WBEZ | swing states http://www.wbez.org/tags/swing-states Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Swing state calls, the day before the election http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-11/swing-state-calls-day-election-103652 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Electoral_College_2012.svg_.png" style="height: 360px; width: 620px; " title=" Electoral college map for the 2012, 2016 and 2020 United States presidential elections, using apportionment data released by the US Census Bureau." /></div><p>We&rsquo;re down to the wire. I&rsquo;m not going to pretend to call this thing in its totality, especially because there are appear to be all sorts of last minute variables with GOP shenanigans in Ohio and Florida. But here are my swing state calls, and you can do the math -- let me know what you think!<br /><br /><strong>Ohio:</strong>&nbsp;Pretty darn close, and the one state I&rsquo;m least confident about. The GOP secretary of state just pulled a Hail Mary stunt and got half of <a href="http://www.thenation.com/blog/171011/eleventh-hour-gop-voter-suppression-could-swing-ohio">what he was going for</a>, effectively getting to suppress votes in certain areas. The President might get help here from an unlikely source; Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, is polling near 5 percent, probably stealing more <a href="http://www.policymic.com/articles/18159/presidential-polls-2012-gary-johnson-is-the-x-factor-nobody-is-talking-about-in-this-election/270867">Republican than Democratic votes</a>. I&rsquo;ll say Barack Obama wins here, but I wouldn&rsquo;t stake a Klondike bar on it. The caveat is this: Superstition aside, Obama doesn&rsquo;t actually need Ohio if he holds on to Virginia. He can even lose Florida and Ohio and still win. But that would be the ugliest of all scenarios. <strong>Electoral votes: 18.</strong><br /><br /><strong>Florida:</strong>&nbsp;The second state I&rsquo;m least confident about. Mitt Romney has been ahead here since the Denver debate, but Obama tightened it over the weekend. Gov. Rick Scott is <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/04/florida-early-voting_n_2073119.html">spreading mayhem in a way that suggests concern</a>.&nbsp;If the Puerto Ricans along the central corridor of the state show up, Obama could squeak through. But they don&rsquo;t have a great history of making it to the polls. I say Romney. <strong>Electoral votes: 29.</strong><br /><br /><strong>Virginia:</strong>&nbsp;Obama won here by only 14,000 votes, but the Dems have registered more than 100,000 new Latino votes this time. The <a href="http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/politics/Virginia-poll-Obama-48-Romney-47/-/1719386/17267568/-/brnicc/-/index.html">polls say they&rsquo;re tied</a>, but I&rsquo;m going to bet that Latinos aren&rsquo;t properly represented and they&rsquo;re Obama&rsquo;s edge. <strong>Electoral votes: 13.</strong><br /><br /><strong>Colorado:</strong> <a href="http://http://www.denverpost.com/nationalpolitics/ci_21553979/colorado-presidential-election-poll-shows-obama-romney-tied">Tied</a>,&nbsp;but I think the evangelicals for Romney will win the day over the newly registered Latinos for Obama. <strong>Electoral votes: 9.</strong><br /><br /><strong>Iowa: </strong>Obama. <strong>Electoral votes: 6.</strong><br /><br /><strong>Nevada:</strong> Obama. Harry Reid will win the day here. <strong>Electoral votes: 6.</strong><br /><br /><strong>New Hampshire:</strong> Obama. <strong>Electoral votes: 4.</strong><br /><br /><strong>North Carolina: </strong>Romney. <strong>Electoral votes: 15.</strong><br /><br /><strong>Wisconsin: </strong>Obama. <strong>Electoral votes: 10.</strong><br /><br />Two states not considered swing that could be in play are <strong>Pennsylvania </strong>and <strong>Arizona</strong>. Obama leads in Pennsylvania but the gap has been narrowing and Romney&rsquo;s been hitting it this weekend. Romney leads in Arizona but that gap has become razor thin, and there&rsquo;s a Latino, Richard Carmona, running for senate who could drive a higher Latino vote than the polls are suggesting. Pennsylvania has 20 electoral votes -- if Romney gets them, the election could be over. Arizona has 11. For Obama, every little bit helps.</p></p> Mon, 05 Nov 2012 09:18:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-11/swing-state-calls-day-election-103652 Iowa Republican tries to kick Latinos off voter rolls http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-09/iowa-republican-tries-kick-latinos-voter-rolls-102539 <p><p>Thirty-one U.S. states currently have laws in place that <a href="http://www.ncsl.org/legislatures-elections/elections/voter-id.aspx">require voters to show some sort of ID</a>&nbsp;at the polls &mdash; almost all passed in the last three years by GOP state legislatures and enforced by Republican secretaries of state.<br /><br /><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP301477436988.jpg" style="height: 194px; width: 300px; float: right; " title="Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz explains his theory of illegal registrants on the state voter rolls. (AP)" />Almost to a fault, the laws are designed to disenfranchise African-American voters (I know, I know, everybody says &ldquo;minority&rdquo; but what they mean is black urban voters of all ages).