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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.

November 4, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Is social media “turning off” young voters to political discourse?

President Obama introduces himself on Reddit, where he opened up an “Ask Me Anything” forum for questions. (Screenshot by Kristine Kim / UW Election)

Young voters are more engaged with the election than ever before, thanks to social media. But are today’s conversations as deep as they were in the past?

Seattle — You’ve heard the trends. College students who didn’t even have time to tune in to any of the three presidential debates know that their friends are talking politics when the subjects of Big Bird or binder —  particularly those full of women —  come up. It’s the product of the social-media engine, where a South Korean pop star can go viral in the United States and an “Ask Me Anything” open forum by the president causes Reddit participants to chant, in the form of internet comments, “One of us! One of us!”


Comments | More in Culture, National | Topics: discourse, Election 2012, social media

November 3, 2012 at 7:00 PM

LOLcats and the election: how memes have taken over the news

As election day looms, “zinger” retweets and reblogs catapult political memes into the public eye.

On Twitter memes often appear in the form of hashtags.  (Image courtesy of / UW Election Eye)

SEATTLE — Internet meme (n.): “a catchy phrase or idea associated with an image, which often becomes viral online.”

During the presidential debates, my Twitter feed was aflutter with homemade memes and my Tumblr flooded with political commentary in that oh-so familiar form of white blocky text over photos.

Memes catapulted to fame in 2006 with the rise of the LOLcat and the kitties of I Can Haz Cheezburger.

The first memes I remember seeing were of the “I can haz” variety, but plenty has changed in the past few years, and now this internet art form has become a key part of the 2012 presidential election.

This became especially apparent during the months leading up to the first of the 2012 presidential debates. As October neared, Internet users of all ages were churning out Obama and Romney memes at full-speed.


Comments | More in Culture, National | Topics: discourse, Election 2012, memes

November 2, 2012 at 8:00 AM

In central Virginia, it’s hope vs. faith for swing voters

Colby and Gary Takacs on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. for President Barack Obama’s 2008 inauguration
(photo courtesy of Gary Takacs / UW Election Eye)

What can Virginia tell us about the presidential race? Seattle transplant and UW student Lisa Strube-Kilgore reflects on life in a purple state.

SEATTLE — All the polls seem to agree: Virginia’s looking pretty purple these days. Historically, Virginia was considered a democratic stronghold, but it’s also a deeply conservative state socially. Virginia’s 13 electoral votes went to President Obama in 2008, but this year could see a reversal as polls there seem to show the state as a toss-up.

The idea of living in a battleground state can be pretty foreign to us here in true blue Washington, where it can feel like you’re more likely to run across a unicorn than a swing voter.  Even the idea of undecided voters seems to baffle us, but as a native Virginian, they’re no mystery to me. I know them. They’re my friends and family, my old neighbors and classmates, and right now, they’re the people every pollster and political aficionado wants to talk to. The outcome of this election, as pundits and analysts keep telling us, is very likely in their hands. Everyone wants to know how Virginians (and voters in states like it) are going to vote on November 6. Well, if you ask me, if you really want a good idea of what’s happening in Virginia, you need to head to Lynchburg.


Comments | More in Culture, National | Topics: lynchburg, purple states, swing states

November 1, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Buzzfeed alleges Romney campaign bought relief supplies at Wal-Mart

The Romney-Ryan campaign suffered a blow today over allegations of another staged photo op, its second in three weeks in the crucial swing state of Ohio. Buzzfeed quotes an anonymous staffer as saying the Romney campaign purchased $5,000 worth of merchandise at an area Wal-Mart to serve as props in a hastily-planned “Relief Rally.” The original…


Comments | More in National | Topics: Buzzfeed, Mitt Romney, Ohio

October 22, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Monday Eye Openers: Obama Blitzing Swing States, Third Party Debate, George McGovern Dies, and Washington Governor’s Race Intensifies

Each Monday we feature several important stories in US politics — ones that just occurred, are defining moments, or are key markers on the horizon. We call these Monday Eye Openers. Image courtesy the AntiSteez website Obama Hit Swing States Hard With most polls showing the candidates running neck and neck, President Obama has a two-day campaign…


Comments | More in Local, National, State | Topics: Barack Obama, George McGovern, Jay Inslee

October 19, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Barack Obama scores social media win with #Romnesia

SEATTLE — President Barack Obama’s account popularized a new Twitter hashtag, #Romnesia, and tweeted six #Romnesia tweets in quick succession today, catching the social media world by storm and becoming a worldwide trending topic on Twitter. The first tweet came through at 12:39 p.m. EDT, calling out his presidential rival for switching positions on…


Comments | More in National | Topics: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, social media #romnesia

October 19, 2012 at 7:16 AM

Women’s Issues are our issues

The presidential debates have provided sound bites from President Obama and Governor Romney when they discuss women’s issues.  But what do the candidates’ official websites reveal regarding what they believe on issues of equal rights, women in the workplace, or equal pay? SEATTLE — Women make up half of the electorate and their opinions are valued because…


Comments | More in National | Topics: Barack Obama, Binders full of women, Equal Pay

October 17, 2012 at 7:10 AM

What’s in a “Like”?: Social Media and the Election

We hear so much about “the power of social media.” But just how much are we  influencing others when we post or tweet to those already in our audiences?  Social Media and Politics – “Like”? “Unlike”?Image from Drexel NOW website SEATTLE – You care about the future of your country.  In this closely fought election and…


Comments | More in National | Topics: Barack Obama, Binders full of women, Election 2012

October 15, 2012 at 7:01 AM

Monday Eye Openers: Romney and Ryan in Ohio, Obama preps for debate, Clinton hits the road, Arlen Specter dies, and WA Governor race

Each Monday we feature several important stories in US politics — ones that just occurred, are defining moments, or are key markers on the horizon. We call these Monday Eye Openers. Romney and Ryan hammer Obama in Ohio This weekend, Mitt Romney jump-started his campaign by skydiving from 128,000 feet above the earth’s surface. Wait, no—that was…


Comments | More in Local, National, State | Topics: Arlen Specter, Barack Obama, Jay Inslee

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