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CNN Student News: Talking Democracy Answers

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(CNN Student News) -- Each month in 2008, CNN Student News will be "Talking Democracy" by introducing an election-related topic on the show and online. From caucuses to conventions and primaries to polls, CNN Student News will be breaking down these election-year concepts for students and teachers. Use this page to check your results after answering questions about the presidential election process.

CNN Student News: Talking Democracy Answers

Electoral College

The Electoral College currently includes how many members?
Answer: 538

How is the number of electoral votes determined for each state?
Answer: It equals the number of U.S. senators from the state (2), plus the number of its members in the U.S. House of Representatives

True or false? The Electoral College selects the president on Election Day.
Answer: False

Which U.S. state holds the most electoral votes?
Answer: California

If no one candidate receives a majority of electoral votes, what body selects the U.S. president?
Answer: The U.S. House of Representatives

What's at stake?

How long is one term in the U.S House of Representatives?
Answer: 2 years

True or false? The congressional delegate from Washington, D.C. is a voting member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Answer: False

How many voting members does the U.S. House of Representatives have?
Answer: 435

How many seats in the U.S. Senate are currently held by Independents?
Answer: 2

Presidential debates

Who were the first general election opponents to meet in a presidential debate?
Answer: John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon

In what year were the first general election presidential debates held?
Answer: 1960

Third-party candidates are required to be polling at what percent in order to participate in a presidential debate?
Answer: 15%

What group produces the general election presidential debates?
Answer: Commission on Presidential Debates

How many general election presidential debates will be held in 2008?
Answer: Three

National political conventions

What is the primary purpose of a political party's national convention?
Answer: To nominate candidates for president and vice president

Who do voters from each state and territory select to represent them at a political party's national convention?
Answer: Delegates

Where was the first national political convention held?
Answer: Baltimore, Maryland

Who was the youngest presidential nominee in U.S. history?
Answer: William Jennings Bryan

Who was the first woman nominated on a major party's national ticket?
Answer: Geraldine Ferraro

Political issues

Which controversial issue did the U.S. Supreme Court tackle in its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision?
Answer: Abortion

Which law, passed by Congress in 2002, requires schools to meet uniform test standards to qualify for federal aid?
Answer: No Child Left Behind Act

The issue of gun control centers around which amendment to the U.S. Constitution?
Answer: The Second Amendment

What percent of the U.S. population has no health insurance coverage?
Answer: 15%

What kind of income tax system does the United States use, wherein individuals with higher incomes pay proportionally higher taxes?
Answer: Progressive system

The controversy over human stem cell research surrounds the source of the stem cells, which is what?
Answer: Human embryos

Which federal act created a national system that provides benefits for the elderly, the disabled and dependents?
Answer: Social Security Act


Who said, "If democracy is supposed to be based on the will of the people, then somebody should go out and find out what that will is"?
Answer: Dr. George Gallup

Which Republican nominee did the Literary Digest incorrectly predict would defeat President Franklin Roosevelt in 1936?
Answer: Alf Landon

In order for a survey to provide an accurate snapshot of American opinion, how many people must be randomly chosen?
Answer: 1,000

What determines a poll's margin of error?
Answer: Sample size

What is the margin of error when 1,000 Americans are surveyed?
Answer: 3%

Campaign finance

Which U.S. president signed the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act into law?
Answer: George W. Bush.

Which U.S. president first called for legislation restricting corporate contributions for political purposes?
Answer: Theodore Roosevelt.

True or false: Labor unions can give money directly to a political candidate.
Answer: False.

What body is in charge of enforcing U.S. campaign finance laws?
Answer: Federal Election Commission (FEC).

What is the maximum amount that an individual donor can contribute to a candidate's campaign during the primaries this year?
Answer: $2,300.

Political parties

What is currently the third largest American political party?
Answer: Libertarian party.

Which modern U.S. political party was originally known as the Democratic-Republican party?
Answer: Democratic party.

What is the nickname of the Republican party?
Answer: Grand Old Party, or GOP.

True or false: The Whig party nominated George Washington for U.S. president.
Answer: False.

Thomas Jefferson was elected to the U.S. presidency as a member of what political party?
Answer: Democratic-Republican party.

Who was the first member of the Republican party to be elected U.S. president?
Answer: Abraham Lincoln.

Name one of the four U.S. presidents who were members of the Whig party.
Answer: William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor or Millard Fillmore.

What political party nominated Ralph Nader for president in 2000?
Answer: The Green Party.

Which state awards the most electoral votes in a presidential election?
Answer: California.

The right to vote

Which amendment to the U.S. Constitution effectively granted suffrage to African-American adult males?
Answer: The 15th Amendment.

In what year did women gain suffrage in the United States?
Answer: 1920.

Which law addressed the need for physical access to the ballot box for all Americans?
Answer: Americans with Disabilities Act.

During which war was the U.S. voting age set at 18?
Answer: Vietnam War.

Define suffrage.
Answer: The right to vote.

True or False? According to the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, any child born on U.S. soil is a U.S. citizen.
Answer: True.

Primaries and caucuses

Super Tuesday took place in which month in 2008?
Answer: March.

In the 1976 Democratic Iowa caucuses, "uncommitted" got the most votes. Who placed second?
Answer: Jimmy Carter.

Who selects the date of a state's presidential primary: the delegates, the political parties, the state legislature, or the U.S. Congress?
Answer: The state legislature.

This former president declared himself the "comeback kid" even though he lost the 1992 New Hampshire primary.
Answer: Bill Clinton.

A primary where any registered voter can vote in either party's primary is known as a(n) ________ primary.
Answer: Open.

What state traditionally holds the nation's first presidential primary contests?
Answer: New Hampshire.

Democrats and Republicans have different rules for selecting delegates. Which party has superdelegates?
Answer: Democrats.

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