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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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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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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AZ: Romney Surges In Battleground States, but Losing AZ

Governor Romney, who has held a significant lead in Arizona during the last two months, is starting to lose ground in this Republican leaning state. Arizona, home of the former presidential candidate John McCain (R), was considered untouchable by the Obama campaign during the 2008 presidential election. However, now Arizona might be in play for the Obama campaign.

President Obama continues to struggle to regain his long lasting lead among voters which he held prior to the first presidential debate. Since the first presidential debate and vice presidential, the Obama campaign has been losing ground in many key states like Ohio and Florida. Governor Romney shifted some blue states like Pennsylvania to now key battlegrounds states.

Arizona, on the other hand, has felt the opposite effect of the Romney campaign surge. CNN says a new poll of likely Arizona voters shows the race for the White House is a close contest now. President Obama stands at 44% while Governor Romney stands at 42% in the Rocky Mountain poll released Saturday. The margin is within the poll’s sampling error. The Rocky Mountain poll included 523 registered voters reached by phone between October 4 and 10, after the first presidential debate.

However, Governor Romney still leads in Arizona’s national polling surveys such as the Real Clear Politics poll. RCP poll shows Romney leading Obama by 48.3% to 43%. Still Governor Romney is losing ground in this Republican stronghold. The RCP graph below suggest that Governor Romney has lost his significant lead in Arizona, which started  in October despite his outstanding debate performance.

Real Clear Politic’s poll of the Arizona Presidential Race

Since 1952, the state has gone to a Republican candidate in every presidential race except 1996. President Bill Clinton won the state that year by 47% to 44% over Bob Dole.

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


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AZ Safe for Romney, Not Safe for Arpaio

Paul Penzone

Paul Penzone- picture from KTAR.com

In the presidential poll, Governor Mitt Romney is leading President Barack Obama with 58 percent to Obama’s 37 percent of Arizonans polled in the Public Policy Polling. But Democrat Richard Carmona has a two-point lead on Republican Jeff Flake in the race for U.S. Senate.

America’s toughest cop, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, may have a different story this election in Arizona. Former Phoenix police sergeant and onetime Silent Witness frontman Paul Penzone takes the stage as likely challenger. Penzone, 45, a recent poll commissioned by his campaign shows him within six points of overcoming Arpaio.

Arpaio is faced with frequent reminders of his failures in office, the most serious being the MCSO’s neglecting to properly investigate more than 400 sex crimes in El Mirage. Such a scandal that, despite its age, continues to be popular topic for local journalists.

The Penzone campaign also has raised more money than any of Arpaio’s previous challengers, more than $400,000 to date. Penzone’s has gathered a list endorsements from Democrats and Republicans such as the former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods and ex-U.S. Attorney for Arizona Paul Charlton.

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

Also, check out this related article to find out all the details about Penzone Story.


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Arizona Mayor on Food Stamps

Arizona Mayor on Food Stamps picture from My Fox Phoenix

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton (D) tries an experiment by living off a food stamps budget for a week. As part of Hunger Awareness Month, Mayor Greg Stanton wanted to understand the lifestyle of how the 1.1 million Arizona citizens live off food stamps.

Stanton, a Democrat, lived off of a budget of about  $29 per week for one person, which is about just $4.16 to buy food per day. The Phoenix Mayor said he lost about 4 pounds and was not able to meet a nutritional diet. His diet consisted of ramen, pasta, and coffee.

“This is a terrible economy, a lot of people are living on food stamps that before were solidly middle class,” Mayor Stanton told My Fox Phoenix. “There are a lot who have a job but are significantly underemployed than what they’re used to.”

Find out more about this story and watch the videos on My Fox Phoenix and the Huffington Post.

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


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The Latino Vote in Arizona

The Latino voter influence on political campaigns continues to become more and more important each election cycle. Now more than ever before will Latino Voters have a huge pull on the electoral process. President Obama currently leads former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney by a 2 to 1 ratio among Latino Voters.

The Arizona Public Media ask even if the Democrats hold the swing among Latino voters will the Latino votes affect the Senate and Presidential race?  Luis Heredia says that “Latinos have seen that Republican overreach [among Latino voters] haven’t included the cultural inclusiveness that voters are looking for.” However, on the issue that is most important to Latino voters, the economy, Mitt Romney is leading the nation in the polls as the most qualified candidate to fix the economy. The economy is rated the number one issue among Latino voters with immigration trailing at number five as the most important issue.

The Obama campaign hopes that the Latino vote can help put states like Nevada, and Colorado into play this season,  which helped him win in 2008. But states like Arizona, home of former Republican Presidential candidate John McCain, that were considered unreachable in 2008 may have a chance if the Latino voters actually come to the polls and vote. This year alone, Arizona has seen an increase of “about 169,000 new Latino voters, which is pretty close to the margin of victory for Sen. John McCain [in the presidential election] in the state in 2008,” Nevarez Martinez said in an Arizona Week interview.

Watch the Arizona Public Media video and interviews to truly get a glimpse of how Latino voters will affect this election process in Arizona. Also, read the Fox News Latino to see which are most important issues to Latino voters.

Remember to keep checking Destination 270 to see all the election highlights this election season.