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County shifts show in presidential votes

Though Oak Creek and Phippsburg turned red, Clinton carried Routt easily

Routt County has historically voted both left and right , the regions economics changing with shifting demographic and economic waves.
Joel Reichenberger

2016 Presidential election

Routt County's results

54.3 percent — Hillary Clinton

37.4 percent — Donald Trump

5.1 percent — Gary Johnson

1.5 percent — Jill Stein

0.8 percent — Evan McMullin

Oak Creek and Phippsburg, then and now

2012

Barack Obama, D — 50.8 percent

Mitt Romney, R — 46.5 percent

2016

Donald Trump, R — 49.1 percent

Hillary Clinton, D — 42.6 percent

— Tuesday’s presidential election may have brought plenty of surprises — or one big one, anyway — but the overall results in Routt County weren’t much of a shock.

Routt voted for Hillary Clinton, the fourth consecutive time the county has gone for a Democrat and the sixth time in the past seven elections.

2016 Presidential election

Routt County’s results

54.3 percent — Hillary Clinton

37.4 percent — Donald Trump

5.1 percent — Gary Johnson

1.5 percent — Jill Stein

0.8 percent — Evan McMullin

Oak Creek and Phippsburg, then and now

2012

Barack Obama, D — 50.8 percent

Mitt Romney, R — 46.5 percent

2016

Donald Trump, R — 49.1 percent

Hillary Clinton, D — 42.6 percent

Still, the 2016 presidential election numbers did show several major political shifts in the county.

Few stand as stark as the changes in Oak Creek and Phippsburg, long the most reliably blue corner of the Routt County precinct map. Precinct 8, including the two towns and the area to the north and west, voted Republican for the first time since 1984. 
It joined most of the rest of the county — and the country — that year in voting for Ronald Reagan, just as it had in 1980. Before that, however, it hadn’t voted for a Republican since choosing Calvin Coolidge in 1924.

The precinct went 49 percent for Donald Trump and 42 percent for Clinton. The same precinct voted 51 percent for President Barack Obama in 2012.

Still, a shift to red wasn’t the theme of the night, locally. Clinton won with a higher margin in Routt County than Obama did in 2012, thumping Trump by nearly 17 percent. Obama beat Romney locally by 15.6.

Clinton also won more widely than Obama did in 2012. She took 13 of the county’s 18 precincts, compared to Obama’s 12. While Oak Creek and Phippsburg tilted red for the first time, precincts 6 and 7, which spread to the southwest and southeast of Steamboat Springs, respectively, each flipped from Republican to Democrat.

Trump won most decisively in Precinct 2, improving upon Romney’s performance north of U.S. Highway 40 near Hayden. He took 71 percent of the vote there.

Clinton, meanwhile, found the bulk of her support in Steamboat Springs proper. She won the city overwhelmingly, with 65 percent of the vote. Her best precinct was 13, which includes the Fairview neighborhood, Brooklyn and a sliver of Old Town between Fourth and Seventh streets. There, she took 72 percent of the vote.

Third parties didn’t take significant numbers of votes; Libertarian Gary Johnson finished with 5.1 percent, Green Party candidate Jill Stein took 1.5 and unaffiliated conservative challenger Evan McMullin grabbed 0.8.

Johnson’s best precinct was 5, including most of the town of Hayden and the area south. He hit nearly 8 percent there. Stein topped out at 3 percent on the southeast end of Steamboat in Precinct 17, which straddles U.S. Highway 40 beyond Walton Creek Road.

In all, 461 voters skipped the presidential choice, nearly four times as many as in 2012.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9


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