Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election

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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


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Posting Photos of Ballots Online

Posting Photos of Ballots Online

These days, social media apps and websites that allow users to share photos are seemingly omnipresent. A trend this election has been uploading pictures of ballots to sites like Instagram and Twitter. While such actions seem harmless, they could actually be illegal.

The Citizen Media Law Project put out a chart depicting the prohibited activities in ballot boxes for all 50 states.

The chances for actual persecution is minimal because of the wide variance of punishments state-by-state and the sheer amount of people posting photos.

In my opinion, it’s better to be safe than sorry and be comfortable with your vote without having to prove anything to the world.

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Allen West and the NRCC: “This is Our America”

U.S. Representative from Florida’s 22nd District, Allen West, is perhaps one of the nation’s most polarizing people this election.  (That is, behind President Obama, Mitt Romney, and perhaps Nancy Pelosi…)  He is regarded as one of the most controversial and despicable members of Congress by Democrats, yet is championed as a moral hardliner, Tea Party hero by Republicans.

This year, Rep. West has been enthralled in a bitter battle for Florida’s 18th District with democratic newcomer, Patrick Murphy.  Both men moved to the newly drawn district to run, and both have put up a hard and vicious fight for the seat.  Their campaign has become the years 3rd most expensive House campaign and has stolen national headlines to become known as the year’s dirtiest race.

In retaliation to what some people believe have been unscrupulous, divisive attacks carried out by Allen West, a handful of local Florida Republicans have decided to distance themselves from West.  Just last week, West’s primary opponent, Republican Bob Crowder, announced that he was embarrassed by the way West had run is campaign, and would be endorsing democrat, Patrick Murphy.

However, Allen West is still enjoying the support of several, very powerful and prominent fans out there, including almost every major Republican.  An even greater testament to the faith and support many still have in West, though, is the desire of the National Republican Congressional Committee to use West, along with Mia Love, as it’s poster child for this year’s election. Continue reading

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Instagram Campaign Photojournalism


Pictures can make or break a presidential campaign. Photos depicting the candidates doing activities deemed “presidential”—signing important documents, kissing babies, and the like—can improve the perception of said candidate in the public’s eyes. Conversely, photos showing the candidate in questionable situations can negatively affect perceptions.

Instagram, an application recently bought by Facebook for $1 million, allows users to upload photos, apply various effects, and share their pictures with friends. Much like Twitter, users follow other users and can utilize hashtags to better categorize their photos. Hashtags have allowed NPR to gather some of the best Instagram photojournalism of the Presidential campaign.  Take a look for yourself by clicking here.

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Best Tweets of the Third Debate

Presidential debates provide the media with lots of sound bite gold. However, the Twitter-sphere allows debate viewers to engage in an interactive world of information.

Twitter reported 6.5 million tweets about the debate during its 90 minutes.

Notable times that produced the most conversation included moments when Obama retorted “We also have fewer horses and bayonets” and when moderator Schieffer stated “I think we all love teachers.”

Here are some of the best tweets from the third Presidential debate on foreign policy, held at Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL:






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Find a Way

The Romney campaign released a new ad entitled “Find a Way” today. The ad juxtaposes Obama’s administration to Romney’s tenure as governor of Massachusetts, making a point to attack Obama’s defense that the economy needs more than four years of repair.

The ad also capitalizes on Obama’s comment stating that it’s impossible to change Washington from the inside, and suggests that yes, it is, and Mitt Romney is the man for the job. While it does center on a somewhat dated sound bite, ours is a political realm where everything said can and will be used against you. I predict the ad will be received well—it has a focused argument and does not rely on using insultingly ridiculous figures like Big Bird. Check out the ad for yourself here on Destination270.