A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Blacks and the Democratic Party

Q: When did blacks start voting Democratic?
A: There was a big move to Democratic voting in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration, and another in Lyndon B. Johnson’s.

Giving Till They’re Blue?

Summary

It’s not uncommon for GOP candidates to accuse each other of not being Republican enough. But the fight is ordinarily over issues, such as tax cuts. In Pennsylvania, two House candidates are instead attacking each other for sending money behind enemy lines. The ads they’ve launched provide a good lesson in how politicians can mislead voters even with accurate numbers.

Chris Hackett accuses his opponent of having "a long history of supporting liberal Democrats."

Taking Liberties in Philadelphia

Summary

Clinton and Obama both strained the facts at times during their debate in Philadelphia.

Clinton said "people died" in 1970s bombings by a radical group of which an Obama acquaintance was a member. In fact, the deaths were of three members of the Weather Underground itself, who died when their own bombs accidentally exploded.
Obama said, "I have never said that I don’t wear flag pins or refuse to wear flag pins." Actually,

V.P. Term Limits

Q: Are there term limits for the vice president like there are for the president? Can they only serve two terms, too?
A: No. In theory, someone could hold the office indefinitely, but no one has actually served more than two full terms.

Why Can Cubans Stay in the U.S.?

Q: Why is it that when a Cuban lands on U.S. soil, he is permitted to stay, yet when a Mexican/Hispanic lands on U.S. soil, he cannot?
A: Cuban immigrants were given special status by an act of Congress in the 1960s.

More Speaking Time: Obama or Clinton?

Q: Who gets more time during debates, Obama or Clinton?
A: Obama spoke longer in their two February debates, but Clinton had more time in their January meeting.

Gasoline Tax Profits

Q: Does the government really make more in taxes from the sale of a gallon of gasoline than the oil companies do?
A: Possibly. Both taxes and profits account for a large share, but which is larger depends on too many unknown factors to allow for a clear answer.

Oily Words

Summary

Clinton and Obama are slamming each other and the oil companies in dueling radio ads in Pennsylvania. Both ads exaggerate and twist the facts. Both ads say, in effect, that the opposing candidate is reluctant to offend oil companies due to campaign donations. The truth is they both propose energy plans that are similar, and which the oil giants won’t like. 

Obama’s ad claims, "Clinton’s taken more from big oil and other PACs and lobbyists than any other candidate,

Replacing the Vice President

Q: If a vice president assumes the presidency, who becomes vice president?

A: The new president appoints someone to fill his or her old position, subject to congressional approval.

Caucus vs. Primary

Q: What is the difference between a caucus and a primary?
A: In presidential campaigns, a caucus is a system of local gatherings where voters decide which candidate to support and select delegates for nominating conventions. A primary is a statewide voting process in which voters cast secret ballots for their preferred candidates.