<br /><br />Iowa appeared to top the list in recent months as the 32nd state with new and restrictive voting laws, but with a twist: With more than <a href="http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/19000.html">93 percent of the state population reported as white</a> and blacks registering only 3 percent, GOP Secretary of State Matt Schultz aimed his directive at Iowa&#39;s Latinos.<br /><br />Hispanics are only five percent of the population in Iowa but they&rsquo;re suddenly crucial. Since the 2008 elections, in which they overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama, Latino <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/growing-latino-population-could-affect-presidential-election-in-unlikely-states-like-iowa/2012/09/12/3cb7dafa-fd05-11e1-98c6-ec0a0a93f8eb_story.html">voter rolls have increased</a> from 30,000 to more than 50,000 in the state.</p><p>And with Obama and Mitt Romney in a <a href="http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/author/nate-silver/">dead heat in Iowa</a>, those votes can&#39;t be ignored.<br /><br />So what did Schultz do? Well, first he decided he had an emergency on his hands&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;<em>a real, honest to God emergency</em>. Then he compared names on voter rolls to a state transportation database and determined he had 3,582 illegal registrants. How this comparison revealed that is, so far, Schultz&#39;s secret.<br /><br />He said he feared those <a href="http://kmaland.com/09491_Voter_cross-check_fight_continues_063454.asp">3,582 non-citizens</a> would try to vote in November&#39;s election. (And in Iowa that actually means September 27, when both in-person and mail-in voting begins.)<br /><br />Then Schultz created two new voting rules using an emergency administrative process which <a href="http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/iowa-secretary-of-state-s-voter-rules-struck-down/article_6c5ec62e-feea-11e1-b8e8-001a4bcf887a.html">allowed the exclusion of public hearings</a> or community input of any kind.<br /><br />One of the rules would have challenged the voting rights of persons who appear on government databases as non-citizens. The second rule would have supposedly made it easier to report alleged voter fraud.<br /><br />Schultz armed himself with two letters to send to these individuals in order to get them to prove their citizenship. They can be found at the bottom of <a href="http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20120916/NEWS09/309160060/-1/LIFE04/Schultz-blames-feds-delay-removal-ineligible-voters">this link</a> to a story in the <em>Des Moines Register</em>, and they&rsquo;re pretty special.<br /><br />The <a href="http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/433280-1st_potential_ineligibility_letter.html">first letter</a> Schultz planned to send to those 3,582 suspected non-citizens lists four types of IDs to prove citizenship, none of which are a voter ID card, a social security card, or a state ID.<br /><br />The <a href="http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/433281-2nd_potential_ineligibility_letter.html">second letter </a>is a reminder that just happens to include this sentence: <em>Please note that voter registration fraud is a Class &quot;D&quot; felony in the state of Iowa.</em> Because that&rsquo;s not <em>too</em> intimidating.<br /><br />Last Friday, District Court Judge Mary Pat Gunderson&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;a <em>Republican</em> judge with a long history in Iowa GOP circles&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;responded to a suit against Schultz filed by the Iowa&#39;s ACLU and the state&rsquo;s League of United Latin American Citizens by issuing <a href="http://secretary-of-state-s-voter-rules-struck-down/article_6c5ec62e-feea-11e1-b8e8-001a4bcf887a.html">an injunction that prohibits Schultz</a> from enforcing his rules.<br /><br />Gunderson said Schultz had plenty of time to follow procedure for community input and that the emergency procedures hadn&#39;t been necessary. She didn&#39;t throw the rules out per se, but she set them aside until after the election.<br /><br />Schultz, who <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Schultz">won his post in a squeaker</a> just one year ago, is now threatening to sue to get access to a federal data base to <a href="http://kmaland.com/09491_Voter_cross-check_fight_continues_063454.asp">crosscheck</a> those 3,582 votes anyway.</p><p>With the presidential race so close, those votes could really make the difference.<br /><br /><em>This is the second in an occasional series. In the next few weeks, I&#39;ll be looking at how Latinos</em>&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;<em>the so-called swing vote in this year&#39;s presidential election</em>&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;<em>play in each of the states where the race is within a few percentage points. Read part one in the series <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-09/latinos-north-carolina-are-vital-obama-and-democratic-party-102153">here</a>.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Thu, 20 Sep 2012 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-09/iowa-republican-tries-kick-latinos-voter-rolls-102539