Friday, November 7, 2008

Running The Numbers

While it is true that the GOP fared poorly at the national level, though not as much so as some had anticipated, the results at the state level were mixed. Democrats predictably scored major victories here in Clarke County, though elsewhere across northeast Georgia the results were much more favorable to Republicans. Be that as it may, here is the official TOA analysis of Tuesday’s election results – much anticipated I am sure.

At the presidential level, the Republican ticket of John McCain/Sarah Palin won Georgia with 2,019,750 votes (52.4%) to the Democrat ticket of Barack Obama/Joe Biden with 1,803,924 (46.8%) and the Libertarian ticket of Bob Barr/Wayne Root with 28,414 (0.7%) Obama/Biden won Clarke County with 29,513 votes (65.1%) to McCain/Palin’s 15,309 (33.8%) and Barr/Root’s 492 (1.1%). No surprises here, as the GOP won statewide and lost locally.

In the US Senate race, the GOP's Saxby Chambliss placed first statewide with 1,838,919 (49.9%) to Democrat Jim Martin’s 1,721,112 (46.7%) and Libertarian Allen Buckley’s 126,003 (3.4%). Note the lower vote total for Chambliss when compared with that for McCain/Palin. To me, the discrepancy is attributable to Saxby’s betrayal of the GOP base on issues such as “comprehensive” immigration reform, the Wall Street bailout, and his membership in the Gang of Ten. In Clarke County, Martin won with 26,154 votes (60.6%) to Chambliss’ 15,245 (35.3%) and Buckley’s 1786 (4.1%). Interestingly, Martin did not fare quite as well in Clarke County as did Obama/Biden in terms of either absolute votes or percentage.

In the US House of Representatives District 10 race, Republican Paul Broun cruised, winning with 175,797 votes (60.8%) to Democrat Bobby Saxon’s 113,572 votes (39.2%). Of the 21 counties, or parts thereof, within the 10th District, Broun won 19 handily. He lost narrowly in Richmond County by a 52.6% to 47.4% spread. The only county to go decisively for Saxon was Clarke County, where he won with 27,044 votes (63.1%) to Broun’s 15,820 (36.9%). Again, no surprises here, though Saxon also fared worse locally that did Obama/Biden.

In Georgia Senate District 46, Republican Bill Cowsert defeated Democrat Sherry Jackson by the margin of 41,408 votes (57.8%) to 30,238 (42.2%). Jackson easily won Clarke County with 19,523 votes (62.4%) to Cowsert’s 11,755 (37.6%). She lost Oconee County and Walton County by margins of almost 3-to1, 12,154 (73.8% ) to 4307 (26.2%) and 17,499 (73.2%) to 6408 (26.8%), respectively. Here again, it was no surprise that Cowsert lost Clarke County but won everywhere else. Also, Jackson’s percentage was less locally that that of Obama/Biden.

In Georgia Senate District 47, the GOP's Ralph Hudgens blew out Democrat Tim Riley by 46,044 votes (64.8%) to 25,035 (35.2%). In Clarke County, Riley posted a 6726 (59.8%) to 4528 (40.2%) win. He lost everywhere else: Barrow County went for Hudgens 16,276 (70.2%) to 6918 (29.8%), as did Elbert County 1220 (57.2%) to 914 (42.8%), Jackson County 13,275 (73.8%) to 4715 (26.2%), Madison County 7166 (66.5%) to 3609 (33.5%), and Oglethorpe County 3579 (62.4%) to 2153 (37.6%). Here is the shocker. Riley polled less than 60% in Clarke County. Given how Clarke County Democrats absolutely revile Hudgens for his role is Senate redistricting, this strikes me as an astonishing low percentage.

The only contested race for Athens-Clarke County Commission went to Ed Robinson in a surprisingly easy District 6 win over “Red” Petrovs by a margin of 3566 (67.5%) to 1718 (32.5%). Robinson is yet another far left “progressive” whose only novel idea, aside from the usual progressive platitudes, was to annex parts of adjoining counties so as to extend the “green belt.” He will fit right in with others on the Commission.

Of the three contested seats on the Clarke County Board of Education, District 2 incumbent Vernon Payne held off challenger J.T. Jones by 1770 votes (56.3%) to 1372 (43.7%), District 6 incumbent Charles Worthy defeated challenger Jim Geiser 2610 votes (51.2%) to 2485 (48.8%), and David Huff outpolled Chinami Goodie 1990 votes (58.0%) to 1442 (42.0%) for the open seat in District 8. Given the chronic academic underperformance of the CCSD’s students and the administrative turmoil that has characterized the Board of late, the fact that every incumbent who ran for reelection won speaks volumes about the pathetically low, though horribly expensive, expectations most people in this county have for the education of their children. To my thinking, Huff is the only bright spot.

In the other local race of note, incumbent Democrat Ira Edwards defeated independent Kenneth Brown for Sheriff by 21,859 votes (53.8%) to 18,805 (46.2%). Given the incredible amount of baggage Edwards has accumulated over his two terms in office, the voters of Clarke County blew yet another chance for improvement.

By the waty, the election in Georgia went off with only a few minor glitches here and there – so much for Jane Kidd’s very public criticisms of Karen Handel, huh?

Note: Clarke County vote counts are final totals from the Clarke County Board of Elections; all other vote counts are from the Georgia Secretary of State as of Thursday morning.

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