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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Race to the White House: Primaries, Caucuses, and Conventions!

HW for Wednesday: Read 260-273 and take the reading quiz (same as yesterday)

This presidential election cycle started with five candidates for the Democratic Party nomination and more than three times that many for the Republican nomination. The question for today is: How did we get here? Meaning, how do the parties determine their party's nominee for the president?

The nomination process is a long and confusing series of elections run by the states. As a result of individual decisions made by the states (part of federalism) and differences in party apparatus, there is no centralized answer to the question. Today, we will attempt to understand (as best we can) the general formula for the presidential nominating process

Task #1: Read Everything You Need to Know About How the Presidential Primary Works and OpenStax: The Presidential Selection Process (just the Selecting the Candidate part)

After reading (or during reading), please answer the following questions in your notes:
1. What is the difference between a primary and a caucus? What does Missouri use?
2. Why are New Hampshire and Iowa so important in the nomination process?
3. What is "front-loading"? How are the political parties trying to limit it?
4. How is the presidential selection process different today than it was in the 19th century? How has that change affected the party nominees?

Task #2: Primary elections and the general election are two different types of elections. Look at this infographic on  primary voters vs. the general election (NY Times Infographic) and explain the significant difference and how this can impact campaign strategy for the general election.

Task #3: Review this PowerPoint including the videos on the presidential selection process.

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