2008 Presidential Primary Calendar

Document Sample
2008 Presidential Primary Calendar Powered By Docstoc
					               2008 Caucus/Primary Calendar
                             5               Wyoming – GOP Caucus
                             14                    Iowa Caucus
                             15                      Michigan
                                      Nevada Caucus, South Carolina – GOP
                             29    Florida, South Carolina – Democratic Primary

                              1                 Maine – GOP Caucus
                                   Alabama, Alaska Caucus, Arizona, Arkansas,
                                    California, Colorado – Democratic Caucus,
                                     Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho –
                              5      Democratic Primary, Illinois, Minnesota –
                                     GOP Caucus, Missouri, New Jersey, New
                                     Mexico Caucus, New York, North Dakota
                                      Caucus, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah
                             9                        Louisiana
                             10             Maine – Democratic Caucus
                             12       District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia
                                    Hawaii – Democratic Caucus, Washington,

                                     Massachusetts, Minnesota – Democratic
                                   Caucus, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont
                             8          Wyoming – Democratic Caucus
                             11                    Mississippi

                             22                       Pennsylvania

                             6                 Indiana, North Carolina
                             13                Nebraska, West Virginia
                             20                   Kentucky, Oregon
                             27                 Idaho – GOP Primary

                                       Montana, New Mexico – GOP Caucus,
                                                  South Dakota

                                           No Presidential Primary:

*Information obtained from National Association of Secretaries of State www.nass.org as of September 12, 2007
                  TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

Democratic Party
  • One of two major political parties in the United States.
  • Nation’s oldest existing party.
  • The Democratic National Committee is the governing body for the Democratic Party,

   • A political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race,
        the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties.

  • A political moderate is an individual who generally holds the middle position between those
      generally classified as being liberal and those seen as conservative.

Republican Party
   • One of two major political parties in United States.
   • Often called G.O.P., which stands for Grand Old Party.
   • The Republican National Committee is the governing body for the Republican Party,

   • A political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions,
      and preferring gradual development to abrupt change.

   • Not supporting or controlled by a group or a cause.

   • A strong supporter of a person or cause; can apply to a group as well as individuals.

   •   A closed meeting of a group of persons belonging to the same political party or faction
      usually to select candidates or to decide on policy.

   • A primary is where voters go to the polls and cast their ballots directly for a candidate. The
      winning candidate receives a percentage of that state’s votes at the national party.

    • The positions that a political party adopts at the beginning of the election campaign.

   • Representative from a political party that is elected to represent the party at the county,
      district, state, and national conventions.
            The Presidential Election Process

       Each year in America there are over 80,000 elections, the most prominent of
       which is the national election for President, held every four years. These
       days, the process for a national election lasts over a year, taking up more than
       25% of the standing president’s time in power.

       Our goal in this curriculum is to simplify the electoral process. The national
       election process is actually quite a confusing one, but here are the essentials.
       Don’t let us stop you from educating yourself more though. Go to
       www.sos.state.ia.us or www.rockthevote.com to find out some more about the
       process, the candidates, and the issues at stake. Plus, the websites will also
       give you links to where you can dive in and get even more information.


Each political party goes through a process of selecting a nominee that will represent the party in the
general election. Parties hold a primary election or a caucus in each state to determine that state’s
choice for the national party nominee.

The first step of a presidential campaign is the nomination campaign. At this time the candidate is
competing with other candidates in the same party, hoping to get the party’s nomination. The candidate
works to win delegates – representatives who pledge to support the candidate’s nomination at the
national party convention – and to persuade potential voters in general.

The structure of the nominating process differs from state to state, but their goal is the same: to
determine the state party’s choice for the national candidate.

The nominating process is not the same in every state, and there are actually a variety of ways in which
these elections can work. There are two basic systems: the caucus system and the primary
elections. Caucuses and primaries are ways for the general public to take part in nominating
presidential candidates. Before the 20th century, only the party leaders in each state could nominate
presidential candidates.

At a caucus, any voter registered with a party gathers with other members from the same party to
nominate a candidate. A caucus is a lively event which caucus-goers debate issues, considers
candidates, choose delegates, and discuss the party platform, or statement of principles. The rules
governing caucus procedures vary by state and party. Keep reading to learn more about the Iowa
Caucus process.

A primary is more like a general election. Voters go to the polls to cast their votes for a presidential
candidate (or delegates who will represent that candidate at the party convention).


Out of all the country’s primaries or caucuses, the first is held in Iowa. This is the first real test of
public opinion and receives a great deal of publicity from the media because the influence these
primaries have on the outcome of future races.

1972 was the first year of the Iowa Caucuses. Since then, they have occurred in January. Here are the
results of the caucuses beginning in January 1972:

1972: D-Edward Muskie
      R-no poll conducted

1976: D-Jimmy Carter R-Gerald Ford

1980: D-Jimmy Carter R-George H.W. Bush

1984: D-Walter Mondale
      R-Republicans did not conduct a poll because President Ronald Regan was unopposed

1988: D-Richard Gephardt R-Bob Dole

1992: D-Tom Harkin
      R-Republicans did not conduct a poll because President George H.W. Bush was unopposed

1996: D-Democrats did not conduct a poll because President Bill Clinton was unopposed R-Bob Dole

2000: D-Albert Gore, Jr.
      R-George W. Bush

2004: D-John Kerry
      R-Republicans did not conduct a poll because President George W. Bush was unopposed

   •   While Iowa is not the largest state, and does not have a large urban population, Iowa has many
       good things to offer:

   •   The Iowa caucus system makes candidates campaign in person, and discuss issues with voters
       face to face. Candidates cannot rely entirely on advertisements to get votes. They must go out
       and meet people.

