Daily Video

February 11, 2016

Republicans head to South Carolina, Democrats debate on PBS

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Essential question

Are the presidential primaries a good predictor of who will end up running for president?


There have been two official presidential election results this month. Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders won major victories in the New Hampshire Primaries and Republican Ted Cruz and Democrat Hillary Clinton scored wins in the Iowa Caucuses.

Though early primaries and caucuses are typically viewed as predictors for the ultimate party candidates, results and poll predictions thus far make it difficult to determine the frontrunners.

Republican candidates turned their attention to South Carolina, where their next primary takes place Feb. 20. Republican candidates Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina suspended their campaigns after a poor showing in New Hampshire, narrowing the GOP field to seven.

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton also prepared to shift their campaigns’ attention to Nevada’s upcoming Democratic caucuses, also held on Feb. 20. Sanders tried to appeal to the African-American voters in more racially-diverse states by meeting with Rev. Al Sharpton in New York and talking about reforms needed in the U.S. criminal justice system on The View. The Congressional Black Caucus PAC endorsed Clinton Thursday, saying she iss the most consistent ally of the black community.

Sanders and Clinton will face each other again Thursday night in PBS NewsHour’s Democratic Primary Debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

“This is a pretty important turning point, because Bernie Sanders managed to come off with a commanding win from New Hampshire,” said Judy Woodruff, who will moderate the debate along with NewsHour Co-Anchor Gwen Ifill.  “(W)e expect this to be an enlightening encounter.”


Key terms

GOP — stands for “Grand Old Party,” a nickname for the Republican Party

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

Warm up questions (before watching the video)
  1. What state holds the next primary?
  2. Why are some candidates dropping out of the presidential race at this point in time?
  3. Do you think presidential debates give voters a better idea of the candidates and where they stand on the issues?
Critical thinking questions (after watching the video)
  1. Do you think Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s strategy of not making negative comments towards other candidates will be an effective one? Explain.
  2. Do you think it’s a good idea for Jeb Bush to include his brother former President George W. Bush in campaign ads? Why or why not?
  3. What types of preparations do you think debate moderators have to make in order to get ready for hosting a presidential debate?
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