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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: Caucuses

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April 16, 2012 at 7:49 AM

Light turnout at Seattle-area Democratic caucuses may signal apathy, overconfidence, or a sunny day

With reporting by Alicia Halberg and Stephanie Kim

Democrats held their legislative caucuses on Sunday to help decide the party’s platform and select the presidential nominee. With Obama guaranteed the nomination, many simply didn’t see any point in attending.

Caucus sign fail at Beacon Hill International School (Photo by Dan Thornton/UW Election Eye)

Caucus sign fail at Beacon Hill International School (Photo by Dan Thornton/UW Election Eye)

Ballard

Only 24 people showed up for the meeting of Washington’s 36th legislative district caucuses at Whittier Elementary in Ballard, where 15 precincts met to caucus.

Alice Woldt, former chairwoman of the King County Democratic Party and former chair of the 36th district Democrats, convened the caucuses at Whittier. She said the district had tried to reach out to potential caucus-goers using local media, calling those who came out in 2008, robocalls in the area, and having caucus officers talk to their neighbors.

“With all of the media attention on the other party, we need to build up energy and enthusiasm, otherwise people won’t think that we’ve got anything going on,” Woldt said.

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Comments | More in Local | Topics: Ballard, Barack Obama, Beacon Hill

April 14, 2012 at 8:58 AM

UW Election Eye hits the road

UW Election Eye is travel bound, with trips today and next week from the West to the East Coast. Today and tomorrow multiple groups of UW Election Eye reporters will be striking out across Washington State to cover important issues and concerns from a citizen’s perspective. Today we will be heading north to Bellingham and the Canadian…

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Comments | More in National, State | Topics: Caucuses, Democratic caucuses, Election 2012

March 26, 2012 at 5:45 AM

Party leaders, news media say Republican nomination is over, but Romney still faces landmines

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum bowls in Wisconsin on March 24, 2012. (Photo by Wausau, Wisconsin Daily Herald)

Note: this is the first of two related posts on the state of the 2012 Republican presidential contest. Part 2 will be posted tomorrow morning.

The leaders of the Republican Party and the national news media have decided that Mitt Romney is going to be the GOP’s presidential nominee in 2012.

For example, national news outlets barely waved at Rick Santorum’s big win on Saturday in the Louisiana primary. The New York Times story included this as the second sentence: “The win gave Mr. Santorum a much-needed psychological boost but it will be unlikely to change the dynamics of the race.” And Politico led its coverage with this: “Rick Santorum picked up another win on Saturday in Louisiana, but the victory won’t significantly change the delegate advantage held by Mitt Romney in the GOP nominating contest.”

On Sunday morning, Republican establishment types left no doubt. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham told CNN, “I think the primary is over. Romney will be the nominee. The fat lady hasn’t sung yet. But she’s warming up.” And former Mississippi governor and GOP insider Haley Barbour said on NBC, “Unless Romney steps on a land mine, it looks like he will be the nominee.”

Romney is certainly the most likely candidate to be the nominee, but I think it’s too early to make the call.

Many news outlets and the GOP leadership are ready to move on to the general election, but the party’s base of evangelical Protestants is not ready to do so. Romney has yet to win a state where the Republican electorate is more than 50% evangelical.

There are at least three serious land mines still out there for Romney.

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Comments | Topics: bowling, Caucuses, delegates

March 17, 2012 at 6:26 AM

If Lehigh and Norfolk State can do it in the NCAA tournament, can Rick Santorum upend the Republican presidential contest?

For sports fans, this time of the year is known as March Madness. That’s the popular name ascribed to the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, in which small schools, serious underdogs, sometimes defeat bigger, far wealthier, steeped-in-tradition programs.

March Madness is the official name of the NCAA basketball tournament (logo by NCAA).

It happened four times yesterday.

Two teams that are #15 seeds (among the lowest in the tournament), Norfolk State and Lehigh, upset #2 seeds and hoop icons Missouri and Duke, respectively. In the history of the NCAA men’s tourney, only four #15 seeds had beaten #2 seeds. It happened twice yesterday.

Further, a #13 seed, Ohio University, upset one of the legendary sports programs in the nation, University of Michigan.  And a #12 seed, University of South Florida, knocked off a #5, Temple.

It was quite a day. Personally, I’m a huge Michigan fan — but I found myself caught up in rooting for the underdog Ohio U. Watching David knock off Goliath is something special.

There are favorites and underdogs in politics, too. And right now, the underdog has got a shot in the Republican Party presidential primary. It’s a long, long, long shot — but it’s still a chance. And when there is a chance, sometimes things happen. Like in 2008.

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Comments | Topics: Alabama, Bill Clinton, Caucuses

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

March 10, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Thousands at Ada County caucus make history, embrace 2012, put Idaho on Republican map

BOISE — “Wow, all the way from Seattle? I knew we were a big deal!” said one Republican at the Ada County caucus. That’s the reaction we heard covering the caucuses this past week from Sandpoint all the way down to Boise, Idaho. Our 1,400 mile trip showed us that not only were Republicans energetic about…

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Comments | Topics: caucus, Caucuses, caucuses

March 7, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Mitt Romney camp defends electability by pointing to delegate math, not impassioned voters

Republican front-runner Mitt Romney (Photo courtesy of MittRomney.com) Many voters we’ve met on the campaign trail say they support Mitt Romney because he seems to be the most electable. And when you look at the Republican Party presidential nomination delegate count, the math is in his favor. Romney aides point out that with…

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Comments | Topics: Barack Obama, Caucuses, delegates

March 7, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Part Two: Ada County caucus had a festival feel

BOISE — With 9,050 voters, over a hundred volunteers, a live band, and endless concession stands selling popcorn, Ada County’s inaugural caucus felt a lot like a carnival. The crowd would spontaneously erupt in “Ron Paul” and “Mitt, Mitt, Mitt” chants or break out The Wave. The applause was deafening and the chorus of voices singing the National Anthem was beautiful. Little kids danced by the stage and attendees chatted with their favorite local politicians and radio personalities.

Though not everyone was happy with Mitt Romney’s 51.79% win, no one complained about the enthusiasm and camaraderie that filled the Taco Bell Arena. Below are a few photo that captured of the energy in America’s largest caucus thus far:

(Photo by Alicia Halberg/UW Election Eye)

These girls decked themselves in patriotic gear in preparation for their first caucus.

Tiny tots carry a paper Ron Paul banner.

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Comments | Topics: caucus, Caucuses, Delegates

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