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February 4, 2016

Presidential candidates look toward New Hampshire primary

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Essential question

Why do the presidential candidates start to change their tactics and tone as the race heats up?


Even as candidates turn their attention to the approaching New Hampshire primary next week, controversy from Monday’s Iowa caucus results continued.

Republican Donald Trump, who came in second in Iowa, accused opponent Ted Cruz of stealing votes after some of his supporters allegedly spread rumors on caucus night that another candidate, Ben Carson, planned to drop out. Cruz’s campaign insists it had no role in planting the rumor and apologized to Carson, but Trump has called for the results to be nullified and a new election held.

Among the Democrats, a narrow victory for Hillary Clinton in Iowa left little time to celebrate. With the next primary taking place next to Bernie Sanders’ home state of Vermont, both candidates are fighting hard to stress their progressive values to voters.

Meanwhile, Republican candidates Rand Paul and Rick Santorum suspended their campaigns Wednesday, shortening the field to nine GOP candidates.

The New Hampshire primary will take place next Tuesday, Feb. 9.


Key terms

primary — a preliminary election in which registered political party voters nominate candidates for office and choose delegates to attend their party’s convention

progressive – a group, person or idea that favors implementing new ideas or social reform

moderate – a person who is not extreme in their opinions, especially in politics

town hall meeting – an informal public meeting derived from the traditional town meetings of New England, attendees generally voice their opinions or ask questions of public figures or political candidates

Warm up questions (before watching the video)
  1. What is a primary?
  2. Which state holds the first primary election?
  3. What question would you ask of a presidential candidate at a town hall meeting?
Critical thinking questions (after watching the video)
  1. Why do you think Donald Trump accused the Ted Cruz campaign of antics against Ben Carson at this time in the presidential race?
  2. Why do you think Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are battling it out as to whom is more progressive?
  3. Why do many politicians have a reputation for not giving straight answers to questions?
  4. How come some presidential candidates end dropping out as the primaries get underway?
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