   •   Iowa’s population size ranks right in the middle of the 50 states.

   •   Iowans are politically aware. We study the issues and take our role in the nomination process

   •   By comparison, campaign costs are lower in Iowa. The candidate’s one-on-one interaction with
       the people of Iowa is more important than the amount of money they must raise to campaign.

Both the Democratic and Republican parties in Iowa conduct precinct caucuses (precincts are just
smaller territories that divide up the state). The precinct caucuses include a discussion of issues, a
decision on Presidential candidate preference, and the selection of delegates to represent the precinct
at Party County Conventions. At the Party County Convention, delegates will elect delegates to go on
to the District Conventions, and then to the State Convention. Those delegates elected to be National
Delegates at the State Convention will go to the Democratic and Republican National Conventions
where each party selects their official Presidential nominee. So in essence, the Iowa caucus begins a
long process of delegate selection and issue discussion. It can be a confusing process so we’ve
included a chart that shows the road to attending the National Conventions.


On caucus night, Iowans gather by party preference to elect delegates to the 99 county conventions.
Presidential preference on the Republican side is done with a vote of those attending the caucus. This
vote is sometimes done by a show of hands or by voting on a paper ballot. Democratic candidates must
receive at least 15 percent of the votes in that precinct to move on to the county convention. If a
candidate receives less than 15 percent of the votes, supporters of non-viable candidates have the
option to join a viable candidate group, join another non-viable candidate group to become viable, join
other groups to form an uncommitted group or chose to go nowhere and not be counted. Non-viable
groups have up to 30 minutes to realign. The results of this caucus activity on both the Democratic and
Republican sides are non-binding on the elected delegates, but the delegates usually feel obligated to
follow the wishes expressed by the caucus-goers. Thus the initial caucus results provide a good
barometer of the composition of Iowa's national delegation.

Below are the explanations from the two political parties on how they run their caucuses. While this
might seem like a daunting system, it’s actually quite simple in that at the heart of it you are just publicly
stating whom you wish to be the next nominee for President of the United States. The details surround
various nominating rules and regulations are to make sure it is a thorough and effective process.

Typical Iowa Democratic Precinct Caucus Agenda

1.      Call to order by Temporary Caucus Chair (usually around 6:30 pm)
        The Temporary Caucus Chair is a person assigned to preside over caucus until Permanent
        Caucus Chair is elected.

2.      Temporary Caucus Chair reads through agenda

3.      Temporary Caucus Chair explains primary purpose
        A. Elect delegates, alternates and convention committee members to the County Convention.
        B. Discuss and adopt resolutions to be recommended to the platform committee.
        C. Election new precinct leadership.

4.      Messages from Iowa Democratic Party and Elected Officials

5.      Election of Permanent Caucus Officers
        After nominations are taken from the floor for a permanent Precinct Caucus Chair and Caucus
        Secretary, a voice vote may be taken. A simple majority is required. A hand or ballot count
        may be taken if necessary. The Permanent Officers take over the caucus proceedings.

6.      Candidate Nomination Papers, Candidate Letters and Petitions
        Candidates seeking off are required to obtain a certain number of signatures to have their name
        listed on ballots in Iowa. Signature does not indicate endorsement of a candidate.
        At this time, the Caucus Chair will note any papers, letters, or petitions and encourage
        attendees to sign.

7.      Election of Delegates and Alternates

        Delegates elected by preferences groups
        Caucus Chair asks if group want to divide into preference groups. If more than 15% of caucus
        participants want to divide into preference groups, preference groups are formed to elect
        delegates within their groups.

     A. Viability threshold for preference groups determined
        Viability threshold is based on initial participant count and does not change if attendees leave
        prior to election of delegates.

        Number of Delegates a Precinct will select to go to County Convention
        2…………………Preference Groups must contain 25% of participants
        3…………………Preference Groups must contain 1/6 of participants
        More than 4…….Preference Groups must contain 15% of participants

     B. Formation of initial preference groups
        Participants form groups by candidate preference.
           Undecided voters may form a group and elect delegates if they are viable.
           Participants have 30 minutes to align with an initial Preference Group.
       The Caucus Chair will advise groups to gather in various areas.
       Each preference group selects a group chair that will be responsible for collecting and
       reporting information to the Caucus Chair and Caucus Secretary.
       Each group counts their members and reports their size to the Caucus Chair.

C. Realignment of preference groups
   Any non-viable group is given opportunity to realign.
      Non-viable groups may solicit members from other viable or non-viable groups to increase
      the members to become viable.
      Non-viable groups and/or members of non-viable groups may align with other viable groups
      or may group together to become viable.
      Non-viable groups may choose to not realign, but will not be awarded delegates if they do
      not have enough members to be viable.
      Members of viable groups may realign.
      If a previously viable group looses enough members to fall below the viability threshold, that
      group would no longer be viable and would not be awarded a delegate.

   A caucus may not have more preference groups than it has delegates.
   If this occurs the smallest group must be given opportunity to realign.
   A coin toss determines which group must realign if there is a tie among the number of members
   of the smallest group.

D. Awarding Delegates
   Once preference groups are determined after realigning; the Caucus Chair will determine the
   number of delegates each group is entitled to elect.

