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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: advertising

You are viewing the most recent posts on this topic.

May 18, 2012 at 8:30 AM

The politics of yard signs


Campaign signs are the ultimate, well, sign that election season is upon us. But with campaigns going digital and ecological concerns growing, how long will we keep sticking them in our lawns?

SEATTLE — Nothing signals the start of an election year like the first campaign sign driven into your neighbor’s yard. It’s hard to believe that the person that puts the most ink on corrugated plastic has the best chance at winning an election. And with online advertising and social media that may soon be changing.

The wall of old signs inside of Thompson Signs' warehouse serves as a visual political history for the area. (Photo by Lucas Anderson / UW Election Eye)

For Thompson Signs, a local union sign shop in Lacey, that change is not so evident. A family-owned business, Thompson Signs has been printing for 11 years, and has been one of the top vendors for political signs for the last few election cycles.

For its output, Thompson is a surprisingly compact operation: only two men working the printers every day in a warehouse connected to a handful of other small businesses off of Pacific Avenue SE in Lacey. The printers are big machines that make an unescapable sound even in the office, where owner Diana Burton reminds me that she was out working the presses when she first bought the business 11 years ago.

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Comments | More in State | Topics: advertising, campaign yard signs, Jay Inslee

May 17, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Gubernatorial candidates, especially Rob McKenna, spending campaign dollars out of state

Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna have spent almost the same amount so far on their campaigns for governor. But differences in the way they spend just might give us a clue as to who will win in November, and how they’ll run our state.

(Graphic by Betsy Hauenstein/UW Election Eye)

Politics is a money game.  The candidate with the most cash usually wins, but in Washington state’s gubernatorial race, the two main candidates are almost neck and neck in terms of fundraising. There’s no sign that this tight race will let up before November, so what matters most is how they choose to spend that money.

Thanks to the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission (PDC), we get an idea of where the money is going.

The graphics above categorize all of the expenses listed on the PDC website for the Rob McKenna (R) and Jay Inslee (D) campaigns. The more than 1,000 expense entries for each campaign provide a glimpse into each candidate’s campaign approach.

The numbers tell two stories: one about new technologies, one about an old truism.

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Comments | More in State | Topics: advertising, campaign funds, Election 2012

March 14, 2012 at 5:30 AM

Romney's problems with evangelicals doomed him in Alabama and Mississippi, will likely continue

Rick Santorum is Roman Catholic. This is not news: he is far from shy about his Catholicism. More generally, he is as outspoken about religious faith as any major presidential candidate who’s had success has ever been.

Santorum swept Republican presidential primaries in Alabama and Mississippi last night. This is no small matter. Catholics don’t win GOP primaries often, and certainly not in the South, where evangelicals make up large percentages of the Republican electorate. Among yesterday’s voters, 74% in Alabama self-identified as evangelical, and 80% in Mississippi self-identified as evangelical.

I study religion and politics in America. I find it almost impossible to believe that Santorum would be winning Republican primaries in the South were his central rival for the nomination, Mitt Romney, not Mormon in religious faith.

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Comments | Topics: advertising, Alabama, Caucuses