Despite election outcome, area largely Republican

By Gabriel Monte: Freedom New Mexico

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


Democrat: 8,464

Republican: 10,669


Obama/Biden: 4,670

McCain/Palin: 9,599

Quay County


Democrat: 3,514

Republican: 1,886


Obama/Biden: 1,547

McCain/Palin: 2,367

Roosevelt County


Democrat: 3,903

Republican: 4,762


Obama/Biden: 2,303

McCain/Palin: 4,311

Source: Secretary of State’s office.