Pop quiz: How much do your peers know about politics?

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Cape Girardeau and Jackson high school seniors were asked questions regarding the Nov. 7 elections. Here's how they answered:

Who is running for the Eighth Congressional District in Missouri?

Correct answer: Jo Ann Emerson, Repbulican; Veronica J. Hambacker, Democrat; Branden McCollough, Liberterian

Students' answers:

Brianna Egbuka: "Jim Talent"

Robert Weir: "Jo Ann Emerson"

Steve Beggermann: "Jo Ann Emerson"

General consensus: Most of the students heard U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson's name before, but were unfamiliar with the names of her opponents.

Who is running for the 158th District, Missouri House of Representatives

Correct answer: Matt Hill, Democrat; Nathan Cooper, Repbulican; George Webster III, Liberterian

Students' answers:

Tom Wood: "Kit Bond"

Andy Billmeyer: "Jason Crowell"

General consensus: The Cape Central students heard Rep. Nathan Cooper's name in the past, but were unfamiliar of his opponents.

Who is running for Cape Girardeau County Presiding Commissioner?

Correct answer: Gerald Jones, Republican; Victor Farrow, Democrat

Chris Kamp: "Gerald Jones"

General consensus: Most of the students, except Kamp, had never heard the name Gerald Jones.

What is Amendment 2?

Correct answer: Embryonic stem-cell research -- a vote in favor of the amendment would change the state constitution to prevent state officials from restricting that research.

Students' answers: All of the students knew what Amendment 2 was.

General consensus: Some of the students thought the research was "cool, and would help save lives," while others felt it was against their "religious beliefs."

What is Amendment 3?

Correct answer: A vote in favor of this amendment would raise the state's tobacco tax; increasing a pack of cigarettes 80 cents and a 20 percent tax increase on smokeless tobacco.

Part of the funds from the additional tax money would be used for smoking prevention programs. The other part would be used to increase health-care access for uninsured and Medicaid recipients by improving state payments to doctors and hospitals.

Students' answer: Most of the students were unfamiliar with Amendment 3, but were in favor of the tax increase.

Chris Kamp: "I don't have a problem with voting for it because I don't smoke."

Tom Wood: "As long as all the extra money goes to what they say it will, then vote yes."

Robert Weir: "It definitely has good intentions."

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