a previous case in order to successfully win a similar one. And Roberts court looks at all precedents set before any case is tried. The Obama administration has an overall poor record in defending their interests in the Supreme Court because the philosophical ideal differences within the administrations is very high. Justice Anthony Kennedy is most often the swing vote of the court. He typically goes back and forth between the conservatives and liberals. This article seems biased in favor of liberal stand points, but also gives credit to the Chief Justice  Roberts.

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Senate Balks at Obama Pick for Surgeon General

Senate Balks at Obama Pick for Surgeon General | Lauren Smith's GOPO | Scoop.it
The White House is considering putting off a Senate vote on Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, who has come under criticism from the National Rifle Association, or withdrawing the nomination altogether.

Via Christine Thompson
Lauren Smith's insight:

1. The NRA is strongly opposed to the appointment of Dr. Murthy because he supports gun control. The NRA has increased their influence in the political campaigns by hiring many field strategists to support their stance on gun control in many competitive states.This also puts democrats from conservative states in a bad spot if their state is unhappy with the president and his nominee.

 

 2.the NRA has stated that they will "score any confirmation vote for Dr. Murthy,"meaning that any senator that votes for him will get bad ratings from the NRA. This could make the campaign difference in states that are strongly allied with the NRA. 

 

3. The Presidents role in the confirmation process is to appoint someone for a official position. The president must have the majority support from their party in  order for the appointee to get the position.

 

4. Strategies that the White House can pursue in relation to this appointment are to appeal to the population for gun control for support, negotiate with the NRA into not affecting the senators who vote for Dr. Murthy, and educating  Congress about why the president thinks Dr. Murthy is a good candidate for this position.  What the White House has learned from recent nominations that have failed is that any nominee with conflicting personal values or with ties to a negative subject in their political history will not be supported by the party or appointed. 

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Sam Johnson's curator insight, April 7, 2014 9:59 AM

The NRA is exercising it's influence by basicaly telling democratic Senators in Conservative States if you support Obama's nomination, you will loose our support. The loss of the NRA's support could keep those democrats from being reelected. The White House could offer a compromise to get Murthy approved. For example they could offer to consider a ballanced budget bill in exchange for supporting Murthy.

Jordan Nguyen's curator insight, April 8, 2014 1:24 AM

1. The NRA is using it's influence in order to persuade the senators to disapprove of the appointment made by President Obama. With ties between the senate democrats and the White House already wearing thin, and the majority of the Democratic senators up for election, the senators are put in a tough situation.The nominee 'Dr. Murthy, who has voiced support for various gun control measures like an assault weapons ban, mandatory safety training and ammunition sales limits" which is upsetting to the NRA.

2. The senators have reached the beginning of the midterm election season and need to get reelected in order to climb to greater power. The NRA having so much influence to certain politics will have a major affect of campaigners who have already decided to approve of the appointment of Dr. Murthy. 

3. The President is the individual who nominates whomever to get appointed by the senate. Through confirmation the President may have a  "guestimate" at who will approve the appointment. 

4. The White House with its' influence may try to use that as bargain in rebuttal to the NRA which is threatening the Senators.  Dr. Murthy will probably be appointed but the completion of the official appointment itself will have to wait until after midterm elections. 

Zachary Smart's curator insight, April 8, 2014 11:52 PM

1.An interest group like the NRA is using its power to influence the appointment of the Attorney General because he opposes guns, therefor he is for gun regulation.

2. Senators who vote for Murphy are more likely to not be reelected in the states where the NRA holds power. This makes it to where their approval rating drops, and to where their constituents are likely to vote against them.

3. The White House/President has the ability to delay an appointment or remove the candidate from the process entirely. The Senate must approve/vote for the appointee, so the president and the senate have a tight relationship.

4. The president must have more support from the democratic senators over republicans if he is to have his appointment approved. The president recently found out that he has to make a compromise between both parties of the house.

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Does your vote count? The Electoral College explained - Christina Greer - YouTube

View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/does-your-vote-count-the-electoral-college-explained-christina-greer You vote, but then what? Discover how your i...
Lauren Smith's insight:

1. The constitutional basis for the Electoral College is to have a group of "enlightened and respectable citizens" to elect the president and the vice-president of the United States. The number of electors per state is based on each state's number of people in congress as well as the three electors from D.C. This system was put into place as a compromise to equalize the power held in the government and the people. The framers of the constitution didn't want the federal government to directly elect and information dissemination at this time was very limited, so there couldn't be just a popular vote to elect. 

2. A common strategy for candidates to gain 270 electoral votes is to campaign in bigger states with more votes, as well as in swing states. Swing states are states that could have a majority popular vote for either the Republican or Democrat candidate. "Safe states" are states that are definitely with one party or the other, and therefore a candidate with the same political party majority as the state doesn't have to try too hard to gain that state, while a candidate with an opposing political party as the state majority doesn't waste their time campaigning in a state that has already decided to vote against them. 

