Begin by reviewing the presentation on “Becoming an Informed Voter.” If you have a newly elected representative who has not yet received interest group ratings, use the interest group ratings of a representative from a neighboring district. You may choose which senator to study; however, if one senator is newly elected and does not have interest group ratings, study the other one.
After reviewing the presentation, the first part will deal with your congressional district and congressman; the second part will deal with your state and senator. As explained in the presentation, interest group scores may be found at Vote Smart. They may also be found in the interest group websites or other cites which compile voting data. A helpful source to find information for this paper is The Almanac of American Politics by Richard E. Cohen and James A. Barnes.
Your paper will address the following questions:
What is the political history of your district and state for the past 25 years?
How has your congressional district and state voted in presidential and congressional elections for the past 25 years?
Does your district or state lean Republican or Democrat?
Are the political parties relatively even, or does one party dominate the elections?
Does your district and state have a long tradition of supporting one party, or has it been changing in recent years? Why?
How did your representative and senator come to power?
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