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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: Republicans

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March 10, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Thousands at Ada County caucus make history, embrace 2012, put Idaho on Republican map

BOISE — “Wow, all the way from Seattle? I knew we were a big deal!” said one Republican at the Ada County caucus. That’s the reaction we heard covering the caucuses this past week from Sandpoint all the way down to Boise, Idaho. Our 1,400 mile trip showed us that not only were Republicans energetic about…


Comments | Topics: caucus, Caucuses, caucuses

March 9, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Super Tuesday reported on European style

AMSTERDAM — Yesterday I landed in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, en route to Sudan. One of the gifts of international travel is the chance to see how other countries report on your own nation. Kiosks at Schiphol were full of European newspapers I scanned for news of Super Tuesday results. I snapped photos of a few…


Comments | Topics: Amsterdam, Election 2012, Europe

March 9, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Reflections on International Women's Day and the 2012 presidential election

International Women's Day logo

International Women's Day logo. (Logo courtesy of

International Women’s Day occurred yesterday.

In 1909, the United States observed National Women’s Day, which inspired members at the International Women’s Conference to organize an international equivalent, and the first International Women’s Day (IWD) was celebrated in 1911.

The day is meant to celebrate the economic, political, and social achievements and advancements made by women, but also to bring awareness to gender inequality throughout the world.

Even though the idea for this day started in the United States, it doesn’t get a lot of attention here and tends to be a bigger celebration in other countries. Sarah Stuteville, co-founder and editor of the Common Language Project, reflected on her experience celebrating IWD in Mexico in a recent article for The Seattle Globalist: “I was surprised to find the streets filled with parades and vendors selling giant teddy bears in celebration of International Women’s Day. Random people greeted me with a cheerful “Feliz dia de la mujer.’”

For women in American politics, the double-edged sword that accompanies the celebration of International Women’s Day is something they also experience. American women in politics experience both triumph and defeat, opportunity and oppression.


Comments | Topics: Barbara Jordan, Election 2012, Gender

March 7, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Mitt Romney camp defends electability by pointing to delegate math, not impassioned voters

Many voters we’ve met on the campaign trail say they support Mitt Romney because he seems to be the most electable. And when you look at the Republican Party presidential nomination delegate count, the math is in his favor. Romney aides point out that with Super Tuesday behind them, Romney needs…


Comments | Topics: Barack Obama, Caucuses, delegates

March 7, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Romney emerges victorious in huge turnout at Ada County caucus: Part One

Over 9,000 voters crowded inside the Taco Bell Arena for Ada County's first caucus on Super Tuesday, March 6, 2012. Black polling booths surrounded the stage and voters lined up to drop their penny tokens. (Photo by Ilona Idlis/UW Election Eye)

BOISE — Over 9,000 voters crowded inside the Taco Bell Arena on Super Tuesday for Ada County’s first ever caucus, where Mitt Romney secured all of Idaho’s 32 delegates. Ada County Chairman Dwight Johnson called it the “largest caucus in the history of the Republican Party.” The sharp 7 p.m. walk-in deadline was extended to accommodate the barrage of latecomers, and by the time attendance was established, half an hour had passed.

After a prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, the national anthem, instructions, and stump speeches for each of the four candidates (Rick Santorum submitted a video message), the voting part of the event finally got under way. Caucus goers lined up according to the stamps on their wristbands at various polling booths around the stadium. I use the term “booth” loosely, since voting space was just a few gauze black curtains. Inside was a table with four buckets. Each bucket had a candidate’s name taped to it.

As voters entered, volunteers handed them a token — a shiny, new Lincoln penny — to place inside the bucket of their choice. On their way out, another volunteer marked their hands with a blue marker to signify they had voted in the first round.

It took about an hour to filter through everyone sitting in two tiers of bleachers. A few county officials counted all 9,050 pennies — by hand.


