Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Breaking down the ballot:


Earlier this fall, it seemed as if President Barack Obama would easily be reelected come November:  Real Clear Politics-a website that aggregates polling data-noted that on Sep. 3, following the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. and the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., the race was dead even. However, only eight days later, after Politico noted that the “Republicans came out of the conventions behind,” Obama took the lead by more than three and a half points.

Nate Silver of the New York Times has repeatedly commented that, because the race is so close, even a small shift in the polls can have a huge outcome on Election Day.

A Gallup poll found that the Democrats outshined their Republican counterparts by a narrow 43-40 margin. Politico noted that the conventions revealed the philosophy behind each party and that both parties centered the discourse of the election on the same question: “which side are you on?”

Republicans paint Democrats as a group who “disdain free enterprise” and “resent individual success,” according to Politico, while Democrats have portrayed Republicans as “people who all look alike, want to control your sexual and reproductive freedom and don’t care about opportunities for anyone who isn’t already as successful as they are,” according to Politico.

Politico argued that the elected Commander in Chief could have an immediate impact on the issue of Medicare-Romney would seek to “inject substantial private-sector competition into the Medicare program,” whereas Obama opposes the privatization as a violation of the social contract. CNN noted, the two politicians differ in their approach to health care, particularly the controversial Affordable Health Care Act.

Although Romney helped to pass a similar law as governor of Massachusetts, he has pledged to repeal the law commonly referred to as Obamacare. However, when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the bill, Obama asserted, “I didn’t do this because it was good politics-I did it because I believe it is good for the country.”

Although there are issues that the opponents do not agree on such as immigration, abortion and same-sex marriage, the economy, however, will be “key to the White House,” stated BBC. Both presented their economic plans during the first presidential debate at the University of Denver in Colorado on Oct. 3.

Obama asserted his belief that “America does best when the middle-class does best,” alluding to his proposal to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans. In regards to the President’s tax plan, Romney expressed, “When we’re in a recession like this you don’t raise taxes on anyone.”

While Obama’s plan to reduce the federal deficit hinges partly on higher taxes for the rich, Romney has proposed to halt government funding to groups like Planned Parenthood and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and revealed his intentions to repeal the Affordable Care Act, in addition to cutting foreign aid, according to CNN.

As the two politicians sparred over tax policy and government spending, however, Politico observed that Obama seemed “far less comfortable” than Romney and “almost grim at times.” David Gergen of CNN suggested that the president “almost threw away the election.”

Since the debate in Denver, the polling margins have narrowed and Romney now holds a slim lead, according to Real Clear Politics. The New York Times has also noted that the gender gap is close to an all time high, with women in favor of Obama by an average of 9 points, while men preferred Romney by the same margin.

The Atlantic reported, “there’s little reason to believe Mitt Romney commands anything comparable to Obama’s ground operation,” however, and suggested that Obama’s grassroots efforts “could put him over the top.”

These efforts would prove especially useful in a swing state like Ohio, the New York Times stated.

“There are few credible paths to the White House for Mitt Romney without winning Ohio,” where Obama currently holds a slim lead in the polls, according to Real Clear Politics. Silver claimed that there is a 50 percent chance that the outcome of the election will be decided by the Buckeye State.

Politico noted that Romney has more cash on hand to finish the race, but the same outlet also asserted that Romney’s post-Denver momentum in the polls has come to a halt, leaving the candidates in a virtual tie just days before the election.



Democratic candidate Paul Sadler and Tea Party Republican candidate Ted Cruz will compete for a seat in the U.S. Senate on the Nov. 6 general election. While both candidates have addressed the key concerns of voters such as the state of the economy throughout their campaign, Sadler and Cruz promote varying solutions for the future of Texas.

 Sadler, a native Texan, has legislative experience as a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1991 to 2003, where he served as a member of the Legislative Budget Board and as Chairman of the Public Education Committee from 1995 to 2003.

If elected to office, Sadler’s platform stated his plans are to rebuild and spur the economy by creating jobs that will invest in clean energy and renewable resources. He also plans on strengthening national defense and protecting access to quality, affordable health care.

The San Angelo Times took note of Sadler’s willingness to pass bipartisan legislation, such as the protection of women’s health.

Tea Party Republican candidate Cruz, however, has promoted a different solution for Texas. Cruz, a partner in the firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in Houston, taught U.S. Supreme Court litigation at the University of Texas at Austin from 2003 to 2008, and served under the Solicitor General of Texas.

Cruz’s campaign platform placed a heavy emphasis on job growth through a balanced budget and the reduction of size and spending by the federal government, including his intentions to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Cruz’s conservative ideals advance policies in support of pro-life, traditional marriage, the security of the Mexican-American border and the protection of the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

According to the Texas Lyceum Poll, 24 percent of participants are in favor of Sadler, 50 percent expressed support for Cruz and 26 percent of voiced opinions were undecided.

Traditionally, Texas voters consistently support Republican candidates. Griselda Nevarez of the Huffington Post projected that Cruz will win the seat in the race based on his conservative positions on key Texas issues like immigration, health care and voter ID laws.

Congressional District 20

U.S. Congressional District 20 draws votes from the western half of San Antonio. On the ballot for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives are Democratic candidate Joaquín Castro and Republican candidate David Rosa. The votes from constituents in the UTSA and greater San Antonio area will elect a representative who will ultimately impact local policies and legislation.

Politico named 38-year-old Democratic candidate Castro one of the top 50 politicians to watch i
n the nation. Castro served as the Vice Chairman of the Higher Education Committee and was the Democratic floor leader in the Texas House of Representatives.

