Ideology by State

AP Government and Politics

What Ideology is your state?

*If you need a definition of liberal or conservative look no further than right here.

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. In what way did the map characterize your state incorrectly?

  3. What most surprised you about this map?

  4. What least surprised you about this map?

  5. What geographical trends do you see in the map?

  6. Some states are very conservative (Alabama) while others are very liberal (Massachusetts). Why do you think that is?

  7. Because Alabama and Massachusetts are very different, what different policies do you think those states have made?

  8. How closely did state ideology correspond to the outcome of the 2016 presidential election?

  9. Overall, would you say that the US is more liberal, conservative, or just plain average? In the comments section, support your contention with one example or reason:

  10. At one point, North Carolina (the best state ever), Virginia (not), and Kansas were reliably conservative states. What do you think has happened to make them more liberal?

  11. One thing that is certain is change. How different do you think this map will look in 20 years?

  12. What state do you think would most like Honey Boo Boo?

  13. In the comments section, explain what would be best and what would be worst about moving to a state that is diametrically ideologically different from your personal beliefs.

  14. Of all the states, which do you think is the most liberal and the most conservative?*


Learning Extension

Check out this article on Gallup's top ten most conservative and liberal states, along with rankings below*:


Action Extension

Research the political party of the US Senators and US House members from your state. Contact any politicians from your state who are out of line with your state's ideology (as shown in the map above) and advise them on how they should vote on one particular issue that would more closely align them with their state's ideology. You can locate your Representative:

U.S. House of Representatives: www.house.gov

U.S. Senate: www.senate.gov

Ideology by Congressional District

Hey, that's Keyboard Cat!

Build a Candidate

AP US Government and Politics

According to polls, which of the following traits would be the biggest liability for a US presidential candidate: past marijuana use, being gay or lesbian, Mormon, Muslim, or atheist?

AP US Government and Politics

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. How surprising was the information in the chart?

  3. How will this information be different for the 2028 election?

  4. Explain whether this information is good news.

  5. Consider all the traits in the chart and evaluate whether each trait would make your vote for a candidate more likely, less likely, or wouldn't matter:

  6. How different was your evaluation of presidential traits from that of the average American's?

  7. What questions do you have about the chart?

  8. The 2016 election was certainly a surprise for a lot of people. How much did the outcome of the 2016 election deviate from what your would expect based on the data in the chart?

  9. How much do you think that the election of Donald Trump (outsider, non-religious, had financial troubles, had affairs, etc.) will impact  the type of future Democratic or Republican candidates who run for office?

  10. List two generalizations you can make about American presidential trait preferences from the information in the chart:

  11. Do you think that the fact that presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is a homosexual will hurt his chances to be president more than the fact that he is only 37?

  12. In the comments section, using the information from the chart, create an extremely unelectable presidential candidate:

Visual Extension

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Action Extension

Do one of the following:

  1. Contact the Democratic National Party or the Republican National Party and give them five pieces of advice on nominating a presidential candidate based on the information in the chart:

  2. Write a letter to the American people telling them what they are wrong about regarding their desired traits for presidential candidates. Post it on social media or send it to your local newspaper (if you still have one).

  3. Make a poster or flyer or video advertisement for the unelectable presidential candidate you created in question 9 above.

Learning Extension

Read the entire Pew report on presidential candidate traits.

Our World In Data Extension

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Happy?

What is the happiest country in the world?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What is the takeaway message of this chart?

  3. What surprised you about this chart?

  4. How different do you think this chart will be in 100 years?

  5. Do you think that these kinds of rankings matter?

  6. Of all the things that could be ranked, what would you want your country to be best at?

  7. Are there any patterns in the sorts of countries that ranked among the happiest?

  8. Are there any kinds of countries that are absent from the top of the rankings?

  9. How did your country do on this chart and why do you think that is?

  10. The US came in as the 15th happiest country. In the comments section below, speculate on why we ranked 15th.


Action Extension

Interview 10 people and ask them to speculate on how the US ranks in the World Happiness Report. Show them the actual rankings and ask them to share their reaction with you and on social media.


Learning Extension

Read more about the 2015 World Happiness Report


By the way, the least "happy" — countries include Togo, Burundi, Syria, Benin and Rwanda.

McDonald's

In the continental US, what's the farthest you can be from a McDonald's?

Answer: 107 miles. Between the tiny Dakotan hamlets of Meadow and Glad Valley lies the McFarthest Spot: 107 miles distant from the nearest McDonald's, as the crow flies.

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What is the big story this map tells?

  3. Is the fact that there are so many McDonald's good news or bad news?

  4. Explain why, in the US, you can never be more that 100 miles from a Micky D's?

  5. What is the consequence of the ubiquity of McDonald's?

  6. McDonald's is a potent symbol of globalization. Can you think of any better known or more global symbol than McDonald's?

  7. What would this map have looked like in 1950, and what do you think it will look like in 2040?

  8. Is there anything more American than McDonald's?

  9. Is there any US restaurant/store there are more of than McDonald's?

  10. In the comments section below, advise the residents of Meadow, North Dakota whether a McDonald's would be good for their hamlet.


