2020 Election

PL 101: Introduction to American Politics

Making Sense of the 2020 Election

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2020 Election
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At the time of this writing, a winner of the 2020 election has yet to be declared but it’s critical to monitor the results. As it stands, President Trump had a strong showing in the South but Biden was able to “flip” critical battleground states including Michigan, Wisconsin, and Arizona. As we continue to watch the results come in, what are the most important factors that explain the outcome of the election? Things you might consider (though are not limited to) may include each candidate’s:

Campaign strategy – what were the goals of the campaign? Who did the candidates target?
Messaging – what was the overall narrative or message the candidate tried to convey? Did the message resonate with voters? Why or why not?
Personality – what individual characteristics may have helped or hurt the candidates?
Stance on political issues – what issues did the candidates talk about? Were they issues Americans cared about? Did they offer solutions to today’s most pressing problems?
Methods of voting – states including New York adapted various rules and regulations around early voting and absentee ballot voting my mail. To what extent, if any, did these rules and regulations have an effect on voter turnout? Did COVID-19 more broadly have an effect?
Voter suppression – to what extent, if any, do you think voter suppression played a role?

In developing your post-election analysis, you must consult a minimum of three newspapers articles from at least one of the following sources:

The New York Times (Left Leaning)
USA Today (Center)
National Review (Right Leaning)

Please note any combination of sources is fine so long as you have a minimum of three articles. For example, you may choose one article from each source or you can choose three articles from a single source. Whatever you decide is fine so long as you have a minimum of three newspaper articles.

Due Date: Sunday, November 22 at 11:59 p.m.



Length: The paper is 2-3 pages in length.
Source Requirement: a minimum of three articles from either the New York Times, USA Today, or the National Review
In-text citation: Provide in-text citations when using direct quotes or paraphrases.
Bibliography: Any readings used to develop your ideas and arguments should be included in a bibliography at the end of the paper. For convenience, I have created a full list of citations for the readings we have read so you can easily add them to your bibliography. You are not required to do any outside research for this exam, however, if you use any outside sources (books, news articles, online encyclopedias, etc.) they must be included in the bibliography. Remember, failure to give credit to the ideas and writings of others is considered plagiarism and will be treated as a violation of John Jay’s Academic Integrity Policy.

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