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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: Republicans

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November 3, 2012 at 7:00 AM

In Seattle, conservative voters an ideological minority

Kyle Curtis peers over the sign that often brings him disapproving looks from liberal onlookers. Credit: Lauren LeMieux / UW Election Eye.

SEATTLE — For Kyle Curtis, president of the University of Washington College Republicans, it is nearly impossible to show  support for his chosen presidential candidate.

“I can’t tell you how hard it is to get a Mitt Romney sign in this state,” Curtis said.

Curtis did find a sign, but he also found confrontation. While holding the blue-and-red Mitt Romney poster on campus he got a disproving reaction from a passerby.

“He glared at us, then he took a few steps back,” Curtis said. “He was like, ‘You’re kidding me. You’re actually going to vote for Mitt Romney?’ and then I was like ‘Yes.’”

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Comments | More in Culture, Local, State | Topics: blue voters, conservatives, Republicans

May 2, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Conservative poet preaches liberty, freedom

A die-hard conservative finds his activism niche through writing and distributing patriotic poetry.

Roger W. Hancock was not a founding father. You might be confusing him with two men with their signatures on the Declaration of Independence, Roger Sherman and John Hancock, a confusion the real Roger W. Hancock is quick to clarify.

Roger W. Hancock is the PoetPatriot, a man I met at the King County Republican Convention last weekend, and a unique character among many in this election year.

He’s hard to not run into at a Republican Convention. Ever since becoming a Republican in 1988, he’s been a Precinct Committee Officer and has been to every convention since. His pin-laden, American flag waving hat sticks out from the masses, and you couldn’t even get in the door without getting a sheet with his poems on it.

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Comments | More in Culture, Local | Topics: conservatives, Election 2012, Republicans

April 15, 2012 at 11:30 AM

The dueling barbers of Bremerton

Owners Tracey and Andre Jones outside Tracey's Barber Shop in Bremerton on April 14, 2012. She is a Democrat, he is a libertarian. (Photo by Alex Stonehill/UW Election Eye)

Just feet apart physically, but on opposite ends of the political spectrum, two barbers in Bremerton have no qualms about voicing their opinions on the presidential candidates and the state of the economy in their community. 

BREMERTON — In the Manette neighborhood of this military town, only a few feet separate the shops of barber Andre Jones, a black 46-year old whose wife Tracey founded their shop 10 years ago, and hairstylist Sariann Irvin — a white 29-year-old who met her husband when he roamed in one day from the Navy base.

They are next door to each other, but political worlds apart.

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Comments | More in State | Topics: barber, Bremerton, Christianity

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

April 12, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Ann Romney tweets about her work experience to refute Hilary Rosen’s claims

Twitter fights are no longer just for the likes of Snooki or Rihanna. A war of tweets is becoming a common tactic in politics.

The presidential candidates have gotten in what I’ll call low-level, indirect Twitter wars. For example, during President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address in early 2012, former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum tweeted his campaign’s personal stance to any issue Obama discussed.

And yesterday, aka the first day of the general election, Obama and Mitt Romney lobbed strikes against one another, but it was hardly a direct back and forth. Romney tweeted that Obama was conducting a “war on women”:

But then Obama tweeted about Romney and his offshore accounts:

 

If you want to see what a direct, hit-for-hit Twitter fight looks like, check out the partisan brawl that ensued on Tuesday between Communication Directors Josh Amato for WA GOP and Benton Strong for WA Democrats. Apparently being a Communication Director for a state party now requires a hefty bit of snippiness encapsulated in 140 characters or less.

Then Ann Romney decided, well at least the Romney campaign decided, that she too should get in on the Twitter fight action.

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Ann Romney, Barack Obama, Democrats

April 12, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Ann Romney tweets about her work experience to refute Hilary Rosen's claims

Twitter fights are no longer just for the likes of Snooki or Rhianna. A war of tweets is becoming a common tactic in politics.

