The Road to the White House 2008

September 29, 2008

Course Objective:

To study the history and politics of U.S. presidential campaigns, including an intensive
internship in New Hampshire leading up to the first-in-the-nation primary.

In our seminars we will discuss topics such as the history of the presidential nominating process,
the national conventions, voter turnout, campaign finance, third party and independent
candidates, the electoral college, and the nature of presidential campaigns.

This is a six-credit course: three credits for the presidential campaign internship and three
credits for the seminar about presidential campaigns.

Course Meeting Times and Locations:

Note that this is a by arrangement course. We will have our first meeting on Friday, 28
December 2007 (on USFSP campus); and we will meet in New Hampshire from 30 December
2007 through 9 January 2008 (to be specified in a separate itinerary). By the time Spring
semester classes start, the week of 7 January 2008, we will have met for 10 seminars; therefore,
we will only have five (5) remaining seminars plus the final exam once we return to Florida.
Back on campus (during the Spring 2008 semester) our regular course meeting times will be
Tuesdays from 11:00 AM to 1:50 PM. See this syllabus for exact dates, times, and locations.

Course Website:

Students will post blog entries and photos documenting their campaign internships on the site.

Required Texts:

Hugh Gregg and Bill Gardner. Why New Hampshire?: The First-in-the-Nation Primary State.
Resources-NH, 2003.

Randall J. Jones, Jr. Who Will Be in the White House?: Predicting Presidential Elections. New
York: Longman, 2002.

Nelson W. Polsby and Aaron Wildavsky. Presidential Elections: Strategies and Structures of
American Politics,
12th ed. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2008.

Dante J. Scala. Stormy Weather: The New Hampshire Primary and Presidential Politics.
Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

Stephen J. Wayne. The Road to the White House 2008, 8th ed. Thompson Wadsworth, 2008.

Additional readings may be distributed in class and/or posted on Blackboard.

Additional Reading:

Appendix 3 of this Syllabus includes the website links for the Democratic National Committee, Republican National Committee, and the New Hampshire and Florida Democratic and Republican party websites, as well as all of the Democratic and Republican presidential candidate websites and citations for books written by all of the presidential candidates. Please review these websites for more information about the candidates and campaigns prior to our first class meeting on December 28th. Every student will present a paper about a presidential candidate during our first class meeting. (The assignment will be e-mailed to all students in the class by 14 December.)

The following websites are good sources of information about what?s happening on the presidential campaign trail: (St. Petersburg Times) (Road to the White House)
ABC News? ?The Note? (
Project Vote Smart,
the Polling Report,
Democracy in Action,
Wall Street Journal (Washington Wire)

See also what the New Hampshire media are reporting about the upcoming primary election, especially the
Concord Monitor
Nashua Telegraph
Manchester Union Leader

In addition, look at what the local newspaper of your candidate is saying (e.g., what are The New York Times and the New York Post saying about Hillary Clinton and Rudy Guiliani? What are the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald saying about Mitt Romney? What are the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun Times saying about Barak Obama?).

Grading Policy:

60% Seminar Papers (6 @ 10%)
30% Final Exam
10% Attendance and Class Participation (NH and FL)
100% Total

Seminar Papers (60%)

Students will write six (6) seminar papers during the course of the semester. No late seminar
papers will be accepted. More detailed assignments and expectations will be handed out during
the course of the semester, but a general timeline of topics and deadlines can be found below:

Topics and Deadlines:

Paper #1, Due Dec 28, Presidential Candidate Paper
Paper #2, Due Jan 4, Review of Scala book, 2008 New Hampshire primary
Paper #3, Due Jan 25, Reflections on Florida presidential primary experience
Paper #4, Due Feb 5, Devise electoral strategy for party nominees
Paper #5, Due Feb 12, Jones book, predict 2008 presidential election results
Paper #6, Due Feb 19, Suggestions for reform

Final Exam (30%)

The Final Exam (worth 30% of your final grade) will be administered on March 4th . Attendance at the final examination is mandatory. The final exam will include short answer, multiple choice, and essay questions that will require students to demonstrate their knowledge of the history and politics of U.S. presidential campaigns.

Attendance and Participation (NH and FL) (10%)

Note that this is a ?by arrangement? course, and we will have meetings outside the regular
Spring 2008 semester. Students will be given a list of meeting times prior to their registering for
the course. It is expected that students will participate in ALL ACTIVITIES that are scheduled
for the class while in New Hampshire, including morning seminars and other class events.
Please review the syllabus and course meeting times prior to registration. If you cannot
participate in course meetings and seminars, please do not register for the class.

Active and informed participation in class discussions and events will count towards your final
course grade (10%). The professor will take attendance when class begins. To ?attend? class is
to arrive when class starts and to remain until class is finished.

Note that 10% is the difference between an ?A? and a ?B? for a semester grade.

