Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election


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Political Cartoon

Political Cartoon

I think this political cartoon sums up many Americans’ feeling on the voting system in place in 2012.

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The Issues in North Carolina

North Carolina made waves November 6 when it basically handed its government over to Republicans.  From the governor to Lieutenant governor and most House representatives, the GOP has taken control of the Tar Heel State.  Here are some of the issues that yielded this election cycle’s results:

Unemployment

North Carolina’s unemployment is one of the highest in the nation at 9.6%.  Obviously residents called for a complete change in governorship, as former governor Bev Purdue experienced some financial scandals within her campaign staff.  Hopefully, governor-elect Pat McCrory will use his business experience from working at Duke Energy Corp to help out the state.

Education

While this is a nationwide problem as well, Governor McCrory will be able to appoint officers to the State Board of Education early.  He’s also promised to focus on better results rather than increasing budgets to the existing education system.

Transportation

North Carolina also needs an overhaul of its transportation infrastructure.  Right now the State Board of Education estimates it will need $130 billion to build a better system, which is money the state simply does not have. Governor McCrory plans to fix this problem by integrating transit and economic development.

It’s a matter of time before we see if the Republican overhaul is what North Carolina needs in 2012 to fix these key problems.


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Other Important North Carolina Elections Explained

Although ultimately North Carolina’s 15 electoral votes went to Mitt Romney, the state did elect some other significant offices on November 6.  Let’s take a deeper look at other important races in the Tar Heel State:

Governor: Pat McCrory

Republican McCrory won significantly over Democrat Walter Dalton (54.68% to 43.16%).  McCrory will be NC’s first Republican governor in 20 years, and he attributes his win to his campaign running a positive-only campaign (although some outside groups ran negative ads for him).  McCrory’s win is a significant achievement for the GOP in North Carolina. Continue reading


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Emotional Obama

At Obama’s campaign headquarters in Chicago on Wednesday, the President got a little teary-eyed.

Addressing his young staff, he recollected his experiences as a community staffer in Chicago, saying “It’s not that you remind me of myself; it’s that you’re so much better than I was.”

I appreciate moments like these–the public gets a glimpse at the personal side of our Commander-in-Chief. While so many speeches are manufactured to feel personal, this moment’s emotion is actually palpable in watching the video. This emotional Obama is in stark contrast to the distant, almost cold President we saw in the first debate of election season. Presidential elections consist of so much effort that winning one moves one literally to tears.


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The Weed Issue

Washington and Colorado are making headlines this election because they passed legislation to legalize recreational use of marijuana for those 21 and over. North Carolina, however, does not look like it will be following suit any time soon.

Currently, the lowest penalty is a misdemeanor and maximum fine of $200 for a 1/2 oz or less of possession of marijuana for personal use. Click here for a handy chart of how the law can punish possessors of marijuana in the Tar Heel State.

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Election 2016

We’re only a couple days past the 2012 elections, but the political realm is already looking at the field of possible presidential candidates for 2016.  Future candidates often have defining moments in other candidates’ elections (like Obama’s 2004 DNC speech).  Here’s a look at some of the politicians creating a buzz already:

Chris Christie–NJ Governor who impressed with his keynote in Tampa at the RNC this year

Paul Ryan–Rep from WI, VP candidate

Marco Rubio–U.S. Senator from FL who delivered a strong speech in Tampa with Hispanic roots to help the GOP Continue reading