Votes Differ Across Western Slope

Nov 8, 2012

Colorado once again backed Barack Obama in this year’s election, part of his swing state sweep in his successful bid for re-election. Statewide, Coloradans also approved all three ballot measures, including a controversial one legalizing recreational marijuana. But voters on the Western Slope don’t all agree. Ariana Brocious took a closer look at some of the election results in the KVNF listening area, and reports that opinions vary.

As the final votes were tallied yesterday, reports showed that President Obama managed nearly a five point lead over Mitt Romney in Colorado—getting 51 percent of the vote. But across the state, many counties preferred Romney, including many in the KVNF listening area.

Delta and Montrose counties voted overwhelmingly in favor of Romney, giving him about 70 percent of the vote. Hinsdale County was closer—but Romney still snagged nearly 60 percent of the vote.

Obama won with just 51 percent of the vote in Ouray County, but swept San Miguel County, where he got 70 percent of the vote.

Those percentages were reflected almost exactly in every county for the third congressional district race between Republican Scott Tipton and Democrat Sal Pace. Tipton easily won Hinsdale, Delta and Montrose counties, and squeaked by with just 49 percent of the vote in Ouray County. Pace won San Miguel County by a hefty margin,  but Tipton was the ultimate victor, holding on to his seat with 54 percent of the total votes.

San Miguel County gave Democrat Tammy Theis 60 percent of the vote in the race against Republican incumbent Don Coram. But the percentages were more than reversed in Montrose County, and Coram ultimately kept his seat with 62 percent of the total votes.

Delta County voted predominantly Republican for state house races, giving Jared Wright a strong showing in the western half of Delta County, in District 54, and Republican Debra Irvine 55 percent of the vote in the eastern half, in district 61. Democrat Millie Hamner ultimately won the District 61 race with 47 percent of the vote.

For District 59, Hinsdale County voted strongly in favor of Republican incumbent J Paul Brown. Brown lost in Ouray County, where his opponent Democrat Mike McLachlan got 53 percent of the vote. McLachlan squeaked out a victory over Brown, carrying 51 percent of the final votes.

And finally, looking to the statewide ballot amendments, which were all passed by voters:

Amendment S, regarding the state personnel system, failed in Hinsdale, Delta, and Montrose counties, but passed in San Miguel and Ouray counties.

Amendment 64, legalizing marijuana, failed in Hinsdale, Montrose and Delta counties, but passed with strong support in San Miguel and Ouray counties.

Amendment 65, regarding campaign finance limits, passed with resounding support in all five counties. 

Across the listening area, voter turnout was reported between 65 to 75 percent of registered voters.