Notes From My Knapsack 2-25-16
E Pluribus, Multitudinous
We're heading into a primary election, as if you didn't know it, whether you wanted to or not.
The ads are now lapping at the shores of Ohio, after the dollars and mailers and TV spots and robocalls have blanketed Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina. Appearances will start to happen in this state, maybe even by our own Gov. Kasich, after they've tromped through the snow in New England from diner to diner, and around the Low Country from pulpit to pulpit.
Debates and town halls and those obscure, real time appearances on CSPAN that we political wonks really love: maybe we'll get us some of those in Ohio in the run-up to March 15.
Eight years ago we were heading to a March 4, 2008 contested primary, and there were still presidential matters up in the air enough to bring candidates to the ground in Ohio. As I recall, Licking County's 125 some voting precincts then split in the Democratic contest with 8 going to Sen. Barack Obama, and 117 to Sen. Hillary Clinton.
And the eight Obama precincts were all Granville.
Our bucolic college town can claim a certain amount of prescience, perhaps, and surely a bit more diversity didn't hurt. The Obama For America meet-ups and events I saw online certainly all focused on this village, and across the rest of the Land of Legend, the union-based support for Hillary was still leaning strongly in a more traditional direction for Democratic organizational and get out the vote efforts (GOTV in pol parlance). Even so, the county as a whole went about 60% Clinton, with a very strong 40% to Obama. He had voters in quantity from the east end of Newark to Pataskala's outer edges, in pockets all over the county.
Just not quite as strongly as Granville supported him!
(Footnote: those percentages ignore a third candidate who got one to two-plus percent around the county, the now discredited and discreditable John Edwards.)
You could infer from all that about Granville that this is a very liberal place, but in that you would be wrong. In the Republican primary of 2008, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Ron Paul (Rand's dad), Mitt Romney, and the late Fred Thompson got votes in this county of (in the same order) 30%, 50%, 5%, 3%, & 2%.
The precinct by precinct breakdowns are no doubt still available at the Licking County Board of Elections (say a prayer for them these next few weeks as the voting is already well under way in their offices!), but not on the website, where just the county totals are present as an aid to memory. (Note to editor: add this or edit it out as makes sense according to current protocols - http://www.electionsonthe.net/oh/licking/elecres.htm)
As I recall, Granville was fairly evenly divided in total voters between Democratic and Republican ballots; on the GOP side, unlike the county totals, Huckabee did poorly while McCain and Romney were at the front.
Like the country, Granville is split. There are conservatives, social and fiscal, and liberals, progressive and even Democratic Socialist in loyalties; if you assume you can walk into any gathering here and find complete unanimity, you assume wrongly.
Is this a bad thing? I'm sure a Granville where everyone agreed on everything would, at the very least, be a different place than the village that we know today.
Jeff Gill is a writer, storyteller, and pastor in Licking County; tell him how politics is a topic where you hang out at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow @Knapsack on Twitter.