Extra Credit Opportunities (up to 5%)

Occasionally students will have the opportunity to participate in extra credit opportunities that
relate to course material and projects, such as the presidential debates (the Republican YouTube
Debate scheduled for 28 November 2007, and the Leadership Florida Presidential Debates (23
January 2008 and 25 January 2008), and the Florida Political Science Association conference (to
be held on campus 12 April 2008).

REMINDER: You must register to vote before departing for New Hampshire if you want to vote in Florida?s presidential preference primary on January 29th

Course Outline and Assignments

Friday, 28 December 2007
Noon to 3:00 PM DAV 130

Seminar topics will include:

  • Course introduction and overview
  • Expectations for New Hampshire, the campaign internship
  • Presentations/materials from all presidential candidates and campaigns
  • Watch GOTV video, 7 Minutes to a Democratic Victory
  • Complete any remaining paperwork and edit participant spreadsheet
  • Roster of internship placements to be distributed in class
  • Assignment for Seminar Paper #2 to be distributed in class
  • Administer Pre-Test Survey

Reading Assignment:

  • Gregg and Gardner, Chapters 1 and 2 (pp. 1-38) and Appendix A (pp. 285-298)
  • Polsby and Wildavsky, Chapter 4 part 1 (pp. 97-131)
  • Scala, Chapters 1 and 2 (pp. 1-72) and Chapter 6 (pp. 135-165)
  • Wayne, Chapter 5 (pp. 137-168)
  • Review the websites and learn more about of all presidential candidates and campaigns. See
    Appendix 3 of this Syllabus for a listing of all of the presidential campaign websites.

PAPER #1 DUE: Seminar Paper (2-4 pp.) about one of the presidential candidates (include a
brief biography and brief review of policy initiatives). Candidates will be assigned by the
Instructor to ensure that there will be papers about all presidential candidates. (The paper
assignments will be e-mailed to students before December 14th.) Note: Student papers about
each of the presidential candidates may be included in the USFSP Road to the White House 2008
book (with student consent)

Sunday, 30 December 2007 thru Wednesday, 9 January 2008

NOTE: A separate New Hampshire Itinerary and Meeting Schedule will be distributed in class.

Seminar topics will include:

  • Role of the New Hampshire First-in-the-Nation Primary
  • New Hampshire Political Briefings
  • Meetings at the New Hampshire Democratic and Republican Party Headquarters
  • Tour and meetings at the New Hampshire State House
  • Polling in New Hampshire
  • Media coverage and the role of the internet in presidential campaigns
  • The Iowa Caucuses and their impact on the New Hampshire Primary
  • Watch and discuss the Iowa Caucus results as a class (January 3rd)
  • Voter turnout and Get-Out-the-Vote operations
  • Tour, Library and Archives of New Hampshire?s Political Tradition

Reading Assignment:

PAPER #2 DUE Jan 4: Review of Scala and expectations for 2008 New Hampshire
presidential primary landscape and results. See assignment sheet (posted on Blackboard). E-mail
to the professor at

Professor Scourfield McLauchlan, The Road to the White House, Spring 2008, Page 7

Field Work Assignment (30 December thru Primary Day, 8 January 2008)

Note: More information about the Field Work Assignment can be found in the Field
Work portion of this syllabus, below. Activities while in NH will include

  • Work at Internship Placement
  • Keep log of internship hours (with supervisor sign off)
  • Campaign Notebook entries (blogs, journal entries, photos)
  • Begin work on internship paper

DUE: Log of Internship Hours and Supervisor Evaluation (9 January 2008) (counts toward
POS 4941: Field Work grade). The Log and the Supervisor Evaluation are included in this
Syllabus packet.

(Absentee ballots mailed to FL voters in advance of January 29th primary)

15 January 2008

Seminar topics will include:

  • New Hampshire campaign de-briefing
  • Congressional Caucus
  • National Conventions
  • State Primaries
  • Post-Test Survey administered in class

Reading Assignment:

  • Wayne, Chapter 1 (pp. 2-26)
  • Polsby and Wiladvsy, Chapter 4 part 2 (pp. 131-150)

Due: ?Campaign Notebooks? that include journal entries, blog entries, photos, and memorabilia. (Counts toward POS 4941: Field Work grade) Note: Excerpts from student journals will be included in the USFSP Road to the White House book (with student?s permission)

(Early voting begins for FL presidential preference primary)

22 January 2008

Seminar topics will include

  • Before the primaries
  • Iowa and New Hampshire
  • The Remaining primaries and caucuses, with a special look at Florida and ?Tsunami Tuesday?
  • National Party Conventions
  • The ?Veepstakes?
  • Florida political briefing

Reading Assignment:

  • Wayne, Chapter 6 (pp. 173-206)

FIELD WORK PAPER DUE: 8-10 pp. about your New Hampshire internship experience (counts toward POS 4941: Field Work grade) Note: Excerpts from student papers will be included in the USFSP Road to the White House book (with student?s permission)

Tuesday, January 29th

DUE: PAPER #3, Friday, February 1, Reflections on the Florida Presidential Preference
Primary. (This paper can be e-mailed to the professor or dropped off during office hours.)