          # of members in              Total # of delegates
         Preference Group         X       to be elected               =     # of delegates
                                                                            to be elected
                        Total # of Participants
       (Number of eligible participants signed in or in-line at 7:00 pm)

                            Round up at .5 and higher; Round down if less than .5


           200                      5           =        1000
       Group Members        X   Delegates                         =              2
                         500 Total Participants           =           500

   Too few delegates are allocated with above formula
   If the total number of delegates determined by the above formula is less than the number to be
   elected by the precinct, an additional delegate is awarded to the Preference Group closest but
   less than .5. Ties are determined by coin toss.

   Too many delegates are allocated with above formula
   If the total number of delegates determined by the above formula is more than the number to be
   elected by the precinct, a delegate is subtracted from the Preference Group closest but more
   than .5. Ties are determined by coin toss.
      A Preference Group cannot lose its only delegate unless the number of preference groups is
      greater than the number of delegates to be elected by the precinct caucus.

8.    Reporting
      At this point the Caucus Chair is required to call the Iowa Democratic Party to report the number
      of delegates for each Preference Group at their caucus.

      If preference groups were formed, the Caucus Chair report the number of delegates assigned to
      each Preference Group, including undecided if they are viable,
      A representative from each Preference Group must be present when the results are reported.

9.    Electing Individual Delegates and Alternates
      If the precinct did not form preference groups, they may select as many alternates as they
      choose. Each Preference Group will elect within their group the number of delegates they are
      entitled and as many alternates as they chose. Preference Groups may nominate and elect a
      delegate who is not present, although only those present may vote.

10.   Ratification of the Slate of Delegates
      Once determined, the slate of delegates is ratified by a verbal vote of attendees.
      A simple majority is required. A hand or ballot count may be taken if necessary. Failure to ratify
      the slate may subject the delegates to challenge at the county convention.

11.   Election of County Convention Committee Members
      Caucus attendees nominate persons to serve on the Platform Committee and the Committee on
      Committees for their County Democratic Party Convention.

         The Platform Committee helps determine which platform resolutions are submitted to the
         state convention for ratification by the Iowa Democratic Party.
         Representatives serving on the Committee on Committees are divided among the Rules,
         Credentials or Arrangement Committees for their County Convention.

12.   Election of Precinct Committee Persons
      Two people are selected at each precinct unless otherwise indicated.
      The Caucus Chair reads responsibilities of Precinct Committee persons.
      After nominations are taken from the floor, a voice vote may be taken.
      A simple majority is required. A hand or ballot count may be taken if necessary.

13.   Resolutions
      Resolutions to be submitted to the platform committee are discusses and adopted.
      Caucus participants may propose resolutions.
      An official Resolution Submission Form should be used for each resolution.
      The Caucus Chair may set reasonable time limits for discussion of resolutions.

14.   Other business and announcements

15.   Caucus is adjourned

Typical Iowa Republican Precinct Caucus Agenda

      1.     Temporary Chair starts the meeting and announces the purpose of the Caucus.

      2.     Nominations for permanent Chair (hold election if necessary).

      3.     Nominations for permanent Secretary (hold election if necessary).

      4.     Cast votes for presidential candidates (the method of voting is determined by the
             individual precincts depending on the number of attendees).

      5.     Explanation of Precinct Committee person (or precinct people, county central committee,
             etc.) role as Board of Directors of County Party.

      6.     Nominations for Precinct Committee persons (or precinct people, county central
             committee, etc.) *Typically two, unless otherwise notified.

      7.     Explanation of Delegates to the County Convention.

      8.     Announcement of number of Delegates to be elected by the Precinct.

      9.     Nominations for delegates to the County Convention.

      10.    Election, declare winners.

      11.    Explanation of Alternate Delegates and the number to be elected.

      12.    Nominations for Alternate Delegates to the County Convention.

      13.    Election, declare winners.

      14.    Explanation of Junior Delegates (those who are younger than the legal voting age)

      15.    Nominations for Junior Delegates to the County Convention.

      16.    Nominations and elections for members’ service on county convention committees*

      17.    Election, declare winners.

      18.    Pass the Hat (This donation is for the County Party).

      19.    Consider any platform materials to send to the County Convention.

      20.    Election of County Convention Committee members.

                                      *If notified by the County Chair*

                                                       Precinct Caucuses
                                             Monday, January 14, 2008 (Tentative)
                                             Held in 1,784 Precincts throughout Iowa
                               Delegates and Alternates are elected to represent the precinct
                                   at Party County Conventions normally held in March.

                                                      County Conventions
                                                    Held in each of 99 Counties
                                                          March 15, 2008
                          Delegates and Alternates are selected to represent the County Parties
                                         at the District and State Conventions.

                                                      District Conventions
                                                          April 26, 2008
                                            Held in each of the 5 Congressional Districts
                       Delegates and Alternates are selected to represent the party voters from the
                              Five Congressional Districts at the State Party Conventions.

                                                         State Convention
                                                          June 14, 2008
                                                    National Delegate Selection
                                   Delegates and Alternates are selected to represent Iowa
                                    at the National Democratic and Republican Conventions.

          National Democratic Convention                                             Republican National Convention
                August 25-28, 2008                                                        September 1-4, 2008
                    Denver, CO                                                                St Paul, MN
                3515 Pledged Delegates*                                                   2,439 Pledged Delegates*
               852 Unpledged Delegates**                                                 662 Unpledged Delegates**

          National Convention Delegates select each party’s Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidate

*The number of Pledged Delegates are allocated among the states as determined by the Polictical Parties.

**Unpledged or SuperDelegates are not bound by the decisions of party primaries or caucuses. Unpledged delegates are usually party
officials or elected officeholders.

After all the state primaries and caucuses are over, each party holds a national convention. Each state
has representatives called delegates. The main purpose of a national convention is to unify party
members behind the party’s platform and to nominate candidates for president and vice president.