Action Extension

Look at a Google Maps of your community and type in McDonald's. How far could you drive around before you ran into the nearest McDonald's? Without speeding or breaking any laws, see how many McDonald's you can drive to in 30 minutes. 


Learning Extension

Watch 7 minutes of Super Size Me.

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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Patriotic States

AP US Government and Politics

What is the most patriotic state in America?

AP US Government and Politics

Here’s the latest interactive map version of the most patriotic states.

Source: WalletHub
  1. How wrong was your prediction?

  2. What most surprises you about the map?

  3. Are you surprised by your state's patriotism ranking?

  4. Describe any interesting geographical trends you see in the map.

  5. Explain one of the map's interesting trends:

  6. How does patriotism differ from nationalism?

  7. How patriotic are you?

  8. What's the best thing about being patriotic?

  9. How do you think demographics such as and party affiliation impact levels of patriotism?*

  10. If we measured our entire nation's level of patriotism what color would it be?

  11. Do you think it's ironic that the most patriotic state was the one that seceded from the union to start the civil war?

  12. How patriotic do you think the United States is relative to other countries in the world?*

  13. Who do you think is the most patriotic person in America?

  14. Explain whether you think President Trump is patriotic.

  15. What do you think is the most patriotic animal?**

  16. In the comments section, write what a person from the most patriotic state would say to a person from the least patriotic state about why they should be patriotic?

  17. Bonus Question: what is the one state that could pass the citizenship test?

Not Patriotic Very Patriotic

Visual Extension*

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Statistic: Would you consider yourself very patriotic? | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista
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Learning Extension

Read this Pew Research Center report on American Patriotism in 2017.

Action Extension

Draw a patriotism meter. Ask twenty five people how patriotic they are, put the average on your meter, & post your meter up in a public place.

Patriotic Animal Extension**

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Pugtriotic

AP US Government and Politics

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Millennial Political Efficacy

AP U.S. Government and Politics

What percent of Millennials (age 23-38) feel like they have a high level of political efficacy?

AP U.S. Government and Politics

AP U.S. Government and Politics

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What is the big story this data tells?

  3. About 2/3 or American Millennials think they can make a difference in politics. Do you think they are right?

  4. Why do you think Millenials feel this way?

  5. What is a consequence of this relatively high level of political efficacy?

  6. If you are reading this, most likely, you are a member of Generation Z (age 7-22). In your opinion, how different are Generation Z and the Millennial Generation in terms of their feelings of political efficacy?

  7. How much do you think levels of political efficacy vary by state?

  8. How different do you think levels of political efficacy would be in an autocratic state?

  9. Is a high level of citizen political efficacy good for incumbents?

  10. Do you personally think that, "By participating in politics, I can make a difference?"

  11. How does race impact Millennial’s views on political efficacy?*

  12. How does education impact Millennial’s views on political efficacy?*

  13. How do you think Millennials feel about the POTUS and why do you think that is?*

  14. Asian Americans Millennials feel like they have a much higher level of political efficacy than any other American ethnic groups. Why do you think this is?

  15. What is the most surprising fact from this data?

  16. What question do you have about this data?

  17. If a person thinks they don’t have political efficacy and thus takes no political action are they correct about their political efficacy?

  18. Who is the most politically efficacious person you know (this does not have to directly relate to national government or even state government, it might be someone who just gets stuff done around your community)?

  19. The United States is a federal system. Explain whether, in general, people in federal, confederal, or unitary systems have more political efficacy.

  20. What are some features of the American political system which generally limit political efficacy?

  21. Describe some features of the American political system which generally increase political efficacy.

  22. The Framers of the Constitution never once used the word democracy in the U.S. Constitution. Based on your knowledge of the political system the Framers created, make a claim explaining whether the Framers intend for citizens to feel a high level of political efficacy.

Visual Extension*

AP U.S. Government and Politics

AP U.S. Government and Politics

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..."and make a difference."     AP U.S. Government and Politics

..."and make a difference."

AP U.S. Government and Politics

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Learning Extension

Check out the entire NBC News poll on Millennials and politics.

Action Extension

Poll ten of your schoolmates about their feelings of political efficacy. Share your results in class or online in the comments section below:

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Top Ten Events

AP US Government and Politics

Please name the 10 historic events that occurred in YOUR lifetime that you think have had the greatest impact on the country. This could be one specific event, a series of related events or any other historic development or change that had an important impact on the nation.

Pew Research Center

AP US Government and Politics

  1. What generation are you a part of?

  2. Which generation was your list of the 10 most important events the most similar to?

  3. What generation was your list the most different from?

  4. Overall, what surprised you most about these lists?

  5. Overall, what do these lists tell us about the US?

  6. What is the biggest generational difference these lists reveal?

  7. Of all the historical events listed on all these lists, explain which event, 50 years from now, will not still be on any list?

  8. In the long run, do you believe that September 11 will end up being more historically significant to our country than WWII?

  9. How different do you think this list would be for someone from Africa OR A PERSON FROM ASIA?

  10. Respondents were asked to include only events from their lifetime. If you were allowed to add any event which has occurred since 1901 to your list, how would your list change? 

