Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hillsdale is ObamaLand

I found myself over in the inner east side today so I dropped by the county elections office to see if they had the detailed results from the May 20 primary. Those are the tallies that have the local political goods: a break-down of the vote precinct by precinct.

They did have the detailed results ready. In fact the clerk hit the wrong button on her computer and printed out more than 100 pages of county precinct voting data for me.

I had asked for the results from only two precincts — those that cover most of Hillsdale.

Oh well.

Before each election, I put out “Hillsdale Votes!” signs to encourage voting.

I like to think the signs make a difference. There’s no way of telling what the signs do, but while voter turnout county wide was 60 percent, 73 percent of registered voters voted in our two Hillsdale precincts. (Kind of makes me wonder what the other 27 percent were doing. Bowling? Alone?)

We are predominantly Democrats in precincts 1205 and 1224. Of the 7443 registered voters here, 60 percent are Democrats, 20 percent Republicans and 20 percent independents.

Hillsdale Democrats resoundingly favored Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton.

County-wide, Obama got two-thirds of the vote in the Democratic presidential primary. Here in Hillsdale, he got 71 percent of the 3811 votes cast in the two precincts.

Don’t ask me what this means. I suppose that someone could accuse me of being blind to local sexism, even as I accused southern counties in Kentucky and West Virginia of being racist.

I doubt whether those same Kentucky and West Virginia voters, who voted four-to-one for Clinton, were really intending to vote for Clinton in the fall had she won the nominations. Call them "McCain Democrats." My guess is that they were voting AGAINST Obama, as an African-American, not FOR Clinton.

Here in Hillsdale, the vote was decidedly for Obama, not against Clinton. Oregon's November results will tell whether Obama's backing is sincere. I'm dead certain it is.

Another political note: I am pleased to see that national political pundits no longer are calling Oregon a “battleground state.” Or, preferably, a "toss-up." Ditto Washington state. The Obama campaign would be smart to focus its resources somewhere other than the Pacific Northwest, including — particularly including — Hillsdale.

In that regard, when I participated in a local Move-On phone bank two years ago, the organization had us calling voters in a hotly contested congressional race in ... the wilds of Nevada, of all places.

We Obama-istas shouldn’t become complacent about Oregon but be prepared to make your voices heard in Missouri, Virginia and New Hampshire. It’s kind of fun. You meet a lot a nice people, albeit telephonically.

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