Activity III: Election-night Predictions
Learning GoalStudents will learn to balance what they have learned about the candidates' personalities with the policy issues also affecting the 1996 presidential campaign.
Instructions1. Ask students to play the role of network newscasters at an anchor desk on election night.
2. Give each student one of the following facts. Tell students that the event described occurs on November 1, 1996, and that it has become the turning point of the 1996 election:
- The war in Bosnia breaks out again.
- The latest figures show the number of Americans without health insurance has doubled in less than a year.
- The Reform party looks to be capturing 25% of the popular vote.
- 20 protestors and 20 patients are killed when an abortion clinic is bombed in Topeka, Kansas.
- A new study shows that it takes high school graduates three times longer to land their first real job than it took their parents twenty years ago.
- Polls show the MTV-generation has doubled its voter registration.
- President Boris Yeltsin of Russia resigns because of poor health.
- Despite a low unemployment rate, polls reveal great uncertainty over job security.
3. Ask each student to research the likely effect their "fact" will have on the 1996 campaign and then come to class ready to announce the winner of the election. Newscasters should be prepared to say why their "fact" figured so prominently in the candidate's victory.
4. To streamline things a bit, teams of newscasters could be used to do the election-night analysis.
5. Given what the film teaches us about the candidates, how would Dole and Clinton react to the first condition? The second condition, etc? How good was the political reasoning displayed by the newscasters? When do policy issues matter more than the candidates' images?
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