Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Republican Roundup: Current Events and Interest Groups

Proof -- Buddy Roemer (right) has been in the news recently!
Keep your notes from last night on your desk.

Today you will return to working with your partner to find out some more information about your Republican candidate. You will:

  • Research your candidate's recent performance
  • Analyze the impact interest groups have on your candidate
First, make sure that your dossiers from the first quarter are saved to the correct location on the Y: drive -- Y:\Ramin American Politics\Republican Dossiers. You will need to come back to this information during quarter 2. Make sure the document is saved as "Your Last Names - Your Candidate's Last Name - Dossier".

Now, create a new Word document. Save it to the Y:\Ramin American Politics\Republicans and Interest Groups folder. Save your document as "Your Last Names - Your Candidate's Last Name - IG".

The assignment is worth 2 points per question, 30 points total.

Part 1: Recent Events
Your candidates have been busy since we last saw checked in on them. In particular, Mr. Cain and Mr. Perry have some very specific issues to deal with. Complete the following:
  1. Check the polls using RealClearPolitics' Poll Average chart. How is your candidate doing? Has his standing improved? Who is the current front runner?
  2. Three of the most historically important primary elections occur in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. Find the links for the current poll results from these states on the left hand side of the RCP page. Record your candidate's standing in each state, then predict his performance in each primary (based on current data).
  3. Check your candidate's current standing against President Obama. Have things changed since you last looked? How would your candidate fare against the incumbent?
  4. Read and briefly summarize 2 news articles related to your candidate. What has he been in the news for lately?
  5. How do you anticipate your campaign will be affected by recent events? Specifically, will your candidate be helped or hurt by what he's been doing recently?
Part 2: Let's Look at the TapeImage is incredibly important in a political campaign. With that in mind, find at least one video from the last week related to your candidate. You may use any news site -- CNN, CBS News, MSNBC, Fox News, etc. Use it to complete the following:
  1. Record the link for the video. Watch it, then summarize its content.
  2. Record your emotional response to your candidate based on this video.
  3. Remember -- you are your candidate's campaign managers for Illinois' 7th District. How do you think the video will affect your candidate's poll performance in this district?
  4. How can you use the information you find to help your candidate? Alternatively, how can you control any damage your candidate has done to his campaign in the video you found?
Part 3: Interest Groups
Your candidate has many people attempting to get his attention at all times. Today, we will attempt to discover who might have the most influence over his policies.
  1. Define interest group.
  2. According to your book, what are the five major roles of an interest group? Briefly describe each. This can be a list with definitions.
  3. Define lobbyist. How could an interest group make use of a lobbyist?
  4. Examine your candidate's official site. What interest groups might have his attention? How can you tell?
  5. Examine this list of interest groups from the LA Times. Each group's name links to its official website. Which of these interest groups might support your candidate? Explain your response. You should have at least three interest groups.
  6. Do a Google news search for your candidate's name and the word "lobbyist". Try the same with "interest groups". What type of influence do lobbyists and interest groups seem to have over your candidate? Copy and paste any links where you find information.
  7. What type of influence do lobbyists and interest groups seem to have over the campaign in general? Copy and paste any links where you find information.
Part 4: Lobbying Tactics
  1. Take a look at the anti-Romney ad launched by a 527 group today. You can find the ad linked to in this article. What does the group's goal seem to be? How do they attempt to accomplish it? What tactics do they use?
  2. Think about your opponents. Which one(s) might you want to attack? Why?
  3. What are some vulnerabilities your opponents have? Be specific to whichever candidates you bring up.
  4. Which interest groups listed in the LA Times article might be sympathetic to your cause? Explain.

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