Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election


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2016 Presidential Candidates…potentially

The 2012 election just finished, and there seems to be a lull in the political dialogue.  But let’s not forget- it’s never too early to start preparing for…2016!  Here are your potential candidates.

GOP:

  1. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie– keynote at the 2012 RNC
  2. Florida Senator Marco Rubio– Cuban American Tea Party Sweetheart
  3. Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan– 2012 VP candidate, has an uncanny resemblance to Squidward from Spongebob Squarepants
  4. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush– the GOP’s voice for the Hispanic voters

Democrats:

  1. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton- Democratic powerhouse, had a brutal primary with Obama in 2008
  2. VP Joe Biden
  3. Senator Elect Elizabeth Warren– the intellectual author of the Occupy Wall Street movement
  4. Newark Major Cory Booker– uses twitter to reach his constituents


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Marriage Equality in Maine

One week ago, voters in Maine chose to legalize same-sex marriage, adding the state to a list of eight others and Washington D.C. This same issue was voted down three years ago, but with a younger crowd beginning to fill up the voting population, this year was different.

This chart from The New York Times gives a comprehensive look into the status of same-sex marriage legislation across the country:

http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2012/11/12/us/1113-SAMESEX.html

The voting results this year were the exact opposite of what they were three years ago in Maine with 53% in favor and 47% against legalization.

Though Maine is certainly considered to be a blue state and therefore more open to the legalization of same-sex marriage, this new development may foreshadow a nationwide movement. As stated before, the amount of young people who can now vote can make a significant difference in the outcome of elections, especially as those people are likely to go out and vote.

Mainers United for Marriage, a marriage equality advocacy group, emphasized the meaning of marriage in their campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in Maine, and they succeeded in changing the minds of many voters who previously voted against legalizing same-sex marriage.

This strategy is key. In order to gain the votes of those who held an opposing position previously, it is vital to reframe the issue in order to encourage those voters to reconsider the issue in a new light. Maine campaigners for marriage equality did just that and acheived their goal of change.


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The Obama Kids

President Obama keeps a close lockdown on the privacy of his family, and rightly so, but I’m sure we all want to know just a little bit about his adorable girls.

Malia Ann:

  • born July 4, 1998
  • enjoys soccer, dance, and drama

Sasha:

  • born June 10, 2001
  • enjoys gymnastics, and tap
  • likes pink Nike dunks

Both:

  • enjoy piano and tennis
  • attend Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C.
  • like One Direction
  • are fashionistas like their mother
  • may actually be allowed to date


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…And here comes Paul Ryan.

After the election, Paul Ryan has been speaking out.

Some are saying that he should take the blame for not helping Romney win Wisconsin, Ryan’s home state.  Ryan responded that it was an uphill battle the whole way.  Like Republicans everywhere, he was surprised that the race wasn’t closer than they thought.  (Those darn polls.)  He granted that Obama won the urban areas and played the electoral college game well.

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Rasmussen responds to the polling debacle

“We were disappointed that our final results were not as close to the final result as they had been in preceding elections,” says Rasmussen Reports.

Their reasons for this include:

  1. An underestimation of the minority share of the electorate
  2. The generation gap: more young people, less seniors

This year, Obama held an extremely strong presence with the minority vote, with 28% of his voters being non-white.  Romney was known for holding the old white male vote, which, clearly, was not enough this time.  While many people felt that Obama would lose some of the young vote in this election, their numbers were comparable to those of 2008.


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Bad polls let the GOP down

The erroneous polls that I referred to a few posts ago have greatly disillusioned the GOP.  While at the time, the polls encouraged the Republican candidates, they are now facing a loss that they never saw coming.

“On the Republican side, this was the worst cycle ever for polling and there’s nothing that even comes close to it,” said GOP strategist Curt Anderson, who helms the media and polling firm OnMessage. “It was a colossal disaster and it wasn’t confined to the presidential campaign.”

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The beginnings of bipartisanship?

“The best time to work on a bipartisan basis is right after an election,” said Representative Jeb Hensarling of Texas, chairman of the House Republican Conference.

Romney’s proposal for an across the board tax cut, while once ridiculed by President Obama, is now being embraced by Democrats as a potential deficit reduction agreement.  The cap is similar to a previous failed policy by Obama, capping the income tax rate at 28%.


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The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium

For $4.95, people across the nation could tune into a 90-minute debate between ‘frenemies’ Jon Stewart and Bill O’Reilly. The debate, mockingly entitled “The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium,” took place at George Washington University in Washington D.C, with half of the proceeds going to charity. Both the Fox News anchor and talk show comedian brought their political “A-game” as well as props, profanity, victory dances, and witty banter. However, despite the amusements, the debate was nothing less than brilliant. In stark contrast to the often reserved, polite, structured presidential debates that have characterized the American election cycle, O’Reilly and Stewart both logically and heatedly debated the issues.

The audacity to which O’Reilly and Stewart answered questions ranging from the War on Christmas to President Obama’s foreign policy was a refreshing reprieve from the usual viewers are used to. You can watch all of what “The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium” had to offer here.


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Thirty years and $10 million later, Nolan’s back in the game

In Minnesota’s 8th District, the DFLers and the Tea Party went head to head in one of the nation’s most expensive and closely watched congressional races. Rep. Rick Nolan was reelected to the House after a three-decade hiatus winning by almost 10 percentage points. Nolan’s challenger, first-term Republican Chip Cravaack, was the first Republican to represent the 8th District since 1947, beating 36 year incumbent Jim Oberstar by less than 5,000 votes in 2010.  Continue reading


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Zingers! The best of Colbert and Stewart

Let us start with Stewart’s top five:

1. In response to Obama’s lackluster first debate: “Romney fired Big Bird, America’s favorite non-fried bird. Romney could have water-boarded Aladdin, put down Blue, deported Dora the Explorer and he still would have won.”

2. In response to Sarah Palin comparing Joe Biden’s VP debate performance to a “musk-ox running across the tundra”: “Settle down, Eskimo Annie Oakley…We get it, you live in Alaska.”

3. In response to Romney’s “binders full of women”: “Hey, binder full of women, book full of broads, notebook full of nipples…Whatever!” Continue reading