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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Category: National

National election news covered through the eyes of UW students and faculty.

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.


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

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…


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

The crowd at the Seattle Westin watches President Obama’s victory speech. (Photo courtesy of Carolyn Higgins/UW Election Eye) 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…


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

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…


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

November 6, 2012 at 11:50 AM

VIDEO: Possible voter fraud in Pennsylvania — or just voting machine malfunction?

Update: Reports have confirmed that the Pennsylvania voting machine in question has been taken out of commission.  Multiple states across the country have tried to preempt voter fraud this election cycle. Largely driven by Republican legislators, these preventative measures have been decried as attempts at voter suppression, specifically of groups who tend to…


Comments | More in National, State | Topics: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Pennsylvania

November 6, 2012 at 11:11 AM

The first in the nation and the first tie – Dixville Notch in 2012

Dixville Notch, NH is famous for being the first community in the U.S. to announce its election results. What was the result in 2012? The Balsams Hotel in Dixville Notch, NH. (Photo courtesy of Roger H. Goun/Flickr Creative Commons) As I was wrapping up my Monday night, preparing for a long Election Day ahead, I turned…


Comments | More in Culture, National | Topics: 2012 Election, Balsams Hotel, Dixville Notch

November 6, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Flash poll: what impact does social media have on the millennial generation?

Seattle — As I filled out my voter’s ballot for the 2012 presidential election, I couldn’t help but think of two words: Gangnam Style.

Ranked number two on the Billboard Hot 100 charts is the new hit from South Korean rapper, PSY. The viral YouTube video, “Gangnam Style,” has people dancing all over the globe, including a parody of presidential candidate, Mitt Romney:

With nearly 7 million views on YouTube, “Gangnam Style” has more views than the total amount of likes on the vice presidential candidates’  Facebook pages, combined (for both Joe Biden and Paul Ryan).


Comments | More in Culture, National | Topics: flash poll, social media, Young voters

November 5, 2012 at 10:00 AM

A European Perspective on the Presidential Race

Some Europeans say that they should be able to vote for President in the United States, because whoever gets elected has a huge impact on the whole world.

SHORELINE — How do people outside the United States perceive the election and the presidential candidates?  Do they follow American politics?  Specifically, do they follow presidential politics?  I thought it might be interesting to get a glimpse of the outside point of view, so I asked.  I spoke with my parents, who live in Finland and are very keen on the news and current events.  I also asked my cousin to report what she observed from Belgium, where she’s lived for many years.

Let’s see what they had to say.


Comments | More in National | Topics: Barack Obama, Belgium, Europe

November 4, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Primer: what you need to know about health care and the 2012 election

How health care in the 2012 elections will impact your day-to-day life.

(Photo illustration by Mali Main / UW Election Eye)

Tanning, abortions and your wallet.

These are just three things that will be affected by this election.

The federal government is rolling out the Affordable Care Act, also know as Obamacare, in stages. But the biggest changes are set to be implemented in 2014. That is, if the president is re-elected.

“This is the most critical election since 1964 as far as health care is concerned,” says Roger Stark, a health-policy analyst at the Washington Public Policy Institute.


Comments | More in Health Care Reform, National | Topics: Obamacare, policy, primer

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