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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Category: Uncategorized
November 6, 2012 at 9:22 PM

University of Washington students gather at Husky Union Building to view elections

SEATTLE–With so many viewing parties happening in Seattle tonight, it can be hard to pick the perfect spot. But the newly renovated Husky Union Building on the UW’s Seattle campus appears to be the destination of choice for many students so far – and even for some who don’t attend the UW. Alem Hamzie and…

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Comments | More in International, Local | Topics: 2012 Election, Foundation for International Understanding Through Students, HUB

November 6, 2012 at 2:12 PM

A quick view of the U.S. Presidential Election from across the pond

UWEE reporter and MCDM graduate, Daniel Thornton, writes from Scotland below on local coverage and opinions of the U.S. election. SCOTLAND — I’m checking in today from the Scottish capitol Edinburgh with a few quick observations about how the Scots (and the United Kingdom as a whole) are seeing the U.S. Presidential Election from…

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Comments | More in International | Topics: Barack Obama, Edinburgh, Mitt Romeny

November 5, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Radio silence: Does the debate over public funding really matter to young voters?

Seattle — Ever since Romney brought up Big Bird in the first presidential debate on Oct. 3, 2012, feathers have been flying. Liberal commentators condemned his desire to cut funding for public broadcasting, arguing that the .0014 percent of the federal budget it takes up is a small price to pay for public broadcasting’s educational returns, while conservatives countered by saying that even this small portion is unnecessary fat, and should be trimmed off the nation’s unbalanced budget.

Ultimately, however, the question is whether young people value public programming enough to make this partisan tiff relevant after the election.

(Photo illustration by Joseph Sutton-Holcomb / UW Election Eye)

Keith Seinfeld is the assistant news director for KPLU. This Seattle-based radio station received $513,392 in 2011 from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which distributes funding on behalf of the U.S. government to public TV and radio stations. He said that 45- to 65-year-olds make up the largest proportion of their audience, and that the station often discusses how to connect with millennials during big-picture planning.

“We don’t just want to ride off into the sunset with this baby boom audience,” he said.

KPLU’s aging demographic is typical across the nation. According to an analysis of NPR’s demographic nation-wide, by Arbitron, the average age of the 26.4 million weekly NPR listeners is 49, descending to 40 for NPR.org, and 36 for their podcasts.

It makes you wonder whether the millennial generation (18-35-year-olds) are seriously invested in the programming. In this age of increasingly decentralized independent content, is the centralized, publically-funded broadcast model the bedrock of American media culture, or a fossil?

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Comments | Topics: baby boomers, Barack Obama, Big Bird

September 5, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Gay and lesbian caucus hits record numbers at Democratic convention, stresses action

Labor leader Randi Weingarten delivers a speech on the importance of reelecting Barack Obama at the first gathering of the LGBT Caucus at the Democratic National Convention. (Photo by Ilona Idlis/UW Election Eye)

CHARLOTTE — There was much that the Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Caucus celebrated when it convened for its first meeting during the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday.  For the first time, all 50 states, as well as Guam and Puerto Rico, sent an official LGBT participant. Over a dozen hailed from Washington state alone.

Together, the delegates, alternates and other sanctioned staff counted 535 strong and made up 8% of the total delegate count. Couple that with the over 30 LGBT members of the national committee and the largest transsexual delegation, and the Democrats have the most gay-friendly political convention in American history.

“We wouldn’t have needed a room this size a few years ago,” quipped speaker Tammy Baldwin to the packed hall. Baldwin, an LGBT Wisconsin state representative, is running to become the first openly gay member of the U.S. Senate in 2012.

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Comments | Topics: DADT, Kathleen Sebelius, LGBT

May 28, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Memorial day in Wisconsin: In Green Bay, patriotism is a seven-letter word

GREEN BAY, Wisc. — At a Memorial Day ceremony in Green Bay today, patriotism took many forms. For some people at the event, showing their patriotism meant flying two American flags from the handles of their walkers, or bringing a red, white and blue lawn chair to the event. Others showed off military tattoos on their arms with sleeveless shirts, and more people than…

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May 25, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Two Midwest tales of weathering the Great American Recession

UW Election Eye is on the road for three weeks, covering politics in the heartland of America. One of our points of focus is Wisconsin, where voters will decide on June 5 whether to recall their governor. A big issue there, like everywhere, is the economy. Here’s two towns that have different, yet both challenging, tales.

A tumble weed is the only sign of movement you would expect to see at the General Motors Janesville Assembly in Janesville, Wisc. The factory closed its doors in June 2008 and is in standby until its fate will be reconsidered in 2015. (Allison Int-Hout/UW Election Eye)

ON THE ROAD IN WISCONSIN — A total of 49 miles apart in this state anchoring the upper Midwest, Janesville and Middleton tell two very different stories of how some towns in America are weathering the Great Recession. They represent economic turmoil on one hand and prosperity on the other.

Their experiences point to the issue that hangs over all of American politics like a cloud this election season: jobs. It’s certainly front and center as Wisconsites consider whether to oust Governor Scott Walker in a recall election on June 5. And it is jobs that will go far to determine the fate of many other elections in November.

From Puget Sound to Lake Michigan and beyond, it’s on everyone’s mind, even those who are doing relatively well.

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Comments | Topics: Economy, General Motors, Janesville

April 12, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Storify: State GOP and Dem officials throw down in Twitter battle

In a Twitter fight Tuesday, Benton Strong of the Wash. Democrats and Josh Amato of the Wash. Republicans slung tweets about the costs of a special election to replace Inslee. The fight reflects the partisan brawl about these costs, as well as how communications directors spend their free time.

Continue after the jump to view the full story — tweets and all.

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Comments | Topics: Benton Strong, Campaign Finance, campaign oddities

March 30, 2012 at 10:49 AM

King County Elections survey finds high satisfaction; youth want technology

King County Elections ballot

King County switched to an entirely vote-by-mail system after the 2008 general election. It is now exploring more technologically advanced options, such as voting online. (Photo by Alicia Halberg/UW Election Eye)

King County Elections released survey results earlier this week looking into voters’ awareness, perceptions, and satisfaction with the department, as well as the viability of using new technologies in future elections.

Results varied substantially by age group.

King County is home to 1.1 million registered voters, and King County Elections‘ mission statement focuses on “conducting accurate, secure and accessible elections” for those voters.

The phone survey was conducted in September and October of 2011 with 604 interviews across North, South, and East King County. Respondents were evenly split on gender (51% female), heavily identified as Caucasian (83%), and an average age of 47 years old. Additionally, half said they had an annual income of $75,000 or more, and 30% had completed a four-year college degree and 29% had completed post-graduate education.

The survey found that 86% of respondents are satisfied with the overall quality of services provided by King County Elections, and the main reason for dissatisfaction was “nostalgia for voting in person” — something I’d bet could be mitigated by sending out those “I voted” stickers with ballots. This concern notably beat out worries about mail fraud, which garnered half as many responses.

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Comments | Topics: Demographics, King County, king county elections

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