Despite election outcome, area largely Republican

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

There were no surprises about the results of the Nov. 4 presidential election among political party leaders in eastern New Mexico.

While President-Elect Barack Obama won the state, Republican John McCain was a decisive winner in Curry, Quay and Roosevelt counties.

Curry County Republican Chairman Rube Render said he did not see any difference between the presidential results in Curry County during the 2004 elections and the 2008 elections.

Curry County Democratic Vice Chairwoman Elaine Howell said the tradition of voting for a Republican president in eastern New Mexico dates back at least 40 years.

“I expected Curry County to vote Republican,” she said.

However, the number of votes for a Democratic president in Curry County increased by 31 percent, from 3,541 to 4,670, compared to the 2004 presidential election.

“People who voted Democratic in Curry County were totally disenchanted with the Republican administration,” she said. “People were already tired of (President) George Bush, tired of the war and the economy was in the tank. That was it. The American people vote with their pocket books.”

Quay County Republican Chairman Billy Menges said his party members worked hard to register voters and even turned Democrat voters. He said conservative Democrats in Quay county added to the votes for McCain.

“It’s a two-to-one Democrat county but there’s a lot of blue-dog Democrats,” he said. “They just don’t want to change parties but they still vote Republican.”

How they voted:

Curry County

Voters

Democrat: 8,464

Republican: 10,669

Results

Obama/Biden: 4,670

McCain/Palin: 9,599

Quay County

Voters

Democrat: 3,514

Republican: 1,886

Results

Obama/Biden: 1,547

McCain/Palin: 2,367

Roosevelt County

Voters

Democrat: 3,903

Republican: 4,762

Results

Obama/Biden: 2,303

McCain/Palin: 4,311

Source: Secretary of State’s office.