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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

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You are currently viewing all posts written by Elizabeth Wiley. Elizabeth Wiley is a graduate student in the Master's of Communication of Digital Media program at the University of Washington. She has a background in sports communications at the collegiate and Olympic levels, has spent all but nine months of her life in Washington State, and has a passion for social media and the online world. She feels a deep connection to the Pacific Northwest and cares about how politics that impact the region.

October 18, 2012 at 7:10 AM

Elephant in the election room: cost of higher education

With the cost of higher education rising along with the level of student debt upon graduation, politicians at the national and state level need to address the issue frankly and provide real solutions. The average college student in Washington State graduates with over $22,000 of student debt. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images.) SEATTLE — As a…

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Comments | More in Local, State | Topics: student debt, student loans, Tuition

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…

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

October 3, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Live chat with the Seattle Times and UW Election Eye during the debate

Want to join in the conversation about the presidential debate tonight? The Seattle Times politics team will be chatting in real time, joined by Election Eye contributors David Domke, political communications expert and chairman of the Department of Communication at the University of Washington, and Elizabeth Wiley. We welcome your comments, critiques and questions.

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Comments | More in National

May 29, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Newark Mayor Cory Booker puts Twitter to work

Newark Mayor Cory Booker shows that Twitter can be used for politicians for more than just campaigning —  it can be a tool to fulfill mayoral job duties and connect with their constituency. With the abrupt departure today of  Booker’s communications director, the Newark mayor’s facility with his social media channels will be put to the test.

Since 2008, social media has remained a focus in politics. Four years ago, President Barack Obama proved that its power could be harnessed successfully in campaigning. Following that election, many politicians jumped onto Twitter to share their thoughts and connect with voters, with varying degrees of strategy and success.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker is known for his prolific use of social media, using it in a way that could change governing in the U.S. (Photo courtesy of City of Newark Government.)

Newark Mayor Cory Booker is known for his prolific use of social media, using it in a way that could change governing in the U.S. (Photo courtesy of City of Newark Government.)

But the potential of social media goes far beyond just campaigning, town halls, and chats using hashtags. Case in point: Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

With well over 1 million followers and more than 15,000 tweets under his belt, Booker is a tweeting fiend. In the last seven hours, Booker has tweeted about veterans and homelessness, affordable housing, and quoted Harriet Tubman — to name just three.

You may recognize Booker’s name from when he rescued a woman from a burning building, or perhaps you have watched one of his videos posted to YouTube.  More likely, you may have seen some of the fallout from his appearance on Meet the Press just over a week ago.

Twitter isn’t a magic wand: Booker’s communications director, Anna Torres, announced her resignation today, which many believe was influenced by the the mayor’s Meet the Press comments and the damage control. But while Twitter cannot be expected to perform perfect spin, it can be a useful tool for reaching the voting public.

For years, politicians at all levels have had to interact with and respond to requests by their constituents, usually in person or by mail (electronic or paper). Twitter might just offer a real time option for  Twitter users to contact their representatives at the state, regional, and national level.

I decided to follow Booker on Twitter to see if he held up to his reputation.

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Cory Booker, Mayor, Newark

May 13, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Farming families: The forgotten half of Washington

Combines unload wheat on the Ryan Brother's farm outside of Pullman, Wash. (Photo by Elizabeth Wiley/UW Election Eye)

Combines unload wheat on the Ryan Brother's farm outside of Pullman, Wash. (Photo by Elizabeth Wiley/UW Election Eye)

Agriculture is an important industry for the state of Washington, but residents on the west side of the state and in other urban areas don’t always understand its role.

PULLMAN, Wash. — Residents of Washington often refer to the divide between the western and eastern sides of the state as more than just geographic. The Cascade Mountains create a topographic separation, but it goes deeper: rural vs. urban, agriculture vs. industry, conservative vs. liberal.

It’s in Whitman County, in the southeastern corner of the state, where my part of this story starts.  Both of my parents grew up in Pullman, their fathers professors at Washington State University.  My mom’s sister married a farmer, so I spent part of my summers growing up riding horses, combines, and farm trucks with my cousins.

