Rural-urban GOP divide? Williams loses 'golden triangle' but dominates in 'old 5th'

05/18/2011 06:49 AM

On his way to winning the Republican nomination for governor, David Williams lost the “golden triangle” between Louisville, Lexington and Northern Kentucky but ran up the score among the rest of GOP voters out in the state.

Phil Moffett of Louisville and his running mate, state Rep. Mike Harmon of Danville, finished first in 18 of the 23 counties in that golden triangle region. (Not all of those counties are “urban” by definition but they all fall along or close to the I-71/I-75/I-64 corridors in that triangle.)

The Moffett/Harmon ticket won the region with 44% of the vote compared to 35.6% for Williams and his running mate, Richie Farmer, while the third ticket of Bobbie Holsclaw and Bill Vermillion got 20.4%, according to a cn|2 analysis of the unofficial election results.

Williams/Farmer then garnered nearly 60% of votes in the remaining parts of the state, compared to 32.5% for Moffett/Harmon and 7.3% for Holsclaw/Vermillion. That was more than enough to propel Williams/Farmer to a 10-point win.

Williams and Farmer, the agriculture commissioner and former University of Kentucky basketball player, particularly dominated in their home region in south central Kentucky. Farmer is from Clay County, which the ticket won with 73.5% of the vote.

And Williams, of Burkesville, won the six counties in his state Senate district with 78% of the vote. Those counties are Monroe, Cumberland, Clinton, Wayne, McCreary and Whitley.

The Williams/Farmer ticket garnered 69% of the GOP vote among 27 counties that made up the core of the “Old 5th” congressional district — a Republican stronghold that was split up when Kentucky lost one congressional district.

Here’s a rough analysis of the unofficial results as broken down by “golden triangle” and “old 5th” results:

(67,753 voters in 23 counties — 47.7% of GOP voters statewide)

  • Moffett/Harmon: 44% (29,774 votes)
  • Williams/Farmer: 35.6% (24,117 votes)
  • Holsclaw/Vermillion: 20.4% (13,862 votes)

- Moffett/Harmon won 18 counties with the four biggest wins coming from Fayette, Kenton, Boone and Oldham.

- Williams/Farmer finished first in four counties: Campbell, Bullitt, Trimble and Carroll. Of course, Trimble had just 131 total Republicans (Williams got 71) and Carroll had 82 total votes (Williams got 37).

- Holsclaw/Vermillion topped the other two slates in just one county — Holsclaw’s home of Jefferson County. But it was a big one. The 8,912 votes she received in Jefferson accounted for about 45% of the total she received statewide.

(35,177 voters in 27 counties — 24.76% of GOP voters statewide)

  • Williams/Farmer: 69% (24,279 votes)
  • Moffett/Harmon: 24% (8,424 votes)
  • Holsclaw/Vermillion: 7% (2,474 votes)

- Williams/Farmer won 26 of those 27 counties, and cracked 1,000 votes in nine of them: Monroe, Cumberland, Whitley, Knox, Clay, Laurel, Pulaski, Russell and Adair.

- Moffett/Harmon finished first in one county — Garrard County, which is adjacent to “golden triangle” counties of Madison and Jessamine. That ticket edged Williams/Farmer 530-408 in Garrard.

- Holsclaw/Vermillion wasn’t a factor in the old 5th.

Note:_ For the purpose of this analysis, “golden triangle” counties include: Boone, Kenton, Campbell, Gallatin, Trimble, Carroll, Henry, Owen, Grant, Scott, Bourbon, Clark, Fayette, Madison, Jessamine, Anderson, Woodford, Franklin, Shelby, Spencer, Bullitt, Jefferson and Oldham.

Old 5th Counties include: Monroe, Cumberland, Clinton, Wayne, McCreary, Whitley, Knox, Bell, Harlan, Leslie, Clay, Laurel, Pulaski, Russell, Adair, Casey, Rockcastle, Lincoln, Jackson, Owsley, Metcalfe, Green, Garrard, Lee, Estill, Taylor and Letcher._

- Ryan Alessi


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