At each convention, after a credentials committee seats the delegates, a permanent chairman is
elected. The convention then votes on a platform, drawn up by the platform committee.

By the third or fourth day, presidential nominations begin. The chairman calls the roll of states
alphabetically. A state may place a candidate in nomination or yield to another state.

Voting proceeds again by an alphabetical roll call of the states after all nominations have been made
and seconded. A simple majority is required in each party, although this may involve many ballots. The
process of awarding the delegates is quite complicated. In most cases, delegates cast their vote for
the candidate that their state voted for in their primary or caucus, but they are not required to. The
candidate who has majority support amongst the delegates at the national convention wins the party’s
backing for the presidential nomination.


                      Mark your calendar and set your clock for the 2008 General Election:
                                                         Tuesday, November 4, 2008

After the conventions, the campaign to win the general election begins. It’s heated, it’s expensive, and
it’s exciting. You feel like you can’t escape it!

On the Tuesday following the first Monday of November, millions of U.S. citizens go to local voting
booths to elect, among other officials, the next president and vice president of our country. Their votes
will be recorded and counted, and winners will be declared. However, the results of the popular vote
are not guaranteed to stand because the Electoral College has not cast its vote.


The national presidential election actually consists of a separate election in each of the 50 states and
the District of Columbia. In these 51 elections, the voters are really voting for "electors" pledged to one
of the tickets. These electors make up the Electoral College.
Each state has the same number of electors, as it has Senators and Representatives (there are two
senators from each state, but the number of representatives depends on the state population in the
most recent census). The District of Columbia, although it isn't a state, also participates in presidential
elections -- it currently has three electors. That makes 538 electors.

Registered voters in each state vote for electors in the Electoral
College. In most of the states, and also in the District of Columbia, the        In Iowa, we have 7
                                                                                 electoral votes, one for
election is winner-take-all; whichever ticket receives the most votes in         each of the US
that state (or in D.C.) gets all the electors. The only exceptions are Maine     Congressmen who
and Nebraska.                                                                    represent our five
                                                                                 Congressional districts
The Electoral College then votes for President and for Vice President,           and one for each of
                                                                                 Iowa’s two US Senators.
with each elector casting one vote; these votes are called electoral
votes. No constitutional provision or federal law requires electors to vote
in accordance with the popular vote in their state. Some state laws require electors to cast their votes
according to the popular vote and provide that so-called "faithless electors" may be subject to fines or
may be disqualified for casting an invalid vote and be replaced by a substitute elector. Iowa is not one
of those states.

The Constitution forbids a Senator, Representative, or people holding an office of trust or profit under
the United States from being appointed as an elector.

Although the results are usually known soon after the General Election, the electors meet in their
respective states (and Washington, DC) on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December
to formalize the election. This election cycle it will be December 15, 2008.

At this meeting of the Electoral College, the electors vote by ballot for President and Vice President.
There must be distinct ballots for President and Vice President. The electors' votes are recorded on a
Certificate of Vote that is certified by the Governor of the respective State or the Mayor in the case of
Washington, DC.

The Congress meets in joint session in the House of Representatives scheduled on January 6, 2009 to
conduct the official tally of electoral votes. The Vice President, as President of the Senate, is the
presiding officer. The results of the vote are announced and who has been elected President and Vice

A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to
elect the President and Vice President.
If no one Presidential candidate receives a
majority in the Electoral College, the president-
elect will be selected by a vote of the House of
Representatives, with each state receiving a
single vote. If no vice presidential candidate
receives a majority, then the Vice President-
elect will be selected by a vote of the Senate.
These situations, however, have not occurred
since 1825 and 1837, respectively.

Under this system, each state is assigned a
specific number of votes that is proportional to
its population, so that each state's power is representative of its population. Winning the popular vote
may not ensure a candidate's victory, so they must try to gain popular support of particular states in
order to win the votes of that state. The goal of any candidate is to put together the right combination of
states that will give him or her 270 electoral votes. If there is no majority winner, then the U.S. House of
Representatives votes to determine who will become the next President.

The President-elect and Vice President-elect are scheduled to be inaugurated on Tuesday, January 20,
2009 on the steps of the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

Why does the US have an Electoral College?
In 1787, at the Constitutional Convention, the founders were debating on how to decide on choosing
the President. At the time, there existed many differing ideas on how the president was going to be
elected. At the convention, the founders realized that having Congress elect the chief executive, would
throw off the system of checks and balances. If congress elected the president, it would mean the
office could be controlled by the legislature. The founders also rejected the idea of actually letting
the people directly elect the president. Instead they opted for an indirect popular vote, the
Electoral College.

Winning the Popular Vote but not the Presidency
In most presidential elections, a candidate who wins the popular vote will also receive the majority of
the electoral votes, but this is not always the case. There have been four presidents who have won an
election with fewer popular votes than their opponent, but acquired more electoral votes:

1824: John Quincy Adams received more than 38,000 fewer votes than Andrew Jackson, but neither
      candidate won a majority of the Electoral College. Adams was awarded the presidency when
      the election was thrown to the House of Representatives.
1876: Nearly unanimous support from small states gave Rutherford B. Hayes a one-vote margin in the
      Electoral College, despite the fact that he lost the popular vote to Samuel J. Tilden by 264,000
1888: Benjamin Harrison lost the popular vote by 95,713 votes to Grover Cleveland, but won the
      electoral vote by 65.
2000: George W. Bush loses the popular vote by 539,898, but won a greater majority of larger states
      to defeat Al Gore.

