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Thu, Oct. 17

Urban areas push Obama over Clinton in Yavapai

PRESCOTT - Yavapai County elections officials released the unofficial final results of the presidential preference election Tuesday, including precinct results that show a clear contrast between urban and rural Democrats.

The majority of urban voters in Yavapai County supported Barack Obama while the majority of rural precincts went to Hillary Clinton.

Most precincts in Prescott, Sedona and Cottonwood went to Obama, while Clinton won all the other precincts.

Yavapai and Coconino were the only Arizona counties in which Obama beat Clinton, who won the state with 50.5 percent of the vote compared to Obama's 42 percent. In Yavapai, 48 percent of the voters chose Obama and 46 percent liked Clinton.

Yavapai County voters set a new presidential preference election record with 51.6 percent of registered voters going to the polls.

Unofficial final statewide results from the Feb. 5 election show Yavapai with the highest-percentage voter turnout, followed by Pima with 51.1 percent, Gila with 50.9 percent and Maricopa with 50.6 percent. Yavapai also had the best turnout at all the previous three presidential preference elections.

Yavapai County officials threw out more than half of the provisional ballots, which people must fill out when their names are not on precinct polling place lists.

Yavapai officials rejected 1,045 ballots because the voters were not members of the Republican or Democratic parties, Yavapai County Recorder Ana Wayman-Trujillo said. Non-partisan voters could not vote in this election like they can in regular primaries. The Associated Press reported statewide confusion about that, and Gov. Janet Napolitano says she wants to change the rules.

Yavapai County officials rejected about 100 other ballots because people voted in the wrong precinct, Wayman-Trujillo said. Yavapai consolidated its precincts from 104 to 26, which also was partly responsible for long lines.

Clinton vs. Obama

No exit polls broke down voters by county to show what type of voters produced different Democratic results in Yavapai and Coconino counties.

However, Clinton won a clear majority of female voters on Super Tuesday, according to exit polls. And women are more likely to vote in Democratic primaries, making up 57 percent of the turnout in the Super Tuesday primaries in 22 states.

But Obama's strengths among blacks, men and younger voters kept him close on Super Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. Exit polls also show him with an edge when it comes to upscale, educated voters, and that could partly account for his wins in Yavapai and Coconino.

Clinton's strengths are in attracting women, working-class voters and Hispanics, exit polls indicate.

Clinton won over 63 percent of Hispanic voters throughout the Super Tuesday states, according to exit polls.

In Arizona, Clinton got 55 percent of the Hispanic vote compared to Obama's 41 percent.

In an Arizona AP exit poll, Clinton also led among voters who said experience was the most important issue. Obama had an overwhelming lead among voters who said bringing needed change was the most important quality for them.

Democrats who thought the economy was the most important issue tended to choose Clinton, while those who said the Iraq war was their top issue sided with Obama.

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