the u.s. in 2008: the election and the economy i. demographic data ii. u.s. political process iii....

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  • The U.S. in 2008: The Election and the Economy

    I. Demographic data

    II. U.S. political process

    III. 2008 election

    IV. State of U.S. economy

  • Population Density by State

  • Growth in Minority Population

    SOURCE: Census Bureau | GRAPHIC: The Washington Post - May 10, 2006

  • Distribution of African Americans

  • Distribution of Asian Americans

  • The U.S. Electoral CycleEvery TWO years congressional elections all members of the House of Representatives (2 year terms) 1/3 of the members of the Senate (6 year terms) November of even numbered years, take office January of odd numbered years

    Every FOUR years congressional and presidential elections November of years divisible by 4, take office January of odd numbered years presidents can only serve 2 terms

    Bush (R) defeated Kerry (D) Republicans keep control of both Houses of Congress

    Democrats win majority in both House of Representatives and Senate

    John McCain (R) vs. Obama or Clinton (D) + all members of House of Representative + 33 members of Senate

    all members of House of Representative + 33 members of Senate

  • Control of Congress before 2006 ElectionControl of Congress after 2006 Election



  • The Presidential Selection Process1. 50 State primaries or caucusesheld between January and June, each state can choose its own timeeach party has its own separate primary or caucus2 purposesto select delegates to go to the national convention to nominate the presidentto select party candidates for congressional, state, and local electionsprimary is a vote much like a regular election votecaucus is a set of public meetings where people declare their preferences 20% of Democratic delegates are superdelegates chosen by state parties2. National conventionIn July the Democratic delegates meet at their national conventionRepublicans meet in AugustJohn McCain has already won a majority of Republican delegatesBarack Obama has a small lead over Hillary Clinton, but does not have a majority3. General Election + Electoral CollegeIn the first week of November the national vote is heldthe vote that counts is the vote of states in the electoral college states vote as a bloc (win Florida by one vote and you win all 54 Florida votes)so in rare cases the winner of the popular vote does not win the electoral collegein 2000 Al Gore won more votes, but George Bush won the electoral college and became president

  • Electoral College Results 2004 Size of State Adjusted for Size of Population

  • Three party eras

    The U.S. party system usually shows historical continuities

    I. Democratic Dominance 1933-1968Democratic presidents for 28 of 36 yearsDemocrats controlled Congress for 32 of 36 years

    II. Divided Government: Split Level 1969-1994Republican Presidents for 20 of 26 yearsBut Democrats controlled the House of Representatives all 26 yearsDemocrats controlled the Senate 20 of 26 years

    III. The New Republican Majority in Congress 1995-2006Democrat Clinton faced Republican majorities in Congress his last 6 yearsRepublican Bush had Republican majorities in the House for 6 years and the Senate for four yearsDemocrats won control of both houses of Congress in 2006

  • Themes from Candidate or Party Websites

  • Voters Identification of Most Important Issues to ThemThinking ahead to the November presidential election, what is the single most important issue in your choice for president?

    2/1/08 1/12/08 12/9/07 11/1/07 9/7/07Economy/Jobs 39 29 24 14 11Iraq/War in Iraq 19 20 23 29 35Health care 8 10 10 13 13Terrorism/Natl security 5 4 9 5 6Ethics/Corruption in govt 4 5 4 4 6Immigration 4 4 5 5 5

  • Public Opinion on which party can do a better job on issuesWhich political party, the (Democrats) or the (Republicans), do you trust to do a better job handling ______? Democrats Republicans The economy 52 (44) 33 (45) war in Iraq 48 (30) 34 (56) Health care 56 (47) 29 (37)War on terrorism 44 (25) 37 (61)Immigration 40 (NA) 37 (NA) budget deficit 52 (38) 31 (46) Taxes 48 (46) 40 (44)

    Numbers in parenthesis = scores in 2002

    Numbers do not add up to 100% because of answers like both parties, neither party, orno opinion.Numbers in xxx are numbers taken during the first Bush administration.

  • U.S Economic Problemsadapted from

  • U.S. Debt Crisis

    1. The average U.S. household owes more debt than it owns in assets

    2. In 1945, half of all the debt in the world was owed to the U.S. government, U.S. corporations, and individuals

    3. Today, half of all the debt in the world is owed by the U.S. government, U.S. corporations, and individuals

  • Number of Homes in foreclosure process

    Third Quarter 2006223,233First Quarter 2007333,731Third Quarter 2007446,726

    1% of all American homes were in foreclosure process in 2007up from .6% in 2006In the U.S. the home ownership rate is approximately 2 out of 3 households

    Percentage of Americans without Health Insurance

  • More U.S. EconomicIndicators

  • Euro exchange rate against the Dollar

  • Yen exchange rate against the Dollar