Presidential Elections | St. Louis Public Radio

Presidential Elections

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 10, 2008 - Barack Obama ended his campaign swing through St. Louis on Tuesday after attending a fundraiser in downtown and visiting a hospital. The visit was part of a Midwestern trip that is expected to take him to Wisconsin on Thursday. A trip to Iowa on Wednesday was canceled due to flooding.

Washington University Professor Peter Kastor teaches his freshman politics seminar on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016
Dale Singer | St. Louis Public Radio

On Election Day, as he does every day, Washington University freshman Jordan Phillips called his grandma in Florida. His message was a definite one.

“I called her about an hour before the polls started closing,” Phillips said. “She jokingly said, ‘Jordan, who's going to win the election?’ I said I would bet everything I have that Hillary Clinton's going to win.

“Then I called her the next day, and she's like, ‘So you owe me everything you have.’”

Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States.

That's remarkable for all sorts of reasons: He has no governmental experience, for example. And many times during his campaign, Trump's words inflamed large swaths of Americans, whether it was his comments from years ago talking about grabbing women's genitals or calling Mexican immigrants in the U.S. illegally "rapists" and playing up crimes committed by immigrants, including drug crimes and murders.

Michael Brown Sr. stands at the back of the Ferguson Community Center's event space during the public comment portion of a 2016 Ferguson city council meeting.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Since the presidential campaign began in earnest, it’s become fairly common for candidates to allude to the aftermath of Michael Brown’s shooting death at the hands of a Ferguson police officer.

But according to officials that represent Ferguson, neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump has visited the city since announcing their presidential bids. And with both candidates set to debate Sunday at Washington University, some of the city’s elected leaders say it’s time for Trump and Clinton to see the town for themselves.

Throughout this presidential election year, St. Louis Public Radio has been assessing the political mood of likely voters.

In a recent query — What is your political mood, now? — we learned that voters still have very strong — and mostly negative — emotions. A review of the reasons behind those moods shows that among those who responded to a Public Insight Network query, many were equally unhappy with the Democratic and Republican nominees.

Ashely Tate dances between two of her students in preparation for "Dance to Vote."
Nancy Fowler / St. Louis Public Radio

Dancers are helping people get a leg up on voting this Saturday afternoon in University City.

An outdoor performance in front of Vintage Vinyl is designed to encourage passers-by to register and cast their ballots in the Aug. 2 Missouri primary. Three dance companies will alternate voting-related performances from 2-5 p.m.  Four spoken word artists will also participate.

Cornel West, center, is part of a 15-person platform drafting committee that met last week in St. Louis.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

When Democrats gather in Philadelphia next month, the focus will probably be on whom delegates select to be the party’s presidential nominee. But that’s not the only piece of official business.

Democrats will also ratify a platform, which is effectively a statement of principles for the party. While the document isn’t binding, it could provide a glimpse of what’s to come if Hillary Clinton becomes the next president. And it could provide a voice for the millions of people who supported Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Cheryl Roberts makes her case to become a Democratic delegate for Hillary Clinton. Last week, Democrats and Republicans chose delegates for their national conventions.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

With all the focus on the results of primaries and caucuses lately, it’s easy to forget that it’s the delegates — not the voters — who are directly responsible for nominating a president.

Heck, it wasn’t too long ago that being a delegate was more than just a ceremonial honor — it was an invitation to change the course of history. For instance: Venerable Pike County legend Champ Clark looked like the person to beat going into the 1912 Democratic National Convention, only to have that dastardly Woodrow Wilson swipe it away. If not for delegates, Harry S Truman would have been the second Missourian to be president.

Jason Smith
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On this week’s edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbuam and Rachel Lippmann are pleased to welcome U.S. Rep. Jason Smith to the show for the first time.

The Republican lawmaker was elected to represent Missouri’s 8th Congressional District in 2013 in a special election. The 8th District encompasses a swath of southeast and south central Missouri, as well as portions of the St. Louis metropolitan area like Jefferson County and all of Ste. Genevieve County.

Photos by Jason Rosenbaum and Bill Greenblatt

In most presidential election years, primary voters in Missouri and Illinois often wouldn’t have that much impact on picking potential commanders in chief.

But 2016 isn’t like most presidential years.

Michael Vadon | Wikimedia Commons

Matt Carlson, a communications professor at Saint Louis University has noticed something in recent months that many may not find quite so curious:

“When I’ve been around more than two adults in any setting, when they talk, it usually turns to Donald  Trump and how his success has manifested itself,” he told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on this week’s “Behind the Headlines.”

Heidi Cruz takes a picture with a supporter at Eckert's Restaurant in Belleville. Heidi Cruz is campaigning across Illinois for GOP presidential contender Ted Cruz.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Inside a restaurant dining room that was packed to the gills, Heidi Cruz gave a promise to Republicans in the Metro East and around the country: Her husband, GOP presidential contender Ted Cruz, could unite a party that appears to be at war with itself.

And she added that the at-times contentious Texas senator can bridge divides without giving up his core beliefs.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses nearly five thousand people on the campus of Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Illinois on March 4, 2016.
Bill Greenblatt I UPI

Inside a packed basketball arena in southern Illinois, Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders’ made Weasel Forsythe’s day.

Forsythe was one of several thousand people who saw the Vermont senator speak Friday on the campus of Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville. When Sanders was through with a roughly 50-minute speech, he gave Forsythe a hug.

