A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Obama and European Affairs Subcommittee

Q: Does Obama chair a Senate subcommittee that oversees the war in Afghanistan?
A: He chairs the Senate’s Subcommittee on European Affairs, which has some oversight in Afghanistan through NATO.

Robocall Rules

Q: What are the rules on robo-calls?
A: Federal law requires that groups making automated calls identify themselves at the beginning of the call and provide a call-back number. The FEC says that a disclaimer must accompany public communication made by political committees or individuals. However, specific regulations for political robo-calls vary from state to state.

Puerto Rico and the General Election

Q: Why does Puerto Rico participate in the presidential primary and not the general election?
A: The United States Constitution grants voting privileges in the general election to the states and the District of Columbia only, not to U.S. territories.

N.C.’s African American Population

Q: What percentage of North Carolina’s population is African American?
A: In 2006, African Americans made up 21 percent of North Carolina’s total population. As of April 28, they also represent 21 percent of the state’s registered voters and 38 percent of registered Democrats.

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.

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.

From Congress to the White House

Q: Who was the last sitting congressman or senator to be elected president?
A: John F. Kennedy was the last president to have moved directly from Congress to the White House.

Defining an ‘Earmark’?

Q: What is an earmark?
A: Earmarks are government funds that are allocated by a legislator for a particular pet project, often without proper review.