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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: Colorado caucus

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February 9, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Miss the live tweeting from Colorado caucus? Here's a recap of the night

SEATTLE – On the evening of Tuesday, February 7, the UW Election Eye team live tweeted from the Colorado caucuses with real-time updates, even scooping the New York Times — by nearly six minutes — in announcing that Rick Santorum had won Colorado. This news meant Santorum had swept the night. If you missed our…

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Comments | Topics: Caucuses, Colorado, Colorado caucus

February 8, 2012 at 11:00 AM

In passing: Meeting progressive politics in Manitou Springs

"In Passing" posts capture shorter snapshots of places and people we encounter on the road. (Photos courtesy of Alex Stonehill, A.V. Crofts and Flickr Creative Commons/UW Election Eye)

MANITOU SPRINGS — It was the calm before the Santorum storm.

On a chilly Tuesday afternoon with snow flurries swirling, just hours before Rick Santorum’s surprising win in the Colorado Republican Party caucuses, we followed the example of a number of former U.S. presidents, including Teddy Roosevelt.

We went to the Colorado mountains and Manitou Springs for a pause from the impending caucus craziness.

Squint while standing on the town’s main street, Manitou Avenue, and you could be in a Spaghetti Western. Or Roslyn, WA. Our team’s Colorado native, Jason Gilmore, keyed us in to this serene mountain town that he’s been visiting since he was “knee high to a grasshopper.” It’s one of his favorite places.

It was easy to see why.

Snuggled near Pikes Peak west of Colorado Springs, this historic resort spot is famous for its restorative springs, proximity to the Garden of the Gods, memorable shops such as a charming Penny Arcade, and independent people.

Over hot beverages at Marika’s Coffeehouse, A.V. Crofts and I met one of them, Alan Delwiche, for a conversation about his hometown and the local political scene. Delwiche, whose son Aaron is an alum of the UW Department of Communication, is active in local Democratic Party politics.

Alan Delwiche, resident of Manitou, Col., outside Marika's Coffeehouse, on Manitou Avenue (Photo by A.V. Crofts / UW Election Eye)

Delwiche moved to Manitou Springs in 1982, and has seen the town bounce back from a decade of neglect in the 1970s. Ironically, this neglect meant that many of the historic buildings still stand, as they were not leveled for new construction in the 1960s and ’70s, while many were in neighboring Colorado Springs.

Back then, “it had a sort of Bohemian flavor,” Delwiche says. Today, Manitou Springs has emerged as a bluish dot in an otherwise red sea in the greater Colorado Springs area.

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Comments | Topics: Barack Obama, Colorado, Colorado caucus

February 7, 2012 at 5:24 AM

With a "purple" faith, evangelical Christians in Colorado defy easy stereotypes

COLORADO SPRINGS — It’s not just the electoral votes that are purple — that is, a mix of conservative and liberal — in this independence-loving mountain state. It’s the religiously minded voters, too, who seem to operate at a shade more subtle than in other places.

With some of its largest churches unaffiliated with distinct denominations, the Christian community here is theologically diverse, composed of a range of hard-to-summarize beliefs. This spectrum includes the fiscally conservative with the socially liberal, or, just as easily, the other way around.

Ted Haggard's congregation meets for service in Colorado Springs on Sunday morning, Feb. 5, 2012. The non-denominational church reflects the independent ethos of the state (Photo by Jason Gilmore / UW Election Eye)

“The rest of the world scoffs at us when we place our belief in a particular political [party] instead of Christ,” said Matt Heard, the head pastor at Woodmen Valley Chapel, one of the more influential “megachurches” in Colorado Springs, at Sunday’s evening service.

Christians ought to operate with a more heavenly focus, he said.

The state’s Republican voters attend caucuses this evening to cast ballots for the party’s presidential nomination.

A former evangelical fortress?

The state’s reputation as a center for modern-day American evangelicalism, based in Colorado Springs, is over-rated, said pastor Doug Olsen, also of Woodmen. It remains the national headquarters for Focus on the Family, Navigators and other evangelical groups, but the city’s religious leanings are more complicated.

“We’re an ordinary city with human people that happens to have Christians living in it,” Olsen said, adding that his church works with the local government on outreach efforts to the large military community in the area, as well as to its homeless population.

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Comments | Topics: Caucuses, Colorado, Colorado caucus

February 5, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Gallery: On the ground in Colorado, Romney stakes his claim

COLORADO SPRINGS — While our colleagues covered yesterday’s caucus in Nevada as Romney pulled away with a solid win, UW Election Eye reporter Jason Gilmore and I arrived in snowy Colorado to lead our coverage of the Centennial State’s caucuses on Tuesday.

Our first stop was the evangelical stronghold of Colorado Springs, where Mitt Romney flew in for a “plum-packed” (in the words of one volunteer) rally late Saturday afternoon and quickly staked a confident claim to the Republican voters there.

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Comments | Topics: Colorado, Colorado caucus, Mitt Romney