Friday, November 9, 2012

Blaine County does not vote with state

Many residents support LeFavour, vote no on HJR 2

Express Staff Writer

Ketchum voters line up at Hemingway Elementary School on Tuesday. Though Idaho as a whole tended to vote Republican, Blaine county voted Democratic overall, with Republican support in Carey, Gannett-Picabo and Yale. Photo by Willy Cook

If Blaine County voters’ preferences had been followed statewide, former state Sen. Nicole LeFavour would be on her way to the U.S. House of Representatives and hunting, fishing and trapping would not be protected under the Idaho Constitution.

Blaine County voters went against the state and the rest of Legislative District 26 on Tuesday, voting with a distinctively Democratic leaning in a state that MSNBC commentators have called “one of the most conservative in the nation.”

Voters in the 2nd Congressional District cast ballots to re-elect Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, giving him nearly a 2-1 advantage over Democratic challenger LeFavour.

When she was a state senator, LeFavour was outspoken against Schools Superintendent Tom Luna’s educational reforms and openly supported Idaho’s “Add the Words” campaign, which would have introduced legislation to prevent discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. LeFavour was the only openly gay Idaho legislator during her time in office.

Blaine County voters widely supported her, voting 55 percent in favor of her candidacy for Congress. Simpson garnered 45 percent of the county vote.

Simpson garnered 58 percent support in Sun Valley, 79 percent in Carey, 63 percent in Gannett-Picabo and 100 percent in the small precinct of Yale. LeFavour received the most votes in Ketchum, Woodside, Hailey, Bellevue and the unincorporated county.

Blaine County also voted against adding an amendment to the Idaho Constitution to make hunting, fishing and trapping protected rights. The amendment passed in the state, with 73 percent of voters in favor.

However, only 47 percent of Blaine County voters said they support the amendment. The most clear support came from Carey, Gannett-Picabo and Yale, where 74 percent, 65 percent and 100 percent, respectively, voted for the amendment.

Blaine County also disagreed with much of District 26, voting to put Democrat John Remington in the Idaho House of Representatives instead of challenger Steve Miller. Miller won the district by a mere 306 votes.

Remington won Blaine County with 63 percent of the vote, as opposed to Miller’s 37 percent. His support was lowest in Carey, Gannett-Picabo and Yale, where he gained 24 percent, 44 percent and 0 percent of the vote, respectively.

When it came to the presidential election, the majority of Blaine County residents voted against the rest of the state and with the rest of the country. Idaho’s four electoral votes went to presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who earned 65 percent of the state’s vote.

President Barack Obama earned 33 percent of the state with 211,592 votes—almost 6,000 of which came from Blaine County voters, who gave him 59 percent of the county’s vote. Blaine County was one of two counties in Idaho to vote for Obama—Latah County (which includes Moscow) in northern Idaho was the other—but the only Idaho county in which a majority of voters supported Obama. With third-party candidates getting 5 percent of the vote there, Latah County voted only 49 percent for Obama.

Obama went on to win presidential election Tuesday night, with 303 electoral votes to Mitt Romney’s 206 as of Thursday morning. Florida’s 29 electoral votes were still unallocated as of press time.

Kate Wutz:

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