Madam POTUS

GoPo Pro

What percent of Americans would be willing to vote for a woman for president?

  1. What story does this chart tell?

  2. Identify one trend from the chart.

  3. Explain one reason for this trend.

  4. What is one consequence of the trend?

  5. How many times has one of the two major American political parties run a woman for president?

  6. Make a claim about how likely a woman (this could be a general claim or a focused claim about a specific candidate) is to win the presidency in the 2020 election.

  7. Explain whether this chart is good or bad news.

  8. If your party nominated a generally well-qualified person for president who happened to be a woman, would you vote for that person?

  9. Describe how you think party affiliation, gender, and age would impact how voters would respond to this question.

  10. If your party nominated a generally well-qualified person for president who happened to be a man, would you vote for that person?

  11. Six percent of American voters automatically disqualify any female presidential candidates. What percent of Americans do you believe would automatically disqualify a male presidential candidate?

  12. Given the data in the chart, a male presidential candidate would be starting off with a six point head start over any female candidate. Explain whether tha alone is reason enough for a political party to automatically reject any female candidate.

  13. Given the fact that according to many polls Elizabeth Warren is now in first or second place among Democratic presidential candidates, and given the data from the poll above, make a claim about whether the Democratic Party should try to stop Warren (a female) from being their presidential nominee?

  14. How much do you think the sex of the Democratic presidential nominee impacted the 2016 presidential election?

  15. How much do you think the sex of the Democratic presidential nominee will impact the 2020 presidential election?

  16. How do you think the sex of the Democratic presidential candidate will impact the strategy of the Trump reelection campaign?

  17. If you think a woman could ever win the American presidency, in what year do you predict that will first happen?

  18. Explain why we have had an African-American (or more accurately, a mixed-race) president and not a female president.

  19. Explain what it is about the ideological and demographic makeup of the Republican and Democratic parties which explains why the Republicans have never nominated a female for president, while the 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee was a woman, and two of their leading 2020 Presidential candidates are females.

  20. What does the Declaration of Independence say about equality?

  21. What does the U.S. Constitution say about women running for office or voting?

  22. Amendment XIX gave all American women the right to vote on August 18, 1920. That was less than 100 years ago. Do you think it is surprising that a woman would has not won the presidency since this Amendment is less than a century old?

Visual Extension

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Gallup report on how demographics like religion, race, and gender affect a candidate’s electability.

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Learning Extension

Read this great Vox story: Women candidates are constantly asked about their electability. Here are 5 reasons that’s misguided.

Action Extension

In a quartet, trio, or pair enter into a respectful discussion about why a woman has never been president and whether a woman ever will win the U.S. presidency. Before you share your opinion, listen both carefully and actively to your partners as they share their opinions. Repeat a summary of their comments back to them when they are done. Share the results of your conversation in class tomorrow.

Shrinking Swing Seats

AP US Government and Politics

Out of 435 House seats how many are swing seats*?

*A swing seat is a district held with a small majority that is generally competitive in a legislative election. Because the number of Democrats and Republicans in a swing district are so close, a swing seat might be won by a Republican one election, and then a Democrat the next. This is also known as a competitive seat. The opposite is a safe seat, an district that is drawn so that it is predictably won by one party or the other, so the success of that party's candidate is almost taken for granted.

Cook Political Report

AP US Government and Politics

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What story does this chart tell?

  3. Explain one reason the number of swing seats is shrinking.

  4. What is one consequence of the shrinking number of swing seats?

  5. What is good about swing seats?

  6. Is the shrinking number of swing seats good news or bad?

  7. How surprising was this information?

  8. What would be one way for there to be more swing seats in the US?

  9. Who draws the district lines in US house races?

  10. Does this chart make majority leadership in the House likely to change parties any time soon?

  11. How does the lack of swing seats affect how campaign and elections are run?

  12. If you were to extrapolate these trends into the future what would the chart look like by the year 2020?

  13. If you were a representative in a safe seat, explain what incentive you would have to listen to the will of the people or compromise on your views.

  14. Explain whether the Senate has swing seats.

  15. How would having more competitive elections, instead of elections where we already know who will win in almost all elections, impact the kind of policies we get?