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Comments | More in State | Topics: agriculture, Child Labor Law, Commissioner of Public Lands

May 4, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Fundraising heats up for North Carolina’s Amendment One

RALEIGH, N.C. — The battle over Amendment One in North Carolina continues to receive national attention, as the outcome of the issue could ripple to other states. Amendment One would ban gay marriage and civil unions in the state constitution. The Coalition to Protect NC Families, the primary organizational opponents of Amendment One, reported $2.26 million in…

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Amendment One, Chicago Tribune, civil unions

May 2, 2012 at 9:00 AM

North Carolina Amendment One: Update on polling and fundraising

RALEIGH, N.C. — With one week until Election Day and early voting well underway, I wanted to take a look at the numbers on Amendment One, the North Carolina ballot measure that would limit legal recognition of unions to one man and one woman.

We have new polls and financial updates.

Public Polling Policy, based in Raleigh, released a new poll Tuesday about the issue. The majority of voters still plans to vote ‘yes’ on Amendment One, 55% of respondents, while 41% plan to vote ‘no.’ That’s the same margin as one week ago.

The key pivot point in PPP’s data is public understanding of the amendment. Among the 27% of voters who think Amendment One only bans gay marriage, the measure is favored by a whopping 72% to 27%; for the 40% of voters who know that the amendment would also ban civil unions, as many legal experts have said, the amendment is failing, 60% to 38%.

The majority of older voters (60% for/36% against) and voters in eastern North Carolina (64% for/32% against) are in favor of Amendment One, while young voters (33% for/59% against) are opposed.

When we traveled to North Carolina two weeks ago, Jen Jones, communications director for Equality North Carolina — which opposes the amendment — said she and her volunteers would be engaged in “education and persuasion” all the way through election day. That’s a tough road to victory. But it seems to be the only one anti-Amendment One forces have at their disposal.

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Amendment One, civil union, gay marriage

April 21, 2012 at 3:34 PM

In Passing: Life in Lisbon, Ohio

"In Passing" posts capture shorter snapshots of places and people we encounter on the road. (Photos courtesy of Alex Stonehill, A.V. Crofts and Flickr Creative Commons/UW Election Eye) When you drive off the beaten path, you never know what stories you will uncover. We stumbled on the town of Lisbon, OH and were charmed with what…

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Democrat, Ohio, Republican

April 18, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Keeping the faith in Asheville: Politically, economically, and spiritually

In the town of Asheville, North Carolina, we found a compelling partnership that links the local faith-based community with civic projects involving stakeholders in business, the arts, education, and the public sector.

Time to Revive founder Kyle Martin at Revive Asheville on April 16, 2012. (Photograph by Elizabeth Wiley/UW Election Eye)

Time to Revive founder Kyle Martin at Revive Asheville on April 16, 2012. (Photograph by Elizabeth Wiley/UW Election Eye)

ASHEVILLE — This quaint and quirky town nestled in the Appalachian Mountains reminds me of Bellingham, my hometown. There is an inviting combination of sun-splashed historic brick buildings, locally-sourced restaurants with sidewalk dining, and charming storefronts. The warm spring weather (near the shooting location for The Hunger Games!) made me think of a summer day back home.

In exploring the town, what immediately caught my eye — besides a male nun pedaling a gigantic bicycle with golden handlebar streamers — were clusters of people wearing Carolina-blue shirts.They were everywhere, they were ready to chat, and they were more than willing to give us a few hours of their time over the two days we were in Asheville.

I quickly learned most of them were out-of-town visitors, taking part in Revival Asheville. Between April 16 and 22, Pack Square Park is home to Revive Asheville, a centerpiece of a movement known as Time to Revive, founded by Kyle Martin and supported by over 400 volunteers from 13 states. Guided by their Christian faith, Time to Revive volunteers connect with targeted local communities through intentional acts of outreach and bridge building — city ambassadors if you will.

Time to Revive was founded in 2009, but the movement started three years earlier in Dallas, I learned while interviewing Martin under his group’s enormous white tent in the park. Fresh off a 40-day juice fast, Martin looked like he could stand to drink a milkshake or seven.

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Asheville, Kyle Martin, North Carolina

April 11, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Texts from Hillary Tumblr and the 2012 Presidential Race

Is it possible that Hillary Clinton will be named the vice-presidential nominee on President Barack Obama’s ticket for the 2012 election? A certain Tumblr site and Clinton’s response raises the questions of her potential role on the Democratic ticket. Texts from Hillary is a Tumblr that has gone viral over the past…

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Barack Obama, Campaign 2012, Democrats