Election 2008 - Campaigning for President


TV, radio, the Internet, even people's front yards....Unless you are asleep, campaign propaganda for this year's presidential election is inescapable.

Propaganda? You bet! Dictionary.com defines propaganda as: "information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc."

What else is the purpose of political advertising? To spread information about the candidates. To give you reasons why you should vote for one candidate, and why you should not vote for another candidate.

There are basically three categories of political ads:

  1. positive - saying what is good about a candidate and his or her policies and ideas
  2. negative - saying what is bad about an opposing candidate's policies and ideas
  3. attack - saying bad things about an opposing candidate's character, record, and/or values

Your task in this activity is to create a positive campaign poster for one of the two major party candidates. To do this, you will need to examine the positions of the candidates on the issues. An issue is something that is important to the well-being of the nation. A position is how the candidate feels about an issue and what he or she plans to do in connection to that issue.


  1. Collect information about the positions of the major party candidates - Senators Barack Obama and John McCain - on the issues listed below. You can find this information on the suggested web sites, but may also use other sources (magazines, newspapers, etc). Summarize your findings on the graphic organizer you will be given. Do not copy word for word. Be sure to ask for clarification of things you don't understand.


    Web Sites to Visit

    • Education
    • Global Warming, Energy, and the Environment
    • Immigration
    • the War in Iraq
    • Health Care
    • Terrorism and National Security
    • Taxes and the Economy


  2. Study your organizer. Decide which candidate -  based on the issues - you would vote for if you could vote.
  3. Design and create a positive campaign poster that you hope will persuade others to vote for the candidate you support.  Your poster must include:
  4. You may design and create your poster on computer or you may create it by hand. You may use the special Election Clip Art or find your own.
  5. Your poster must be neat, legible, and use correct spelling, capitalization, and punctuation
  6. Your poster must be completed and ready to display before the end of your class the day before election day.

Done with your poster?

  1. Go to BrainPOP to learn more about presidential elections.
  2. Learn more about voting with BrainPOP.
  3. Learn more about democracy with BrainPOP.
  4. Play games at Ben's Guide to Goverment.