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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

December 31, 2012 at 7:00 AM

It’s been epic, see you in 2016

We have filed more than 400 posts on U.S. presidential, state, and local politics over the past 12 months. It’s been an incredible experience as journalists, educators, and citizens. We’re now going to take a break, but we’ll be back in four years for the next presidential rodeo.

On the final day of the South Carolina Republican Party presidential primary, January 21, 2012, Newt Gingrich made several campaign stops — including at this iconic Southern eatery. Photo by David Domke/UW Election Eye.

Nearly one year ago, on Jan. 14, I boarded an airplane with three University of Washington students and headed across the country. Our mission was epic: to spend a week on the ground reporting on the South Carolina 2012 Republican Party presidential primary. It was our first gig for UW Election Eye, a new blog partnership of the UW’s Department of Communication and The Seattle Times.

One week later I had a pretty good idea who was going to win the 2012 presidential election. Arizona congressional representative Trent Franks told me so.

Franks, one of the nation’s most conservative congressional members and a favorite of the tea party movement, was standing by Newt Gingrich’s bus as Gingrich spoke to supporters in his last stop of the state’s primary. A few hours later Gingrich would win his first statewide race in his life — a double-digit victory over Mitt Romney that upended the Republican primary for a time.

Franks was one of the few members of Congress to endorse Gingrich. A former speaker of the House of Representatives, Gingrich does not have many friends in high political places these days. But Franks is one of them, and he was traveling with Gingrich on the campaign trail.

I spoke with Franks for 10 minutes while Gingrich held court inside a restaurant. Franks told me why he supported Gingrich and why Barack Obama had to be defeated. I thanked him for talking with me and turned to walk away.

That’s when Franks surprised me.

He took hold of my arm and said, “Hold on, I’ve got one more thing to say.” I was listening. He stretched out his index finger and said “The 1 percent. We hear a lot about the 99 percent and the 1 percent. Mitt Romney is a caricature of the 1 percent — rich, out of touch, doesn’t understand most of America. If Republicans nominate Romney in the midst of this terrible economic time, we’re going to lose. That’s why I’m here. We will lose if we pick Romney.”

That’s when I knew: If a diehard conservative, a red-blooded Republican who would do anything to get rid of Obama, thought Romney couldn’t win, then Romney almost certainly wouldn’t win.

That moment is one I’ll not forget. It was one of the hundreds of up-close-and-personal experiences, all over America, that defined UW Election Eye.

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Comments | More in Local, National, State | Topics: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, The Seattle Times

December 6, 2012 at 7:41 AM

Marriage Equality Day

Same-sex couples gathered in downtown Seattle today to get their marriage licenses. King County Executive Dow Constantine was on hand to sign marriage certificates, while syndicated columnist Dan Savage and others celebrated the landmark day in Washington State history. Here are some highlights.

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Comments | More in State | Topics: marriage equality, Washington state

November 21, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Voter Turnout Approaches 80 Percent in Washington State

Some Washingtonians miss the satisfaction of visiting polling stations on election day. Some Washingtonians prefer the ease of voting from home on their own schedule. But no matter where your opinion falls on mail-in ballots, the correlation between them and increased voting rates is striking. SEATTLE — Mail-in balloting has caused an increase of…

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Comments | More in State | Topics: Election 2012, Voter Turnout, Washington

November 7, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Republican party ends early in Bellevue

BELLEVUE — Would-be partiers in Bellevue turned in early last night as news of President Obama’s win filtered through the crowd at the Washington state Republican gathering. Though the crowd anticipated a win by Rob McKenna, the Republican candidate for governor, those votes won’t be finally counted until later this week, so there was little…

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Comments | More in Local, State | Topics: Bellevue, Rob McKenna, Washington Republican Party

November 7, 2012 at 8:49 AM

Baldwin’s win (and maybe Sinema’s) create new definition of representative democracy

SEATTLE — Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) beat former Governor Tommy Thompson (R) last night to represent Wisconsin in the U.S. Senate. Baldwin is the first female Senator to represent Wisconsin. And with the race still close to call, former State Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D) is still narrowly edging out Councilmember Vernon Parker…

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Arizona 9th District, Kyrsten Sinema, Sexual orientation

November 7, 2012 at 1:32 AM

Exultant Crowds at Westin for Obama, Inslee, and R-74

SEATTLE — Jay Inslee had not taken take the stage at the Seattle Westin tonight to proclaim victory in the Washington gubernatorial race, but that didn’t matter to the boisterous crowd surging up to the stage.  Magnified on large screens on either side of his podium, voice cracking after weeks of hard campaigning, Inslee…

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Comments | More in Culture, National, State | Topics: Barack Obama, gay marriage, Jay Inslee

November 6, 2012 at 9:22 PM

University of Washington students gather at Husky Union Building to view elections

SEATTLE–With so many viewing parties happening in Seattle tonight, it can be hard to pick the perfect spot. But the newly renovated Husky Union Building on the UW’s Seattle campus appears to be the destination of choice for many students so far – and even for some who don’t attend the UW. Alem Hamzie and…

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Comments | More in International, Local | Topics: 2012 Election, Foundation for International Understanding Through Students, HUB

November 6, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Akin’s loss in Missouri to McCaskill teaches other candidates a lesson about rape and rhetoric

SEATTLE — Missouri has been a real-world experiment in politics. The question: Can a candidate push the rhetorical envelope, become a pariah of their party, and still win? Missouri Rep. Todd Akin (R) has taken up this charge while running against incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) for Senate. Akin has caught national headlines for several controversial…

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Claire McCaskill, Clayton Williams, Missouri Senate

November 6, 2012 at 7:17 PM

Seattle on election night – comparing 2008 to 2012

Two UWEE bloggers compare their experience on election night 2008 to tonight – a night full of memories and emotions. Almeera Anwar SEATTLE – I remember four years ago: I was a freshman at the University of Washington and had just voted for the first time in my life. I remember feeling educated and that my…

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Comments | More in State | Topics: "Washington Bus", Capitol Hill, Election 2012

November 6, 2012 at 2:12 PM

A quick view of the U.S. Presidential Election from across the pond

UWEE reporter and MCDM graduate, Daniel Thornton, writes from Scotland below on local coverage and opinions of the U.S. election. SCOTLAND — I’m checking in today from the Scottish capitol Edinburgh with a few quick observations about how the Scots (and the United Kingdom as a whole) are seeing the U.S. Presidential Election from…

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Comments | More in International | Topics: Barack Obama, Edinburgh, Mitt Romeny

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