3. If neither candidate receives 270 electoral votes, then the House of Representatives is tasked with electing the president. Each representative has one vote for one of the top three candidates. 

4. In the 2000 election, Bush won the presidency over Gore. The controversy was that Gore won the popular majority by half a million votes, while Bush won the necessary electoral votes. People felt that the candidate that American citizens wanted wasn't chosen. This shows a critical flaw in the electoral College system.

5. I do agree that there needs to be a balanced system of voting for our president and vice-president. It would be nice to see the electoral college members more so we know who they are, but I am currently satisfied with the system because there isn't an issue now and it is easy to determine a winner. 

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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! | Lauren Smith's 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
Lauren Smith's insight:

1. During the 13-year comparison of Americans satisfaction with various political issues between 2001 and 2014, the public opinion has changed due to the current democratic control of the White house, the decline in satisfaction of Americans involved with world affairs since 9/11, and the national economy status.

2. The results from the comparison chart of democrat and republican satisfactions do coincide with the depictions of American  liberalism and conservatism in that the republicans lean more with conservative ideals while the democrats lean towards liberal ideals. For example, the satisfaction with conservative issues, such as gun regulation and environment quality, are higher for the republicans rather than the democrats. Also, the satisfaction with liberal issues, such as immigration and health care, are greater with the democrats rather than the republicans.

3.According to the results of Gallup's poll, public policies that improve the nation's economy, race relations, the quality of public education, and crime management are most likely to be supported by both democrats and republicans.

4. The +/- 4% sampling error means that out of  the portion of the population that was questioned for this poll, 4% of the portion of the total population could have varied positively or negatively for each issue. This sampling error could affect my interpretation of the data presented by influencing my political identity and whether I am satisfied with current political issue resolutions or not like the two parties.  

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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.

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Here's What You Need to Know About the President's 2015 Budget - DUE 4/25

Here's What You Need to Know About the President's 2015 Budget - DUE 4/25 | Lauren Smith's GOPO | Scoop.it
Here's how President Obama's budget would grow our economy and expand #OpportunityForAll → http://go.wh.gov/ctxpdE

Via Christine Thompson
Lauren Smith's insight:

1. The rapid rate of decline in the deficit is due to a historic reduction in the rate of growth in health care costs. 

2. The President's budget for 2015 will affect future deficits by decreasing the deficit more each year. 

3. The President's budget is trying to build on Congress's effort to compromise in the allocation of discretionary policy by bringing the democrats and republicans to work together to agree on a budget that has set limits for discretionary spending. The President's proposal shows how he'd build on this compromise process and invest in potential resources that would strengthen the economy. 

4. Pros of the proposal:

The deficit would decrease while the opportunities for Americans would increase. it promotes more efficient government management, and with the help of American Opportunity Tax Credit 11.5 million families can pay for their children to go to college.

Cons of the proposal:

It will take years to see the solid changes in the deficit to take effect in the economy and the plan will need bipartisan party support to work, and right now the majority of the government is divided. 

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Jessie Doege's curator insight, April 28, 2014 1:32 PM

Theoretically, President Obama's "2015 Budget" would help "grow" our economy and allow it to expand. While personally I don't believe Obama and his staff have EVER handled the deficit problem correctly, and highly doubt that they'll start cutting down on spending out of the blue (President Obama has added more to the deficit than any other US president in office, and has done virtually nothing to cut back on spending) here's what the proposed "Budget Plan" would "help" accomplish, and how.

Thanks to lowered costs on Medicare and Medicaid, the budget staff will be able to constrict back costs on health care and keep them low. Theoretically, our deficit is supposed to decrease to more than half of its original percentage by the turn of 2014 by DEFAULT. As in, without the President even implementing his budget plan, the deficit is expected to drop dramatically over the coming years. Does that mean it will actually occur? Time will only tell. However, we are all aware that the president is still going to "attempt" to cut down the budget himself, and with his implemented plan, GDP is "scheduled" to drop down to approx. 1.6%. Sure, the idea of a drastically lowered deficit is dandy, but one has to be realistic and acknowledge if such a thing is even possible under the current presidency, or, any presidency, for that matter. Yes, having cutbacks on discretionary spending would help lower the deficit and keep healthcare costs constricted, but there is no evidence that this will indeed take place. All in all, the White House-published video explaining the deficit and the president's strategy to cut it down within the span of a few years seemed vague, ambiguous, and over simplified. There are many more factors that go into the controlling of the deficit than the white house staff is allowing the public to believe. It just isn't that simple to cut back a deficit and to hold the reigns of such an unstable economy.If the president cares so much about implementing less spending and cutting back the deficit, than why is he waiting until the middle of his second turn to actually do something about it? I would have loved to see some of this economical "hope and change" back in 2008. 

