Split Ticket

AP US Government and Politics

Do more U.S. voters cast a straight-ticket* or a split-ticket ballot?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. Does this information surprise you?

  3. Describe one trend from the chart?

  4. What do you think explains that trend?

  5. What is one consequence of that trend?

  6. Is that good news or bad news?

  7. How did this trend impact the 2016 presidential election?

  8. How does this trend relate to divided government?

  9. Which party do you think is more worried about this trend right now?

  10. Why is there no data in this chart for split-ticket voting in midterm elections?

  11. Do you think that split-ticket voting is generally a bad idea?

  12. Explain whether you would ever vote a split-ticket?

  13. in the 1990 presidential election, 63 percent of states with Senate races voted for the same candidate for president as for Senate. In 2014, 91 percent of states did. In 2016, that metric was 100 percent. Is this good or bad news?

  14. What do you think is the main motivation of voters who vote a split ticket?

  15. Explain whether you think Republicans or Democrats are more likely to split ticket vote.

  16. What is the best argument against split ticket voting?

  17. Based on his writing in Federalist No. 51, what claim would James Freaking Madison, author of the Constitution, and shortest president EVER, make about the value of voting a split ticket?

  18. Based on his writing in Federalist No. 70, what claim would Alexander Hamilton, First Secretary of the Treasury and Ten Dollar Founding Father without a father, make about the value of voting a split ticket?

Visual Extension

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Learning Extension

Check out these cool charts on split-ticket voting from WAPO.

Action Extension

Talk to people until you find someone who did (or would if they could) vote a split-ticket vote. Try to understand why they are splitting their ticket and share your conversation in class or online.

*Straight-ticket voting (also called straight-party voting) allows voters to choose a party’s entire slate of candidates with just a single ballot marking. Voters make one punch or mark on the ballot in order to vote for every candidate of that party for each office on the ballot.

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