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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: John McCain

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April 30, 2012 at 8:02 AM

Younger Republicans hedge their support of Romney at King County GOP Convention

Finding people under the age of 30 who support Romney is a challenge in the Seattle area. Most support Romney, now that Perry, Santorum and Gingrich are out. But it seems like the majority of them were Paul supporters from the start.

SEATTLE — While many Seattleites were outside enjoying the sunshine on Saturday, almost a thousand hard-core Republican Party members were gathering for the  2012 King County GOP Convention.

(Photo by Lucas Anderson / UW Election Eye)

The meeting, which was held at the Washington State Convention Center, was full of enthusiastic Republicans sporting Mitt Romney, Michael Baumgartner, Rob McKenna and Shahram Hadain stickers and buttons. Ron Paul supporters were also on hand.

Those who visited the Paul campaign booth enjoyed free hard candy, while others enjoyed free doughnuts, courtesy of state Sen. Michael Baumgartner’s campaign. Baumgartner is running for Maria Cantwell’s U.S. Senate seat. Free doughnuts and candies might have off-set the $35 it cost delegates to attend the convention.

When I first entered the convention hall, I immediately noticed a lack of youth representation. I remembered how much youth involvement there was during the 2008 election season and it wasn’t just for Barack Obama. I was living in Arizona at the time and I remembered seeing a sizable amount of youth supporting U.S. Sen. John McCain’s campaign. I know Arizona is McCain’s home state and typically a red state, but there’s got to be some young Republican voters in the room who support Romney, right?

Well, sort of.


Comments | More in Local | Topics: 37th Legislative District, Barack Obama, GOP Convention

April 30, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Monday Eye Openers: Gingrich Steps Back; Obama Plays it Cool

Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich (Photo courtesy of

Gingrich Bids Campaign Adieu…Kinda
Newt Gingrich has not run the most conventional of presidential campaigns. And it seems that Newt isn’t going to be changing his ways, even as he exits the election.

In the wake of multiple primary losses last Tuesday, the Gingrich campaign did not publicly say they were stepping aside, but they did say it was “very clear” that Mitt Romney was the nominee, that Gingrich would campaign as a “citizen,” and that “we’re working out the details of our transition.” There is some talk that Gingrich will withdraw on Tuesday or Wednesday.

In the end, it looks like Newt’s campaign is neither completely dead nor remotely alive. This limbo status prompted John Marshall of Talking Points Memo to question: “Newt Of The Living Dead: Is His Zombie Campaign Finally Over?”

Is Obama Too Cool?


Comments | More in National | Topics: Barack Obama, CISPA, George W. Bush

March 29, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Mitt Romney vs. Rick Santorum means Catholics vs. Evangelicals for the win in Wisconsin’s open, winner-takes-all primary

Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney
Rick Santorum in Detroit, Michigan on February 25, 2012. (James Fassinger/The Guardian) and Mitt Romney (Photo courtesy of

A look at 2008 Wisconsin Republican primary results may provide some clues to how the voting Tuesday might turn out in the state’s important primary.

The Wisconsin primary was significantly earlier in the campaign calendar in 2008, taking place on February 19. Both 2008 and 2012, however, fall after Super Tuesday.

Wisconsin is “winner-takes-all” with a total of 42 delegates. According to the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau, this style of primary means that the candidate who receives a plurality of the vote in any congressional district gains all three delegates from that district, and the statewide winner is entitled to all of the at-large delegates. Additionally, Wisconsin has an “open” primary, so voters do not need to declare any party affiliation to vote.

In the 2008 Republican presidential primary, John McCain won with 55% of the vote, taking 34 of the 40 delegates. Mike Huckabee received 37% of the vote and 6 delegates. Finally, Ron Paul came in with just under 5% of the vote, with no delegates. (Mitt Romney had dropped out of the race by this point.) Huckabee withdrew his candidacy just two weeks after the Wisconsin primaries.


Comments | Topics: catholics, Evangelicals, John McCain

March 15, 2012 at 5:45 AM

Republican primary fight hurting candidates, not good for any of us

The final four Republican Party presidential candidates (photo by Politico)

The Republican Party presidential contest descended into schoolyard name-calling this week.

