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MathBusters: Percentage Practice to Analyze 2016 Election Results

Grade Levels
5th - 8th
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28 pages
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On Sunday, December 11th, Donald Trump went on national television and declared the following: "We had a massive landslide victory, as you know, in the Electoral College."

Was this really true, or was he lying?

This is a massive investigation that looks at the winning margins for all 58 U.S. Presidential Elections. It includes the number of electoral votes from 1789 to the present day, and the number of votes won by each of the winning candidates during that period.

Students begin by learning about the electoral college, how the number of electors per state is calculated, and then work through a list of presidential election results, calculating one of the following: the percentage of electors won, the number of electors won or the number of electors in the total. If your students need practice calculating all three types of percentage problems ("find a percent," "take a percent of a number," "X is Y percent of what number?"), then this will be excellent practice.

After calculating the percents in order from 1789 to 2016, students rank the presidential victories from 1 to 58 (Washington ranks 1 and 2 for 100% of the electoral votes, down to John Quincy Adams, who had just 32% of the electoral votes....) As for Trump's assertion that his election was a landslide, well, you'll just have to crunch the numbers to see how far that is from the truth. However, you'll be quite surprised to learn how often "landslides" actually do occur.....

Contains lots of activity sheets, ranking sheets, analysis questions AND all answer keys!
Total Pages
28 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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