Daily Video

April 12, 2016

Presidential candidates vie for delegates

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NewsHour Extra would like to extend a big thanks to Mr. Feinstein’s AP U.S. History class at West Potomac High School in Alexandria, Virginia, for contributing to today’s Daily News Story.

Essential question

How is this election different or similar to elections from the past?


In the race to win delegates and their parties’ nominations, presidential candidates are working ahead in states with upcoming primaries like Pennsylvania, New York and California this week.

To win the Republican nomination, a candidate needs to win a majority of the party’s 2,472 delegates. Donald Trump currently leads with 743, almost 200 more than his closest opponent, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Cruz hopes to close that gap by focusing on California’s June 7 primary, when 172 Republican delegates will be awarded.

Trump has expressed frustration with the way delegates are awarded. “Now, I’m an outsider, and I came into the system, and I’m winning the votes by millions of votes. But the system is rigged,” Trump said Monday.

For Democrats, the delegate number is slightly more complicated due to the designation between regular delegates and “superdelegates.” The Democratic nominee must win a majority of the 4,765 delegates. Counting both types together, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders trails front-runner Hillary Clinton by about 700 delegates.

Sanders and Clinton will be fighting for New York ahead of its April 19 primary. Clinton served as a senator there from 2001-2009, and Sanders was raised in Brooklyn and spent the early part of his career there before moving to Vermont.


Key terms

fracking — the process of injecting liquid at high pressure into subterranean rocks so as to force open existing fissures and extract oil or gas

delegate — a person sent or authorized to represent others, in particular an elected representative sent to a conference

superdelegates — in the Democratic Party, an unelected delegate who is free to support any candidate for the presidential nomination at the party’s national convention

climate change — a change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels

dark horse — in politics a candidate for office considered unlikely to receive his or her party’s nomination, but who might be nominated if party leaders cannot agree on a better candidate

Warm up questions (before watching the video)
  1. What is the purpose of primaries during a presidential election?
  2. How many delegates does a candidate need to secure the nomination?
  3. Do you plan to vote in this election?
Critical thinking questions (after watching the video)
  1. What is California’s role going to be in the primaries?
  2. What happens if a candidate does not clinch enough delegates to win the nomination?
  3. How has having a third Republican candidate, John Kasich, affected the outcome of the Republican primaries so far?
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