One thing the candidates probably are not thankful for: with the Iowa caucuses scheduled for January 3 and New Hampshire's race on January 8, those competing for their party's nomination will likely be spending much of the Holiday season in one of these states instead of at home.
The primary and caucuses schedule is available on USINFO's Voting and the Elections Process Web site.
21 November 2007
Sharing the Thanksgiving turkey with the presidential candidates
Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States – a day most families spend together feasting on turkey, and a day that even the presidential candidates get to take off.
Who would Americans like to have join them at their Thanksgiving table? A poll conducted by Quinnipiac University found that 27 percent would invite Hillary Clinton, 24 percent want Barack Obama and 22 percent would like Rudy Giuliani.
An interesting note: Obama and Giuliani are slipping in these holiday polls. Last May, when voters were asked who they would like to hang out with at a Memorial Day picnic, 33 percent selected Obama and 37 percent liked Giuliani.
Most of the candidates are heading home for the holiday, although a few will instead be having their Thanksgiving meals in the early-primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
While Republican Mitt Romney will be home stuffing the turkey himself, Republican candidate Mike Huckabee will be eating "Aunt Pat's cheese and macaroni" in Arkansas.
Macaroni and cheese is one of Democrat John Edwards' favorite dishes too, according to his mother. And while you are not invited to the Edwards family Thanksgiving – you can get this and other Edwards family favorite recipes by donating $20.08 to the campaign.
20 November 2007
The candidates' views on capital punishment
Magali in France asks Campaign Trail Talk:
Hello, I just wanna to know what is the constitutionnal's debate about the capital punishment in these elections? And also what are Supreme court's judges' opinions about it? Thanks to answer me.
The death penalty, which is used in 38 states, has been in the news quite a bit recently. The highest court in the nation intervened earlier this week to halt the execution of a Florida man. It is the fourth execution in recent months the Supreme Court has halted.
Experts believe that the court has put in place a de facto moratorium on the death penalty until it reviews the issue in January. The court will hear the case of two Kentucky inmates who argue that the combination of drugs used in most lethal injections violate the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution's provision on cruel and unusual punishment.
The presidential candidates have not been talking about the issue much on the campaign trail. According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, most of the candidates support capital punishment in some circumstances. The only candidates who outright oppose it are Democrats Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel and Republican Ron Paul. Several candidates have said that the process needs to be reviewed.
What does the court think about capital punishment? We won't know until it rules in early summer. And it is important to note that the court is not reviewing the constitutionality of the death penalty entirely, just specifically the combination of drugs used in most lethal injections. But when the court rules, it is likely the candidates will share their opinion on the issue.
Got a question for Campaign Trail Talk? Send it in here.
19 November 2007
Democratic candidates back striking Hollywood writers
Most American television shows have halted production as a writers' strike enters its third week. The Writers Guild of America is demanding increased royalties from DVD sales and compensation for Internet sales of television shows. While Democrats traditionally support unions, some of their biggest campaign donors are Hollywood executives, leaving the candidates in a tough position.
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