Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election


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AZ: Arizona Looking Red

If all the pollsters are correct, Arizona will mostly stay red for the Presidential and Senate race this election.

Real Clear Politics and the Ramusssan polls have Jeff Flake (R) sweeping his opponent, Richard Carmona (D), with an average poll lead among likely voters by about 5.75 points.

RCP Polling Arizona

“One of the interesting things about recent polls is that they agree Carmona is at about 45 percent support, which is consistent with the natural Democratic tilt of the state (RCP).”

Romney, who was losing ground in Arizona, enjoys a recent surge among Arizona voters. He has know regained his lead among likely voters in almost all the major polls.

Public Policy Polling places Governor Romney with a 7 point lead over President Obama. Romney maintains an average lead of 7.75 points among likely Arizona voters in both the Real Clear Politics and Ramusssan polls.

I predict that Governor Romney has already locked down Arizona’s 11 electoral points needed to win this election, but Carmona might surprise us in the Senate race. With Arizona’s large population of latino and veteran voters, Carmona is the only candidate that fits both niche markets. However, even with Carmona’s veteran status, veterans typically vote Republican. Flake will most likely retake the already Republican seat in the Senate, but I am not counting out Carmona just yet.

Keep checking Destination 270 for all your election updates and stories.


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Washington Governor Race to the Finish: McKenna vs Inslee

McKenna is hoping to become the first Republican governor of Washington state since 1985. He might actually have a chance too.

Both Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna and Democrat Jay Inslee, a former eight-term congressman, are in a race to the finish to succeed two-term Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire, who decided against running for re-election.

 The Real Clear Politics poll suggests Inslee only a +0.3 lead over challenger McKenna making this race for Washington governor considered one of the closest in the country. While Inslee enjoys a slight lead of 48.7 percent to McKenna’s 45.6 percent among the 632 likely voters contacted in the KCTS Washington Poll.

Both challengers have done a great job raising money and outside supporters are financing ad wars that “frequently distort the records and positions of both candidates.” As of mid October both candidates raised about 9 million dollars each.

The News Tribute says “Inslee’s allies want to tie McKenna to positions of the national Republican Party, including several that he does not share – such as support for cuts that could hit education and opposition to legal abortion. [While] McKenna’s supporters are highlighting an Inslee plan to change the way state pension funds are invested – a proposal he dropped after the idea ran into opposition.”

On other matters, Inslee still is lined up at with his party like supporting President Obama’s healthcare reform. The News Tribute highlights all the differences each candidate has on each of the issues.

In the ad wars, McKenna slams Inslee’s plans for reorganizing state government agencies. In Inslee’s ads, he rips at McKenna’s support to changes in property taxes, even though the changes are supported by several state Democrats.

One article from Herald Net noted that the political science professor Larry Sabato’s latest crystal ball ratings gives the election to Inslee in the close battle.


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AZ: Things Get Nasty in Arizona Senate Race

Jeff Flake and Richard Carmona from BBC

Jeff Flake and Richard Carmona from BBC

As the election in Arizona draws near an end, the close U.S. Senate Race between Jeff Flake (R) and Richard Carmona (D) has become a personal, bitter, and nasty race in the last few weeks. With possible party control of the Senate at stake, the opponents’ ads bite each others heels and are getting more vicious by the ad.  The heated exchanges are not only just on television but at public appearances as well.

Richard Carmona hit back against opponent Flake on Thursday suggesting that Flake has a problem with veterans. This was in response to Jeff Flake’s ad suggesting that Carmona has anger problems and can’t work with others. Flake’s campaign dropped that personal bomb in an ad in which Carmona’s former supervisor at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services alleges that he once pounded on her door in the middle of the night.

Carmona, military veteran and former U.S. surgeon general, said during the Thursday debate,  “This is a false narrative, and it’s from the playbook that he’s playing from. It’s the same thing they used against [Republican Arizona Sen.] John McCain in 2000 when, as a warrior, they said, ‘He can’t get along with people.’ You remember that? ‘He’s just very difficult.'” Carmona then decided to turn the tables on Flake’s accusation by suggesting, “I think it’s just us veterans [Flake is] picking on, because of John and I both being warriors, but the fact is, we stood up for what’s right.”

The veteran vote is extremely  important in Arizona. Veterans make up around 10 percent of the population, and Carmona has made his service a central part of his campaign the Senate seat. While Flake’s vote is for cuts on veterans benefits. Veteran issues are now vital part of the Arizona election, because veterans tend to typically lean Republican, therefore, some of Flake’s base might be at stake. Either way, as the issues become nasty in Arizona, the race tightens with Flake only ahead by 0.8 points according to Real Clear Politics.

Keep checking Destination 270 for all your election updates and stories.


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Zingers

Zinger from Best Movie Ever Entertainment News

Zinger from Best Movie Ever Entertainment News

CNN just published an interesting article called Election spawns a new lingo, from ‘Obamaloney’ to ‘Romnesia’A great read to see some of the phrases that have taken this election by storm.

Many people like to call these new lingoes “zingers.” Zingers are witty, often caustic remarks.

CNN author, Micheal Martinez, noted, “Sometimes a slip or sometimes a calculation, some words and expressions uttered by the candidates have proved so memorable that wordsmiths and wisecracks rush to the Internet to stake out a new website or social media handle to capitalize on the moment.”

