his semester, Republicans and Democrats are choosing their nominees for the November election for President of the United States.
Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders…..
Believe it or not, there are a lot of things on the ballot other than President.
Next week, Texas Republican and Democratic voters will choose nominees to represent their parties in November races for every congressional seat, a third of the U.S. Senate, and a long list of state and county offices. If the real election isn’t until November, why are the party primaries so important?
Because most elections are held in districts or precincts, which are drawn by politicians, most of them are predetermined to be represented by one of the two parties. In an overwhelmingly Democratic district, the real choice is made by voters in the Democratic Primary.
Some districts, such as U.S. House District 7, are overwhelmingly Republican. Drawn to include western parts of Houston, the Republican nominee chosen this semester will almost be guaranteed an election victory in November.
First elected in 2000, Congressman John Culberson has represented District 7 for the past 15 years. Though widely regarded as one of the most conservative members of Congress, Culberson faces opposition from Republicans who say he isn’t conservative enough.
James Lloyd is an energy lawyer and former member of President George W. Bush’s national security staff with an impressive resume. Maria Espinoza is an activist mostly involved with opposition to illegal immigration.
Your assignment: You’re going to become a phantom campaign manager. Choose one of these three candidates and design a campaign to win the election. Write this assignment as a 2 – 5 page memo (but with cited sources) from you, the campaign manager, to your candidate. Outline the race for them, how much money you think they need to raise, how you will raise it for them, what you propose to spend it on, what issues they should talk about, how you want to deliver their message, etc.
Some things to keep in mind:
Cong. Culberson is an incumbent seeking reelection. Read in your text about the advantages of incumbency.
Mr. Lloyd and Ms. Espinoza are challengers. They may not have access to as much money, but challengers have certain advantages. Cong. Culberson has a 15-year record in Congress to criticize. They don’t. Congress, as an institution, isn’t well liked.
Some people who live in the district can’t vote because they’re under 18 years old, or they’re not U.S. citizens.
Not all voters are Republicans, and even those who consider themselves Republicans don’t vote in primary elections. How do you identify your likely voters?
What sort of people live in your candidate’s district. What motivates them?
What is your candidate’s background and experience? What will be his or her key issues?
How much money will you need? How will you raise it? How will you spend it?
This can be a challenging assignment, but it can also be a lot of fun. Keep in mind that campaigning is more art than science, and that there are few absolutely right or wrong answers. If I asked five campaign professionals to do this assignment for the same candidate, I would probably get five totally different campaign strategies (and they’d charge me a lot of money).
Submit in Word. Cite your sources.
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