UW Election Eye is travel bound, with trips today and next week from the West to the East Coast. Today and tomorrow multiple groups of UW Election Eye reporters will be striking out across Washington State to cover important issues and concerns from a citizen’s perspective. Today we will be heading north to Bellingham and the Canadian…More
Topic: Washington caucuses
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SEATTLE — The Washington GOP headquarters, home to the press room for the Washington caucuses, is sequestered away in a bare office space just outside of downtown Bellevue. Results from counties all over the state are trickling in, with updates every 30-45 minutes from Washington GOP Chairman Kirby Wilbur. As the county vote map fills in…More
SPOKANE — The Moran Prairie Grange caucus site brimmed with as many varied opinions about local politics as it did people. The hot topic of the day was same-sex marriage, and the attendees did not shy away from sharing. For Dennis Beringer, a former reserve police officer and a retired real estate…More
SPOKANE — Many Republicans at the Moran Prairie Grange in South Spokane stood for the duration of their caucuses, some for more than three hours, because their location ran out of chairs. Leaders scrambled to rent roughly 90 more for a total of 270 chairs, which still wasn’t enough for the estimated…More
VANCOUVER — Clark County hugs the northern side of the Columbia River near Portland and is often locked into the liberal vibe from the south. But on this day, the engaged crowd of 596 who gathered at Heritage High School for Republican caucuses took pride in being Portland’s conservative commuter city — and a Ron…More
SPOKANE — On most mornings, the Moran Prairie Grange is a lone grey building on a largely desolate South Palouse highway. But by 10 a.m. today hundreds of cars lined the road and the spacious two-story barn was bursting with people. The Grange hosted parts of two legislative districts, the 6th and 9th….More
Shane Stewart, 20, plans to caucus in Eatonville for the first time today. His is valunteer on the Rick Santorum campaign, for which he has been coordinating sign-wavings and get-out-the-vote efforts in Pierce County for his candidate in the lead up to this weekend. “We have a lot of youth that are pumped up about this,”…More
Our UW Election Eye team is fanning out across the state tomorrow, from Spokane to Bremerton and Mt. Vernon to Vancouver, to meet voters and provide breaking results from the GOP caucus. We’ll be stopping in at about a dozen of the over 420 caucus locations where Washington Republicans will be deciding how to allocate the state’s whopping 43 delegates.
Check out the map below to see where each of our team members will be located:
View UW Election Eye – Washington Caucuses in a larger mapMore
All was pretty quiet here in my third-story grad-student office at the University of Washington, my desk piled high with dusty books. Then my cellphone rang, with an “802” area code. I answered. “Hello, my name is Robert,” a voice told me. “You have been selected to participated in an automated poll.” He/it went on to ask…More
In the Republican caucuses this coming Saturday, Rick Santorum hopes to be the Pat Robertson of 2012.
In 1988, Robertson was a controversial Christian TV talk show host and leader of the Religious Right — a growing collection of politically active evangelicals and fundamentalists who were bringing their religious beliefs into the political arena. The movement emerged in the 1970s and took off in the 1980s as a response to the tectonic cultural changes of the civil rights movement, sexual revolution, government deception, legalization of abortion, and removal of mandated prayer from public schools.
Robertson ran for president in 1988, determined to lead Christian conservatives to the political promised land. He’d never held office, so he was the longest of longshots. But he energized evangelicals in Iowa, and he finished second in the state’s caucuses on February 8, behind Senator Bob Dole and ahead of vice-president George H. W. Bush.
Bush bounced back to win New Hampshire, and after a few weeks of competition, Bush took control of the Republican nomination. On March 1, Robertson won the caucuses in Alaska, but from that point forward Bush captured every remaining state or territory in the Republican contest — 36 states.
All except one, that is. On March 8, Robertson won the Washington caucuses.
It was an outcome shrouded in controversy. Chris Vance, then Dole’s campaign manager in Washington and later the state Republican Party chair, said there was considerable confusion among the party’s caucus leaders about vote counting. In his view, “We’ll never actually know who won the caucuses that year.”
Nonetheless, Vance credited Robertson with energizing religious conservatives to attend the caucuses. “They had buses go by churches and pick up people, and then they’d unload at the caucus sites and people would come flowing out. It was amazing. These folks walked in, picked Robertson in the straw poll, and they were done.”
Vance said Robertson and Ellen Craswell, a Republican state senator in the 1970-80s and 1996 gubernatorial candidate, excited Christian conservatives in Washington unlike anyone since. The state party’s leadership was “so embarrassed” by Robertson’s win, Vance said, that they pushed the state legislature the following year to adopt a primary system of choosing presidential candidates.
In every year since, Republicans have employed both a caucus and a primary to express their presidential preference — splitting the party’s delegates evenly between the two forums. This combination allows activists to have their say in the small-turnout caucuses and the larger Republican electorate to weigh in with the primary.
However, this year the state legislature cancelled the primary for financial reasons. As a result, for the first time since 1988 the Republicans will hold only a caucus. This Saturday, power lies in the hands of a small, highly motivated collection of conservative voters.
Rick Santorum hopes these are religiously conservative voters.More