The Pros and Cons of the Electoral College
There are many pro and con arguments regarding the Electoral College, but this system does
guarantee that the person elected president has substantial support distributed throughout the country.
Proponents argue that the Electoral College is a block or weighed voting system, designed to give
more power to the states with larger populations. This also means that smaller states have the ability
to swing an election. Those opposed to the Electoral College believe that the United States should
abandon its indirect popular vote, in favor of elections that rely solely on the direct popular vote.


For the first election cycle in a long time we have an open field where there is not currently an
incumbent President of Vice President running. While this means there is double the amount of
people to know about, it also means double the selection and choice, which is a good thing for
the process. Below is a list of the candidates with contact information for you to research and
understand in order for you to be the most knowledgeable voter possible. Every candidate has
a platform of ideas that they are unique. Find out which candidate fits you best.

Democratic Presidential Candidates

Joe Biden
8033 University Ave, Suite C
Clive, IA 50325
         U.S. Senator from Delaware.
         1972 one of the youngest people ever elected to U.S. Senate.
         Senate Foreign Relations Commission Chair.
         Undergraduate degree from University of Delaware, Graduate of Syracuse Law School.

Hilary Clinton
715 E 2nd St
Des Moines, IA 50309
        U.S. Senator from New York.
        Former First Lady of the United States.
        First New Yorker ever named to Senate Armed Services Committee.
        Undergraduate degree from Wellesley College, Graduate of Yale Law School.

Chris Dodd
1115 Grand Ave
Des Moines, IA 50309
        U.S. Senator from Connecticut.
        Graduate of Providence College.
        1972 Graduate of University of Louisville School of Law.
       Youngest person ever elected to United States Senate in Connecticut history.
John Edwards
712 E 2nd St
Des Moines, IA 50309
        U.S. Senator from North Carolina.
        Practicing Attorney, 1978-1998.
        Law degree from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 1977.
        B.S. from North Carolina State University in 1974.

Mike Gravel
PO Box 948
Arlington, VA 22216
         Representative from Alaska 1963-1966, Alaskan Senator 1969-1981.
         Served in U.S. Army 1951-1954.
         B.S. in Economics From Columbia University, New York City.
         Received 4 honorary degrees in law and public affairs.

Dennis Kucinich
PO Box 110145
Cleveland, OH 44111
        U.S. Congressman from Ohio.
        Ohio State Senator from 1995-1996.
        President of a marketing and communications firm from 1985-1995.
        Mayor of Cleveland from 1977-1979.

Barack Obama
323 E Locust
Des Moines, IA 50309
        Graduate of Columbia University, New York City.
        Law degree from Harvard Law School in 1991.
        U.S. Senator from Illinois since 2004.
        Illinois State Senate for 8 years.
        Third African-American since Reconstruction to be elected to U.S. Senate.

Bill Richardson
601 SW 9th St, Suite K
Des Moines, IA 50309
         Governor of New Mexico.
         Served 15 years in U.S. Congress.
         Secretary of Energy for President Bill Clinton’s administration.
         Chairman of Democratic Governor’s Association.
Republican Presidential Candidates
Sam Brownback
2700 University Ave, Suite 206
West Des Moines, IA 50266
       Undergraduate of Kansas State University.
       Graduate of University of Kansas Law School.
       U.S. Senator from Kansas since 1994.
       Youngest Secretary of Agriculture in Kansas’s history.

John Cox
815 Office Park Road
West Des Moines, IA 50265
         Graduate of University of Illinois-Chicago in Accounting and Political Science.
         Graduate of IT/Chicago Kent College of Law in 1980.
         Chairman of Midwest Coalition for Tax Reform and Economic Growth.
         Co-Chairman of Illinois branch for the Coalition for the Modernization and Protection of Americans
         Social Security System.
Jim Gilmore
PO Box 19128
Alexandria, VA 22320
         Former Governor of Virginia.
         Undergraduate degree form University of Virginia and Graduate of University of Virginia Law School.
         Former Chairman of Republican National Committee.
         Former Virginia Attorney General.

Rudy Giuliani
295 Greenwich St, Suite 371
New York City, New York 10007
        Undergraduate degree from Manhattan College, Graduate of New York University Law School.
        Former Associate U.S. Attorney General under President Ronald Reagan in 1981.
        First Republican Mayor of the City of New York 1993.
        Recipient of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Freedom Award for efforts during 9/11.

Mike Huckabee
PO Box 2008
Little Rock, AR 72203
         Former Governor of Arkansas from 1996-2007.
         Past Chairman of National Governor’s Association.
         Former Chairman of Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.
         Spent most of his adult life as a Baptist Pastor.

Duncan Hunter
9340 Fuerte Dr, Suite 302
La Mesa, CA 91941
       First elected to Congress in 1980 as a Representative from California.
       Graduate from Western State University Law School in San Diego.
       Vietnam Veteran.
       Member of U.S. Armed Services Committee.
John McCain
2335 70th St
Urbandale, IA 50322
        Served 2 terms in U.S. House as a Representative from Arizona beginning in1982, Elected to U.S.
        Senate in 1986.
        Attended college at U.S. Naval Academy.
        Received many honors from the Navy after surviving being a P.O.W. including the Purple Heart.

Ron Paul
850 N Randolph St, Suite 122
Arlington, VA 22203
         Congressman from Texas.
         Graduated from Gettysburg College, and Duke University of Medicine.
         Served as a flight surgeon in U.S. Air Force during the 1960’s.
         1984 left Congress to return to his medical practice, then returned in 1997.

