Presidential Election Process

Table of Contents

Primaries and Caucuses

Key Question: What role do primaries and caucuses play in the presidential election process?

Party Primary Debates

Video Clip: 1st Democratic presidential debate - Night 1 (6/26/2019- 3:02)

Video Clip: 1st Democratic presidential debate - Night 2 (6/27/2019- 6:18)

Video Clip: 2nd Democratic presidential debate - Night 1 (7/30/2019- 4:02)

Video Clip: 2nd Democratic presidential debate - Night 2 (7/31/2019- 3:58)

Video Clip: 3rd Democratic presidential debate- (9/12/2019- 3:00)

Primaries and Caucuses Overview

Deliberation: Should the order of presidential primaries and caucuses be changed?

This lesson explores the history of the modern system of primaries and caucuses, the reasons for this structure and various proposals to change the order of these contests. This deliberation has students hear from journalists, experts and candidates in order to answer the question:

Should the order of presidential primaries and caucuses be changed?

Bell Ringer: History of the Presidential Primary System (04/04/2016 - 7:08)

Video Clip: The Current Presidential Primary System (8/8/2019- 4:36)

Video Clip: Primary Challengers to Incumbent Presidents (4/26/2-19- 2:03)

Video Clip: Do Endorsements Matter in Primary Elections? (10/20/2019- 3:07)

Individual Primaries and Caucuses

Bell Ringer: How the Iowa Caucuses Work (2/18/2019- 3:46)

Video Clip: Changes to the Iowa Caucuses in 2020 (5/12/2019- 4:20)

Video Clip: History of the Iowa Caucuses (6/23/2014 – 8:06)

2020 Primaries and Caucuses

Video Clip: Joe Biden Response to the Iowa Caucuses (2/3/2020- 2:15)

Video Clip: Amy Klobuchar Response to the Iowa Caucuses (2/3/2020- 2:50)

Video Clip: 2020 New Hampshire Primary Results (2/12/2020- 4:51)

Video Clip: 2020 Nevada Caucus Results (2/23/2020- 3:42)

Video Clip: 2020 Super Tuesday Primary Results (3/4/2020- 4:37)

Culminating Questions:

  • What is a presidential caucus? How is it different from a primary?
  • Describe the atmosphere at the Democratic and Republican caucus sites. Explain how the Democratic caucus works versus the Republican caucus.
  • What is "viability"? How does this affect the lower-tiered Democratic candidates? How does this affect the top-tiered Democratic candidates?
  • Why do Iowa & New Hampshire receive a lot of attention? How does it impact the rest of the primary elections?
  • Why do candidates spend a substantial amount of time and campaign funds in the first primaries/caucuses?
  • Why do campaigns gain or lose momentum during the primary season?
  • Would you consider this method of choosing the party's nominee 'democratic'? Why or why not?
  • Choose one of the minor parties and create a political poster that represents their platform.

National Party Conventions

Key Question: What is the role of National Conventions in the presidential election process?

History and Significance of Party Conventions

Convention Planning

Key Question: What goes into planning a national convention?

Delegates to the Conventions

Key Question: Who are the delegates to these conventions and what is their role?

Video Clip: Pledged & Superdelegates (8/24/2008- 5:59)

Video Clip: DNC: Superdelegates (8/25/2018- 10:11)

Historical Convention Speeches

Vice President Selection

Key Question: Why is the selection of a vice presidential candidate important in the presidential election process?

Process of Selecting a Running Mate

Video Clip: Importance of Vice President Selection (04/22/2016 - 2:29)

Video Clip: Process of Selecting a Vice President (04/22/2016 - 1:47)

Culminating Assessment:

  • After watching the videos, answer the following questions.
    • What must a presidential candidate consider when selecting a vice presidential candidate?
    • Describe the process of selecting a vice-president.
    • What qualities do presidential candidates typically look for in a running mate?
    • What challenges might confront vice presidential candidates?

Battleground State Strategies

Video Clip: Florida (3:35)

Video Clip: Pennsylvania (1:31)

Video Clip: Wisconsin (2:12)

Video Clip: Michigan (2:12)

The Electoral College

Key Question: How does the Electoral College work and what are benefits and drawback of using this system to elect a president?

The History of the Electoral College

Video Clip: The History of the Electoral College (11/4/2016- 4:47)

Video Clip: Historical Role of the Electoral College (12/19/2016- 2:51)

Bell Ringer: Electoral College Certification Procedure (1/6/2017- 6 Clips)

Debating the Electoral College

Arguments for the Electoral College

Arguments Against the Electoral College

Video Clip: Electoral College Origins and Flaws (12/6/2016- 4:48)

Video Clip: Negative Aspects of Electoral College (12/6/2016- 4:03

Culminating Assessment:

  • After watching the videos, answer the following questions.
    • Why did the Founding Fathers adopt the system of the Electoral College to elect the United States President?
    • Explain the pros and cons of the Electoral College system.
    • Do you think that we should keep the Electoral College, switch to a popular vote, or create a new system? Explain your position citing specific reasons.

Presidential Transitions and Inauguration

Key Question: What is the significance of presidential inaugurations? How does the event reflect the president's priorities and personality?

Overview of Inauguration and Presidential Transitions

Video Clip: White House Transitions (1/16/2017- 3:27)

Video Clip: Inaugural Day Logistics (12/14/2016- 9:00)

Past Inaugurations

Video Clip: President Trump Delivers Inaugural Address 1/20/2017- 17:33)