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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: Demographics

You are viewing the most recent posts on this topic.

March 2, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Where the candidates go matters: Ron Paul is the only candidate coming to Seattle

Republican presidential candidates campaign stops around Seattle, WA. For the Republican presidential candidates, actions can definitely speak louder than words. Tonight at 7:30pm, Seattleites will welcome their first and only Republican presidential candidate to town: Ron Paul. Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney have all skirted around the Emerald City. The closest Santorum…


Comments | Topics: Barack Obama, Democrats, Demographics

February 25, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Gregoire calls Obama "inspiration" for same-sex marriage law, but will it be enough to motivate young voters?

Then-Sen. Barack Obama and Governor Christine Gregoire at a 2008 campaign rally at Key Arena (photo by Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times).

Governor Christine Gregoire hailed President Obama on Friday as the “inspiration” for Washington state’s passage of a same-sex marriage law. It was a declaration that may surprise some.

If her view is shared by the president’s fabled young supporters, same-sex marriage is more likely to survive the potential ballot referendum in the fall elections.

Gregoire, according to Politico, praised Obama after he met with Democratic Party governors at the White House. The president, notably, does not support same-sex marriage laws, though he has often said his views are “evolving” on the matter.

But Gregoire said Obama had done plenty.

“I think we probably have succeeded as much as we have because of his leadership,” she told Politico. “He’s used the bully pulpit. He’s been the inspiration that allowed the state of Washington [to] recognize that we need to have equality.

“It’s because of what he’s been able to do that I actually think in large part we were able to achieve what we did. So I don’t criticize. To the contrary, I thank the president for his leadership on GLBT issues.”

Change is certainly underway.


Comments | Topics: Barack Obama, Christine Gregoire, Demographics

February 4, 2012 at 6:56 AM

Mitt Romney's Mormon faith helps in Nevada and the West

The LDS Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Photo Elizabeth Hunter, UW Election Eye)

LAS VEGAS — A couple of undergrads were horsing around in the hallway when I entered the building.

At the Latter Day Saints Institute of Religion Student Center on the campus of University of Nevada-Las Vegas, young Mormons have heated discussions about politics over ping-pong and candy. Lots of candy. Several baskets of candy — in bowls on the front desk, on a coffee table, in the hallway.

I grabbed a piece as I asked the receptionist if I could speak to someone about Mitt Romney and Mormon politics. “LDS,” she kindly corrected me with a smile. I blushed. From that moment on, I’ve used LDS -— not Mormon —- when talking with members of the Church.

She led me to the office of Institute Director Garth Rasmussen, whom she referred to as Brother Rasmussen. The LDS Doctrine and Covenants book, labeled and marked with color-coded tags, lay open on his desk. Within minutes, Brother Rasmussen was openly sharing his gospel with me.

Here’s the thing, though: Rasmussen said he was happy to talk with me about politics, provided I knew that they were his opinions and not those of the LDS Church writ large. I said absolutely, and we started discussing political issues from healthcare to welfare. About the latter, he got particularly passionate, and shared with me a Mormon parable called the “Gullible Gulls.”


Comments | Topics: Demographics, Endorsement, Endorsements

January 17, 2012 at 10:19 PM

Myrtle Beach mothers march against gun violence

Elizabeth Bowens, president of Mothers Against Violence, throws her peace sign up in the MLK Day parade.

MYRTLE BEACH — This  resort town’s main drag is lined with pastel motels, amusement parks and kitschy pirate-ship-themed  restaurants. In the largely tourist-free winter months, Myrtle Beach seems sleepy and harmless, if just a little kooky. Gun violence is certainly not what comes to mind to passing visitors. But the truth is that it’s shockingly rampant.

In fact, while Will and I watched the Republican candidates duke it out at the Convention Center, two men were shot in an attempted robbery less than ten minutes away.

A few years ago, Julia Brantley Malina’s brother was killed on his way home. An acquaintance offered him a ride and then shot him for the paycheck in his pocket. Malina’s brother never made it home to his wife and two young children.

In 2006, Barbara Hytower’s daughter, Jamilah, and her roommate, Monica Wall, were killed in their apartment. Jamilah had fallen in with a bad crowd and started dealing in drugs. According to The Sun News, the men broke in hoping to steal her stock, but shot Jamilah.

Malina explained that most of these crimes are committed by young people, and often the victim and perpetrator know each other. Disputes over drugs and robberies are exacerbated by prevalent gun ownership.


Comments | Topics: Demographics, gun violence, Martin Luther King Day

January 13, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Finding Democrats in the Red

Twenty South Carolinian counties went for Obama in 2008. (Info courtesy South Carolina Election Commission.)

At first glance South Carolina seems the quintessential red state. It was first to secede from the Union in the Civil War, still flies the Confederate flag and has gone Republican in every election since Reagan. You might think South Carolinian Democrats are few and far between (I did). But a closer look at the last presidential election tells a different story.

In 2008, 20 of South Carolina’s 46 counties voted for Barack Obama. Of those blue counties, 12 showed over 60 percent support for the Democratic candidate. Two places stood out as especially enthusiastic about Obama: the President captured 68.5 percent of the vote in Orangeburg County and a whopping 75.1 percent in nearby Allendale County.

So how did a Democrat manage such numbers in the heart of the South?

I looked to the 2010 census data for clues. Though vastly different in population density—Orangeburg has almost nine times as many people as Allendale—the counties have something very important in common: a significant black majority. Orangeburg and Allendale are 62.2 and 73.6 percent African American, respectively. Perhaps just as importantly, these counties are two of the poorest in South Carolina, with over 31.6 percent of their population living in poverty. Other Lowland counties voted for Obama under similar conditions.


Comments | Topics: Allendal, Demographics, majority

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