The presidential candidates have gotten in what I’ll call low-level, indirect Twitter wars. For example, during President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address in early 2012, former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum tweeted his campaign’s personal stance to any issue Obama discussed.

And yesterday, aka the first day of the general election, Obama and Mitt Romney lobbed strikes against one another, but it was hardly a direct back and forth. Romney tweeted that Obama was conducting a “war on women”:

But then Obama tweeted about Romney and his offshore accounts:

 

If you want to see what a direct, hit-for-hit Twitter fight looks like, check out the partisan brawl that ensued on Tuesday between Communication Directors Josh Amato for WA GOP and Benton Strong for WA Democrats. Apparently being a Communication Director for a state party now requires a hefty bit of snippiness encapsulated in 140 characters or less.

Then Ann Romney decided, well at least the Romney campaign decided, that she too should get in on the Twitter fight action.

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Ann Romney, Barack Obama, Democrats

March 27, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Republican delegate convention in Pierce County messy, long, and favored Rick Santorum

Republican presidential candidates Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum (Photos courtesy of www.ronpaul2012.com, mittromney.com, newt.org, and ricksantorum.com)

Note: this is the second of two related posts on the state of the 2012 Republican presidential contest. Part 1 was posted yesterday morning.

TACOMA — The Republican presidential nomination is not over yet, Rick Santorum says. Part of his campaign’s argument is that delegates in caucus states will be allocated to him in greater numbers than the popular votes were on caucus day.

The Pierce County Republican Party convention on Saturday is one place to test Santorum’s view.

The results suggest Santorum might be right.

On March 3, Mitt Romney handily won Washington state’s presidential straw poll at the GOP caucuses, garnering 38% of the statewide caucus vote to 25% for Ron Paul and 24% for Santorum. In Pierce County specifically, Romney won 38% of the vote, Santorum won 26% and Paul received 23%.

That was the popular straw vote on caucus day. In Washington, as in many other caucus states, the official process of appropriating delegates to candidates begins at the precinct caucuses — but is entirely separate from the straw vote — and then moves to the county, and finally to the state level.

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Comments | Topics: conservatives, delegates, GOP

March 17, 2012 at 6:26 AM

If Lehigh and Norfolk State can do it in the NCAA tournament, can Rick Santorum upend the Republican presidential contest?

For sports fans, this time of the year is known as March Madness. That’s the popular name ascribed to the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, in which small schools, serious underdogs, sometimes defeat bigger, far wealthier, steeped-in-tradition programs.

March Madness is the official name of the NCAA basketball tournament (logo by NCAA).

It happened four times yesterday.

Two teams that are #15 seeds (among the lowest in the tournament), Norfolk State and Lehigh, upset #2 seeds and hoop icons Missouri and Duke, respectively. In the history of the NCAA men’s tourney, only four #15 seeds had beaten #2 seeds. It happened twice yesterday.

Further, a #13 seed, Ohio University, upset one of the legendary sports programs in the nation, University of Michigan.  And a #12 seed, University of South Florida, knocked off a #5, Temple.

It was quite a day. Personally, I’m a huge Michigan fan — but I found myself caught up in rooting for the underdog Ohio U. Watching David knock off Goliath is something special.

There are favorites and underdogs in politics, too. And right now, the underdog has got a shot in the Republican Party presidential primary. It’s a long, long, long shot — but it’s still a chance. And when there is a chance, sometimes things happen. Like in 2008.

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Comments | Topics: Alabama, Bill Clinton, Caucuses

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.

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Comments | Topics: advertising, Alabama, Caucuses

March 13, 2012 at 11:02 AM

PerezHilton.com: A place for celebrity gossip and, on occasion, political news

One of the places I least expected to find a poll about the Republican presidential candidates was on PerezHilton.com. Yet, there it was. PerezHilton.com is a celebrity gossip blog, and its namesake has risen to fame for his biting words and eccentric outfits. On the blog, amid the background advertisement…

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Comments | Topics: Barack Obama, Election 2012, Michele Bachmann

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