Polk County bucks state trends in presidential, congressional races

Published 11:01 pm Tuesday, May 6, 2008

One &uot;super delegate&dquo; from Western North Carolina may be headed to Hillary Clinton&squo;s column after Tuesday&squo;s primary.

Polk County, along with Western North Carolina, favored Hillary Clinton in the state primary Tuesday, by nearly the same percentage as North Carolina favored Barack Obama.

Earlier this week, U.S, Rep. Heath Shuler, during a visit in Tryon, told a reporter he thought he would most likely cast his super delegate vote along the same lines as his district&squo;s vote in the primary.

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In the 11th Congressional District yesterday, Sen. Clinton&squo;s margin was 13% over Sen. Obama. State elections offices reported 68,648 votes for Clinton to 52,682 for Obama, a 55% to 42% margin for Clinton in the 11th Congressional District.

In Polk County, Sen. Clinton also won the majority of the vote, with 1,871 votes to Sen. Barack Obama&squo;s 1,548. Of the 3,475 voters casting Democratic primary ballots, Clinton won with 53% of the vote to 44% for Obama. Sen. Clinton won five out of the county&squo;s seven precincts.

Tryon and Green Creek carried for Obama, Tryon by a 519-441 vote margin. In Green Creek, the difference was nine votes.

In the Republican contest, 75% of the Polk County voters casting Republican ballots, a total of 1,675 voters, gave their assent to the presumptive nominee, John McCain. Ten percent voted for Mike Huckabee and 7.7 percent chose Ron Paul.

In the 11th Congressional District, Republicans also chose Asheville city councilman Carl Mumpower as the candidate to challenge U.S. Rep. Shuler in the fall.

Mumpower won, despite Polk County&squo;s overwhelming support for his rival Spence Campbell (62% to 22%). Campbell is a Hendersonville businessman working in insurance and real estate and a Vietnam veteran.