Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election


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New Ad Targeting Mourdock

After Republican Richard Mourdock was criticized for his comments in the Indiana Senate Debate last week, Democrats have moved into attack mode. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has spent $1.1 million on a new ad that focuses on Mourdock’s comment about abortion from the debate. Continue reading

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Indiana Governor Debate: Final Round

The final Indiana Governor’s Debate was last night, hosted by the Indiana Debate Commission. Three candidates- Republican Mike Pence, Democrat John Gregg, and Libertarian Rupert Boneham- faced off in what many hoped would be a decisive victory for one of the candidates.

However, no candidate seemed to be the clear winner of last night’s debate. After a very strong performance by Gregg in the second debate, Democrats were hoping a strong debate performance here would help him close the gap in the polls between him and frontrunner Pence.  

Several issues came up throughout the night, but the two main issues were the state budget and education reform. The state budget is related to the economy and jobs in the state, which has been a major topic in every state in the nation. Education reform has been a major issue in the state of Indiana this election cycle since several major changes were made to the state’s education system in the past four years. Continue reading


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A New Todd Akin?

On Tuesday night, Indiana Senate candidates competed in their second debate. After a boring and stale first debate, all candidates were hoping for a clear victory in this debate. Since it is the final debate in a close race, a good debate performance could propel one of the candidates to victory in November.

During the debate, Republican candidate Richard Mourdock made what many now consider a major mistake. When discussing the issue of abortion, he stated that “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen.”

This is very similar to comments made earlier in the election cycle by Todd Akin, a Republican running for the Missouri Senate seat. He claimed that women cannot get pregnant in cases of “legitimate rape.” This sparked a firestorm across the country, severely harming his campaign. With another controversial comment about abortion made by a Republican Senate candidate, the chances of Republicans gaining control of the Senate are looking even slimmer. Continue reading


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More Money for Senate Races!

With only two weeks to go until Election Day, the money continues to pour into several U.S. Senate races. Many of these races are close and could determine which party has control of the Senate, so each party is looking to win as many as possible. The increased role of Super PAC’s has made it much easier for individuals and organizations to indirectly contribute to campaigns.

Crossroads GPS has been one of the biggest funders of Republican Senate candidates so far in the election. The group has started a new ad campaign in several states, including Indiana. Overall, $8 million will be spent in the next two weeks before the election to run ads attacking Democratic candidates. Continue reading


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The Other Presidential Debate

Last night was the final of three presidential debates between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney. Each is the candidate for the Democrat and Republican parties, respectively. The entire presidential campaign so far has focused solely on these two men and their respective running mates.

When you go to vote, you will see many different candidates than just Obama and Romney running for president. They are third party candidates, and there are actually a significant number of them that have made it on the ballot in many states. These third party candidates may significantly affect the race in several key battleground states.

While these candidates are on the ballot in many states, they were not invited to participate in any of the presidential debates with Obama and Romney. The Commission on Presidential Debates sets the requirements for participation, and thus will have the final say on who is allowed to participate. So why do third party candidates never appear in the presidential debates with Democrats and Republicans? Continue reading


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Supermajority in Indiana State Legislature?

The Indiana General Assembly consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House has 100 members, while the Senate has 50 members. In the last election, Republicans gained a huge majority in both chambers, meaning that they could easily pass many pieces of legislation without bipartisan support.

Now, the Republicans are looking for a supermajority in the House. To do this, they need to control 67 of the 100 seats in the House. As the election currently stands, the Republicans have a pretty good chance of reaching 67 seats.

In the Senate, there is not likely much change in the number of seats. The Senate currently has 37 Republicans, which is a supermajority. Since Republicans are not likely to lose many seats, they will retain this supermajority in at least one of the legislative chambers. Continue reading


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What Will Win the Support of Indiana Voters?

As we get closer to the November election, voters have either already made their decision, or are in the process of making the final decision. In either scenario, there is something that encourages a voter to support a particular candidate. For those already decided, it may have been party identification. However, many voters now will vote based on certain issues and the candidates’ stances on those issues.

Indiana is no different. Especially with the lower races in the state, many voters are still undecided and are waiting to be persuaded by the candidates. For the presidential election, Indiana voters overwhelmingly support Romney, meaning he does not have to do much campaigning on issues in the state.

However, races for the U.S. Senate seat and several U.S. House seats are a toss-up. Even the race for Governor is beginning to heat up after the second debate between the candidates. With so many major races in the state, it is important to understand the issues that Indiana voters will analyze to make their decisions. What are these issues, and what are the stances taken by each of the parties? Continue reading