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Presidential Election 2004

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  1. -11-04-04 Discussion of Campaigns (MSNBC News - Hardblogger)
      Provides comments on how the campaigns were run. 11-04

Lesson Plans
  1. Just Vote (
      Provides a curriculum to encourage students to participate in the political process.10-04

  2. Perfect President (PBS - Teacher Source)
      Provides a lesson for students to help them become clearer about qualifications for president of the United States. 2-01

  3. The Choice 2004 Lesson Plans and Ideas (PBS Frontline)
      Provides questions and exploration of the presidency and the 2004 election. 10-04

  1. Bush and Kerry Campaign Ads (
      Provides key ads from each candidate. 6-04

  2. Campaign Trail - Kerry vs. Bush (Denver Post)
      Play a game to see if you can beat the other candidate for president. 10-04

  3. Compare Your Positions With Presidential Candidates for 2004 (
      Allows you to compare your positions on issues with candidates for president. 2-04

  4. Compare Your Positions With Presidential Candidates for 2004 (
      "The candidates' positions have been determined first by the candidate's actions, then their public votes, followed by their public statements, and whenever possible, special interest group rankings of the candidate have been factored in."

      "The results page links to information about the candidates including links to their websites, public statements and news reports. We also provide links to the special interest groups mentioned on this page." 10-03

  5. Political Position - Assess Your Political Position (
      Provides questions to position you on a political graph, ranging from "left wing" to "right wing" and "authoritarian" to "libertarian." Also positions prominent British politicians on the chart. 7-01

  1. Presidential Campaign Ads (EASE History)
      Provides ads by issue, time, candidate, and more. 10-04

  1. -11-03-04 Bush Vows Unity (ABC News)
      "Echoing the vow of his defeated opponent, a triumphant President Bush promised today to unite a divided nation after becoming the first Republican to be re-elected to the White House since Ronald Reagan." 11-04

  2. -11-03-04 Latest Vote By County (USA Today)
      "Colored counties are those where a candidate leads by at least five points with 100% of precincts counted. Click the 2000 tab to compare with the last presidential election." 10-04

  3. -11-03-04 Poll: New Voters Made Big Difference (CBS News)
      "In states where the advantage for Kerry among new voters was less than 15 points, Bush won the state. In states where the advantage for Kerry among new voters was greater than 15 points, Bush lost the state." 11-04

  4. -11-03-04 Poll: Ohio Reflects Divisions Across the Nation (ABC News)
      "If the vote in Ohio had been about the economy, John Kerry would likely be president-elect. If it were about terrorism, President Bush might have had an easier time. Instead it was about both, and more — and that made it a very long night." 11-04

  5. -11-03-04 Poll: Voters Divided Over Religion (BBC News)
      "Religion - rather than class, ethnic origin or education - has become the key determinant of voting in the 2004 presidential race, according to an exit poll conducted by the Associated Press news agency."

      "And moral issues were more important for voters than Iraq, the war on terrorism, or the economy."

      "According to the exit poll, 22% of the electorate said 'moral values' was the issue that mattered most in how they voted - compared to 20% who cited the economy, 19% who cited terrorism, and just 15% who said Iraq was the key issue." 11-04

  6. -11-04-04 Times: Looters Took Explosives with Troops Watching (CBS News)
      "Explosives were looted from the Al-Qaqaa ammunitions site in Iraq while outnumbered U.S. soldiers assigned to guard the materials watched helplessly, soldiers told the Los Angeles Times."

      "Iraqi officials told the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency last month that about 380 tons of high-grade explosives, a type powerful enough to detonate a nuclear weapon, had been taken from the Al-Qaqaa facility."

      "Soldiers who belong to two different units described how Iraqis snatched explosives from unsecured bunkers and drove off with them in pickup trucks."