5 February 2008

Seminar topics will include

  • Media, Message, Polling
  • Field and Voter Turnout
  • Fundraising and Campaign Finance
  • The Electoral College

Reading Assignment:

  • Polsby and Wildavsky, Chapter 5 (pp. 151-218)
  • Jones, pp. ix-72
  • Wayne, Chapters 2-5, excerpts to be announced

DUE: PAPER #4: Electoral Strategy. Devise winning general election electoral strategy for
Republicans and Democrats. Which will be the swing states in the 2008 general election?

12 February 2008

Seminar topics will include

  • Predicting presidential elections

Reading Assignment:

  • Jones, pp. 73-132
  • Wayne, Chapter 9, part 1 (pp. 300-312)

Due: *Paper #5 Due: Seminar Paper (5-7 pp.) Using one of the approaches detailed in the Jones
book, predict who will win the 2008 presidential election.

19 February 2008

Seminar topics will include:

The Nomination Process
Can front-loading be prevented?
Should the nomination process be shortened?

National Primary
Post-convention Primary
Regional Primaries

The national conventions
The Electoral College
Campaign Finance Reform
Voter participation and civic education

Reading Assignment

  • Jackson and Crotty, The Politics of Presidential Selection, pp. 235-241 (will be posted on Blackboard)
  • Polsby and Wildavsky, Chapter 6 (pp. 221-249)
  • Wayne, Chapter 10 (pp. 343-370)

DUE: PAPER #6: Suggestions for reform, results of moving the Florida primary date

Tuesday, February 26th
prepare for final exam

FINAL EXAM: Tuesday, MARCH 4th

Other dates of note, Spring 2008 semester:
Spring Break: March 10th-15th
Florida Political Science Association Conference (at USFSP): April 12th
USFSP Honors Week, Tomorrow?s Leaders Symposium: April 17th
Spring Classes End: April 25th

Additional Course Meeting (TBD): Meeting to watch (and distribute copies of) the DVD of the
USFSP Road to the White House documentary as well as to distribute the USFSP Road to the
White House book. (We will meet during our scheduled class time, on a Tuesday between 11
AM and 1:50 PM)


?I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.?

Students enrolled in The Road to the White House 2008 will have the opportunity to work on the
New Hampshire First-in-the-Nation Presidential Primary. The seminar will meet in New
Hampshire from December 30th through January 9th . This will give students the ability to work
through GOTV (Get Out the Vote) Weekend and on Primary Day (January 8th).

We will meet as a seminar in the mornings over the continental breakfast served at the hotel. For
the rest of the day (this includes Saturday, Sunday, and New Years Day) you will work on one of
the presidential campaigns. You will research and learn about all of the campaigns before
selecting one for your internship. While the student will decide which campaign to work on, the
professor will arrange the internship with the campaign staff.

The professor will schedule a few additional ?field trips? and meetings while we are in New
Hampshire. However, these meetings will be kept to a minimum to avoid disruption of the

Campaigns involve long, hard days. The staff you will be working with will be working at least
14-16 hour days (and have been since last summer). You will be required to work at least 8
hours a day, but I am sure you will want to work more. Typically a campaign office opens by 8
AM (preparing the press clips) and is a buzz of activity through evening phonebanks, which
usually end at 9 PM, at which time staff will prepare for the next day?s activities. Primary Day
activities typically will begin no later than 5 AM; polls in some cities open at 6 AM. On Primary
day you will likely work from 5 AM until the polls close. Nothing is as exciting or as
challenging as working on a presidential campaign during the New Hampshire Primary. This
will be an intense 10-day period!

Your ?Field Work: NH? grade will be based on participation in seminars and class events in New
Hampshire, performance at the worksite (the Professor will make on-site visits and will meet
with your internship supervisor; your supervisor will complete the attached evaluation), your
?campaign notebook? (journal entries, blog entries, photos, memorabilia), and the paper you
write about your internship experience.


