Assignments & Exams

Introduction to Your Congressional District

Come to class 2 prepared to give a 3-to-5 minute political introduction to your home congressional district and your current member of Congress. The presentation should include information about the following items:

  • The salient political characteristics of the district

    • Geographic location
    • Location of large cities and economic regions
    • Ethnic or other demographic blocs that are politically relevant
    • Districting history (especially, what is the difference between the current and the new congressional district?)
    • What political, economic, or social trends might change the incumbent’s chances in the future?
  • The salient political background of the incumbent

    • When was she / he first elected and what was her or his political background?
    • How electorally secure is the incumbent?
    • Where does the incumbent’s primary political support come from?
    • Who did the incumbent run against in 2014, how competitive was the election, and what issues (if any) formed the core of the campaign?
  • The institutional activity of the incumbent

    • What committee(s) and / or leadership positions does the incumbent hold?
    • What issues does the incumbent focus on in Congress?
    • How visible nationally is the incumbent in national policy issues?
  • The political future of the district

The best sources of information for this assignment can be found in the current editions of the Almanac of American Politics and Politics in America.

Course Info

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