NewsHour Extra Feature Stories
NewsHour Extra features stories can help students identify and interpret
key issues in current events. This activity anticipates one class period,
but the follow-up essay might be assigned as homework, or in another period.
Warm Up: Use initiating
questions to introduce the topic and find out how much your students know.
Main Activity: Have
students read NewsHour Extra's feature story and answer the questions
on the reading comprehension handout.
Discussion: Use discussion
questions to encourage students to think about how the issues outlined
in the story affect their lives and express and debate different opinions.
can write an 500-word editorial on the topic expressing their views and
send it to NewsHour Extra [firstname.lastname@example.org]
for possible publication.
are graded on their answers to reading comprehension questions and/or
Story: Kerry Wins New Hampshire
Primary; Candidates Prepare for Next Contests: 1/28/04
1. What is a presidential
2. Who are the Democratic candidates
still in the race for president?
3. When will we know who is
running against President Bush in November?
Reading Comprehension Questions:
(click here for printout)
1. Who won the New Hampshire
Primary on Jan. 27?
Massachusetts Sen. John
Kerry, aided by his victory in last week's Iowa caucus, powered past
former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and six other candidates Tuesday night
to capture the first presidential primary of the 2004 season.
2. Who won second place in
Second place winner Dean
gained 26 percent of the vote while retired U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark
got 13 percent, a close margin over fourth place winner North Carolina
Sen. John Edwards.
3. What must John Kerry do
to win the Democratic nomination for president?
Winning the New Hampshire
primary does not guarantee that Kerry will be the Democratic nominee
to go up against President Bush in the November general election. Kerry
and the rest of the Democratic candidates - those who choose to remain
in the race - will continue to campaign in the states where the next
primaries will be held in order to gain the 2,161 delegates needed to
be nominated at the Democratic conventions in July.
4. Do primary voters cast votes
directly for the candidates? Explain how the system works.
In a primary, votes are
not cast directly for candidates as many people think. Instead, they
are cast in favor of delegates who will vote for the candidates at the
national conventions that select each party's presidential nominee.
Party delegates are allocated to each state according to population
size. Since the number of people living in a state is always shifting,
so is the number of delegates assigned to a particular state.
5. What are some of the consequences
of a staggered primary season?
A key aspect of the primary
system is that the elections are not held on the same day (like the
general election) but are staggered over a period of months, from January
to June. During this time candidates criss cross the country in an attempt
to win enough delegates.
One result of this staggered schedule is that states with the first
primaries are extremely important to the candidates. A politician who
does well early is seen as a better bet to supporters and potential
campaign donors, while those who do not do as well will typically see
their support wither and their funds evaporate, forcing them to drop
out of the race.
6. Which states besides New
Hampshire are holding primaries in February?
On Tuesday, Feb. 3, Arizona,
Delaware, Missouri, Oklahoma and South Carolina will hold primaries.
Tennessee and Virginia will hold primaries on Feb. 10. Several states,
including New Mexico, North Dakota, Michigan, Washington and Maine will
hold caucuses, similar to Iowa, where voters gather at community meetings
to discuss the candidates' qualifications and choose who they support.
7. Which two Democrats previously
won the Iowa Caucus and the New Hampshire Primary and went on to secure
the Democratic nomination?
Historically, in the
three decades since the Iowa and New Hampshire contests moved to the
beginning of the primary season, Democrats who won both have gone on
to win the nomination: Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Al Gore in 2000.
Discussion Questions (more
research might be needed):
1. Take the Online NewsHour's Vote
By Issues Quiz. Which of the candidate's answers did you most agree
with? Were you surprised by the result? Will this change who you support
in the election? Why or why not?
2. In what ways do you think
John Kerry and Howard Dean being from the Northeast and John Edwards being
from the South influence voters? How do you think this will affect the
outcome of the primaries? Why?
3. Research the past four presidential
elections. Which presidents won the New Hampshire primary? Which presidents
lost? How did it affect their campaigns?
Send your answers, in essay
form, to email@example.com for