      "The eyewitness accounts reported by the Times are the first provided by U.S. soldiers and bolster claims that the U.S. military had failed to safeguard the powerful explosives, the newspaper said"

      "The soldiers who spoke to the Times asked to remain unidentified, saying they feared retaliation from the Pentagon." 11-04

  7. -Ensuring the Right to Vote (
      "Executives can take a number of practical steps to help ensure that their employees do not have to choose between earning a living, raising a family and exercising their right to vote." 9-04

  8. -Final Vote (
      Provides election results, including results by state. 11-04

  9. -News on the Election (
      Provides news on activities of presidential candidates. 12-03

  10. -News on the Election (MSNBC News)
      Provides updates on the leading contenders for president of the United States, including an instant poll on who won the third debate. 10-04

  11. -News on the Election (
      Provides many sources of news related to the election. 8-04

  12. -Poll Results (
      Provides the results of the lastest polls regarding the presidential election. 8-04

  13. -State Voter Leave Laws (
      "The following states have laws giving employees the right to take time off from work to vote. Many states require employees to give employers notice about taking leave before Election Day and some states require employees to provide employers with proof of voting. In addition, while employers cannot prevent employees from voting, most states give employers the right to specify the time during the day that leave can be taken." 9-04

  14. Editorial - Bush's Mandate (International Herald Tribune)
      "From beginning to end, this election was about George W. Bush, and he can claim that his victory vindicated his policies, his persistence, his personal qualities and his political strategy. He bet that voters who had shared a traumatic terrorist attack and two wars on his watch would stand by him, and they did" 11-04

  15. Editorial - Why Bush Won (CBS News)
      "When voters were asked which of several issues mattered most in deciding their vote, roughly equal numbers picked the Bush campaign’s main issues of moral values (22 percent) and terrorism (19 percent), as picked the Kerry campaign’s main issues of economy/jobs (20 percent) and Iraq (15 percent)." 11-04

  1. -America as Empire ( - Garrison)
      "People used to think of America as a global leader. Now a majority of the world thinks of America as a rogue power. Why? The answer to this question has to a large degree to do with what America has become. America has made the transition from republic to empire. It is no longer what it was. It was founded to be a beacon of light unto the nations, a democratic and egalitarian haven to which those seeking freedom could come. It has now become an unrivalled empire among the nations, exercising dominion over them. How it behaves and what it represents have fundamentally changed. It used to represent freedom. Now it represents power."

      "American freedoms are not eternally bestowed but must with each generation and circumstance be reevaluated and preserved. Freedom is lost far more easily than it is gained, especially when it is surrendered for the sake of more power."

      "History teaches that great empires are constructed, not simply by using military might but by building institutions that are perceived by the governed as just and fair. The common interest of the empire as a whole must supersede the national interest of the dominant state in order for the empire to endure. The great paradox of empire is that stewardship is far more powerful than force in maintaining imperial control." 10-04

  2. -Bush Approval Rating (
      Provides current, lowest, and highest approval ratings for President George W. Bush. 8-04

  3. -California Bans Paperless Voting (MSNBC News)
      "Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a law requiring that all electronic voting machines produce paper records of every ballot cast, beginning in 2006."

      "Under the bill, signed Monday, voters will not be able to touch or keep the records; instead, election officials will put them in lock boxes in case a recount becomes necessary."

      "Computer scientists and voter advocates have warned that touchscreens and other electronic voting machinery are vulnerable to hackers, software bugs and hardware failures, and that a paper trail is needed in case something goes wrong." 10-04

  4. -California to Sue Voting Machine Maker (MSNBC News)
      "California Attorney General Bill Lockyer said on Tuesday that he would sue electronic voting machine maker Diebold Inc. on charges it defrauded the state with false claims about its products." 10-04

  5. -Compare Bush and Kerry on Issues (MSNBC News)
      "Here's a quick look at where Sen. John Kerry and President Bush stand on the central issues expected to dominate the 2004 race for the White House." 7-04

  6. -Comparison of Candidates for President ( star
      Provides a comparison of views and positions of candidates for president. 2-04

  7. -Editorial - Terrorists Require the Partnership of Mass Media (Christian Science Monitor - Felling)
      "Troubling questions abound: Does terrorism exist without the media? Does coverage of terrorist acts empower or encourage the people behind them? If terrorism is directed more at the audience than at its victims, shouldn't television journalists stop giving terrorists the forum they covet?"

