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Old 11-06-2008, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,872 posts, read 17,741,219 times
Reputation: 3833

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This question has been asked a lot in this forum, about Grand Rapids' perception as being overly conservative. Well this past election shows what many here have said:

It took 44 years for a Democrat to win Kent County; will it last? - The Grand Rapids Press Online (http://www.mlive.com/grpress/news/index.ssf/2008/11/it_took_44_years_for_a_democra.html - broken link)

From Lyndon Johnson to Barack Obama -- Kent County Democrats have had a long wait.

Johnson carried the county in the 1964 presidential election, and 44 years passed before a Democrat would repeat the feat.

Tuesday's jolting total: Obama 149,985; Republican presidential nominee John McCain 148,305.


• Obama carried East Grand Rapids by nearly 600 votes. No one can recall the last time a Democrat carried the city. In 1964, conservative Barry Goldwater handily beat Johnson there.

Obama won Kentwood, Alpine Township and Wyoming, a city Democratic nominee John Kerry lost by more than 6,000 votes in 2004. Obama lost Lowell by just seven votes; Kerry lost by 370 votes. Kentwood was called Paris Township the last time a Democrat won there, as Johnson beat Goldwater 2,634 to 2,410.

• Obama swept Grand Rapids 65 percent to 33 percent, blowing past the 55 percent won by Kerry.



And Ottawa County? Still very conservative.

• In Ottawa County, McCain beat Obama 61 percent to 37 percent. But in 2004, George W. Bush carried the county with 72 percent to Kerry's 28 percent.

However:

Beer and wine ban lifted in Ottawa County
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Old 11-07-2008, 09:02 AM
 
1,426 posts, read 2,655,240 times
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Interesting read but I wouldn't conclude the area is less conservative than before.

The vote totals are more of a reflection of the unpopularity of our standing president, the current economic and global problems, and a weak republican ticket.
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Old 11-07-2008, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Cumming, Georgia
808 posts, read 2,970,721 times
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I agree with actinic. I usually voted republican but this time I voted for Obama. I voted for Bush the last 2 elections.
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Old 11-07-2008, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,872 posts, read 17,741,219 times
Reputation: 3833
Quote:
Originally Posted by actinic View Post
Interesting read but I wouldn't conclude the area is less conservative than before.

The vote totals are more of a reflection of the unpopularity of our standing president, the current economic and global problems, and a weak republican ticket.
It might be part of it, if the entire country shifted to the left. But there are many parts of the country that shifted to the right in this election, including much of suburban Boston, Kansas, Eastern Ohio/Western PA, Tennessee, Arkansas, WV, New Mexico, panhandle of Florida and other areas.

President Map - Election Results 2008 - The New York Times
(click on voting shifts)

A lot of people have moved to Grand Rapids over the last 10 years.
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Old 11-08-2008, 07:37 AM
 
1,426 posts, read 2,655,240 times
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Actually, in the big picture ...

MA, KS, PA, TN, WV, Arkansas - no change from 2004
OH, FL, NM - went left

2004 Electoral Map

Certainly a tilt left.

You'll always find parts that go the opposite direction, no doubt due to other factors (racial, local ballot initiatives, etc).

A lot of people have moved to Dallas, OK City, etc too. Still conservative.
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Old 11-09-2008, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,872 posts, read 17,741,219 times
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Another article in the Press today about the political shifts going on in Kent County:

Bipartisan alliance in the works for Kent County Commission - Grand Rapids News - The Grand Rapids Press Online - Michigan Newspaper - MLive.com (http://www.mlive.com/grpress/news/index.ssf/2008/11/bipartisan_alliance_in_the_wor.html - broken link)

I also read today that Kent County straight party ticket voters shifted this year:

2004: 106,000 Rep/63,400 Dem
2008: 81,700 Rep/69,500 Dem

You can look at it as more shifted away from the Republican Party.

Not saying that Kent County is becoming a liberal area, but that it's definitely becoming more centrist.
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Old 11-10-2008, 08:35 AM
 
447 posts, read 1,122,467 times
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I think many more people voted for "the man" rather than "a party" this time around. He is a charismatic, young, hip multi-cultural icon. I think President elect Obama received many votes from conservative people who either:

* felt guilty about our racist past and wanted to show their intent to make amends
* wanted to be a part of some sort of "change" even if they don't know what that means
* hated George Bush, Dick Cheney, Halliburton, etc, etc.

I don't believe this signifies a sea-change toward liberalism. In fact, I believe many Obama supporters will be shocked at some of the things the Pelosi/Reid/Frank/Waxman congress does over the next 4 years. (I'd bet most Obama supporters have no idea who I am even talking about)
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Old 11-10-2008, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,872 posts, read 17,741,219 times
Reputation: 3833
Quote:
Originally Posted by allbusiness View Post
I think many more people voted for "the man" rather than "a party" this time around. He is a charismatic, young, hip multi-cultural icon. I think President elect Obama received many votes from conservative people who either:

* felt guilty about our racist past and wanted to show their intent to make amends
* wanted to be a part of some sort of "change" even if they don't know what that means
* hated George Bush, Dick Cheney, Halliburton, etc, etc.

I don't believe this signifies a sea-change toward liberalism. In fact, I believe many Obama supporters will be shocked at some of the things the Pelosi/Reid/Frank/Waxman congress does over the next 4 years. (I'd bet most Obama supporters have no idea who I am even talking about)
Yeah, unlike Dick Cheney and Karl Rove, who people will be talking about for decades. Quick, how many Republicans in congress can people name! 10 seconds. No googling.

As far as conservatives who voted for Obama, is there a chance that they were never hard-core Republicans to begin with?
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Old 11-10-2008, 04:42 PM
 
1,426 posts, read 2,655,240 times
Reputation: 832
Quote:
Originally Posted by allbusiness View Post
I believe many Obama supporters will be shocked at some of the things the Pelosi/Reid/Frank/Waxman congress does over the next 4 years.
Yep, quite possible. Time will tell.
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Old 11-10-2008, 09:20 PM
 
316 posts, read 1,081,324 times
Reputation: 134
Grand Rapids is still the same church going conservative community it always has been. When I think of GR I don't think of which way people decided to vote on a current election, it is more my experiences being in the city itself. (younger professionals being looked down on in favor of the tried and true GR 40-50 something year olds, conservative dress and atire, lack of tolerance in other races or sexual orientations, the guy wearing the John Deer hat in the elevator that was also wearing a suit.)
So they voted for Obama. I'll bet my friend who isn't gay that happened to wear a pink shirt walking down whatever main street it is in GR would still have been called a *** by the oh so liberal GR residents.
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