A few leftover thoughts from last week’s election
by Justin McGill, General Manager -- jmcgill@cadizrecord.com
Nov 14, 2012 | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I’ve had some time to think and sleep since Election Day, during which I had time for neither. Here are a few thoughts I took away from last Tuesday:

– Trigg County’s voter turnout was 63.7 percent – not as high as some predicted, but a solid number, I believe. However, among that number are two interesting percentages – straight party and under votes.

Straight party voters – those who choose to vote for all candidates in one party with the selection of one option – accounted for 2,586 votes in Trigg County. That’s 37.9 percent of voters.

There were 4,237 ballots – 62.1 percent of Trigg voters – featuring under votes, meaning those ballots did not have selections in each available race.

The first number bothers me. Simply put, I feel straight party voting shouldn’t be an option.

If I’ve learned anything over the last 14 years that I’ve paid closer attention to our country’s political climate, it’s that neither the Republican nor Democrat parties hold 100 percent to the same platform from one election to the next. Something always changes, often times more than once.

Additionally, it’s impossible to believe that every candidate in one party holds the same skill set or even the same opinion on every topic. Imagine how boring life would be were that the case. If all Democrats were the same, why would it matter which we elected to office?

In short, straight party voting is lazy and potentially harmful to your country, state and even your congressional, senatorial and representative districts.

– In the 1st District State Senate Race, Carroll Hubbard (D) received 1,675 votes in Trigg County. Of those votes, 72 percent came from straight party voters.

The gap by which Hubbard lost in Trigg County to Stan Humphries (R) – Trigg’s current judge executive garnered 75 percent of the vote here – is not surprising. Perhaps it would have been wider without straight party ballots, which accounted for only 27 percent of the Humphries vote here.

– Speaking of Hubbard, and not to be too harsh here, but I’m a bit curious as to who was providing him with pre-election poll info. In his campaign advertising and at the candidate forum held here last month, Hubbard said he knew he’d lose in Trigg County but that he was leading in the remaining counties in the district.

In the end, he only carried Fulton County, and his lead there was by a paltry 28 votes. So where did Hubbard’s phantom numbers come from?

Whether or not Hubbard really believed those numbers, it should come as no surprise that he leaned heavily upon them. It wouldn’t be the first time a politician or political candidate said something that turned out to be very, very wrong.

– Did anyone catch Karl Rove on Fox News as the presidential election was being called for Barack Obama around 10:30 p.m. last Tuesday? When it was all but certain that he’d earn enough electoral votes to defeat Mitt Romney?

Sure, the vote in Ohio was close, but when the experts are saying the remaining Ohio counties will almost certainly vote Democratic – including the experts at Fox News, which should tell you something – maybe it’s time to let it go.

Of course, he’s a cable news pundit, and on top of that, one for Fox News.

– So, there you have it. I’ve exhausted my political talk for, hopefully, at least the next two years.

Justin McGill is executive editor of The Cadiz Record and can be reached by email at jmcgill@cadizrecord.com.
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