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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: Latinos

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April 14, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Young candidate hopes to inspire Latino voters in Yakima

Central Washington University student Pablo Gonzalez is currently the only Democrat in the race in the 15th LD.(Photo courtesy Pablo Gonzalez)

Pablo Gonzalez, a senior at Central Washington University, has entered the race for representative in the 15th Legislative District. He’s a moderate Democrat from a Latino background, and is running in the state’s only district with a Hispanic majority.

Pablo Gonzalez is no stranger to beginning the day in a race against the clock.

Like any college student, most days he leaves the house before he even has time to eat breakfast.

But unlike most college students who leave home without a second to spare, Gonzalez is not trying to catch a bus or make it to class on time. He is trying to win an election.

Hailing from a small town in the Yakima Valley and now finishing up his final quarters at Central Washington University, Gonzalez is gearing up to run for representative in the 15th Legislative District, position 2. He is the only Democrat in the race at this time, and the current representative, David Taylor (R), has not yet officially declared.

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Comments | More in State | Topics: 15th Legislative District, Central Washington University, David Taylor

April 12, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Redistricting makes massive 9th LD even more rural, conservative

Rep. Joe Schmick (R) of the 9th LD poses on his family farm. When he's not in Olympia, he spends his days harvesting and managing a small business.

Rep. Joe Schmick (R) of the 9th LD poses on his family farm. When he's not in Olympia, he spends his days harvesting and managing a small business. (Photo courtesy of Rep. Joe Schmick)

It’s a long haul from Southeastern Washington to Olympia, but the same issues of education and changing demographics hit home out on the farm.

This time of year Rep. Joe Schmick (R) of the 9th LD, can’t help but miss the routine of daily life back home. A second-generation farmer, Schmick lives in Colfax in the southeastern corner of Washington state, where he grows garbanzo beans and a handful of other crops. While his neighbors and constituents ready their fields, Schmick uproots to Olympia, where he lives in a trailer in a campground just outside the Capitol.

“We’re either going 100 miles an hour, or doing zero,” he said of the pace of legislative life.

But in that regard, Schmick’s family history of farming has helped him in Olympia. It’s his familiarity with the working man that he says distinguishes him from other figures in the political arena.

“There are too few people [in Olympia] that sign the front side of a paycheck or have to balance not just a household budget but a business budget,” says his colleague Sen. Mark Schoesler (R), also of the 9th district.

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Comments | More in State | Topics: 9th legislative district, Demographics, education

February 15, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Republican problems with Latino voters run deep, but some seek a new course

Every election cycle, pundits, candidates, and journalists speculate that this might be the campaign in which a Republican presidential candidate wins over Latino voters, a large and growing body of the electorate.

Unless something dramatic occurs, it will not happen this year.

Percent of Latino registered voters expressing "favorable" opinions of these politicians (Latino Decisions survey, January 16-23, 2012, margin of eror +/- 4.4%)

A mid-January national poll of Latino registered voters — conducted in part by UW political science professor Matt Barreto — showed that the most recent Republican president, George W. Bush, and the three front-running 2012 GOP presidential candidates are viewed far less favorably than the current Democratic president, Barack Obama. Among Latinos with opinions of the candidates, 72% had a favorable impression of Obama, compared to no more than 37% for any of the Republicans.

In head-to-head electoral matchups in the same survey, Obama beat Mitt Romney 67-25 and Newt Gingrich 70-22. Each of these was even more tilted than in the 2008 election, when Obama beat John McCain 67-31 among Latinos voters.

So why aren’t Republicans winning over Latino voters?

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Comments | Topics: Colorado, Latinos, Mitt Romney

February 11, 2012 at 6:30 AM

In passing: Memories of Nazis and Communism compel two Santorum supporters

"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) COLORADO SPRINGS — I didn’t expect to do this, Heidi Gutierrez said as she climbed the stage at Rick Santorum’s rally to talk to the waiting…

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Comments | Topics: Caucuses, Colorado, Election 2012

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.

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

February 4, 2012 at 6:21 PM

In Passing: La Choza #2 Mexican Restaurant

"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) LAS VEGAS – When we exit the Summerlin Parkway in Las Vegas on to North Rancho Drive, at first the shops and scenery reflect the outskirts of any…

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Comments | Topics: Cultural sights, Florida, food