  11. What do you think the generation that included the Framers of the Constitution would have listed as their top events?

  12. Explain how different these lists would be for a conservative and a liberal of the same generation*:

  13. Describe How race and ethnicity impacts these lists*?

  14. Obama's election was ranked 2nd on the list for the most recent generations, and near the top for all the generations. Explain what was so important about Obama's election?

  15. This question was asked before Trump's election. How do you think Trump's election will rank on the list of the 10 historic events that occurred in YOUR lifetime that you think have had the greatest impact on the country.

  16. Let's call the generation born after 1998 (that's you) the igeneration. Explain the main way your generation is different from the Millennial Generation:

  17. Now that fake news makes such an impact on society, and people have difficulty distinguishing real from made-up events, explain whether we will have fake history, and thus very different lists of important events in the future:

Learning Extension

Read the Pew Research Center report on each generation's most important events.

Action Extension

After you make your list, share it with friends in person or online and ask them for their own list of top 10 events. From that data, compile a list of the most important events for your generation to share in class or online.

VISUAL EXTENSION*

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Our World In Data Extension

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The Ultimate Student Test Prep. Prepare for the AP® US Government and Politics Exam from home! Download your own DIGITAL TEST REVIEW BOOK - RIGHT NOW! Tons of great review material for all 5 units! FRQ workshops with practice questions for all 4 FRQs. 50 BRAND NEW AP® exam-ready multiple choice questions with test key. Get Your Review On!

Ranking our Rights

AP US Government and Politics

Of the following rights, which do Americans think is the least important: freedom of speech, the right to vote, the right to privacy, freedom of religion, the right to own guns?

AP US Government and Politics

AP US Government and Politics

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What story does this data tell?

  3. Why do you think that is?

  4. What most surprised you about this information?

  5. What is one consequence of Americans' enduring love of freedom of speech?

  6. The right to own guns is relatively unessential Americans' sense of freedom. How do you think that impacts the recent national debate about gun reform?

  7. According to this poll, which Constitutional Amendments are deemed as essential?

  8. WHat other Amendments (not listed above) would you personally describe as indispensable to your sense of freedom?

  9. How would you personally rank these five freedoms on a scale of most to least essential to your freedom?

  10. Explain how differently you think the average American Republican and Democrat would rank these five freedoms:

  11. If you were an autocratic government, determined to take away citizens' rights (think Putin) explain which of those five rights would you first take away.* This is hypothetical - don't actually do this!!!!!

  12. What's wrong with Americans that we no longer consider our Third Amendment Freedom from having to quarter soldiers as essential to our freedom????

  13. That Third Amendment right, which seemed essential in 1787 is more or less obsolete today. The Framers also were concerned about an overreaching national government and thus protected the right of states to form militias (2nd Amendment). Do you think that this idea is equally obsolete?

  14. Imagine Americans wanted to abolish the 2nd and 3rd Amendment (we've abolished amendments before) What steps could Americans take to do this?

Learning Extension

Read the Pew research Report on The Five Freedoms.

Action Extension

Share the following ranking with any ten people. Share the results in class or online.

Create your own user feedback survey

AP Pugament and Pugatics

Our World In Data Extension

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Obstacles to Equality?

AP US Government and Politics

Do you think that most Americans agree with the following statement: "Significant obstacle still make it harder for women to get ahead then men."

Pew Research Center    AP US Government and Politics

Pew Research Center

AP US Government and Politics

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. How surprised are you by this data?

  3. Do you believe that, "Significant obstacle still make it harder for women to get ahead then men." 

  4. Give one example to support your opinion:

  5. According to the data, what demographic groups most agreed with the statement that, "Significant obstacle still make it harder for women to get ahead then men."

  6. Why do you think Republicans and Democrats have such different views on this issue?

  7. What would be a good title for this chart?

  8. What do you think this data would have looked like 30 years ago, and what do you think this data will look like 30 years from now?

  9. What are some obstacles that make it harder for women to get ahead that have been removed in the past half century?

  10. What are some remaining obstacles that make it harder for women to get ahead that remain?

  11. Imagine you were the head of an interest group trying to remove obstacles to equality. Describe 2 methods your interest group could use that would be the most likely to produce change.

  12. Explain what role political socialization plays in this data.

  13. What does this data tell you about current American political culture?

  14. How do the Americans' attitudes about obstacles to women vary by race, ethnicity, gender, and education level?*

  15. In 1972 the Equal Rights AMendment** to the constitution was passed by 2/3 of congress and then was sent to the states to be ratified. 35 states ratified the E.R.A., but that did not meet the 3/4 threshold (38) states needed to ratify the amendment. If you were asked to vote on this amendment, explain how you would vote:

  16. WHat does the map of states that ratified the E.R.A. tell you about the geography of equality? *

Visual Extension*

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The Equal Rights Amendment**

Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

Learning Extension

Read this Pew report on attitudes about gender and obstacles.

Action Extension

List all the obstacles you can think of that make it harder for men to get ahead. List all the obstacles you can think of that make it harder for women to get ahead. Make a chart/poster/flyer about this and post it on the wall of your school or on social media.

Our World In Data Extension

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