      "Certainly, television news covers terrorist attacks for the high-minded journalistic objective of informing viewers. But the zeal with which fear has been commoditized - from shark attacks to child kidnappings to the Washington sniper - is a product of TV executives realizing that frightened people put down the remote control and await news updates, ratcheting up ratings points. Unfortunately, this living-room fearmongering plays right into the hands of terrorists who are attempting to rattle every American, turning television news reporters into de facto publicists for terrorists."

      "Nearly 20 years ago, the eminent Washington reporter David Broder suggested that 'the essential ingredient of any effective antiterrorist policy must be the denial to the terrorist of access to mass media outlets.' He said this in a different era, before 24-hour news channels were in hot competition for Americans' attention. He's still right."

      "Amateur cooks learn quickly that pouring water on a grease fire only makes it worse. Broadcasters must realize that their coverage might be doing the same. Like cutting off the oxygen that sustains a flame, a few internal shifts in reporting policy would traumatize viewers less and could save lives." 9-04

  8. -Report Card on Bush's Performance (USA Today)
      "When Bush campaigns, he tells people that examining whether his actions match his promises is one way to gauge whether he deserves four more years." The article examines the effects of Bush's work in major areas, such as education, the economy, and health care, and compares those effects with his promises. 8-04

  9. Absentee Ballot (International Herald Times)
      "The first is requesting an application for an absentee ballot, called a "federal postcard application" or FPCA in bureaucratic shorthand, which then must be mailed to the last state you lived in before moving abroad - no matter how long you have lived outside the United States." 9-04

  10. Analysis - Kerry vs. Bush (CSMonitor - Marlantes)
      "As the presidential candidates enter Friday night's critical second debate, they are appealing to a competing set of impulses among voters - the more dominant of which may ultimately determine the outcome of the election: a sense of resolve vs. a desire for change."

      Throughout the campaign, polls have indicated that voters are unhappy with the direction of the country, a dynamic that has often portended the ousting of an incumbent and that remains Sen. John Kerry's biggest advantage. But in a time of war and threat, voters are also more inclined to rally around their leader and regard change as a risky proposition, a sentiment President Bush has worked to exploit." 10-04

  11. Comment and Analysis from World Press (
      Provides "Comment and analysis from the world's press on the upcoming U.S. elections." 7-04

  12. Deadlines for Electoral College (BBC)
      Provides deadlines for selecting a president of the United States. Electoral college members must be selected by December 12, the Electoral College votes on December 18, Congress counts the votes on January 6, and the new president takes office on January 20. If a new president is not decided by January 20, the Speaker of the House of Representatives becomes the acting president. 11-00

  13. Democrats and Republicans Differ on Iraq (
      "The conflict in Iraq is an issue in the election campaign between Bush and Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee. Voters cite it as one of their top three concerns in polls, such as one released Saturday by Time magazine."

      "The U.S. still did 'the right thing both in Afghanistan and in Iraq,' [Secretary of State Colin] Powell said. 'And this is not the time to get weak in the knees or faint about it, but to drive on and finish the work that we've started.' "

      "Madeleine Albright, secretary of state in the administration of President Bill Clinton and an adviser to Kerry, said on 'Meet the Press' that the insurgency in Iraq seems to be growing and 'it doesn't sound like' elections can take place in January."

      "She said Bush 'squandered our credibility and our reputation' by attacking Iraq, adding that Kerry 'has a much better chance of getting other countries in there, because he would listen to what they have to say and create a coalition that I think would make clear that this was in everybody's interest, and not just Americans acting as occupiers.' " 9-04

  14. Editorial - Bush and Religion (MSNBC News - Johnson)
      Johnson describes President Bush's distinctive approach to gaining votes from religious conservatives.

      "Americans have heard the president speak of God and the nation’s destiny many times. But they have rarely heard him speak of his own faith in specific terms. In fact, Bush appears never to have said publicly that he is an evangelical. While he has dropped many clues, they do not constitute a definitive statement of his faith."

