Research Paper Guidelines
The paper should provide an in-depth study of the cultural and political environment of a southern state. Your paper should include basic demographic characteristics and a political profile of the state. Please include the following sections in your paper.
This is your opportunity to introduce your state. Is your state part of the Deep or Peripheral South? Are there any customs or traditions of note in the state? Have there been any significant recent events in the state? How culturally southern is the state?
II. Demographic Profile
What are the key demographic characteristics of the state (e.g., population, median income, percent African-American, percent Hispanic, percent in poverty, population percent change)? These statistics can be found at www.census.gov. Make sure you compare your state to the rest of the South and to the U.S. more generally.
III. Presidential Voting
Discuss presidential voting in your state. When did the state first vote Republican? How does presidential voting in your state compare to voting across the South? Has the state been a key player in presidential primaries? How does presidential voting in your state compare to the rest of the country? If possible, discuss and analyze the 2016 presidential election in your state using exit poll results (https://www.cnn.com/election/2016/results/exit-polls).
IV. Congressional Voting
Talk about the congressional delegation from your state. Is the delegation majority Republican or Democrat? Do members from your state hold any key leadership positions in Congress? Be sure to talk about both the House and Senate delegation. Are there any minority representatives from your state? See https://votesmart.org/ for information about your state’s congressional delegation including voting records and interest group ratings. Also, be sure to discuss and analyze the 2018 midterm elections in your state (see https://www.cnn.com/election/2018/exit-polls 2018 exit poll results).
V. State Level Voting
Discuss recent trends in gubernatorial elections. You can find basic information on state governors at the following cite: http://www.nga.org. Also, be sure to discuss the partisan balance in the state legislature. Information on state legislatures can be found at: http://www.ncsl.org. How closely does presidential and congressional voting mirror voting for governor and the state legislature?
VI. Conclusions and Predictions for Future
Based on your findings, make projections for future political events in your state. What does it take for Democrats and Republicans to win in your state?
Note on citations. All papers must include citations. You should include your opinions in the paper but this paper must have sources as well. Be sure to list citations of any materials (including data).
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