In 2008, Barack Obama took 56.8 percent of the vote in Chatham County. In 2012, in the unofficial results, Obama took 55.4 percent, getting about 2,700 fewer votes than in 2008. Romney’s total on Tuesday beat McCain’s 2008 total by less than 200 votes.
So we didn’t see any surge of support for the Republican national ticket here in Chatham County. The Democratic ticket lost a fair bit of support, but not nearly as much as some assumed it would.
The countywide races were much friendlier to Republicans.
Meg Daly Heap (R) handily defeated incumbent Larry Chisolm (D) in the closely watched District Attorney race, 56.2 percent to 43.8 percent.
Dan Massey, the Republican incumbent Superior Court Clerk, barely squeaked by Democratic challenger Tawana Garrett, 50.8 percent to 49.2 percent.
Incumbent Sheriff Al St. Lawrence (R) survived against McArthur Holmes (D), 50.6 percent to 49.4 percent.
But Democrat Al Scott defeated Republican Eddie DeLoach for the open Chatham County Commission Chairmanship, 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent.
In one of Tuesday’s most interesting results from Chatham County, Jack Kingston (R) only beat Lesli Messinger (D) by 52.6 percent to 47.3 percent. Kingston of course was handily re-elected to his seat in Congress, but the tight race in Chatham suggests that he could one day lose his home county.
All in all, it looks like a relatively small percentage of ticket-splitters made the difference here — including a fair number of folks who voted for Obama but who voted Republican at the local level.
I think all of these trends speak to the general weakness of Mitt Romney’s candidacy.