What Determines Election Outcomes?

In “What Determines Election Outcomes?” students examine the influence of the 2000 presidential election results, political parties, issues and campaign advertising. Excerpts from David Von Drehle’s Washington Post Magazine article begin a look at the changing face of America’s political parties. Elie Wiesel in “Mean Season” asks readers to question the tone of campaign rhetoric. An editorial cartoon by Tom Toles gives students visual commentary on the battleground states, media coverage and their influence on the election. Data from the 2000 presidential election, current campaign advertising targets and costs and Web resources are provided. Reproducibles to accompany activities include “Analysis of Campaign Advertisements,” “ Where They Stand,” and “Whose Vote Really Counts?” After a study of the battleground states, students are asked to predict the election winners, and, after Nov. 2, to determine the 2008 swing states. A First Ladies quiz puts the focus temporarily on the other running mate in today’s campaigns.

Downloadable Lesson Plan PDF