The Democratic candidate has defined his platform as “the infrastructure of opportunity.” Castro intends to direct government support and funding for initiatives that aim to provide access to quality public health care and education. Castro has also voiced his support for same-sex marriage, Planned Parenthood and the DREAM Act. For Castro, the priority issue for San Antonio is the economy, including military, transportation and job creation, according to the San Antonio Express-News, following the Democratic National Convention.

Also running on the ballot for Congressional District 20 is Republican candidate David Rosa. Rosa served as the director of the Greater Bexar County Latino Republican Coalition, founded the Federation of Hispanic Republicans and cited his experience as an insurance agent at a private health care agency in San Antonio.

Rosa has criticized the current regulation policies and aims to find the appropriate balance between government oversight and the expansion of business.

Rosa believes in the privatization of health care in order to promote and protect competitive affordability. He seeks to loosen government regulations on businesses in order to facilitate job growth. As stated by the Express-News Editorial Board, Rosa voiced his opposition to Obamacare and his support for pro-life legislation.

The San Antonio Express-News stated that Rosa reported only $933 in campaign funds, whereas Castro’s campaign boasted over $338,101 in the most recent financial quarter.

As Election Day approaches, the disparity of campaign resources and the official endorsements from Congressman Charlie Gonzales and former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi indicate a clear political advantage for Castro.

Congressional District 23

Democrat Pete Gallego will attempt to unseat Republican and Tea Party favorite Quico Canseco in Congressional District 23, which stretches from San Antonio to El Paso as the largest geographic district in the state.

The influence of the Latino voting bloc was evident at the only debate between the two candidates, which was held entirely in Spanish and focused on issues such as immigration, Medicare and Social Security, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Due to the highly competitive nature of the race, the Texas Tribune described the area as the “only Congressional swing district” in Texas. The Los Angeles Times has gone so far as to claim that the race is “one of the most competitive congressional races in the country.”

Canseco, a 63-year-old businessman from Laredo, TX, was elected to the seat in 2010 as a part of the historic Tea Party landslide that resulted in the Republican party picking up more than 60 seats in the House. However, Canseco failed to win 50 percent of the vote in a hotly contested race.

His official campaign webpage touted his business experience and stated, “Canseco knows what it means to meet a payroll, keep a budget and the pride that comes with building a business and creating job opportunities for others.” The website also argued that “Congress is in desperate need of people like Canseco who have the real world experience to help get our small businesses moving again.”

Due to Canseco’s conservative stance on issues such as Medicare and Social Security, Gallego has called his opponent an “extremist who would dismantle the social safety net,” the Texas Tribune reported. Canseco has maintained that “Medicare was on track to go bankrupt and that Republicans want to preserve it, along with Social Security, for future generations,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

Gallego, a 22-year member of the Texas Legislature, is a former lawyer from Alpine who has been identified as one of the Democrats most likely to unseat a Republican, according to CNN. Although Canseco was unchallenged in his primary, Gallego faced and won in a runoff against Ciro Rodriguez, who represented the district from 2007 to 2011, when he lost to Canseco. Gallego has attacked Canseco for the incumbent’s stance on Medicare, claiming that the Republican intended to turn it into a voucher program, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Dallas Morning News reported that Gallego has also made strides to highlight his support for the DREAM Act, legislation that Canseco has opposed in the past.

The Texas Tribune noted that the campaign has turned ugly as of late, particularly by Canseco, who sent out a mailer that used images of Jesus Christ, a baby and two men kissing to draw attention to Gallego’s allegedly liberal stance on abortion and gay rights. Even some Republicans came to the defense of Gallego, a Catholic who opposes legalizing same-sex marriage.  

The amount of money spent on ads relating to the race has raised eyebrows as well. The Texas Tribune reported that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Commission and League of Conservation Voters have collectively invested $2.3 million in support of Pete Gallego. While the National Republican Congressional Committee has spent only $1.3 million on ads supporting Canseco, the incumbent has a cash-on-hand advantage of $1 million.

However, the many supporters of Gallego include former president Bill Clinton, who visited South San Antonio High School on Oct. 25 to speak on behalf of the Democratic candidate. Clinton’s endorsement may boost Gallego’s chances, the San Antonio Express-News claimed. “The race largely pivots on political ideology and the likability of Canseco and Gallego.”

However, in such a close race, the winner may not be decided by TV ads or the likeability of either candidate, according to Larry Hufford, a political science major from St. Mary’s University. Hufford argued the importance of voter participation.

“Turnout will be the major factor in who wins that congressional district,” Hufford stated.

Pre K 4 SA

 During the general election, Pre-K 4 SA, an early-childhood education initiative, will be on the ballot for San Antonio voter approval on Nov. 6.

The program aims to improve educational opportunity by offering 22,400 four-year-olds free full-day pre-k instruction by trained teaching professionals. The initiative intends to narrow the performance gap in pre-k education for qualifying children.

The oversight of the program will be governed by a City Council appointed board and if passed, the resolution will increase the sales tax in San Antonio by one eighth of a cent to fund the construction of four pre-k centers that will house 500 students each over the eight-year-period from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2021.

In addition to the education of qualifying pre-k through third grade students of San Antonio, the program also allocates funding to support family services such as extended day care in order to accommodate working parents.

According to the City of San Antonio’s Pre-K 4 SA Information Guide, qualifying criteria for families include: “At or below 185 percent of federal poverty level (families are eligible for free or reduced lunch); English as a second language; children of active duty member of U.S. Armed Forces; child of injured or deceased member of U.S. Armed Forces; homeless; or currently or previously in foster care.”

The initiative will be on the ballot in San Antonio this November and will require voter reauthorization again in Nov. 2020.

For more information on the Pre-K 4 SA initiative, visit

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