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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: Religious faith

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September 15, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Beyond big-name speakers, conservatives tackle issues that matter to them

Washington, D.C. — Not everyone here was a veteran culture warrior, such as Gary Bauer or Tony Perkins, and there were plenty of other, perhaps more representative, social conservatives in attendance.

Some come because they’re worried about such perennial topics as same-sex marriage and abortion, and now the HHS mandate. Some, such as former U.S. Congresswoman Linda Smith (R-Wash.), are deeply concerned about social-justice.

Former U.S. Rep. Linda Smith (R-Wash.) addresses human-trafficking at the Values Voter Summit, in Wash., D.C., on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. (Will Mari / UW Election Eye)

Former U.S. Rep. Linda Smith (R-Wash.) addresses human-trafficking at the Values Voter Summit, in Wash., D.C., on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. (Will Mari / UW Election Eye)

Smith, who served in Congress from 1995-98, founded Shared Hope International, a Northwest-based nonprofit that fights domestic human trafficking.

While she was invited to speak by Perkins, she hopes to get people who oppose abortion to care, too, about those abused and neglected as adults, and become interested in other social-justice causes as a result.


Addressing a small crowd during one of the afternoon “break-out” sessions, she said that efforts to stop the sell and trade of minors in the sex industry should be an extension of the “pro-life” cause.

“Believers and conservatives should put this issue in its proper position,” and not treat it as tangential, she said.


Comments | More in Culture, National | Topics: Evangelicals, HHS Mandate, Religious faith

April 18, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Keeping the faith in Asheville: Politically, economically, and spiritually

In the town of Asheville, North Carolina, we found a compelling partnership that links the local faith-based community with civic projects involving stakeholders in business, the arts, education, and the public sector.

Time to Revive founder Kyle Martin at Revive Asheville on April 16, 2012. (Photograph by Elizabeth Wiley/UW Election Eye)

Time to Revive founder Kyle Martin at Revive Asheville on April 16, 2012. (Photograph by Elizabeth Wiley/UW Election Eye)

ASHEVILLE — This quaint and quirky town nestled in the Appalachian Mountains reminds me of Bellingham, my hometown. There is an inviting combination of sun-splashed historic brick buildings, locally-sourced restaurants with sidewalk dining, and charming storefronts. The warm spring weather (near the shooting location for The Hunger Games!) made me think of a summer day back home.

In exploring the town, what immediately caught my eye — besides a male nun pedaling a gigantic bicycle with golden handlebar streamers — were clusters of people wearing Carolina-blue shirts.They were everywhere, they were ready to chat, and they were more than willing to give us a few hours of their time over the two days we were in Asheville.

I quickly learned most of them were out-of-town visitors, taking part in Revival Asheville. Between April 16 and 22, Pack Square Park is home to Revive Asheville, a centerpiece of a movement known as Time to Revive, founded by Kyle Martin and supported by over 400 volunteers from 13 states. Guided by their Christian faith, Time to Revive volunteers connect with targeted local communities through intentional acts of outreach and bridge building — city ambassadors if you will.

Time to Revive was founded in 2009, but the movement started three years earlier in Dallas, I learned while interviewing Martin under his group’s enormous white tent in the park. Fresh off a 40-day juice fast, Martin looked like he could stand to drink a milkshake or seven.


Comments | More in National | Topics: Asheville, Kyle Martin, North Carolina

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 14, 2012 at 5:30 AM

Romney's problems with evangelicals doomed him in Alabama and Mississippi, will likely continue

Rick Santorum is Roman Catholic. This is not news: he is far from shy about his Catholicism. More generally, he is as outspoken about religious faith as any major presidential candidate who’s had success has ever been.

Santorum swept Republican presidential primaries in Alabama and Mississippi last night. This is no small matter. Catholics don’t win GOP primaries often, and certainly not in the South, where evangelicals make up large percentages of the Republican electorate. Among yesterday’s voters, 74% in Alabama self-identified as evangelical, and 80% in Mississippi self-identified as evangelical.

I study religion and politics in America. I find it almost impossible to believe that Santorum would be winning Republican primaries in the South were his central rival for the nomination, Mitt Romney, not Mormon in religious faith.


Comments | Topics: advertising, Alabama, Caucuses

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 19, 2012 at 6:30 AM

What's your story, Mitt Romney?: Authenticity and the search for a candidate's "true north"

GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney works the crowd in Greenville, SC on January 21. Romney was greeting supporters on the morning of the state's primary. (Photo by A.V. Crofts/UW Election Eye) The concept of “authenticity” is overused in these days of avatars, 140 character sound bytes, and reality television. But the idea has not gone…


Comments | Topics: Election 2012, excitement deficit, favorable ratings

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 13, 2012 at 6:30 AM

The culture war and Rick Santorum return to Washington: Susan G. Komen, contraception, Catholics, and same-sex marriage

Rick Santorum at the Cable Center in Denver, Colo., on Feb. 6. The candidate was talking with supporters at his campaign (Photo by Corey Christiansen / UW Election Eye)

The culture war is back.

Actually, it never left. Ideological struggles over reproductive rights, sexuality, gender norms, evolution, and public religious expressions have continued apace, but have taken a backseat to the worst economic crisis the nation has faced since the Great Depression. National unemployment rates crested over 10% in 2009 and now reside at 8.3%, leading some conservatives to call for a “truce” on social issues in this election.

It isn’t back with the same strength as the mid-2000s, when conservative opponents of abortion rights and same-sex marriage were on the winning political side. In 2003, Congress passed legislation banning late-term abortions and the next year 11 states passed ballot initiatives banning same-sex marriage. The conservative energy behind these laws helped George W. Bush secure a second term in the White House. Times have changed: political progressives are now on the offense.

So it isn’t quite a full-on culture war — yet. That could change today, however, when our own Washington state becomes the epicenter of one front of this clash: same-sex marriage.

And one thing to note: Rick Santorum has been waiting for this moment, while Mitt Romney has been dreading it.


Comments | Topics: Barack Obama, Caucuses, Christine Gregoire

February 7, 2012 at 6:34 PM

In Passing: Colorado Springs Pregnancy Center

"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 — The Colorado Spring Pregnancy Center—part of the Life Network—is a small, two-story brick building, positioned conveniently by a bus stop and a Toys…


Comments | Topics: abortion, Colorado, Colorado Springs

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