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Running Against the Odds
Unformatted Document Text:  1 Problem Based Learning: Campaign Process Memo To: Congressional Campaign Staff From: Congressman/woman _________________________________________________________________ Date: December 3, 2007 Re: Re-election Campaign If you haven’t caught the news this morning, we have an official challenger for our next re-election. As I cautioned last month, our next opponent may have an advantage from the outset due to fact that voters in our district during the past two presidential elections voted for the opposing party’s presidential candidate. (See the Cook Partisan Voting Index in the Almanac of American Politics) This will be an uphill battle so we need to start preparing now. I’ve listed some tasks that we need to take care of within the next week. 1. Opposition research needs to be done. What are my opponent’s strengths and weaknesses? (Any statements or action in the public domain can be used. You can’t make-up any information.) 2. Internal self-evaluation: What are my strengths and weaknesses? 3. Three ads need to be produced and submitted for my approval. These ads won’t go into production until I give the okay, so submit a detailed storyboard/PowerPoint of each ad. (The storyboard template can be found on the Blackboard site in the Course Materials folder.) a. Positive Ad b. Negative Ad c. Contrast or Inoculation Ad. (Complete a storyboard for each of your 30 second advertisements and a short defense of your ideas. Did you focus on images or issues? Why? When defending your choices, be sure to answer to critics who will argue that your ad might have certain negative consequences on individuals or even society.) 4. What will be our overall campaign strategy? What will we emphasize more? Our opponent is: _____________________________________________________________________________ (Note: For this PBL assume that the opponent has lived in the district as long as your congressman/woman. You cannot use the carpetbagger label on the opponent.) Besides the three ads, your team will need to produce a memo which encapsulates Items 1, 2 and 4. Possible Sources: • Almanac of American Politics: At the Almanac of American Politics site, click on “Leadership” for profiles of current Congressional leaders. Specific members of Congress can be found by typing their name in the search box. Link and login directions can be found in External Links, Campaign Process folder. • Lexis-Nexus (can be accessed through the JMHS Media Center website) • www.house.gov

Authors: Franz, Frank.
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1
Problem Based Learning: Campaign Process
Memo
To: Congressional
Campaign
Staff
From: Congressman/woman
_________________________________________________________________
Date:
December 3, 2007
Re: Re-election
Campaign
If you haven’t caught the news this morning, we have an official challenger for our next re-election. As I cautioned last
month, our next opponent may have an advantage from the outset due to fact that voters in our district during the past two
presidential elections voted for the opposing party’s presidential candidate. (See the Cook Partisan Voting Index in the
Almanac of American Politics) This will be an uphill battle so we need to start preparing now. I’ve listed some tasks that
we need to take care of within the next week.
1. Opposition research needs to be done. What are my opponent’s strengths and weaknesses? (Any statements or action
in the public domain can be used. You can’t make-up any information.)
2. Internal self-evaluation: What are my strengths and weaknesses?
3. Three ads need to be produced and submitted for my approval. These ads won’t go into production until I give the
okay, so submit a detailed storyboard/PowerPoint of each ad. (The storyboard template can be found on the
Blackboard site in the Course Materials folder.)
a. Positive Ad
b. Negative Ad
c. Contrast or Inoculation Ad.
(Complete a storyboard for each of your 30 second advertisements and a short defense of your ideas. Did you focus on
images or issues? Why? When defending your choices, be sure to answer to critics who will argue that your ad might
have certain negative consequences on individuals or even society.)
4. What will be our overall campaign strategy? What will we emphasize more?
Our opponent is: _____________________________________________________________________________
(Note: For this PBL assume that the opponent has lived in the district as long as your congressman/woman. You cannot use
the carpetbagger label on the opponent.)
Besides the three ads, your team will need to produce a memo which encapsulates Items 1, 2 and 4.
Possible Sources:
• Almanac of American Politics: At the Almanac of American Politics site, click on “Leadership” for profiles of
current Congressional leaders. Specific members of Congress can be found by typing their name in the search
box. Link and login directions can be found in External Links, Campaign Process folder.
• Lexis-Nexus (can be accessed through the JMHS Media Center website)
• www.house.gov


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