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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: conservatives

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March 6, 2012 at 7:55 PM

Report from UW alum in Cincinnati

Map of Ohio courtesy of

CINCINNATI — Jeff Dickson, a 2010 UW graduate who majored in business and who now lives and works in Cincinnati, Ohio, wrote me this evening with some impressions of his experience voting in what is probably the most important state in today’s spate of caucuses and primaries.

Dickson leans pretty conservative (he once wrote for the UW Daily as one of two resident more right-leaning political columnists;

I was the opinion editor at the time, as an undergraduate). But he remains moderate, too, on many issues.

Here are his thoughts, more or less raw:

“At my polling location, very early this morning in a large baptist church, there were plenty of people buzzing. We’ve been bombarded the last couple weeks with attack ads from both Romney and Santorum. Despite Romney’s tour through the area this weekend (including a “Ribs with Mitt” dinner at a local landmark, The Montgomery Inn), the area seems to be leaning more toward Santorum. This doesn’t come as too much of a surprise, since the area is heavily socially conservative (hence voting in a large Baptist church). …


Comments | Topics: conservatives, Jon Huntsman, Mitt Romney

March 6, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Exit polls show evangelical Christians out in force today, Ohio mixed bag for Mitt and GOP

CNN is slowly dribbling out some information right now from early exit polls in Super Tuesday contests today. Here’s a couple quick nuggets of interest: About 45% of voters in Ohio identified as white evangelical Christians, per exit polls. That figure was 40% in 2008. — Nate Silver (@fivethirtyeight) March 6, 2012 Big test for Romney… RT…


Comments | Topics: Barack Obama, Caucuses, conservatives

March 6, 2012 at 6:35 AM

Ron Paul on message in Idaho, but some still pondering

Ron Paul speaks at a Town Hall in Sandpoint, Idaho on March 5, 2012

A packed house listens to Rep. Ron Paul at his first rally of three in Idaho today. (Photo by Alicia Halberg / UW Election Eye)

SANDPOINT — I wish I had started counting right away.

At a campaign stop Monday at the Bonner County Fairgrounds hall filled with a standing-room only crowd here in Northern Idaho, Ron Paul hammered President Obama and his Republican opponents on economic policies and highlighted abolishing the Federal Reserve — making the latter point what must have been more than 20 times.

But I started counting too late to know the exact tally. At minimum, it was more than enough to get the point across.

Fliers around the room and posted on the doors highlighted caucus locations in Bonner County, something which introduction speakers made very clear at the beginning of the event. Energy was high and many event attendees said that this was their first political event.

“Nobody ever comes to Sandpoint,” said one young attendee who preferred his name not be used. “Usually we would have to go to Coeur D’Alene or Spokane to see somebody this important. It’s great that he cares about small towns like ours.”

Paul stuck to many of his regular talking points — such as returning to the gold standard, and highlighting big government as the cause of today’s economic issues, not the solution — but he also took steps to tailor his speech to the Idaho crowd, something he rarely does.

“Sandpoint is a small town, but it’s an important one in the cause for liberty,” he said.

An introduction speaker said that Paul was the godfather of Idaho’s state’s rights movement.

The liberty-hungry crowd gave massive applause to abolishing federal welfare programs, even in this economically depressed region.

“When the government is small, the people are big,” Paul said. “The Founding Fathers didn’t intend for this to be a democracy; they wrote the Constitution for a republic … The bigger the government gets, the less liberties we have. We can’t fix everything by making the government bigger — it’s what got us into this mess in the first place. The government doesn’t have any money, it only has the money that it steals from people!”

The crowd went wild.


Comments | Topics: Caucuses, conservatives, Evangelicals

March 5, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Idaho political landscape: quick facts and a brief electoral history

Spokane County Republican Caucus Results Map

Paul’s percentage in Spokane county was almost cut in half from 46.6% in 2008 to 26.5% on Saturday, which gives Romney reason to smile. (Photo from Google Elections)

SANDPOINT — For the first time in their history, Idaho’s Republicans will hold a presidential caucus on Super Tuesday instead of a primary in May. With Mitt Romney enjoying momentum from his fifth win in a row Saturday in Washington — along with a string of new endorsements — he stands a strong chance of capturing most if not all of Idaho’s 32 delegates.