Some of zingers or slips ups become a driving part of their opponent’s campaign. Obama’s slip up, saying “You didn’t build that,” referring that business’ needed the government to be successful, became a themed night Romney Campaign employed at the RNC. Romney’s 47% remark, gave the Obama a campaign a catchy assault weapon that Biden used during the Vice Presidential debate.

Some of the best zingers are the words or expressions that the social media world pick out as witty and relevant, even though the candidate themselves had no intention making it a zinger. When Biden said the “malarkey” in response to Ryan’s answers. I never would have imagined the social media world’s response to single vocabulary word.

Yet, the ones that keep audiences laughing are calculated clever remarks written by the candidates themselves. Most recently, the “Romnesia” set the crowd roaring when Obama invented a new word, fusing his challenger’s name and amnesia. “At one point, Romney wearied of what he called Obama’s baloney. So Romney gave the country a new lunch meat: Obamaloney,” wrote Micheal Martinez.

Hopefully, the next debate will give our country a few more zingers to remember this historic election by.

Keep checking Destination 270 for all your election updates and stories.


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AZ: Dems Out Raise GOP

Democrats outraised Republicans in Arizona last September in all three congressional races as well as the close Senate race. The congressional races follow a similar financial pattern.

Jeff Flake (R), Senate candidate, raised $1.3 million between August 9 through the month of September, according to reports filed by the Federal Election Commission. While his opponent, Carmona (D), reported $1.8 million. However, conservative outside groups opposed to Carmona, former U.S. surgeon general, outspent groups opposed to Flake by $667,000 through Monday.

In the congressional race, Kyrsten Sinema (D) raised $665,000 in contrast with Republican Vernon Parker’s $372,000 in Congressional District 9. Both candidates have been bombarded with more than $1 million in negative spending by outside groups.

U.S. Rep. Ron Barber (R) narrowly led Republican challenger Martha McSally in fundraising in the district that covers much of Tucson and southeastern Arizona. Barber took in $476,000 while McSally raised $433,000.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio has raised more than $8 million in this election cycle and had about $3.9 million on hand as of late September. However, Arpaio, known for being a sketchy candidate, is under scrutiny for his campaign finances. Irene Montoya Hemphill filed a compliant saying that Arpaio violated the state campaign-finance law by listing his campaign consultant as the recipient of more than $1.5 million in campaign funds. Also,a supporter of former Phoenix police Sgt. Paul Penzone filed a complaint against Sheriff Joe Arpaio accusing the sheriff of failing to disclose where he spends campaign finances.

Campaign finance indicate how enthusiastic supporters are about their candidates. If campaigns promote their candidates well and voters believe their candidate will win, finances can tell us how likely their supporters will turn out to vote. Given the fact Democrats out fundraised Republicans indicates that Democrats have a slight advantage and more enthusiastic base in this up coming general election.

Keep checking Destination 270 for all your election updates and stories.

Also, check out the AZ Central Article:  Democratic fundraisers outdo GOP


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What People Really Remember from Debates

Biden Laughing at the VP Debate for The Christain Post

Biden Laughing at the VP Debate for The Christian Post

Debates wield the power to make or break an election. Right now, America watches the Mitt Romney surge as a direct result following Barrack Obama’s poor performance at the last presidential debate. Yet, at the end of the day, voters will not remember every fact and comment each candidates says, but how they responded to the questions. The Washington Post has a great quote that says, “Debates are as much about conveying personality as politics.”

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Debates Will Decide this Election

Obama verse Romney from OC Family

Obama verse Romney from OC Family

President Obama will have his rematch with Governor Romney in a town hall style debate this Tuesday night at 9:00 PM ET. After a lackluster debate performance during the last presidential debate, President Obama must come to this debate fully loaded and ready to fire back to have any chance to stop the recent Mitt Romney surge.

Presidential debates prove to be more influential in this year’s election than many analyst predicted. The GOP continues to point out 1980 debates that took Ronald Reagan from the losing candidate and transformed him into a serious contender for the presidential position. Reagan then went on to eventually win the 1980 election. Flash forward to 2012, and the same can said about how Mitt Romney’s debate performance has created this surge that has allowed him become the serious presidential candidate that many people refused to acknowledge before.

In the most recent Gallup poll, Romney has a four-percentage-point advantage over Obama, which is not statistically significant, but shows that Romney has consistently edged ahead of Obama in the last several days following first presidential debate.

Gallup Poll

Gallup Poll

Rich Galen, a conservative commentator, told CNN, “The rise in Romney’s favorability numbers was due partly to support from right-leaning voters who don’t like Obama but weren’t yet sold on the Republican until the first debate.”

Romney must stay focused in order to keep this momentum. The reaction to Obama’s first debate showing left voters shocked, and made them take a second look at Governor Romney. The Romney campaign throughout this election has been criticized for its poor job in appealing to voters early on. This means that if Romney slips up, the fall will be even greater. Most people will try new ideas at first, but if the ideas fails to see continuous results people always run back to what they already know. Romney must maintain his current momentum with the debates so that voters will to warm up to the idea of a Romney Presidency and not run back to the Obama presidency they already know.

According to the Pew Research survey, the strong Romney performance in Round 1 has changed how voters set the odds for Round 2: 41% of Americans expect Obama to win; 37% expect Romney to prevail.

Tonights debate will have major impact on this election. American voters have numbed out the television ads and now are turning to the debates in order to imagine what each presidential candidate will bring as president. If Obama outshines Romney tonight, Obama already has the base and notoriety to quickly regain his lead among likely voters.

Keep checking Destination 270 for all your election updates and stories.