  16. What questions do you have about this?

  17. How does this information impact American democracy?


Learning Extension

I have not lived in a swing seat during my adulthood. Instead, the two districts I have lived in have been safe for one party for the past two decades. Check out the Cook Political Report chart of very few competitive races from 2016 or take a gander at this interactive map of competitive seats from 270 to Win.


Action Extension

Find out if your district is a swing seat. Share your answer in class or online. Contact your US House representative and explain to them why they do or don't need to listen to the will of the people or compromise in any way.


Bonus Map

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POTUS & SCOTUS

AP US Government and Politics

What POTUS appointed the most SCOTUS Justices?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What most surprised you about this information?

  3. Who serves longer, on average: British monarchs, Popes, or Supreme Court Justices?*

  4. What presidents did not get to appoint a single Supreme Court Justice? (Scroll way down for answer)**

  5. Do you see any patterns or trends in this data?

  6. What is the big story this data tells?

  7. What is the average number of justices a president appoints per term?

  8. Why do you think that is?

  9. Have you Googled Thanos yet and clicked on the Infinity Gauntlet?

  10. How did President Obama compare to other recent presidents in the number of Supreme Court Justices he was able to appoint?

  11. How does President Trump who has now appointed two SCOTUS Justices, compare to other recent presidents in the number of Supreme Court Justices he has been able to appoint?

  12. Of all the jobs of the president, how important is the nomination of Supreme Court Justices?

  13. How different would our country be if we allowed the new president appoint all 9 members of an entirely new Supreme Court upon election?

  14. The average age of our current Supreme Court is 70.9. President Trump has already filled two vacancies. If history is any guide, explain the total number of Supreme Court Justices you think POTUS Trump will be able to appoint?

  15. Broadly speaking, the SCOTUS is currently divided about half and half, between liberal (4) and conservative (5) justices. Based on his appointment of conservative justices, Neil Gorsuch, And Brett Kavanaugh, what sort of Supreme Court Justices might Trump appoint if given another spot?

  16. Here is a chart of the demographics of the Justices of the SCOTUS. Based on political partisanship. Even though Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (the Notorious R.B.G.) was born in 1933, explain why it is unlikely that she will retire soon.

  17. It's all together likely that POTUS Trump will be able to name another 1 or 2 Justices to the bench. What would be some specific ways his remade SCOTUS would likely alter current laws/policy?

  18. Is this good news or bad news?

  19. In Federalist No. 78, Alexander Hamilton wrote about an independent judiciary. Based on this writing, explain whether Hamilton would be pleased with the fact that in American history, the average supreme court justice has served for 16.5 years.

Infinity Stone Extension

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Don’t forget to Google Thanos, then click the Infinity Gauntlet and see what happens to your Google search results!

Learning Extension

Read this great WAPO article on how many justices Trump will probably be able to name in his first term.

Action Extension

Contact POTUS Trump and tell him what kind of SCOTUS nominations you think he should make if he has any future openings.

Visual Extension*


WAPO

AP US Government and Politics

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Our World in Data Extension

Our Animals in Clothing Extension

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Alexander Hamilton

How does a bastard, orphan son of a whore
And a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean
By providence, impoverished, in squalor, grow up to be a hero and a scholar?

The 10 dollar
Founding father without a father
Got a lot farther by working a lot harder, by being a lot smarter
By being a self-starter, by 14 they placed him in charge of a trading charter

And everyday while slaves were being slaughtered and carted away
Across the waves, he struggled and kept his guard up
Inside he was longing for something to be a part of
The brother was ready to beg, steal, borrow or barter

Then a hurricane came, and devastation reigned
Our man saw his future drip, dripping down the drain
Put a pencil to his temple, connected it to his brain
And he wrote his first refrain, a testament to his pain

Well the word got around, they said
"This kid is insane, man!"
Took up a collection just to send him to the mainland
"Get your education, don't forget from whence you came
And the world's gonna know your name. What's your name man?"

Alexander Hamilton
My name is Alexander Hamilton
And there's a million thing I haven't done
But just you wait, just you wait

When he was 10, his father split, full of it, debt ridden
2 years later, see Alex and his mother bed-ridden
Half-dead, sitting in their own sick, the scent thick
And Alex got better but his mother went quick

Moved in with a cousin, the cousin committed suicide
Left him with nothing but ruined pride, something new inside
A voice saying, "Alex you gotta fend for yourself"
He started retreating and reading every treatise on the shelf

There woulda been nothing left to do for someone less astute
He woulda been dead and destitute without a cent of restutition
Started working, clerking for his late mother's landlord
Trading sugar cane and rum and all the things he can't afford
Scanning for every book he can get his hands on
Planning for the future, see him now as he stands on
The bow of a ship headed for a new land
In New York you can be a new man

Just you wait
(In New York you can be a new man) Just you wait
In New York you can be a new man
In New York (New York)
Just you wait!