Mitt Romney
3590 109th St
Urbandale, IA 50323
       Former Governor of Massachusetts elected in 2002.
       Chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association.
       Raised money to organize the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.
       Received B.A. from Brigham Young University in 1971, M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1975.
       Graduate of Harvard Law School.

Tom Tancredo
271 Welch Ave, Suite 102
Ames, IA 50014
        Congressman from Colorado elected in 1998.
        Department of Education under President Ronald Reagan’s administration and President George H.W.
        Bush’s administration.
        School teacher in Denver, CO for many years before entering politics.
        Founded bipartisan Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus 1999.

Fred Thompson
www.fred08.com (site not affiliated with the candidate)
       Undergraduate of Memphis State University in 1964, received his law degree form Vanderbilt
       University in 1967.
       Assistant US Attorney at the age of 30 was appointed to Minority Counsel to the Senate Watergate
       Committee form 1973-1974.
       Former US Senator from Tennessee retired in 2002.
       Served as Special Counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the Senate Committee on
       Foreign Relations, Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, and a member of the Senate
       Committee on Finance.

                      *This information was maintained from the individual candidates’ websites.

Party Contact Information

Iowa Democratic Party
5661 Fleur Dr
Des Moines, IA 50321
Main Line: (515) 244.7292
Fax: (515) 244.5051

Republican Party of Iowa
621 E 9th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
Main Line: (515) 282.8105
Fax: (515) 282.9019
communications@iowagop.org or

Non-Partisan links for more information

Channel 13’s Iowa Votes 2008: http://www.iowavotes2008.com
Channel 8’s Politics Page: http://www.kcci.com/politics/index.html
State of Iowa’s Caucus Page: http://www.iowacaucus.org
A non-partisan for-profit political news service: http://www.iowapolitics.com
Smart Voter: http://www.smartvoter.org/
C-Span Campaign Network: http://www.campaignnetwork.org/
Center for American Women and Politics: http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~cawp/
Center for Responsive Politics: http://www.opensecrets.org/
VotingIndustry.com: http://votingindustry.com/
Factcheck.org: http://www.factcheck.org/
Polling Report: http://www.pollingreport.com/
Project Vote Smart: http://www.vote-smart.org/
Public Agenda Online: http://www.publicagenda.org/

       Knowledge is power. You have the power to guide the policies and thinking of
       this country for generations to come. You already have an opinion, now
       understand the issues and make and informed decision. The next President of
       the United States will have immense power to shape policies that directly affect
       your life. Let your voice be heard. Below are some resources for some of the
       hot-button issues that are being talked about in this election.


After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, many people were left wondering how secure
our nation really was. Some people feared that our nation would now be more susceptible to
future attacks and that we should secure the homeland. To prepare against future attacks, the
United States enacted a series of safety precautions such as tightening security at airports
around the nation. Others believe that protecting our nation involved going abroad and
searching for weapons of mass destruction. Another part of this plan was to seek out and bring
to justice the individuals responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

When the United States first began combat in Iraq, many Americans supported this decision.
However, many months and years after the fighting commenced, and finding no sign of
weapons of mass destruction, some people grew tired of a long drawn out war. Some people
believe that the war in Iraq is a way for a select few Americans to benefit from the resources we
acquire in combat. Others believe that the war is a noble cause because it is ending a reign of
an unjust government over its people. Fighting started on March 19, 2003 since then 827 young
people under the age of 22 have died in Iraq, 946 young people between the ages of 22-24
have died, 3,535 people have died total and 26,129 were wounded in Iraq total as of July 2007.
Through foreign policy a country can pursue and promote its goals while maintaining relations
with other countries. Some people believe that the U.S. should be an active police force and
take charge in the world to promote democracy and protect human rights. Others believe that
the U.S. should promote its principles by maintaining strong alliances with other nations. One
way that the U.S. maintains strong alliances is through an organization called the United
Nations. This organization is a coalition of nations that works to secure and stabilize countries
by providing aid such as money, goods, and military assistance. Total US trade is $4.3 trillion in
2005, includes exports and imports on goods and services as well as income and foreign
investments (USTA). For comparison, our gross domestic product (that is, the size of the
economy) was $12.3 trillion in 2006 (CBO).

People today are very concerned with immigration. Immigration became a major issue after the
9/11 attacks. Some people believe that we should tighten or suspend immigration in order to
keep terrorists out of the United States. Others believe that the threat has subsided and it was
unjust to prohibit immigrants from entering the country. More recently, some people believe that
immigrants, some of whom are illegal, are taking jobs away from Americans and have a criminal
mindset. Others believe that these immigrants are only working the jobs that other Americans
prefer not to do and are only trying to make an honest living in order to achieve the American
Dream. Nearly 39% of young Hispanic residents do not have a high school diploma which is
why they are taking the jobs no one wants because they have no education. 13.3% of 18-25
year olds are immigrants and among all immigrants ages 18-25 59% are Latino.

Health care is very expensive. Most people use medical insurance to help pay for doctor visits
and other care. Many Americans work for employers that do not provide health insurance.
Some people feel that employers should be required to provide medical benefits to their
employees. Other people are concerned that requiring all employers to provide health care to
their employees would be a burden on businesses. Still others believe that the government
should step in and provide nationalized health insurance. 14.8% of Americans are uninsured in
2006 and of those who are uninsured 9.3% are children under the age of 18.

