United States Elections Project
   
 

GOVT311: Public Opinion and Electoral Behavior

Available on this page

  • Class handouts 
  • On-Line class readings
  • Class assignments
  • Dr. McDonald contact Information

Class Materials

On-Line Class Readings

Readings with "optional" are recommended, all other readings are required.

Week 1

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 9

Week 12

Week 13

Week 14

Week 15

Other Useful Links

Paper Assignment #1 (Due Nov. 14)

To encourage pratical applictions of what you have learned in class, you are required to perform an election-related civic activity. This could be volunteering for a campaign, being a poll worker, or attending a political event (a list on-campus events and . You must confirm with the instructor that your activity of choice will count. Your paper assignment is to write a short 2-3 page paper describing your activity and how some element of the activity relates to what you have learned in class. To facilitate your engagement in a campaign event, class will not be held on the Tuesday, Nov. 6 (Election Day).

Your paper should be 2-3 pages long, double spaced, 12 pt. Times Roman font, with normal margins. You may use any citation style you wish as long as it is consistent and allows the reader to confirm your sources.

Paper Assignment #2 (Due Dec. 5)

In 2009, Virginian Republicans enjoyed a clean sweep of the three statewide elected offices - Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General. Just four years later fortunes were reversed in 2013 as the Democrats won all three offices. Focusing on the governor's election, explain this dramatic turn of events. How did Republicans win in 2009? How did Democrats win in 2013? What changed between these two elections?

You may find these links of use as you answer this question:

Keep in mind what you learned about the margin of error if you analyze the exit polls, as well as other class materials.

Your paper should be 2-3 pages of text long, double spaced, 12 pt. Times Roman font, with normal margins. You may use any citation style you wish as long as it is consistent and allows the reader to confirm your sources. Tables or other figures and references do not count towards the page limit.

Professor McDonald Contact Info

Office Hours for Fall 2012: T/TH 1-2:30pm or by appointment.
Office: Robinson A 234
Phone: 703-993-4191
email: mmcdon@gmu.edu