November 8, 2012
Although voter participation was down slightly from 2008, Pettis County’s antipathy to President Barack Obama remains strong despite his electoral success.
Pettis County Clerk Nick La Strada told the Democrat on Wednesday afternoon that the election had gone “very smooth” and his office has received no calls or complaints regarding Tuesday’s contest.
“Everything ran well. Our pollworkers did a great job. We have a great group of poll workers and we couldn’t have done this without them. They deserve a lot of credit for how it went yesterday,” La Strada said.
Overall, turnout fell from 69 percent in 2008 to 66 percent on Tuesday. However, opposition to Obama actually grew from 2008, when 60 percent of voters went for McCain, 38 percent voted for Obama and 2 percent voted for third-party candidates. On Tuesday, 63 percent voted for Republican Mitt Romney, 34 percent voted for Obama and 2 percent voted for a third party.
Anti-Obama sentiment was strongest in Prairie Township, where 76 percent of voters broke for Romney. Of all Pettis County political subdivisions, Obama broke the 50 percent mark in only one — Sedalia’s 2nd Ward, First Precinct — where the president captured 63 percent of the vote.
However, Pettis County Republican voters were willing to cross over in two major down-ticket races — governor and U.S. Senate. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon carried Pettis County with 50 percent of the vote to 47 percent for Republican Dave Spence and 3 percent for Libertarian Jim Higgins. Sen. Claire McCaskill carried Pettis County with 49 percent of the vote to 42 percent for Republican Todd Akin and 9 percent for Libertarian Jonathon Dine.
Support for Nixon and McCaskill was highest, like that for Obama, in Sedalia’s 2nd Ward, First precinct, where they carried 71 percent and 69 percent respectively. Support for Akin was highest in Prairie Township, where he carried 54 percent of the vote. Support for Spence was highest in Hughesville, where he took home 56 percent of the vote.
Overall, 2,162 people, or 8 percent, voted absentee in the general election. Turnout by percentage was highest in Hughesville, where 73 percent of registered voters turned out, while the most cards were cast in Prairie Township, where 1,201, or 66 percent of registered voters, showed up at the polls.
Turnout by percentage was lowest in Sedalia’s 2nd Ward, First Precinct, where only 39 percent of registered voters turned out.