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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Category: State

Washington State 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

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.


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. Washington State ballot drop box in the 2012 election….


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

November 7, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Republican party ends early in Bellevue

Seattle resident Shiao-Yen Wu and her Pomeranian, Zoro, at the Washington State Republican Party’s event on Tuesday night. (Photo by Ruth Moon/UW Election Eye) 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…


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

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 7:17 PM

Seattle on election night – comparing 2008 to 2012

Image courtesy of 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…


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

November 6, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Marriage equality vote a dead heat in Maine

Today, four states vote on marriage equality. In Maine, the Religious Coalition Against Discrimination is hoping for a victory. UWEE spoke with their Executive Director, Lucky Hollander. PORTLAND, Me. — Lucky Hollander walked into the Portland coffee shop like a woman on a mission. Because she was. As Executive Director of Maine’s Religious Coalition Against…


Comments | More in State | Topics: Lucky Hollander, Maine, marriage equality

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 5, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Unlikely support and opposition for Initiative 502

Initiative 502, which would legalize marijuana use, is on the Nov. 6th ballot in Washington state, but its supporters are not who you’d expect.

SEATTLE — Washington may soon become one of the first states to pass an initiative legalizing recreational marijuana use.

King County Sergeant Cindi West believes that keeping marijuana outlawed is a waste of money and resources that could better be used to prosecute more harmful crime (Photo by MJ Hoecherl / UW Election Eye).

If passed by the voters tomorrow, the initiative would license and regulate marijuana production, distribution and possession for persons over 21. A sales tax of 25 percent would be enforced on all sales and a new DUI standard would also be established, much like the present alcohol DUI standard. Marijuana is currently the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States.
Among the groups in support of I-502 is a likely one: young voters, and a seemingly unlikely one: King County law enforcement.

Ironically, when state legislators introduced the initiative last summer, they anticipated much of the support to come from medical marijuana businesses and activists, but that has not been the case.

Businesses that sell medical marijuana and their customers are those that are most strongly opposed to the initiative. They say that the regulations of the drug’s DUI standard would cause users to fail days after smoking, which is not consistent with an alcohol-related DUI.


Comments | More in State | Topics: I-502, law enforcement, marijuana

November 3, 2012 at 7:00 AM

In Seattle, conservative voters an ideological minority

Kyle Curtis peers over the sign that often brings him disapproving looks from liberal onlookers. Credit: Lauren LeMieux / UW Election Eye.

SEATTLE — For Kyle Curtis, president of the University of Washington College Republicans, it is nearly impossible to show  support for his chosen presidential candidate.

“I can’t tell you how hard it is to get a Mitt Romney sign in this state,” Curtis said.

Curtis did find a sign, but he also found confrontation. While holding the blue-and-red Mitt Romney poster on campus he got a disproving reaction from a passerby.

“He glared at us, then he took a few steps back,” Curtis said. “He was like, ‘You’re kidding me. You’re actually going to vote for Mitt Romney?’ and then I was like ‘Yes.’”


Comments | More in Culture, Local, State | Topics: blue voters, conservatives, Republicans

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