Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.

FOR THE WEEK OF NOV. 01, 2010

Election outcomes this week will shape national, state and local policies

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Look for quotes from young voters (or older ones) about candidates, political ads or any election topic.
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Besides making decisions with national impact, some voters also will fill school board seats, elect council members and consider ballot proposals. Find coverage of a purely local election and talk about how it affects your area.
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Opinion surveys and Election Day "exit polls" are part of political reports. List advantages and drawbacks of these articles.

President Obama campaigned in four states this past weekend, though he's not on any ballot Tuesday -- not directly, that is. He spoke alongside Democratic congressional candidates in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Ohio, trying to prevent big gains in House and Senate seats by Republicans. Voters worried about unemployment, slow economic growth, health reform and federal help for banks and Wall Street brokers are expected to take their frustrations out on Democratic lawmakers on Election Day.

This week's vote is called a midterm election because it comes halfway into the historic four-year term Obama won in 2008 as ours first African American president. It's an example of a constitutional check and balance on the power of the White House. So the results will show, at least in part, how voters feel the president and fellow Democrats on Capitol Hill are doing.
The political climate is shaped by a national unemployment rate at or above 9.5 percent for the last 14 months, criticism of the White House's domestic agenda and an anti-Washington sentiment reflected in the Tea Party movement, which emerged last year as a local political force. Republican candidates embracing Tea Party principles think government spending, taxation and the deficit are too high. They want a smaller, less powerful government and more power to individuals.

With all 435 House seats and 37 of the 100 Senate seats being filled, it's possible for Republicans to regain a majority in the House and maybe even in the Senate, as discussed in the video below. That could block Obama from winning passage of policy initiatives during the last two years of his term.
Voters also will elect 37 governors Tuesday, state legislators in 46 states and will consider ballot questions in 37 states.

President says: "We can spend the next two years arguing with one another, trapped in stale debates, mired in gridlock, unable to make progress. . . . Or we can do what the American people are demanding that we do. We can move forward."

Republican leader says: "We've tried it President Obama's way. We've tried it Washington's way. It hasn't worked. It's time to put the people back in charge." -- Congressman John Boehner, R-Ohio, next Speaker of the House if his party gains majority

Journalist predicts: "The reason that Democrats are likely to hold the Senate but not the House . . . is because only one-third of the Senate is up for re-election every year. If the whole Senate were up for re-election, Democrats would lose it and lose it badly." -- Nate Silver, New York Times politics blogger

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2014
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Complete archive