Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

November 8, 2012

Decision 2012: Obama wins nationally, loses in Cherokee County

Is Republican dominance the reason?

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

RUSK —  In Cherokee County Tuesday, Republican challengers Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan trounced Barack Obama and Joe Biden with an even 75 percent of the vote – 12,291 to 3,935 cast ballots.

So locally, the president gets trounced. But nationally, he is re-elected after a difficult Election Day.

Can this disconnect be accredited exclusively to Republican dominance?

The polls would certainly indicate so. There were 5,884 straight Republican voters in Tuesday's election, as opposed to 2,327 straight vote Democrats, the polls show.

“Obama lost so heavily because we are such a heavy Republican County, and that's the way we like it,” explained Jerry Rix, GOP party club chairman. “We are a very conservative group and we live that way and believe that way. And there's nothing wrong with that.”

Nationally, what does the president's re-election mean for Republican and Democrat cooperation? Rix said in the president's case, Republicans who might otherwise have been inclined to work with him when he reached across the political allies might be turned off now because of the way Obama is perceived as reacting to their support.

“In his case, Obama thinks reaching across the aisle means everyone else is agreeing with him on everything overwhelmingly, which we aren't going to do,” Rix said. “We believe in compromise to some extent as long as it doesn’t mean sacrificing your principles. If Obama and the Democrats want to compromise I'm sure it will happen. But if they say 'my way or the highway' that sure won't happen.”

Caesar Roy, Democratic Party Club chairman, has a different explanation. Locally, he agrees that this is heavy Republican territory and the number of those who voted straight ticket is undeniable.

 But nationally, Roy thinks that people are more supportive of the president because he was the more trustworthy of the two candidates.

"The voters were not ready for a person they did not think they could trust,” he said. “They know Obama and know what he has done. They know he keeps his words. All they know of Mr. Romney is he conducts his business behind closed doors.”