The annual conference of the Pacific Chapter of the American Association of Public Opinion will be held this week in San Francisco. The pollsters from western states regularly come together to present their analyses and predictions for the next election.
History of Western States Roundtable
• PAPOR initiates concept of western states as area of study
• Shortly after California gubernatorial recall, roundtable begins
• Mountain West becomes Democratic battleground in 2004
• Alaska, Idaho, Utah and Wyoming anchor the most conservative states. California, Oregon and Washington are regularly on the left.
• Colorado begins a trend to battleground status, joined by Arizona, Montana, Nevada and New Mexico
Major Themes of 2012
• Will the West save Obama’s presidency?
• Will the Tea Party movement rule over Western Republican nominations? Will they harm Republicans in general elections?
• Does Occupy Wall Street help or hurt the Democratic Party candidates?
• Is there political space for a presidential third party?
• When will the Hispanic vote catch up with Hispanic demographics?
• Will the 2012 election affect California’s political gridlock and economic woes?
• Is gay rights the only Western social issue with impact? Marijuana? Illegal immigration?
• Has social media evolved sufficiently to be a major factor in western states’ elections?