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  • AQA Component The electoral process and direct democracy: voting behaviour and the main variables affecting the way people vote in the USA

  • Edexcel Component 5.2.3: US democracy and participation: Voters: how the following factors are likely to influence voting patterns and why, in relation to one recent presidential election campaign (since 2000) — race, religion, gender and education

Background: what you need to know

The article analyses the nature of voter support for Donald Trump on the basis of his performance in the New Hampshire primary. His victory over his nearest rival, Nikki Haley, both here and in the earlier Iowa caucus, has made it a near-certainty that he will secure the Republican Party nomination for another run at the presidency.

The article suggests that, if trends observed in New Hampshire are extrapolated to national level, Trump will attract the strongest support from lower income and less well-educated voters. It is noteworthy that voting in the New Hampshire primary is open to independents as well as registered Republicans. Trump did less well than his rival among uncommitted voters. Given the importance of swing states in US presidential elections, this could be a problem for him.

Click the link below to read the article and then answer the questions:

Donald Trump’s big New Hampshire win hides White House electability issues

Question in the style of AQA Politics Paper 2

  • Explain and analyse three factors that influence the outcome of US presidential elections. [9 marks]

Question in the style of Edexcel Politics Paper 3

  • Evaluate the view that levels of education are the most important determinants of voting habits in the US. You must consider this view and the alternative to this view in a balanced way. [30 marks]

    TIP: Make sure that you are able to support your answer with data from recent elections — it is best to concentrate on the latest contests, in 2016 and 2020. When the 2024 election has been held, if you are taking the A Level examination the following summer, it is advisable to add material from this election to your notes.

Graham Goodlad, Portsmouth High School

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