Take this test and see how much you know about American politics. The source for these facts come from the exhibit "From George to George: Presidential Elections in the United States from 1789 to the Present" on display at Southern Methodist University's Bridwell Library from Sept. 10, 2004, to Jan. 20, 2005. Each question is worth 10 points. Scroll down to find the answers, but don't cheat!

1. Why did Jimmy Carter's campaign not produce any political buttons at first?

A: Because 1970s-style leisure suits made it difficult to wear buttons since the thick polyester material was hard to pierce.
B. The Carter campaign needed the money for travel instead.
C. The Carter campaign needed the money for political ads.
D. All of the above

2. Which presidential candidate had whiskey bottles in the shape of log cabins made for him?

A. Ulysses S. Grant
B. William Henry Harrison
C. Abraham Lincoln
D. None of the above

3. Which presidential candidate was the first to use a popular entertainer in his campaign?

A: Warren G. Harding.
B. John F. Kennedy
C. William Howard Taft
D. Calvin Coolidge

4. What political party fielded a presidential candidate who was ineligible for the office?

A: The Federalists (1789)
B. The Vegetarian Party (1948)
C. The Farmer Labor Party (1920)
D. The Republicans (1852)

5. True or false: The average length of a candidate sound bite today is 7.2 seconds.

A. False
B. True

6. What year did the first campaign button appear?

A. 1896
B. 1860
C. 1824
D. 2004

7. Which presidential campaign had its volunteers roll giant buckskin balls from town to town with its campaign slogan on the side?

A. William Henry Harrison
B. John Breckinridge
C. Bill Clinton
D. None of the above

8. Which presidential candidate was the first to hire a full-time advertising agency and use focus groups?

A. Alton B. Parker (1904 Democratic candidate)
B. Calvin Coolidge
C. Stephen Douglas (1860 Democratic candidate)
D: Dwight Eisenhower

9. When did the first bumper sticker appear?

A. 1928
B. 1916
C. 1920
D. 1860

10. What animal represented the Democratic Party before the Donkey?

A. Eagle
B. Rooster
C . Hare
D. None of the above


1. D. All of the above

2. B. Philadelphia distiller E.G. Booz put his whiskey into log cabin-shaped bottles for the 1840 campaign of William Henry Harrison, who was called the "Log Cabin Candidate." Thus the word "booze" entered the American language.

3. A. The 1920 presidential campaign of Warren G. Harding hired jazz singer Al Jolson to sing the campaign theme song.

4. B. In 1948, the vegetarian movement launched a political party. Their candidates were English-born Dr. John Maxwell, 85 years old, who ran for president with Symon Gould, associate editor of American Vegetarian magazine. Being foreign-born, Maxwell could not become president.

5. B. True, the average sound bite is 7.2 seconds. Presidential candidate George W. Bush's single appearance on CBS' "The Late Show with David Letterman" gave him almost as much airtime as he had on all of "The CBS Evening News" during the entire campaign.

6. C. In the 1824 campaign for Andrew Jackson. They were holed at the top so they could be worn on a ribbon from the lapel.

7. A. In 1840, supporters of Harrison rolled the balls from town to town in mass rallies with the campaign slogan on the side, "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too." From this campaign tactic, we got the expression "Keep the ball rolling."

8. D. Dwight Eisenhower

9. C. In 1920 the first bumper sticker appeared for the Warren G. Harding campaign, originally a window decal for a Model-T Ford.

10. B. We don't know why they chose the mighty Rooster, but if you do, drop us a line.


0 - 10 pts. Failing. Be careful when handling butterfly ballots.
20 - 40 pts. Poor. We recommend less "CSI: Miami" and more CNN.
50 - 60 pts. Average. Are you one of those 10 undecided voters in Ohio?
70 - 80 pts. Good. You could co-anchor on election night with Dan Rather.
80 - 90 pts. Excellent. Proceed to law school and then to Congress.
100 pts. Political genius. Are you the author of Vital Statistics in American Politics?