It began when Newt Gingrich on Sunday blasted Mitt Romney as “probably the weakest Republican frontrunner since Leonard Wood in 1920” — a classic I’m-the-smartest-on-the-playground insult for which Gingrich has no political peer. Romney responded the next day with his best blue-blood neener-neener: he pointed to his greater than 3-to-1 lead in delegates over the Georgian, and said, “If I’m a weak frontrunner, what does that make Newt Gingrich?”

On Tuesday morning before primaries in Alabama and Mississippi, Romney blustered that his closest competitor, Rick Santorum, was at the “desperate end” of his campaign. Santorum won both primaries that evening, and Wednesday morning a Santorum adviser lobbed his best your-mama comeback. He invoked a Romney vacation in which the candidate did something unusual, and said the Santorum campaign wasn’t about to listen to the “value judgment of a guy who strapped his own dog on the top of a car and went hurling down the highway.”

A double-dog dare is next, I’m sure.

This is not helping the GOP. Or any else, for that matter.


Comments | Topics: Alabama, Barack Obama, Democrats

March 5, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Ann Romney words "I don't even consider myself wealthy" taken out of context, turning tables on Romney campaign

Things are often taken out of context in politics. But with the speed and easy ability to disseminate messages via Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, etc., the combination of taking something out of context and making it public can be disastrous. Mitt Romney, his wife Ann, and his campaign have been on both sides of this issue: victim…


Comments | Topics: Ann Romney, Barack Obama, Election 2012

March 5, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Fishy Robocalls — 'tis the season

King County voters received phony robocalls, claiming the Republican caucuses on March 3 were cancelled.

King County voters received phony robocalls that claimed the Republican caucuses on March 3 were cancelled. (Photo by tj scenes/

Nowadays, robocalling is standard practice for political campaigns. In a presidential election year, almost everyone can expect an automated phone call here and there. This nomination season, voters in contested states, like South Carolina or Ohio, racked up dozens of robotic voice mails. Sometimes it’s Robo-Robert on the other end of the cord, sometimes it’s Barbara Bush. Usually, it’s just annoying.

Nevertheless, setting up an automated phone bank is usually easier than finding flesh-and-blood volunteers. With companies like Republican Robo Calls — who assure the customer they’ve never worked with a Democrat — charging only two to seven cents per call, million dollar campaigns can hardly afford not use them.

Yet for a system supposedly designed to avoid human error, there’s certainly a lot of it. Whether it’s scandalous content, like accusing John McCain of fathering an illegitimate black child in 2000, or just ringing the wrong households, like Rick Santorum phoning Democrats in Michigan, robocalling can be disastrous for both its users and subjects.

The robocalls that peppered Washington state in anticipation of the Republican caucus had their share of trickery as well.


Comments | Topics: Barbara Bush, campaign oddities, Caucuses

February 7, 2012 at 11:34 AM

The road to the White House runs through … Pueblo, Colorado?

steel mill in Pueblo, CO

Pueblo, CO steel mill (Photo by Jason Gilmore / UW Election Eye)

PUEBLO — About an hour south of Colorado’s famous conservative mecca, Colorado Springs, we found the city of Pueblo hard at work. No flashy controversies here. No Focus on the Familys and no Ted Haggards. Just friendly, hard-working folks trying to help their city — like so many others in this country — recover from the recession.

It only takes a few minutes walking along downtown’s Main Street for one to realize that people here care more about what the next President can do to help Pueblo than who the new president is. Citizens have a chance to cast their votes on the Republican side in tonight’s state-wide caucuses.

The city has suffered job cuts from some major local employers. The biggest hit came when air conditioning company Trane downsized its Pueblo workforce by 37% in 2009. Even the city’s only daily newspaper, The Chieftan, had to reduce its staff by 5% (11 employees). According to some, this is indicative of a larger, negative economic trend in the area.


Comments | Topics: Barack Obama, Chamber of Commerce, Colorado