Essay #3 is Due 11/20/20 by 11:59 PM – Submit here

Essay #3 – Congressional Elections and Public Opinion

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This essay will test your understanding of Congressional Elections as well as Political Parties & Public Opinion (polling). You will be picking a race for U.S. House or U.S. Senate that is considered competitive for this 2020 cycle. This means any House district will do, while only some Senate seats are up for election. A Key rule here is that you cannot write about any Florida Races, because I will use an example of a Florida race when I explain the prompt in a PPT that will be posted on Blackboard.

1. What happened last time, and set the stage for this year’s election If you write about a House race, this means that the last election was in 2018. If you write about a Senate race then the last election was in 2014, either way you would be mentioning which candidate and therefore party won the last election. Was it a close race, was it a landslide? That being said, is there an incumbent running for re-election, or is the seat wide open? Has one party been in control of the seat for a long time, or has the seat alternated between the two parties recently? Give all the details and party dynamics since it sets up what to expect in this year’s race.

2. Who are the candidates, and how are they campaigning online? If there’s an incumbent, check out their social media pages to see how they are campaigning thus far, highlighting how they use their digital and social media presence to reach voters/constituents. Provide some of their background information too, what laws have they voted for that they like to campaign on, what challenges or controversies do they have to push back on? They should have campaign websites or official government sites with such info. Is there a declared challenger? There should be by now, and if so make sure to give a short background on them and highlight their online presence as well.

3. How do/did the polls look in the weeks/days before the election, what’s the media saying thus far? Find at least one example of any public opinion poll. Could be one on the should be an actual head to head match-up poll between the incumbent and the leading challenger. You could also include any “approval” ratings for incumbents. Make sure to describe the poll and what you think it says about the race as we get closer to November. Also find one example of a news article that talks about the race and in particular asserts any advantage or disadvantage that the incumbent or challenger has, as in something that you can point to and suggest the media is publishing that might influence how voters view one (or both) of the candidates.

4. Report and Analyze the result. Using any other polling data, results info and information about the Presidential election and possible “coattails”, current events (there’s obviously a big one to consider), and any info out there, back up your opinion as to why the winner prevailed.

Again this needs to be 4-5 pages with at least 4 sources. 4-5 pages and at least 4 sources in APA style with in-text citations

Essay #3 is due on Friday, November 20th by 11:59 PM on Blackboard.

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