Candidates John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon pose following their 1960 presidential debate.
Associated Press via Wikimedia Commons

Washington University was recently tapped — for the sixth time — to host a presidential debate next October, when the current, far-flung battlefield of candidates will be distilled to a ring for just two opponents.

Though it seems a lifetime away, the extraordinary popularity of the more recent GOP primary debates has many — including all those St. Louisans who will scramble for tickets to the candidate face-off this time next year — wondering how the eventual presidential debates might look. And it has some wondering, why do we care? Do debates even matter?

The area around the CNN tent was crowded before the vice presidential debate at Washington University in 2008.
Bill Smith | St. Louis Beacon file photo

After being passed over for 2012, Washington University will once again be in the presidential spotlight as the host of yet another presidential debate – this time in 2016.

Washington University officials announced today that the campus will be the site of the Oct. 9, 2016 debate.  The university has hosted more presidential debates than any other venue.

Professors of political science Ken Warren of SLU (left) and Dave Robertson of UMSL (middle) joined St. Louis Public Radio's Jo Mannies (right) and host Don Marsh.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday, “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh led a discussion about the role Missouri might play during the 2016 Presidential Election. Joining Marsh were St. Louis Public Radio political reporter Jo Mannies, University of Missouri-St. Louis political science professor David Robertson, and Saint Louis University political science professor Ken Warren.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 10, 2008 - The air was chilly, and the sky looked like slate, but that didn't dampen the upbeat mood of St. Louis worshippers on the first Sunday morning following the historic presidential election. On this special morning, many of them spoke of being uplifted not only by their faith but, as one worshipper put it, because "hope has been restored" by the election of Barack Obama. Some also were pleased that some Sunday sermons took note of the outcome of the election, not as an endorsement of the winner but as an indication that on the first Tuesday in November in 2008, America changed like never before. Following are comments from some worshippers about what the changes might mean.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 6, 2008 - It's natural to wake up the day after a presidential election - in particular this much-hyped contest - and feel exhausted. All that waiting in line to vote, tracking exit polls and staying up late to see the results are enough to make even the most energetic people sleepy at work on Wednesday.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 4, 2008 - At Kirkwood City Hall, where the wait to vote was two hours shortly after the polls opened at 6 a.m., voters were casting their ballots in about 40 minutes by late morning.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 4, 2008 - Like many polling places across St. Louis, Wydown Middle School was slammed with voters just after dawn.

Joe Pollack, a St. Louis County Board of Elections assistant supervisor stationed at the school, said the wait time was about 90 minutes at 6:30 a.m. and roughly an hour for those who arrived at 7 a.m.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 4, 2008 - Outside many polling places are Obama supporters in lime-green T-shirts that read "Voter Assistance."

A few of them have been the lone problem so far in St. Charles County, said Rich Chrismer, director of elections for St. Charles County. Chrismer said the volunteers were implying they worked for the election authority, which they don't, and there was some intimidation as people were on their way in to vote.

He called the Justice Department and reported the incident.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 4, 2008 - Dorothy Ward said she could not sleep at all Monday night.

"It was the anticipation, the excitement of Election Day," said the St. Louis woman who described herself as "40ish" and an employee of the Sara Lee bakery office in Earth City.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 3, 2008 - The high-energy campaigns that the presidential and gubernatorial candidates have waged in Missouri have led to a voter-registration surge that promises to end with a bang on Election Day. A record 76 percent of voters, or roughly 3.2 million people, are expected to cast ballots.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 3, 2008 - For Demetrius Braxton, a 36-year-old employee of a St. Louis drug and alcohol treatment center, the decision on who will get his vote for president of the United States is coming down to a single question.

While jobs, high energy prices and health care all are serious issues, Braxton said, what he really needed to know on an unseasonably warm Sunday afternoon in November, was this:

"When I go to sleep at night, who will make me feel most safe?"

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 30, 2008 - Cape Girardeau - Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin brought her pro-life, pro-gun rights and pro-family campaign to southeast Missouri this morning, just five days before voters will be asked to decide on the country's next president.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 29, 2008 - For many election cycles, Robert Lefton has applied the leadership matrix he developed for corporate chiefs to U.S. presidents, past, present and future.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 24, 2008 - On the day earlier this month when President Bush signed into law the historic financial bailout bill, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill made a pit stop in St. Peters to promote Sen. Barack Obama's economic platform.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 20, 2008 - McCain told the crowd in St. Charles "I am an American, and I choose to fight." Sen. John McCain's "straight talk express'' pulled into New Town at St. Charles Monday morning, with the candidate telling about 3,000 enthusiastic supporters not to give up hope and to keep fighting with him, even though the national media have written off his campaign.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 20, 2008 - We have met, at long last, the Everyman of the supply-side school of economics. He’s the rugged American individualist that generations of right-wing theorists have sought to free from the burdens of union dues, medical coverage, workmen’s compensation insurance, pension benefits and OSHA health and safety regulations.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 18, 2008 - All the ingredients fell into place for Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama shortly after noon on Saturday when he stopped to campaign under the Gateway Arch. He brought his campaign to St. Louis on a photo-perfect fall day, and he told an enthusiastic crowd of 100,000 people that "America can meet this moment" when the economy is in turmoil and the American Dream is beginning to elude many middle-class families.

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