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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: Economy

You are viewing the most recent posts on this topic.

July 19, 2012 at 6:45 AM

A presidential campaign that doesn’t need polls

Screen snapshot of the database of polls on the presidential campaign, from December 1, 2011 through July 8, 2012.

Been watching the presidential campaign?

Seen all those attack ads and seeming verbal gaffes and millions of Super PAC dollars? Ignore it. None of it seems to matter so far. This is the most stable presidential campaign I have seen since 1996, when Bill Clinton led Bob Dole by just about 10 points the whole way.

Public opinion regarding Barack Obama and Mitt Romney refuses to budge.

Any single poll might suggest a wider gap or a marriage gap or a move one way or another, but when we look at a “poll of polls” — essentially an average of all polls — we are almost exactly where we started.

12/1/2011 polling averages: Obama +2.3% over Romney

7/19/2012, polling averages: Obama +2.1% over Romney

So what gives? Why does nothing seem to give?

Three thoughts, after the fold.


Comments | More in National | Topics: Bain, Economy, Latino

May 25, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Two Midwest tales of weathering the Great American Recession

UW Election Eye is on the road for three weeks, covering politics in the heartland of America. One of our points of focus is Wisconsin, where voters will decide on June 5 whether to recall their governor. A big issue there, like everywhere, is the economy. Here’s two towns that have different, yet both challenging, tales.

A tumble weed is the only sign of movement you would expect to see at the General Motors Janesville Assembly in Janesville, Wisc. The factory closed its doors in June 2008 and is in standby until its fate will be reconsidered in 2015. (Allison Int-Hout/UW Election Eye)

ON THE ROAD IN WISCONSIN — A total of 49 miles apart in this state anchoring the upper Midwest, Janesville and Middleton tell two very different stories of how some towns in America are weathering the Great Recession. They represent economic turmoil on one hand and prosperity on the other.

Their experiences point to the issue that hangs over all of American politics like a cloud this election season: jobs. It’s certainly front and center as Wisconsites consider whether to oust Governor Scott Walker in a recall election on June 5. And it is jobs that will go far to determine the fate of many other elections in November.

From Puget Sound to Lake Michigan and beyond, it’s on everyone’s mind, even those who are doing relatively well.


Comments | Topics: Economy, General Motors, Janesville

April 24, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Cleveland’s West Side Market: Family farms weather the economic downturn by building local customer base

West Side Market in Cleveland on April 20, 2012. (Photo by Elizabeth Wiley/UW Election Eye)

Cleveland’s West Side Market is packed with local vendors, fresh produce, and hope for an economic upswing. 

CLEVELAND — Cleveland’s West Side Market is an indoor market taking up several city blocks.  Smaller than Seattle’s Pike Place Market, it is more comparable in size to Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market. Celebrating its 99th year, the market leans heavily towards the sales of meat products with specialty vendors selling everything from coffee to pastries and pastas. The weekends draw large crowds of customers threading their way from stall to stall.

Across the way is a smaller marketplace focused on produce. Aisles and aisles of colorful items line the stalls of the market: bountiful grapes, bananas, peppers, tomatoes, kiwis, and star fruits. Vendors call out to shoppers offering tastes of their wares — creating a loud, crowded, and energy filled environment. 


Comments | More in Culture, National | Topics: Cleveland, Economy, Farmers Market

April 20, 2012 at 1:30 PM

As Primanti Brothers goes, so goes Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, Pa. The flagship location of Primanti Brothers, an iconic eatery established in 1933. (Photo by Rachel Crick/UW Election Eye)

Iconic sandwich shops have become a metaphor for Pennsylvania’s second largest city not just surviving — but thriving — in America’s struggling economy.

PITTSBURGH — The sight of eight exhausted Harley Davidson motorcycle riders rolling into Primanti Brothers in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Strip District may seem unremarkable just past quittin’ time on a muggy April afternoon, but a closer look at the backs of their jet-black, patch-covered jackets reveals a metaphor for this city’s revitalized downtown.

These self-described rednecks from little London, Kentucky were not just killing time after clocking out for the night. No, they were in town because all they’ve heard about these past few years is how downtown Pittsburgh is both fabulously entertaining and immune to the recession.


Comments | More in National | Topics: Belltown, Detroit, Economy

February 24, 2012 at 6:30 AM

How to lose an election: talk about everything but jobs in a national television debate

Atlanta, Ocuppy movement

Protestors hold signs wanting more jobs during a demonstration in Atlanta on October 15, 2011. (Photo by Jason Getz/Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Only six mentions of jobs in over 16,000 words.

That’s what I counted from the Republican Party presidential debate on Wednesday in Mesa, Arizona.

It was the 20th — and potentially final — debate of this presidential primary season for the Republican Party. Extrapolating from the evening, they’ve delivered roughly 300,000 words — give or take a couple thousand — from debate stages.

By this point they’ve got their messages honed, they’ve poll-tested their slogans, they know where they and their opponents are strong or vulnerable.  Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul should be going in for the political kill.

And yet, in what may be the final opportunity these four candidates may get to make their case for the GOP nomination, they rarely invoked the four-letter word that is the most dangerous for the sitting president, Barack Obama.


Comments | Topics: Barack Obama, Economy, Election 2012