Cass County election telling

November 16, 2012 

We’re splitting our votes in Cass County.

And I suppose that’s not a bad thing.

A quick glance of last week’s General Election results tells me something that many of us already knew – that straight-ticket voting is becoming more and more rare, especially when candidates in major races say all the dumb things that make national news.

Let’s take the Claire McCaskill vs. Todd Akin race as an example.

Voters in Cass County overwhelmingly selected the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan ticket for president, with almost 31,000 votes to just 17,000.

In contrast, more than 22,000 voters punched the ticket for McCaskill, while just 21,000+ did for Akin and a little over 4,000 for Libertarian Jonathan Dine.

Nearly the same amount of votes was cast, so, it’s not like voters just sat that race out. They clearly sent a message to Akin’s team that this particular Republican was unsavory. And, of course, many of us knew that already.

It was just hard to choose between the man that makes Joe Biden look like a well-spoken politician and McCaskill, who, along with others, are part of a low approval-rated Congress that has done little since Barack Obama was first elected in 2008.

But choose we did. And McCaskill earns the spoils of the Republican’s inability to remove Akin from the ticket and put in a replacement.

The Governor race had similar results, with 48,000 votes cast in Cass County (and countywide voter turnout was nearly 70 percent, which our county should be commended for).

Sitting Gov. Jay Nixon and challenger, Republican David Spencer, were only a few hundred votes apart.

Then for Lt. Governor, we vote overwhelmingly for a Republican, Peter Kinder. Then back to a Democrat, our own Chris Koster, for Attorney General, who netted more than 5,000 more votes than his challenger. Then back to Vicky Hartzler, who won by 16 points over Teresa Hensley.

What’s even more interesting is each of our county commission races weren’t really close at all.

Democrat Luke Scavuzzo and Republican Jeff Cox each earned 56 percent of the vote and Belton Mayor Jimmy Odom’s race against Democrat Phil Duncan turned out to not even be close with Odom earning more than 60 percent support.

The new commission excludes short-timer Terry Wilson, who lost to Cox, but retains Nixon appointee Scavuzzo – two Republicans and one Democrat.

And while we cannot even begin to predict how our choices will play out on the national or state level, we can and should expect more from our local representation.

Surely, these three commissioners can bring some stability and accountability to our county. We should expect at least that. John Beaudoin is the publisher of the Cass County Democrat Missourian. To comment, call 816-380-3228 or e-mail jbeaudoin@demo-mo.com.

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