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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

October 8, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Monday Eye Openers: Importance of minority voters, debate season, and Referendum 74 supporters

The results from CNN/ORC International poll of likely Latino voters conducted at the end of September 2012.

Minority voters play crucial role
Early estimates indicated that President Barack Obama will need 80% of the minority vote and 40% of the white vote to win the 2012 election. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, needs an estimated 61% of white voters with a 74% turnout of this demographic. If Obama receives more than 80% of the minority vote and their turnout is higher than expected, he will need even less of the white vote to win.
Check out an interactive map by the Center for American Progress to see the state-by-state impact of the minority vote.

According to a Latino Decisions tracking poll released this morning, 72% of Latino voters support Obama, which is slightly higher than the 67% who supported him in 2008. In 2008, Obama took 91% of the black vote.

Voting turnout is pivotal for either candidate to have a chance to win these margins. While minority populations are growing, a smaller percentage of them are eligible to vote than whites. For every 100 Hispanic residents, the fastest growing population in the U.S., only 44 are eligible to vote. Additionally, Hispanics had significantly lower turnout than whites or blacks in 2008, 50% to 66% and 65%, respectively.

Who gets to vote is also a big factor in turnout. With the 6th Circuit Court of appeals reinstating Ohio’s early voting Friday, October 5, the Obama campaign claimed a small victory. The Justice Department, the ACLU, and the Brennan Center for Justice have been successful in all of their challenges to voter restriction this year.

‘Tis the season…to debate
With the first presidential debate and a Washington state governor’s face-off last week on Wednesday, October 3, many national and state-wide races are heating up with more head-to-head meetings in the coming weeks.

In Washington state, gubernatorial candidates Republican Rob McKenna and Democrat Jay Inslee will face off two more times. First on October 11 at 9 p.m., a debate that will be simulcast on KING, KOMO, KIRO, KCPQ, and NWCN. The second meeting will be hosted by KING 5 and the Seattle Times on October 16 at 8 p.m.

There will be two more presidential meetings, as well as a debate between the vice presidential candidates. On October 11, Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan will meet in Kentucky to discuss domestic and foreign policy issues. Obama and Romney will meet two more times, on October 16 and October 22. The first debate will be a town meeting format, while the second will focus on foreign policy.

Gallup polling information released this morning shows that Romney’s victory over Obama in the first debate was considered by voters to be the most decisive debate victory in presidential history. Last night at a fundraiser in Hollywood, Obama made fun ofhis performance. Expect the Obama campaign to come more prepared to the VP and next two presidential moments.

WA Referendum 74 gets support from unexpected voices
On October 4th, the president of Seattle Prep, a Seattle Jesuit high school, shared his reasons for supporting Referendum 74 on his blog. Kent Hickey cited his conservative beliefs as the main reason for supporting the law — which he said is often seen as a liberal viewpoint — as well as adding reasoning based on his faith as well.

Local hip-hop artist Macklemore added his voice to support the referendum. This week, the artist, whose real name is Ben Haggerty, released an official for the song Same Love, which tells the story of a gay man and his lifelong love. The video has gone viral, racking up almost 2.5 million views in less than a week.

Comments | More in National | Topics: debate, Gallup, Latino Decisions

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