Many people with disabilities or other chronic conditions that limit their ability to function need
personal care and assistance to complete activities of daily living. These support services may
be received in a nursing home or institution or in other settings such as individual’s homes.
People are concerned about the growing costs of this care and who pays for it. Some people
think the government should help those who don’t have the means to pay for it themselves
through Social Security. Others think that government should not play such a large role and
that people who need this care should find other ways to pay for it. The problem is that funding
for Social Security is set to become a problem somewhere around 2042-2052, when money
coming from workers will no longer cover promised payments to retirees and the Social Security
trust fund will have dried up by then.
The growing cost of education in the United States has caused concern among many people
today, young and old. Some people, especially lower to middle class citizens, believe that the
government should help pay for education. For the 2005-2006 academic years, annual prices
for undergraduate tuition, room, and board were estimated to be $10,454 at public colleges and
$26,889 at private colleges. Between 1995-1996 and 2005-2006 prices for undergraduate
tuition, room, and board at public colleges rose by 30% and prices at private colleges rose by
21% after adjustment for inflation and 50% of ALL 18-25 year olds have had no college
experience. People are also concerned about the progress of their children’s education. Some
believe that new national educational standards will help schools improve. Others believe that
the standards set for teachers by No Child Left Behind only cause schools to fall further behind.
This can cause schools to lose government funding which ultimately hurts the students and

Although the economy is now slowly rising people are still concerned about the condition of the
economy and the number of unemployed. Unemployment rate in July 2006 is 4.8%. Poverty
rate in 2005 was 12.7% of all Americans. In 2005 7.6 million people were unemployed in
America, of those people 17.9% were teenagers. Some people believe that cutting taxes would
help the economy the most. Others believe that these taxes keep a balance in the economy.
Some also believe that creating more jobs is the key to economic prosperity. Others believe the
key to strengthening our economy is by ending our reliance on foreign markets.

People are concerned about how much they must pay in taxes each year. There are a lot of
different kinds of taxes- income tax, sales tax, property tax, capital gains tax, etc. Taxes are
used to pay for government services. Some people believe that the tax rates are too high.
Some people believe that a complete reform of the tax system is necessary. Others believe that
we may need to increase taxes to pay for additional services. Our gap between the poorest and
richest people in the world is becoming vaster. In 1960, 20% of the world’s people in the richest
countries had 30 times the income of the poorest 20%. In 1997, the richest 20% had 74 times
as much income as the poorest 20%.

People are concerned about protecting the environment, global warming, and preserving our
natural resources. Global Warming is caused by “green house gases” that trap the sun’ heat
instead of letting it bounce back into space. The amount of CO2, the prime green house gas, in
the atmosphere has grown considerably since 19th century, when humans emitting vast
amounts of the gas into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels. Historically, our nation’s largest
energy source has been fossil fuels. The mining and use of fossil fuels may be harmful to the
environment. They warn instead that cutting back on carbon emissions, the prime cause of
warming according to environmentalists, will end up severely hurting the economy without
making a dent in the weather. Some also believe that we should increase production of oil and
gas in the United States. Estimates on temperature rise in the next century rage from 1 degree
to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. While it’s safe to say 10 degrees would make the earth an
uncomfortable place to be, scientists disagree on the impact of smaller changes in
temperature—some saying a couple of degrees could bring us longer growing seasons (good),
with most others warning that even a small change could cause severe weather changes, floods
and droughts (not so good).
                     STUDENT ACTIVITIES
We have created these activities for teachers and students to learn more about the process of
nominating the next President of the United States. Each of these activities can be
implemented in the classroom ideally before the actual Student Caucus takes place in order to
decide whom they will vote for in the Student Caucus.

As the caucuses approach, you should think about the type of individual you want to have
elected as President of the United States. Below are some “Presidential” characteristics. Use
these characteristics to create your ideal candidate. What kind of person would make a good
President? Compare your ideal candidate with the various candidates seeking the presidency.






   •   Spend some time researching the candidates who are running for President in 2008.
   •   How do they rate in each of these categories? Which candidate is the most like the
       President you create?

               •      Research the candidates’ positions on the issues.
               •      Pick 3 issues that you’re most concerned about and find out where each candidate
                      stands on those issues.

           *For more information about the issues and candidates go to our Issues page in the educational material.

                          War in             War on Health         Foreign Long Term
      Candidates           Iraq Immigration Terrorism Care Economy Policy    Care          Education   Taxes    Environment
Joe Biden (D)
Hilary Clinton (D)
Chris Dodd (D)
John Edwards (D)
Mike Gravel (D)
Dennis Kucinich (D)
Barack Obama (D)
Bill Richardson (D)
Sam Brownback (R)
John Cox (R)
Jim Gilmore (R)
Mike Huckabee (R)
Duncan Hunter (R)
John McCain (R)
Ron Paul (R)
Mitt Romney (R)
Tom Tancredo (R)
Tommy Thompson (R)

Almost everyday the newspaper reports the results of another public opinion poll. An opinion
poll is a scientific method of determining what people think about a person, an issue, or an
event. Experts are able to figure out what a great number of people think by asking questions to
small number of people. By using a random sample, polltakers can take the answers from this
small group and determine what the larger group thinks. Polls are very important in politics.
They can tell a politician how well he or she is doing in office, what people think are the most
important issues, and how the campaign is shaping up. Poll results can be presented in
different ways in the newspaper. Look at this sample poll.

