In Fall 2022, I took MEJO 537: Washington Experience. The class was centered around political reporting and campaign management.
Advertising and public relation students ran mock campaigns with candidates they selected. Journalism students covered the race. As a journalist in this simulation, I was able to sharpen my political reporting skills by published weekly stories on the state of the race. I selected to write for CNN Politics and CNN en Español after my experiences with the network during my 2022 summer internship.
The mock campaign took place in Colorado’s 8th Congressional district. The advertising and public relations students were separated into three campaigns. They ran Doctor Yadira Caraveo, Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán, and activist Wendy Davis.
Colorado’s 8th Congressional district was a consequential bellwether in the 2022 midterms. In the lead up to the election both Politico and the Cook Political Report had designated the district as a toss-up.
Colorado’s 8th district was the first new district the Centennial State has had two decades, and the district is one of seven new congressional districts created nationwide after the 2020 census. The district includes areas from Adams, Larimer, and Weld counties, almost all north of Denver.
The political makeup of the district makes it a key battleground in Colorado. Of voters registered in this district, 28 percent are Democrats, 25 percent are Republicans, and 44 percent are unaffiliated with either party. Despite the candidates’ backgrounds and qualifications as seasoned Democrats, it is likely that appealing to independent voters will be decisive in their victory.
The new district also has Colorado’s largest share of Latino and Hispanic voters. Despite the district having a predominantly white population, approximately 39 percent of the district’s residents identify as Latino or Hispanic. This is an especially consequential detail as both parties continue efforts to build more diverse, multi-ethnic voting coalitions. It was for this reason that I also decided to write for CNN en Español and produce Spanish versions of my articles.
Below is a portfolio of the work I produced during the course of the mock campaign. Other campaign materials and work from the semester can be found here.