      "The ambiguity offers advantages and disadvantages, never more so than in the current campaign, when the president's strategists have made conservative white evangelical voters — 4 million of whom they believe failed to go to the polls in 2000 — their No. 1 target."

      "Working with Kevin Coe, David S. Domke of the University of Washington analyzed inaugural and State of the Union messages by every president since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933. Historically, they found, presidents have spoken of God from the position of a petitioner, asking for His guidance or blessing, with two exceptions: Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Their message comes from a prophetic stance, as though describing God’s intentions from a position of knowledge." 9-04

  15. Editorial - Dirty Tricks, Patrician Style (CBS News - Meyer)
      "Who would have believed that George Bush, with all the trouble over his National Guard service, could get John Kerry in hot water for his combat duty and medals in Vietnam? Well, anyone who saw what George Bush did to former POW John McCain in the 2000 primaries, which was even more outrageous."

      "Kerry and his campaign are not innocents in all this. Independent 527 groups opposed to Bush have pumped far more cash into the race than the anti-Kerry groups and they, too, have made irresponsible assertions." 8-04

  16. Editorial - Eleven Insights About the Election ( - Newport)
      "Here is a review of a number of key points about the election gleaned from recent Gallup Poll analyses of the people's views and perspectives." 12-05

  17. Editorial - Pro-Bush from Lowell, Massachusetts (
      Provides an editorial explaining why a newspaper from where Senator Kerry began his political career endorsed President Bush.

      "In the ashes of ground zero, where nearly 3,000 innocent Americans perished, President Bush vowed to find the perpetrators, in domestic cells and distant lands, and bring them to justice. He said he will do all that is humanly possible and necessary to make certain that terrorists never strike again on U.S. soil."

      "Can anyone deny that President Bush has not delivered? America the terrorists' No. 1 target has recovered from its tragic wounds and rebounded. It remains safe to this day."

      "What might a lesser leader have done, faced with the daunting task of deciding America's course against withering, partisan attacks from Democrats, media propagandists, disingenuous U.N. officials and disloyal White House operatives selling their souls for profit during a time of war?"

      "A lesser leader might have caved in. President Bush has stood his ground."

      "In this year's election, the question isn't whether we are safer now than we were four years ago. We already know the answer. Sure we are and that's because of President Bush. The critical question is: Four years from now, will America be safer than it is today?"

      "In our book, Americans have to place their trust in President Bush. He's proven to be as sturdy as a mighty oak when it comes to saying what he means, meaning what he says and acting decisively." 10-04

  18. Editorial - Pro-Kerry from Crawford, Texas (
      Provides an editorial explaining why a newspaper from President Bush's hometown of Crawford shifted from endorsing him to endorsing Senator Kerry.

      "Four items trouble us the most about the Bush administration: his initiatives to disable the Social Security system, the deteriorating state of the American economy, a dangerous shift away from the basic freedoms established by our founding fathers, and his continuous mistakes regarding terrorism and Iraq." 9-04

  19. Editorial - Security Comes From International Law (
      "If the world hopes to turn around the current trajectory toward greater violence and terror, and move instead toward peace and stability, the lynchpin of any such movement must be a universal, ironclad commitment to the rule of law as the organizing principle of relations among nations."

      "This critically important issue should be debated long and loud, so that short-term problems such as we have in Iraq do not recur often, and long-term global peace and security might be promoted through a more universal understanding of the spirit and letter of international law. Washington has responded to the illegal war allegations by claiming it considered that a previous UN resolution passed four months before the war gave it sufficient authority to attack, because Iraq had refused to surrender suspected weapons of mass destruction. The last 18 months of searching in post-Baathist Iraq have turned up no such weapons. So not only was the U.S.-led war illegal, it was also premised on wrong information at best, and a deceptive lie at worst." 9-04

  20. Editorials by Howard Dean (
      "The two critical issues for every president are national security and economic security. While much media attention has been focused on Iraq and al Qaida, most Americans have been quietly focusing on their economic plight. What they are seeing is not pretty." 10-04

  21. Edwards vs. Cheney - A Contrast (MSNBC News)
      "In his years in the House of Representatives, Cheney amassed one of the most conservative records of any member, voting, for instance, in 1986 against economic sanctions to put pressure on the apartheid regime in South Africa."

