Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election


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New Mexico has the blues

This election made on thing clear. New Mexico is consistently shifting towards the blue end of the spectrum. This may be a surprise to some since the state’s Governor is a Republican and has a 69 percent approval rating among New Mexicans but the results of this election showed the state morphing from moderately conservative to moderately liberal. Analysts attribute this power shift to the increase in population in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe resulting from people leaving rural areas. Another reason for the shift is due to the robust Hispanic population. According to the Albuqerque Journal eight out of every ten new residents since 2000 consider themselves Hispanics. This demographic group identifies with democrats almost 70 percent of the time. Thus it is no surprise that Democrats reigned supreme in the Land of Enchantment. Let’s take a look at the races we’ve watched since the beginning of the election. Continue reading


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GOP makeover is necessary

The results of the election last week revealed a rapidly changing electorate. The demographics of voters have shifted with more minorities showing up to the polls. Although the Democrats lost support from white people they gained ground with Hispanics and other minorities. Thus winning the election.

The Obama campaign recognized this shift early on and capitalized on it. They didn’t launch national media tours to get their message out. Instead they became expert microtargeters. They formed bases in communities and focused on gaining the support of niche groups especially in minority communities. This gave the President a cushion at the polls on Tuesday because even though he was four percentage points lower with white people from 2008 he edged the difference by drawing in minorities who voted two percentage points higher than in 2008. Their focus on minorities has obviously proven to be a winning strategy but what does this mean for the Republican Party? Continue reading


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The results are in, now let’s get to work

No matter how you feel about the results of the election last night, I think everyone can agree on one thing, this country has a lot of work to do. Our biggest task is revitalizing the economy and putting Americans back to work. Being months away from graduation the reality of our economy is beginning to hit very close to home. Thousands of college students are facing the same challenges as I am and we are all wondering how this administration will remedy the situation.

Looking back on the President’s last four years the unemployment rate is the same as when he first came into office. In January of 2009 the President dealt with an unemployment rate of 7.8 percent, in October of 2009 it hit 10 percent and then it steadily decreased back down to 7.8 percent today. In 2011 53 percent of college graduates were unemployed or underemployed. This means that basically one out of every two graduates worked hard for their education and can’t find a job. So what does President Obama have planned for the next four years? What is the plan to ensure my fellow graduates and I aren’t mastering the phrase, do you want fries with that?

President Obama’s jobs plan aims to strengthen manufacturing, help small businesses, improve education and lessen dependence on foreign oil. By 2016, he hopes to have 1 million new manufacturing jobs and more than 600,000 jobs in the natural gas sector. This sounds promising however we have to remember that this needs to pass through Congress in order to be put into action. Hopefully Washington has learned that partisanship and constant gridlock isn’t helping anyone. I think this election may be their second chance to get their act together and for Obama to try and make strides towards positive change. Everyone needs to accept the reality of the next four years and understand that in order to create jobs and stimulate the economy we need to dig deep, work hard and strive towards a common goal.


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The Final Call

In the final hours of the campaign the races in New Mexico seem to be etched in stone. The majority of polls show President Obama claiming the state’s five electoral votes and U.S. Senate candidate Martin Heinrich is predicted to win Jeff Bingaman’s seat. Although the races appear to be settled, Republican advocates and Super PACs are making last ditch efforts to drum up support for local Republican candidates such as Heather Wilson and Janice Arnold-Jones. Continue reading


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New Mexico politics is shifting gears

In past elections New Mexico has always been considered a swing state. However this year, since President Obama swept the state in 2008 and has held an almost double-digit lead over Governor Romney, this presidential election the state is colored blue. Since the focus is off of the executive office one would think New Mexicans would turn their attention to the major House and Senate races. However, this is not the case. The race that held the most promise to be a competitive fight is for Jeff Bingaman’s open Senate seat between Martin Heinrich and Heather Wilson. One would think that pitting two prominent political figures against each other would leave voters to decide a razor thin race however, Heinrich has kept a double- digit lead over Wilson since the spring. So that brings me to the question, what races are New Mexicans focusing on this election season? Continue reading


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Star Power

In the final days of the election President Obama has a star-studded line up accompanying him across the country. Katy Perry joined the President on Saturday for appearances in Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin. On Sunday, Pitbull, Stevie Wonder, Dave Matthews and Jason Mraz will appear at rallies in New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio and Colorado. Celebrity involvement has been a staple in both of Obama’s presidential campaigns. I think it’s interesting to see how celebrity support in politics is growing and it makes me wonder, do these stars really make an impact with voters? Continue reading


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New Mexico loses swing status

With three weeks until the election New Mexico is no longer considered a “swing state.” An Albuquerque Journal poll indicated that the state’s five electoral votes will most likely be blue with President Obama up ten points from Governor Romney, 49-39. This poll has been fairly stagnant throughout the past month mostly due to the growing support of Latinos for Obama and Governor Romney’s shift of head staffers to other states. News station, KRQE, conducted a poll consisting of 400 Latino voters and the results were overwhelmingly in President Obama’s favor. Sixty-nine percent of those polled indicated strong support for Obama and Romney only held 24 percent of support. With Latinos making up 46.7 percent of the population, their support will inevitably declare the winner in New Mexico. Although New Mexico’s electoral votes are for the most part decided, let’s take a look at the local races to see if there will be a shift of power. Continue reading