But with no Idaho polling data to work with this election cycle, what can the 2008 primary tell us about Idaho’s GOP voter landscape?

In Idaho’s 2008 Republican primary, John McCain took home the prize with 70% of the vote to Ron Paul’s 24%. That primary was held on May 28, long after McCain had already secured the party’s nomination. Romney had already dropped out and did not appear on Idaho’s ballots.

Idaho was Paul’s single best state that year. This past Saturday, Paul swept Washington’s counties bordering Idaho, save for Spokane County. It’s worth noting that Paul’s percentage in Spokane county was almost cut in half from 46.6 to 26.5% from four years to this year, which gives Romney reason to smile. That said, a look at Google’s search trends over the past week in Idaho shows a leveling-off of Romney searches, but a steady increase in those for Paul.

What is the breakdown of statewide Republican politics in Idaho?


Comments | Topics: Caucuses, conservatives, Demographics

March 1, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Contraception is 2012 wedge issue for Republicans and Democrats

During the last CNN debate in Arizona, the Republican presidential candidates were able to unanimously agree on one thing: their opposition to Barack Obama’s efforts to make employers cover contraception. The national debate between Republicans and Democrats about contraception has led to what Taegan Goddard of Political Wire has called the “birth of…


Comments | Topics: Barack Obama, conservatives, contraception

February 29, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Contraception controversies energize Catholic voters in Washington of all political stripes

Patricia O'Halloran, Wash. State anti-abortion activist, at a coffee shop near the recent Rick Santorum rally held in Tacoma on Feb. 13, 2011 (Will Mari / UW Election Eye)

Patricia O'Halloran, an opponent of abortion, at a coffee shop near the Rick Santorum rally in Tacoma on Feb. 13 (Will Mari / UW Election Eye)

The Contraception Controversies are at hand for Washington politics.

The conflict over the Obama administration’s birth control-funding mandate and a federal judge’s ruling last week that Washington’s pharmacists don’t have to provide prescribed contraceptives appear likely to drive more Catholics to the Washington Republican caucuses this Saturday — on all sides of the political spectrum.

Here’s three perspectives.


Comments | Topics: abortion, conservatives, Religious faith

February 20, 2012 at 6:59 AM

The Republican caucus in Washington is nothing like the past: It's rich in delegates, competitive, perfectly timed, and matters

For the past 25 years, the state of Washington has been largely irrelevant in the Republican Party’s presidential primary process. This year, things are different. Very different. Let us count the ways. Voters gather in a Washington state high school gymnasium for the Democratic caucus on February 9, 2008. Four years later, more eyes will be on…


Comments | Topics: Caucuses, Chris Vance, conservatives

February 14, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Slideshow of Rick Santorum Monday night in Tacoma: religious liberty, gay marriage, and glitter bombs

TACOMA — Sporting his trademark sweater vest, Rick Santorum was greeted by hundreds of supporters, one glitter bomb, and about a dozen Occupy Tacoma protesters at a rally Monday night at the Washington State History Museum.

As two of the Occupiers were arrested and dragged away, literally kicking and screaming, some of Santorum’s fans, many of them families sporting babies on their hips, grew annoyed.

“We pick Rick!” alternated with ragged cries of “We are the 99%!” as Santorum spoke, referring at various points to President Barack Obama’s Health and Human-Services (HHS) mandate.


Comments | Topics: abortion, conservatives, Evangelicals

February 12, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Some former Obama supporters look to Ron Paul for hope and change in 2012

Ron Paul is not expected by most observers to win many, if any, of the Republican 2012 primaries or caucuses. From Day One, his campaign has made it their goal to win enough delegates to be a king-maker for the GOP convention’s nomination process. One state where Paul had an excellent chance to win was…


Comments | Topics: Barack Obama, Blue Republicans, campaign

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