      "Although he voted for the congressional resolution giving Bush the authority to use force in Iraq, Edwards has a decidedly liberal voting record on most issues. The non-partisan National Journal ranked him more liberal than 95 percent of his colleagues for Senate votes cast in 2003." 7-04

  22. Examination of Bush and Kerry (PBS Frontline)
      "On November 2nd, Americans will vote in the first wartime election since Vietnam. Like that earlier war, the war in Iraq has exposed deep divisions in how Americans see this country and its place in the world. It has also exposed major differences between the two candidates, George W. Bush and John F. Kerry."

      "Culled from more than fifty interviews with the candidates' families, friends, colleagues, and political adversaries, "The Choice 2004" takes a hard look at the character, experience, and worldviews of Bush and Kerry and illuminates defining moments of their lives with rare archival footage. The program also examines both candidates' decision-making on going to war in Iraq." 10-04

  23. Foreign Policy Analysis by James Mann (
      Shawn Carkonen reviews the book Rise of the Vulcans by James Mann. Mann describes foreign policy through describing an alliance of key advisors for President Bush.

      "This core group, consisting of Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Armitage, and Condoleezza Rice, has a long history together dating back 30 years in some cases. Dubbing themselves the Vulcans, they have largely determined the direction and focus of the Bush presidency. In this remarkably researched and fascinating book, Mann traces their careers and the development of their ideas in order to understand how and why American foreign policy got to where it is today."

      "As Mann makes clear, there has never been perfect agreement between all parties, (the relationship between the close duo of Powell and Armitage on one side and Rumsfeld on the other, for instance, has been frosty) but they do share basic values. Whether they came from the armed services, academia, or government bureaucracy, the Vulcans all viewed the Pentagon as the principal institution from which American power should emanate. Their developing philosophy was cemented after the attacks of September 11, 2001 and is best reflected in the decision to invade Iraq. They believe that a powerful military is essential to American interests, that America is ultimately a force for good despite any negative consequences that may arise from American aggression, they are eternally optimistic about American power and dismiss any arguments about over-extension of resources, and they are skeptical about the need to consult allies or form broad global coalitions before acting." 3-04

  24. Kerry, John (
      Provides a biography. 10-04

  25. Leadership Qualities (Reader's Digest)
      Provides results of a survey to determine what people want most in a leader. (These may not, however, be the qualities that the best leaders actually have.) 10-04

  26. Leadership Qualities for a President (PBS Frontline)
      "Presidential historians and other experts on the U.S. presidency all cite certain leadership qualities that they conclude make for success or failure in the Oval Office. Whether you are still undecided or already know your vote on November 2nd, the analyses and checklists offered below by five experts on the presidency are useful pointers on what voters ought to be looking for in a presidential candidate. How do the 2004 candidates measure up?" 10-04

  27. News on John Kerry (
      Provides many sources of news related to John Kerry. 8-04

  28. News on Ralph Nader (
      Provides news from the Ralph Nader campaign. 8-04

  29. Poll: Nation Polarized (CBS News)
      Provides "The 2000 election results famously illustrated by the red and blue divisions on the election night map - delineated two very different Americas: one comprised of mainly coastal states that voted Democratic, and another, mostly in the South and Midwest, which voted Republican. Coming, as it did, after years of increasingly strained partisan divisions in Congress, it appeared that America was deeply divided - and many wonder if those patterns will repeat themselves in 2004." 7-04

  30. Poll: World Opinion on Election (Guardian Unlimited)
      "Millions of Americans are scratching their heads over how to vote on November 2 after the last of the three televised presidential debates left George Bush and John Kerry neck and neck over jobs, education, health care and taxes, with little mention of Iraq or 9/11. But the rest of the world, according to a poll we and several other newspapers publish today, has already made up its mind, backing the Democratic challenger by a margin of two to one."