   •   How old are you?
   •   Are you male or female?
   •   Do you consider yourself a Democrat, Republican, or other?
   •   In general, do you approve or disapprove of the job George W. Bush is doing as
       President?     Approve, Disapprove, Don’t Know
   •   What do you consider to be the most important issue facing the country today?
   •   If the election for President were held today, for whom would you vote?
            Joe Biden (D)
            Hilary Clinton (D)
            Chris Dodd (D)
            John Edwards (D)
            Mike Gravel (D)
            Dennis Kucinich (D)
            Barack Obama (D)
            Bill Richardson (D)
            Sam Brownback (R)
            John Cox (R)
            Jim Gilmore (R)
            Mike Huckabee (R)
            Duncan Hunter (R)
            John McCain (R)
            Ron Paul (R)
            Mitt Romney (R)
            Tom Tancredo (R)
            Tommy Thompson (R)

Now that you have made sense of the sample opinion poll, it’s time to take your own survey.
But before you begin to ask questions of other people, you need to ask some questions of
yourself about the design of your opinion poll.

1. Who do you want to survey?
2. Who is your target population?
3. Do you know what your fellow students think?
4. Will you survey your neighborhood, school, or classmates?
5. How many people do you need to survey?
6. Choose your sample population
7. If there are 100 boys and 100 girls in your school, your sample needs to be 50% boys and
   50% girls
8. If your school has more 9th graders than 11th graders, then your sample will need more 9th
9. Ask your teacher to help to choose a random sample.
10. What do you want to ask?
11. What is the topic of your poll?
12. What are you interested in finding out?
13. If your poll is about the Iowa Caucus or Presidential race, what things do you want to know
    about politics?
14. Structure your questions so people understand what you are asking and that you are not
    “helping” them with the answer.

After you’ve written you questions and know whom you plan to poll, it’s time to begin. For the
best results, your survey should be conducted face-to-face. You should be very polite and ask
the person if he/she has few minutes to answer some questions. If he/she says no, go to some
one else. Make sure to thank everyone who participates for giving you his/her opinion.

Once you have done you surveys, tabulate the results, organize the data and report your
results. How does your sample compare with the national opinion? Choose a format (line
graph, pie chart, or bar graph) and use it to present your information.

You can take a poll of your friends at school and in your classroom. Talk about the issues with
your parents and ask them what they think. Try to predict the outcome of your Student

Voters often wear campaign buttons and put stickers on their cars to show their support for
particular candidates. What campaigns slogans or catchy phrases have the current candidates

Design a campaign button and bumper sticker for the candidate of your choice.
What message are you trying to send?


Candidates use television and radio to take their message to the public. Today, candidates are
even using the Internet to reach the public over the information superhighway. Candidates often
spend a great amount of time and money to make television ads with the right “feel”.
Candidates know that television influences how voters feel. By combining the audio (what you
hear) and the video (what you see), candidates can create certain emotions.

Watch or listen to a campaign ad and ask yourself these questions:

Listen to tone of voice
Does the candidate speak?

What kind of music is used?
How does the music influence the ad?
What kind of sounds do you hear in the background?
Why are these sounds important?

How does this ad make you feel?
Do you feel good or bad about the candidate?
Would you be more willing to vote for the candidate as a result of this ad?
How do you think this ad was able to make you feel the way you did?

Where does the ad take place: inside, outside, at work, or play?

What props are used in the background: flags, books, etc?
What do each of these mean?

How are the people dressed: formally, informally?

What colors are being used?
How do these influence the mood of the ad?

What facial expressions are used: laughing, crying, and grinning?

Camera Angles
How does the camera show the scene?
Are there close-ups, wide shots, shots from above or below?

What action is taking place?
Is there more than one person?
What are the people doing?
How does this relate to what is being said?

Now is your chance to design your own campaign ad. Separate into small groups to plan a
television ad. Use this information as a guide for building your campaign ad. Brainstorm your
ideas with others.
               2008 Presidential Candidate Campaign Contact Information

DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES                   John Cox-R
                                        815 Office Park Road
Joe Biden-D                             West Des Moines, IA 50265
8033 University Ave, Suite C            www.cox2008.com
Clive, IA 50325
www.joebiden.com                        Jim Gilmore-R
                                        PO Box 19128
Hilary Clinton-D                        Alexandria, VA 22320
715 E 2nd St                            www.gilmoreforpresident.com
Des Moines, IA 50309
www.hilaryclinton.com                   Rudy Giuliani-R
                                        295 Greenwich St, Suite 371
Chris Dodd-D                            New York City, New York 10007
1115 Grand Ave                          www.joinrudy2008.com
Des Moines, IA 50309
www.chrisdodd.com                       Mike Huckabee-R
                                        PO Box 2008
John Edwards-D                          Little Rock, AR 72203
712 E 2nd St                            www.expolorehuckabee.com
Des Moines, IA 50309
www.johnedwards.com                     Duncan Hunter-R
                                        9340 Fuerte Dr, Suite 302
Mike Gravel-D                           La Mesa, CA 91941
PO Box 948                              www.gohunter08.com
Arlington, VA 22216
www.mikegravel.us                       John McCain-R
                                        2335 70th St
Dennis Kucinich-D                       Urbandale, IA 50322
PO Box 110145                           www.johnmccain.com
Cleveland, OH 44111
www.kucinich.us                         Ron Paul-R
                                        850 N Randolph St, Suite 122
Barack Obama-D                          Arlington, VA 22203
323 E Locust                            www.house.gov/paul
Des Moines, IA 50309
www.barackobama.com                     Mitt Romney-R
                                        3590 109th St
Bill Richardson-D                       Urbandale, IA 50323
601 SW 9th St, Suite K                  www.mittromney.com
Des Moines, IA 50309
www.richardsonforpresident.com          Tom Tancredo-R
                                        271 Welch Ave, Suite 102
REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES                   Ames, IA 50014
Sam Brownback-R
2700 University Ave, Suite 206          Fred Thompson-R
West Des Moines, IA 50266               www.fred08.com
                                        (website not affiliated with the candidate)