Congressional Race Paper

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You will be assigned either a U.S. Senate or U.S. House race to research and complete the following:

MLA, 10-11 pages, 12-point type, Times New Roman font, and double-spaced. Grammar, spelling, and awkward sentences will all cause point deductions. So, edit! Read your paper out loud. Often the mistakes are found this way and can then be corrected.

YOUR RACE : U.S. Senate Race: West Virginia: Shelley Moore Capito (R) Incumbent vs. Paula Swearengin (D). 

You can find this information below from their official campaign websites and bios at www.realclearpolitics.com (Links to an external site.).

Info about Candidates

Bios:  In the introduction of your paper, provide an overview of your two (or three) candidates. You must write this information in your own words- not a regurgitation of info on their websites. What are their backgrounds: family, occupation, gender, race/ethnicity? What are their political party affiliations and political career history? Is one of the candidates an incumbent?

Issues: Pick three-issue priorities to discuss for each candidate. What is their position on these issues and why?

Media: What does their media campaign consist of- including press releases, television advertising, social media, etc.

Fundraising: How much money have the candidates raised and spent? Check out www.opensecrets.org/races (Links to an external site.).

State and Race Dynamics

About the race: What is the ranking of this race in terms of competitiveness- Republican, Democrat, or toss-up? Is this an incumbent or open seat race? Did the candidates face a primary election? If so, how many other candidates were in the race and what was the winning percentage of the primary winner?

Stories on the campaign trail: Find the major newspaper(s) in the state or district you are studying and find stories about the race, i.e. a scandal, a faux pas, anything of particular interest. What endorsements did they garner form interest groups, newspapers, others? What are the main issues facing the state from media reporting, candidates themselves, and the debate questions?

Debate: How did each candidate perform in the debate(s)? Who do you think won the debate(s) and why? You can find debates on C-Span.org.

Horserace: How are the candidates polling? What are the numbers? Who is up, who is down? You can find this at www.realclearpolitics.com (Links to an external site.). You must follow this from October 1st through Election Day, November 3rd.

Analysis

Who won the general election race? By what winning percentage?

Put on your political scientist hat. Why did you think that candidate won?

Cite all websites and any other outside information you use for the paper!!! You must cite a minimum of ten different sources. Refer to the website address within the body of the paper and provide full citations at the end of the paper. I should be able to click on the website that takes me directly to that information. 

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