      "Strikingly, though, political differences may now be casting shadows in other areas. Young Britons, avid consumers of Big Macs, Starbucks and Friends, are now hostile to American culture on a scale traditionally associated with the French. Canada, Mexico and South Korea feel even more threatened. It is common ground that Iraq and the Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib scandals have eroded the sympathy generated by the 2001 terrorist attacks. Encouragingly for whoever does win, 90% believe it is important to maintain good relations with the US. The danger is, perhaps, of expecting too much from a Kerry victory." 10-04

  31. Presidential Personalities (American Psychological Association)
      "As part of their The Personality and the President Project, psychologist Steven J Rubenzer, Ph.D., of Houston, Texas and co-authors Thomas Faschingbauer, Ph.D., of Richmond Texas and Deniz S. Ones, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota, used several objective personality instruments to analyze the assessments made by more than one hundred presidential experts who were instructed to assess the lives of presidents they studied. The experts were instructed to look only at the five-year period before their respective subject became president to avoid the influence that life in the White House might have had on their behavior."

      "Results of the research indicate that great presidents, besides being stubborn and disagreeable, are more extraverted, open to experience, assertive, achievement striving, excitement seeking and more open to fantasy, aesthetics, feelings, actions, ideas and values. Historically great presidents were low on straightforwardness, vulnerability and order."

      "Achievement striving was found to be one of the best correlates of greatness in the oval office and competence was also a big predictor of presidential success." 12-03

  32. Same-Sex Marriages - Positions on a Constitutional Ban (CNN News)
      "Bush said such an amendment [to the U.S. Constitution] would 'prevent the meaning of marriage from being changed forever.' "

      "The four-term senator [John Kerry] has said he supports civil unions and equal protection for gays and lesbians but that he opposes marriage for them. He also said he believes the matter should be decided on the state level."

      "Civil unions grant couples most of the rights of state civil marriages, except the name, but provide none of the federal benefits of marriage, such as Social Security benefits."

      "The Constitution requires a two-thirds majority in each house of Congress to pass an amendment. Then it must be ratified by three-fourths, or 38, of the 50 states." 2-04

  33. What Happened in Kerry's Vietnam Battles? (ABC News)
      "In the controversy over Sen. John Kerry's service in Vietnam, Americans have heard from Kerry, from the crew of the Navy Swift boats he commanded and from other Swift boat veterans who question the official account of a 1969 incident for which Kerry was awarded a Silver Star. But there is one group they have not heard from: the Vietnamese who were there that day."

      " 'Nightline' traveled to Vietnam and found a number of witnesses who have never been heard from before, and who have no particular ax to grind for or against Kerry. Only one of them, in fact, even knew who Kerry is. The witnesses, all Vietnamese, are still living in the same villages where the fighting took place more than 35 years ago. A 'Nightline' producer visited them and recorded their accounts of that day. The accounts were subsequently translated by a team of ABC News translators."

      "His [Kerry's] awards should have been the most unassailable part of Kerry's record. But then came those campaign ads from the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth." The investigation by ABC news clearly indicated that the authors of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth told false stories about what happened in Kerry's Vietnam battles. In fact, they were not even present during Kerry's battles.

      Eyewitnesses commended Kerry displayed "extraordinary daring and personal courage for attacking a numerically superior force in the face of intense fire." 10-04

  34. World Reactions to Bush's Re-election (BBC News)
      Provides reactions by region of the world. 11-04

  35. World Reactions to Bush's Re-election (BBC News)
      Provides reactions by region of the world. 11-04

  1. New Voters Project (
      Provides activities to help "reengage young people in the political process. Over 28 million eligible voters between the ages of 18 and 24 years old could be a powerful voting bloc in the upcoming elections." 04-08

  2. U.S. Election for the Rest of the World (
      "Only one vote counts and you must be in a country other than the U.S.A." 10-04

  1. Elections Worksheets (AbcTeach)
      Provides dozens of worksheets to help children have a better understanding of the elections process. 1-04


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