Alexander Hamilton (Alexander Hamilton), we're waiting in the wings for you (waiting in the wings for you)
You could never back down, you never learned to take your time
Oh, Alexander Hamilton (Alexander Hamilton), when America sings for you
Will they know what you overcame?
Will they know you rewrote the game?
The world will never be same, oh
The ship is in the harbor now, see if you can spot him
Another immigrant coming up from the bottom
His enemies destroyed his rep, America forgot him

We fought with him
Me? I died for him
Me? I trusted him
Me? I loved him
And me? I'm the damn fool that shot him

There's a million thing I haven't done
But just you wait
What's your name man?
Alexander Hamilton!

Songwriters: MIRANDA LIN-MANUEL

Alexander Hamilton lyrics © 5000 Broadway Music

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**

The Following Presidents did not appoint a single Supreme Court Justice. Frown.

  • William Henry Harrison

  • Zachary Taylor

  • Andrew Johnson

  • Jimmy Carter

Tectonic Political Ideology

AP US Government and Politics

In 2004, nearly half of the American public held a roughly equal mix of liberal and conservative viewpoints. Since then, Americans have become more ideologically polarized. Today, what portion of Americans have a roughly equal mix of liberal and conservative views?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What most surprised you about this data?

  3. What is the big trend you see in the data?

  4. Why do you think this is happening?

  5. What is one consequence of this change?

  6. Explain whether this is good news:

  7. How do you think the media contributes to this growing ideological polarization?

  8. What is one question you have about this data?

  9. How many people do you hang out with who have a political ideology opposite your own?

  10. Is that a good or a bad thing?

  11. How do you think politicians react and respond to this growing ideological polarization?

  12. Explain how this growing ideological polarization impacts U.S. House races differently from the race for the US president?

  13. Overall, is America becoming more liberal or conservative?

  14. What will this data look like in another 20 years?

  15. Explain which single issue is currently the most highly polarized in America?

  16. How do you think this information contributed to the rise of Trump?

Learning Extension

Check out this super-cool Pew Research interactive on ideological polarization in the U.S.

Action Extension

I have a cousin who is very liberal on gun control (he wants there to be very tough limits on guns) but is very conservative on abortion (he wants a very tough ban on abortion). He holds a mix or liberal and conservative viewpoints, and today he is a rarity. Interview your friends, family, acquaintances, even frenemies and try to find one person who holds a mix of liberal and conservative views. We'll call them a conserberal or, better yet, a libervative. Ask them to help you understand how they have avoided ideological polarization. Share your experience online or in class.

Bonus Charts*

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We're #1

AP Government and Politics

What percent of Americans say that the U.S. stands above all other countries in the world?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What most surprised you about this data?

  3. What is the big trend in the chart (how has this data changed - or not - over time)?

  4. What is one cause of this change?

  5. What is one consequence of this change?

  6. Explain which of those three statements best corresponds to your feelings about the U.S.

  7. Today, 85% of Americans say that the U.S. is either the greatest or one of the greatest countries in the world. This extreme level of patriotism is among the highest in the world. Where do you think these folks learned this strong love of country?

  8. List two specific things that you imagine this highly patriotic group loves about America.

  9. How do you think this data has influenced the 2016 election and the rise of Trump?

  10. 14% of Americans currently say there are countries that are better than the U.S. what countries do you think they are thinking of and do you think they should move to these countries?

  11. How different do you think the answer to this question would be in the following places: China, Haiti, North Korea, Sweden.

  12. How do you think the following demographic categories would impact the answer to this question?

Age

Race

Party affiliation

Socioeconomic status

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Learning Extension

Read the Pew Report on American patriotism

Action Extension

Think about this...

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Millennials can make America Great Again! What would it take for Millennials to think of America as the greatest country in the world? Discuss this with other people of your generation share the best answer of how to - Make America the Greatest Again - in class or online.