#OpportunityForWho?

 

 

 

Cole Hagar's curator insight, April 28, 2014 1:40 PM

 

1. OMB Deputy Director Brian Deese says that the reason for the rapid rate of decline in the deficit is due to healthcare being nationalized and constant job creation.

2. According to Mr. Deese, the proposed budget deficits will continue to fall through 2024 due to the President’s plans and policies that he thinks will do away with waste.

3. The President is distributing the discretionary funding by empowering in things such as research projects that will ultimately benefit our economy in the long run. His initiative is already paid for taking into consideration the deficits.

4. The cons include the nationalization of healthcare which hurts almost everyone except the people without healthcare. The pro is the investment in our future investments which will ultimately help the economy in the long run.

Tanner Roan's curator insight, April 30, 2014 7:50 PM

1. The rapid decrease of the deficit comes from the lowered cost of things like healthcare.

2. According to Mr. Deese, the deficit would begin to fall to around 1.6% as long as they keep decreasing the costs of things like healthcare.

3. The new budget is proposing to focus more on infrastructure and early education, but even then no one program is getting special attention budget wise. a component is the increase of funding for preschool education.

4. The idea of splitting the budget to help in so man ways sounds like a good plan to help support growth in the nation, but at the same time it seems to be very idealistic about what it will actually be able to accomplish. when spreading the budget out over so many fields, it can be easy to overestimate the impact it will actually have on the nation.

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Obama going it alone, pressing ahead on reforms for federal contractors with executive orders - DUE 4/11!

Obama going it alone, pressing ahead on reforms for federal contractors with executive orders - DUE 4/11! | Lauren Smith's GOPO | Scoop.it
President pushing contractor changes with executive orders, moving without help from Congress

Via Christine Thompson
Lauren Smith's insight:

1. President Obama has chosen to enact an executive order to raise wages or end gender pay disparities because he wants to stop federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss thier pay with each other and gain equal pay for all Americans. The limitations on his order are that he doesn't have congressional support and executive orders can only expand on laws or regulations that the legislative branch has currently put into place.

2. The criticism presidents' recieve by using executive orders is that they are going on thier own to pass legislation without working with Congress. This brings up negitive feelings towards the president sometimes because most people believe the president should be working with Congress to pass legislation. The criticisms of this particular order are that it has little support and could potentially raise lawsuits related to wages in the future.

3. The policy area that the White House has currently chosen to not address is the desire for an anti-discrimination executive order that would protect gay/lesbians working for federal contractors because it is highly contraversial and the White House thinks it would be redundant to pass another White House supported bill.

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Ivan Dominguez's curator insight, April 14, 2014 9:02 AM

Obama is enacting an executive order to raise the pay for federal employees,and so women get paid equally as men. The order needs to get approved by the senate,and Obama is lacking congressional support. The limitations are that the president is limited to feral government contacts and has to be approved by congress. The major criticism is that the executive order will affect the basic cost of a product because they have to find a way to pay those employees, and overall the result will be inflation. The White House decided to not include an executive order on gay right issues because the Obama doesn’t want to interfere if Congress may give support in new legislation because that as that may make Congress give due to redundancy

Alex Speed's curator insight, April 16, 2014 11:54 AM

1.) Obama was forced to use an executive order because he does not have the support of congress, however he can pass legislation that will have the same effect by using an executive order. However,the limit of using an executive order is that it does not effect all US citizens.

2.) The general population is skeptical of executive orders because they do not require congressional approval, which seems like a manipulation of government. This specific order faces scrutiny for its potential with lawsuits on private companies 

3.) The Obama administration has chosen not to enact orders that will effect sexual discrimination because that is congress's situation. Obama doesn't want to create sort of bias in congress that will negatively impact this legislation

Taig Lyons's curator insight, April 17, 2014 9:59 AM

 

Why has President Obama chosen to enact an executive order regarding pay of federal employees?
The president can have an impact over the part of the economy he directly controls. This move looks good and can have an impact with federal contractors in the broader economy.

What are the limitations on Obama’s executive order and executive orders in general?
Executive orders apply pretty much only to sectors the president has direct control over, like the bureaucracy and the military.

What criticism is being levied against presidents’ use of executive orders? What is the criticism of this specific executive order?
The criticism is that the order will effect very few people and that it's really just an example more than anything. There's no pressure for non-federal contractors to follow suit.

What policy area has the White House chosen not to address with executive orders? Why might the Obama administration be hesitant to address this area?
The White House has not made an executive order regarding the protection of gays and lesbians in the federal bureaucracy, because it hopes to get a law passed that would cover this topic nationwide.

