These are the 10 largest media markets (metropolitan area) listed by Nielsen.

  • New York (#1)

  • Los Angeles (#2)

  • Chicago (#3)

  • Philadelphia (#4)

  • Dallas-Fort Worth (#5)

  • Washington, D.C. (#6)

  • Houston (#7)

  • San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose (#8)

  • Boston (#9)

  • Atlanta (#10)

What American media market had the most ads in the 2016 presidential election?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. How surprising is this information?

  3. Were any of these top presidential ad media markets in the top ten biggest media markets in the United States?

  4. Based on the data in the chart make a claim about media markets and presidential campaigns.

  5. Explain why the biggest spending in the presidential campaign happened in media markets, none of which are among the top ten biggest media markets in America.

  6. What political science term do we use to describe American states that are very evenly split in terms of political party affiliation?

  7. What is a consequence of all this ad spending happening in these particular media markets?

  8. Imagine you were the campaign manager for the Donald Trump 2020 presidential election campaign make a claim about why spending in top markets like New York (#1), Los Angeles (#2), or Chicago (#3) would be a waste of money.

  9. In the 2016 elections, U.S. House campaigns spent $971,524,520, and U.S. Senate campaigns spent $674,985,540. Using your knowledge of American politics, explain why more money was spent on U.S. House races than on U.S. Senate races.

  10. Explain whether you think Senate or House campaigns are more likely to spend money in the top ten media markets?

  11. The other day, a GoPo student we shall call Rudolph said, “advertising doesn’t really help campaigns. Democrats vote for Democrats and Republicans vote for Republicans. Respond to Rudolph’s claim using your inside voice.

  12. In 2010, Citizens United v. FEC ruled that limits on political advertising were violations of the First Amendment guarantee of free speech. How has that ruling impacted American politics?

  13. Let’s say you didn’t like the Citizens United ruling. What political action could you take to try to limit its impact?

  14. Many democratic countries limit the amount of spending, veracity of content, and timing of political ads. Make a claim about whether the U.S. should place more limits on political spending?

  15. How would banning political ads impact political campaigns and their results?

  16. In general, what do Americans think about political ads?*

  17. Of the following mediums (formats) which had the biggest spending in the 2016 election: newspaper, digital, broadcast TV, radio, cable TV, out of Home (whatever that means)?*

  18. What has happened to the rate of digital ad spending over the past 12 years?*

*Visual Extension

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Learning Extension

Read about the most expensive races in the 2018 election.

Action Extension

Make an advertisement (this could be a script, storyboard, digital image) for your favorite 2020 presidential candidate and share it in class or online.

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Ay Ay Ay Ay Phone

AP Government and Politics

After the iPhone was first released in 2007 what happened to the percentage of 12th graders who drive?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What most surprised you about this information?

  3. How well does this chart reflect your generation?

  4. Do you have more friends without a license or without a smart phone?

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

  6. Why do you think that change is happening?

  7. What is a consequence of this change?

  8. Clearly, the iPhone and other smart phones have had a big impact on driving. Explain what impact you think this technology has had on U.S. politics:

  9. There are clearly some negative effects of the ubiquity of smartphones. List any positive effects of smartphones:

  10. Smartphone technology has also disrupted other aspects of social life for young people. Describe other changes this technology has brought to your generation:

  11. What exactly are kids doing on their smartphones that is more compelling than driving around?

  12. The day I turned 16 was the day I got my license. Everyone I knew got their license as soon as possible and almost all of us had cars. Obviously, these cars had a tremendous impact on where and how we lived: suburbs boomed, mobility increased, our country fought wars to insure control of the oil we sucked from the ground. How is the rise of the smartphone going to impact how your generation lives?

  13. Is there any other technology that has as profoundly shaped your generation as the smartphone?

  14. Overall, is this chart good news? Would the U/S/ be better off without smartphone technology?

  15. What do you think this chart will look like in 20 years?

Learning Extension

Read this endlessly fascinating Atlantic Magazine article about you and your generation!

Action Extension

Tell your iPhone, "Siri, destroy yourself! And see what happens. Also, go 14 hours without your smart phone (I bet you can't do it!) and reflect on how this data drout impacted your life. Share your reaciton in class or online in the comment section below.

Sad Bonus Charts

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What Happens in an Internet Minute? 2018

AP US Government and Politics

GoPo Pro

How many snaps are created every minute?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What's the most interesting fact from this infographic?

  3. What's the most disturbing fact from this infographic?

  4. What is the big story this infographic tells?

  5. In general, is this good or bad news?

  6. How does this internet minute most impact American politics?

  7. How does American politics most impact this internet minute?

  8. Explain which you think has more impact on your life: the U.S. government or the internet.

  9. Imagine their was an internet at the time of the Constitutional Convention. How would that have impacted our country’s founding?

  10. What does your average internet minute look like?

  11. What 2 questions do you have about an internet minute?

  12. Which of the companies/services from the infographic above do you use the most?

  13. Only one generation ago, there was no internet as we know it today. How do you think the internet has most profoundly changed your generation?

