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: September 23, 2008 - Maybe it IS the economy, stupid. But it's also the environment, the war, education, abortion, immigration, fuel prices, taxes, retirement and a seemingly endless list of other issues - both large and small - that could prove crucial in deciding how St. Louisans will vote in the upcoming presidential election.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 22, 2008 - The presidential campaign is entering the debate phase. Yet some of the discussion is neither elevated nor courageous and at least one candidate, Gov. Sarah Palin, resists the normal scrutiny of media interviews.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 22, 2008 - If this presidential election follows the usual script, young voter turnout will be modest at best. There will be a flurry of students registering in the next few weeks but problems with getting them to the polls in November.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 9, 2008 - Telling supporters that a deteriorating national economy has put "the whole notion of the American dream on hold," Democratic vice presidential candidate Joseph Biden said the Republican ticket presents a serious threat to middle-class workers.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 9, 2008 - One morning after breakfast during the GOP convention in St. Paul, Phyllis Schlafly, head of the conservative Eagle Forum, searched her mind for the right metaphor to capture the impact of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on the Republican presidential ticket. Dressed in red and flashing a ready smile, Schlafly finally settled on the image of Palin as the drum-beating bunny in the Energizer battery commercials. Turns out the description was right - not the bunny part but the term "energizer," which seemed to convey the spirit and vitality that Palin brought to the convention the minute she stepped onto the stage and accepted the vice presidential nomination.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 6, 2008 - Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin will try to become the first female to hold that office in the United States. Will she get an extra bump from women voters?

Generalizing about women voters in any election year is a little like saying that the only difference between hockey moms and pit bulls is lipstick.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 26, 2008 - DENVER - Voters may never know a President Hillary R. Clinton, but they now know the kind of inspiring and uplifting message she might have delivered had she won her party’s nomination for president. On her night to shine at the Democratic Convention, Clinton delivered a speech that brought delegates to their feet and perhaps gave them hope for leaving the convention with a unified mission of winning back the White House in November. 

Will whites vote for Barack Obama?

Aug 15, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 15, 2008 - Danny Sanders says he has seen the face of racism first hand.

"My dad was from Arkansas, and he hated black people," said the retired St. Louis baker and Vietnam veteran, who was fishing for catfish this week at Carondelet Park. "And a long time ago, I used to feel the same way.

"But I have changed.

"People do change, you know?"

This post first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 8, 2008 - Fred Baron - a well-known toxic torts trial lawyer from Dallas - told the Dallas Morning News that he had paid for housing and relocation expenses for Rielle Hunter, the videographer John Edwards admits was his mistress.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 8, 2008 - Unlike many of their predecessors, this year's vice-presidential candidates won't be chosen primarily because they're from a large state or to balance the ticket's geography or philosophy. They'll be chosen because they're presidential.

This post first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 4, 2008 -  I may be wrecking the suspense for you, but in all honesty, I have to let you, the American people, know that Barack Hussein Obama is our next president. I am basing this on science.

Through very rigorous web-based research, by which I mainly mean using Wikipedia and Google, I've discovered that he is the one with the winning middle name.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 3, 2008 - Sen. Barack Obama was busy in Missouri last week, stopping in places like Springfield, Rolla and Union, hardly hotbeds of liberal Democratic voters. The presumptive Democratic nominee was clearly hoping to connect with generally conservative voters in this must-win state. It's a strategy he's likely to follow throughout the general election campaign.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 8, 2008 - Hillary Clinton was the first serious woman contender for a presidential nomination. During a long and tortuous campaign, she was a solid favorite of women Democrats, particularly among older women.

Reasons for this support may vary: the voter could be a fan of Hillary, an admirer of the Clinton presidency, or could agree on issues such as health care. Not least, many wanted to see a woman in the White House. If Clinton had been elected president, the ultimate glass ceiling would have broken and a balm would have helped many women who have endured discrimination in the workforce, the judicial system or education.

Commentary: For whom the exit polls

Jul 3, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 3, 2008 - Q: Who was the last Democratic presidential nominee to win both the Electoral College and a majority of the popular vote?

A: Jimmy Carter in 1976.

Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000 but lost the Electoral College to George W. Bush. Bill Clinton, the only Democrat to actually win the White House in that 32-year period, won consecutive three-man elections with popular pluralities of 43 percent and 49 percent, respectively.