25% Campaign Notebook (journal, blog, photos, memorabilia)
25% 8-10 pp. Paper about the NH presidential campaign internship experience
25% Evaluation by Internship Supervisor and Instructor?s site evaluation(s)
25% Log of hours spent at internship placement and participation in class activities

Your grade for the Field Work component will be based on the following:

  • Work on a presidential primary campaign in New Hampshire (30 December 2007 thru
    Primary Day, 8 January 2008) for an estimated 8-12 hours a day (or more) for 10 days
  • Log of internship hours (due 9 January 2008). You will keep track of the dates and times
    that you work at your internship placement. Have your supervisor sign off on your hours
    at the end of each shift. A Log form for you to use is included in this packet.
  • Evaluation by internship supervisor (due 9 January 2008). The evaluation form is
    included in this packet. It is up to you to give this form to your supervisor for him/her to
    complete. Do not wait until primary day to have the form filled out! Do not leave New
    Hampshire without retrieving this form!
  • Journal of Internship experiences (due 15 January 2008) In a separate notebook, record
    your internship experiences ? describe the projects you work on, the campaign meetings
    and events you attend, and what you are learning about presidential campaigns and
    elections in general and the New Hampshire Primary in particular as a result of your
    internship experience. This Campaign Notebook should include your journal entries, a
    print-out of your blog entries, and photos of and memorabilia from your internship
  • Blog about your internship experience. Start your blog before we leave for New
    Hampshire, not later than 27 December 2007. Keep up with your blog entries while in
    New Hampshire. (There are computers with internet access at the hotel, or you can bring
    your personal laptops for this purpose.) Print out a copy of your blog and include with
    your Campaign Notebook on 15 January 2008. There will be links to your blogs on the
    RTWH course website, so those on campus can follow your journey on the campaign
  • Photos documenting your internship experience. E-mail the instructor digital photos;
    students who do not have digital or other camera will be given disposable cameras for
    this purpose. Please advise the instructor before departing for New Hampshire whether
    you will require a disposable camera. (Send to the Instructor as soon as possible so they
    can be posted on the course website and included in the RTWH book, but no later than 15
    January 2008)
  • Documentary video. Students will be given a digital video recorder to take with them to
    their internship placement to document their experiences on the campaign trail. Excerpts
    from these videos will be compiled into a video about the course. (December 30 through
    January 8th) Students will also participate in pre-test/post-test video interviews using
    these cameras as well.
  • Internship Paper (8-10 pages) (due 22 January 2008) Discuss what you have learned
    about the presidential nominating process and the New Hampshire presidential primary
    through your participation in the internship.


19 September ? 7 December Select campaign; make airline reservations; complete paperwork; pay field trip costs; set up blog sites; register
1 December 2007 Finalize internship placement in consultation with the instructor
5 December 2007 Instructor faxes student internship applications to the campaigns
14 December 2007 Syllabus and Paper #1 assignments sent to students
28-30 December 2007 Pre-Test video interviews with students
28 December 2007 FIRST CLASS MEETING, at USFSP
30 December 2007 thru 9 January 2008: Presidential Campaign Internship
8 January 2008: PRIMARY DAY in New Hampshire!
9 January 2008 Supervisor Evaluation and Log of Internship Hours due
(These will be collected by the instructor at the MHT airport)
CAUTION: DO NOT leave New Hampshire without your log of hours and your supervisor
evaluation! The campaign headquarters will likely be packed up and the staff shipped to
other states (or laid off) by the time we get back to Florida!
9-15 January 2008 Post-test video interviews conducted with students
15 January 2008 Campaign Notebook due
22 January 2008 Internship Paper due
29 January 2008 Florida Presidential Preference Primary (Election Day activities)

Internship Evaluation for ?The Road to the White House?
Spring 2008

Presidential Campaign: ____________________________________

Please answer the following questions to the best of your ability. Your responses will be
important in terms of assigning a grade to the following student:
Student Name:______________________________________________
Supervisor?s Name: ________________________________________
Supervisor?s Title: _______________________________________
Supervisor?s Phone Number: ________________________________
Supervisor?s E-Mail address: ______________________________

  1. Students were expected to spend work at their internship placement a minimum of 8
    hours a day from December 30th thru January 8th . Did the student work the minimum
    required hours?
  2. Did the student appear for work when scheduled?a. _____Always
    b. _____Most of the time
    c. _____Frequently late or did not appear
  3. Realizing the student was not an expert in what he or she was doing, how would you rate
    the overall quality of the student?s work?a. _____Quality was consistently high

    b. _____Quality was sometimes good and sometimes not good
    c. _____Quality was consistently less than good

  4. Assuming you had to rate the student?s performance on a scale ranging from 0 to 100,
    where would you rate this student?a. _____0-60 Extraordinarily poor effort

    b. _____61-70 Minimally acceptable
    c. _____71-80 Average performance
    d. _____81-90 Above average performance
    e. _____91-100 Excellent performance

  5. I would appreciate some brief comment about the student?s performance that might help
    me in assigning a grade.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach me [Professor Judithanne Scourfield
McLauchlan] at 727-873-4956 or While in New Hampshire, I can be
reached on my mobile phone, 727-744-8266

School: University of South Florida
Professor: Dr. Judithanne Scourfield McLauchlan
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