  14. How do you think an internet minute will be different in 10 years?

  15. What is the biggest change from 2016* (see below) to 2018 in what happens in an internet minute?

  16. How do you imagine this information impacted the 2016 presidential campaign and election?

  17. What is the biggest impact of the information from the infographic on how the U.S. government functions?

  18. Imagine the internet went down - for an entire year - describe the three biggest impacts that would have on your life.

  19. Imagine the internet went down - for an entire year - describe the three biggest impacts that would have on American politics.

Learning Extension

Check out the Teens Fact Sheet from the Pew Research Center about internet consumption by U.S. teenagers.

Action Extension

Did you know that offline, the average person will have 35 to 48 thoughts per minute? When you get home from school, take twenty minutes to be by yourself. Stay off the internet for the first 10 minutes. Notice how you feel. Pay attention to your thoughts and where they go. Notice every time you reach for your phone or computer. Be aware of the speed of time. Stop. Now go online for ten minutes. Notice how different these ten minutes were from ten spent offline. Share your results with friends or family or in class.


Visual Extension

Our World In Data Extension

Our Animals in Clothing Extension


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AP US Government and Politics GoPoPro

What is the number one media platform news source for U.S. adults?

AP US Government and Politics

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What most surprised you about this data?

  3. Describe the most significant trend in this chart.

  4. Explain the cause of that trend.

  5. Describe one important consequence of that trend?

  6. Explain whether the information from the chart is good news.

  7. Where do you get most of your news?

  8. Describe what you think this graph will look like in 10 years.

  9. If the gap between television news and online news closed by 12 points in only one year, at what point do you think online news will surpass television news?

  10. 18 percent of adults get their news from newspapers. What do you think that percentage was in 1958?

  11. How many people of your generation often get their news from newspapers?

  12. What would you consider the biggest two differences between news in newspaper versus news online?

  13. When I was in high school I delivered the newspaper. How many high school students have you met who deliver newspapers? Give them a slap.

  14. How do you think the information contained in this chart is impacting the U.S. political process?

  15. Imagine that we lived in an era without online news (no Twitter, no facebook, no snapchat). Do you think Trump would have won the presidency?

  16. What year do you think the last American newspaper will be printed?

  17. What demographic differences do you think there are in the platforms where people get their news?*

  18. What age group do you think is mostly driving the move to digital media?*

  19. We know that many people simply watch news that reinforces their political biases. This is called selective exposure. In other words, Conservatives watch conservative news, and liberals watch liberal news. Nobody changes their mind. Explain how much of the news you watch simply reinforces the political views you already possess.

  20. Discuss the impact of selective exposure on American politics.

*Visual Extension

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Learning Extension

Check out the Pew Report on the growth of online news and also the Pew Research Center digital news fact sheet!

Action Extension

Change your news platform for one week (e.g. if you mostly get your news online, use radio as your main news source) and share how this impacted your view of the news in class or online.

Animals Watching News Extension

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Our World In Data Extension

Our Animals in Clothes Extension


AP US Government and Politics

Who has more Twitter followers: LeBron James, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, or The New York Times?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What most surprised you about this data?

  3. What is the big story this data tells?

  4. How much has Trump's Twitter following increased over the past 2 years?

  5. Do you think anyone in the universe has more Twitter followers than Donald Trump?*

  6. Did more people vote for Trump in 2016 or follow Trump on Twitter?**

  7. Do you think that Twitter has been overall good or bad for America?

  8. What impact does the Trump Twitter account have on US and global politics? 

  9. What overall impact does social media have on US politics?

  10. Jimmy Carter once said that as president he preferred the power of the bully pulpit to the power of the veto. Do you think he was right to say this?

  11. Do you think Trump would agree with Carter?

  12. What does Article II of the U.S. Constitution say about the president's power and the use of Twitter?

  13. If the Framers rewrote the U.S. Constitution (don't worry, they aren't planning to) do you think they might trade in the mandatory State-of-the-Union Address for mandatory Tweeting?

  14. Counterfactual time. Imagine the Trump candidacy or presidency without Twitter. How do things change?

  15. The kinds of things that Donald Trump regularly tweets out would doom almost any other politician. Explain how he gets away with his Tweets:

  16. Marshall McLuhan, the late-great media thinker wrote that, "the medium is the message." What do you think he meant by that and how does that relate to the Twitter account of @realDonaldTrump?

  17. Who do you think is @thefakedonaldtrump ?

  18. Facebook and Twitter have banned users for racist and inflammatory comments. Do you believe Twitter should ban @realDonaldTrump ?

  19. Barack Obama has even more Twitter followers than Trump. If those two men ran against each other for president (they can't - 22nd Amendment!) who do you think would win?

  20. If Abraham Lincoln had a Twitter account what would his handle be?

  21. Rewrite the U.S. Constitution as a Tweet:

*Learning Extension

Check out the list of the people with the most Twitter followers and also Article II of the U.S. Constitution below.

Action Extension

Tweet @realDonaldTrump and ask him if he would prefer the power of the veto or the power of Twitter? Share your experience in class or online.

**2016 presidential vote total

Clinton 65,853,516

Trump 62,984,825

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