Comments | Topics: Ada County, caucus, Caucuses

March 6, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Exclusive: Interview with Idaho Governor Butch Otter

Idaho Governor Butch Otter chats with an attendee at pro-Mitt Romney Meet and Greet event in Coeur D'Alene on Monday, March 5.

Idaho Governor Butch Otter chats with an attendee at a Mitt Romney Meet and Greet event in Coeur D'Alene on Monday, March 5. (Photo by Ilona Idlis/UW Election Eye)

COEUR D’ALENE –The hundred or so people gathered inside the Coeur D’Alene Resort Hotel for a Mitt Romney rally greeted Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter like an old friend.

Moments after strolling inside the convention hall, the Governor got a warm hug from Donna Montgomery, an event volunteer and long time member of Kootenai County Republican Women Federated. As the two walked toward the room, the Governor’s arm around Mongomery’s shoulders, she joked that Otter should be the one running for president.

“You know, I was up there for six years and didn’t like it much,” he retorted, reflecting on his six years in Washington D.C. as a congressman.

After shaking hands with me and Alicia Halberg — the only visible press at the event — the Governor disappeared inside the meeting hall and Montgomery nudged me with her elbow.

“Isn’t he cool,” she beamed.

Clad in jeans, a dress shirt with monogrammed “Butch” cuffs, American flag cuff links, and an enormous gilded belt buckle, the Governor carried himself a bit like a cowboy. He exuded a likability reminiscent of George W. Bush’s good ol’ boy charm. Aw shucks. I found myself agreeing with Montgomery.


Comments | Topics: Butch Otter, caucus, Caucuses

March 6, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Ron Paul signs rule rural Idaho

BOISE–The four hour drive from tiny, freezing Grangeville to huge and sunny Boise is a roller coaster of terrain, temperature and elevation. As Alicia Halberg wove her Chevy Blazer around the twists and turns of US 95, the views alternated between snowy cliffs and rolling yellow plains, the thermometer bounced from 23 to 42 degrees…


Comments | Topics: caucus, Caucuses, Idaho

March 6, 2012 at 6:35 AM

Ron Paul on message in Idaho, but some still pondering

Ron Paul speaks at a Town Hall in Sandpoint, Idaho on March 5, 2012

A packed house listens to Rep. Ron Paul at his first rally of three in Idaho today. (Photo by Alicia Halberg / UW Election Eye)

SANDPOINT — I wish I had started counting right away.

At a campaign stop Monday at the Bonner County Fairgrounds hall filled with a standing-room only crowd here in Northern Idaho, Ron Paul hammered President Obama and his Republican opponents on economic policies and highlighted abolishing the Federal Reserve — making the latter point what must have been more than 20 times.

But I started counting too late to know the exact tally. At minimum, it was more than enough to get the point across.

Fliers around the room and posted on the doors highlighted caucus locations in Bonner County, something which introduction speakers made very clear at the beginning of the event. Energy was high and many event attendees said that this was their first political event.

“Nobody ever comes to Sandpoint,” said one young attendee who preferred his name not be used. “Usually we would have to go to Coeur D’Alene or Spokane to see somebody this important. It’s great that he cares about small towns like ours.”

Paul stuck to many of his regular talking points — such as returning to the gold standard, and highlighting big government as the cause of today’s economic issues, not the solution — but he also took steps to tailor his speech to the Idaho crowd, something he rarely does.

“Sandpoint is a small town, but it’s an important one in the cause for liberty,” he said.

An introduction speaker said that Paul was the godfather of Idaho’s state’s rights movement.

The liberty-hungry crowd gave massive applause to abolishing federal welfare programs, even in this economically depressed region.

“When the government is small, the people are big,” Paul said. “The Founding Fathers didn’t intend for this to be a democracy; they wrote the Constitution for a republic … The bigger the government gets, the less liberties we have. We can’t fix everything by making the government bigger — it’s what got us into this mess in the first place. The government doesn’t have any money, it only has the money that it steals from people!”

The crowd went wild.


Comments | Topics: Caucuses, conservatives, Evangelicals

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