Obama gets 58 percent in unopposed primary, still gets 1,700 more votes than Romney

05/22/2012 10:46 PM

President Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination in Kentucky as expected but perhaps not with the margin many predicted, considering he was unopposed.

Obama received nearly 58 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary, while 42 percent chose “uncommitted” on their ballot. That’s slightly worse than how the president fared in the May 8 Democratic primary in West Virginia, in which Obama received 59 percent compared to Keith Judd, a federal inmate in Texas.

If there was a bright side for Obama, he still received slightly more total votes than likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney did in Kentucky’s GOP primary.

But Obama finished second to the uncommitted option in a majority of Kentucky’s 120 counties. The president finished second in 67 counties and he tied with “uncommitted” in Calloway County, according to the unofficial election results.

Obama, who won the counties represented in dark green in the secretary of state’s map, prevailed in most of the urban counties. For instance, the only far western Kentucky County he won was McCracken County where Paducah is located.

Hillary Clinton trounced Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary in Kentucky even though Obama was close to locking down the nomination. Obama won just eight counties in the fall election against Republican John McCain.

Also on Tuesday, Mitt Romney fared better in the GOP primary, garnering two-thirds of the vote over three of his rivals who were still listed on the ballot. Ron Paul, father of Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, finished second with more than 12.5 percent followed by former Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum with 8.9 percent and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 6 percent, barely edging “uncommitted” with 5.9 percent.

But Obama actually received more votes than Romney: 119,284 to 117,599.

That underscores the number of conservatives in Kentucky who remain registered Democrats, especially in rural areas. Many voters still register as Democrats to vote in county primaries but have consistently voted Republican in federal races over the last two decades.


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