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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
Lauren Smith's insight:

1. The majority party in each state legislature redraws the congressional districts. The purpose of this is to protect incumbents , discourage challengers, strengthen the majority party and weaken its opposition, and increase or decrease minority representation.

2. Gerrymandering protects incumbents in the House of Representatives because these members usually represent districts that have been deliberately gerrymandered to include voting blocs that support incumbents and challenge their opponents. 

3. A possible solution to gerrymandering is for state legislatures to draw congressional districts based on geography and population maps instead of base districts on party majority locations.

4. Some similarities between the Electoral College and gerrymandering is that the electoral college system affects voter turnout in states that have a strong republican or democratic majority. This is similar to gerrymandering because gerrymandering targets districts where there are majorities of either party localized together. In addition, each state has electors to represent a whole state like congressional districts tend to represent a whole area for one political party. 

5. Even though gerrymandering can benefit either party, it is not fair to divide districts based only by political party support in one area. Competitors to incumbents should have a equal opportunity for election in their states. 

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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. 

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Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball » 2016 presidential ratings update: Nothing but questions on the Republican side

Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball » 2016 presidential ratings update: Nothing but questions on the Republican side | Lauren Smith's GOPO | Scoop.it

Via Christine Thompson
Lauren Smith's insight:

1. The media is looking for someone who is nationally known and has political experience, supported by some poplitical group, and they must be dynamic in speeches and campains. In addition, the canditate should have beliefs that are well alligned with their political party and have fundraising resources.

2. Sabato is focused more on the basic qualities of the politicians and has pointed out positive and negitive aspects for each potential candidate. He is not focused on each potential candidate's entire political platform yet because the point of his article is to introduce the candidates as potential, not certain, runners.

3. When Sabato refers to  the "permanent presidential campaign" he is refering to the presidential campaign in 2016 where the candidates for each party are surely running for president. These are the people that have decided to run and are no longer potential candidates.

4. I do not think there is an advantage in being identified as an early leader in the presidential race because the media can draw negitive attention to the candidate before they can defend or explain themselves. It doesn't matter who is the leader at the beginning of the race, it only matters who is the leader at the end of it. Therefore, it would be pointless to take any lead before the presidential race has begun because no one cares about that yet.

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Sydney Brock's curator insight, March 6, 2014 8:43 PM

1) Based on the article it seems the media is looking for a new type of candidate that will appease all parties.

2) Sabato focuses more on the important issues that the candidates feel most passionate about.

3) Sabato refers to the “permanent presidential campaign” when the candidates all talk about the same problem with different ways to fix them.

4) I believe it is a disadvantage to be ahead in the polls to early in the presidential race because then people might not think you need the votes and some might just want something new.

Sean Kelly's curator insight, March 6, 2014 10:19 PM

1. The media is, overall, looking for a candidate that is somehow associated with government, and not associated with the government at large. The candidate needs connections, but not popular connections - they need to have a name of themselves without latching on to anyone elses name. They also are looking for a good personality, and an appeal to both sides of the political parties. This is true for Democrats and Repbulicans, except for tiny details - mainly Democrats need to have a steady, but not heavy, tone of liberalism while the Repbulicans need to tone down their conservatism.

2. Sabato does not mention party platforms for the candidates, except with Brian Schweitzer when his conseravtism on guns and the environment are listed as disadvantages.

3. the "permanent presidential campaign" refers to the tendency of government officials to always be vying for the presidential slot in the closest election year. There is always consideration for who would be the next president.

4. I would say it would be a disadvantage to be labeled as an early leader - people like the idea of an underdog story, of someone who has taken a rise to power. To be labeled as an early leader would be to be put as an "obvious choice," and so would be to be put in a bad light with the public as they feel their opinion is being downtrodded by that specific candidate.

Christine Thompson's comment, March 18, 2014 4:10 PM
I noticed that some people have the same/very similar wording on the "permanent presidency" question. Please do not "borrow" another student's work... and please be careful of plagiarism.
Rescooped by Lauren Smith from Lauren Smith's GOPO
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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 | Lauren Smith's 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, Lauren Smith
Lauren Smith's insight:

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. 

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Яicardo Galan's curator insight, February 20, 2014 7:48 PM

1. Hispanics may shift over to the Democratic side as they continue to increase in population, causing a minority-majority situation in which White Texans become the minority.

2. Hispanics in Texas are primarily Democratic like in other states, while most White Texans continue to side with the Republican party.

3. There is a low voter participation among Hispanics in Texas, which translates into a mostly White electorate and thus a mostly Republican electorate. The low political participation among Hispanics is likely to hinder political realignment in Texas.

4. To reduce sampling error, Gallup ensured that the polls represented the actual demographics of Texas and that they were as close to random selection as possible.

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. 

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.