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Sun, Sept. 15

Yavapai County voter turnout tops in AZ

Yavapai County had a higher voter turnout in last week's presidential preference election than any other Arizona county.

And the Republicans voted a bit differently, depending on whether they voted early or on the official voting day last Tuesday.

Unofficial figures updated Monday afternoon show 56 percent of the registered voters in Yavapai County cast their ballots in the presidential preference election. Pima and Gila counties came in second and third with 52 and 50 percent turnouts respectively. Apache and Mohave counties were at the bottom with 37 percent. The statewide average was 45 percent. Only Republicans and Green Party members could vote in the closed election.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney won every county in Arizona and registered a decisive 20-point lead over former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum in the Republican race, with 47 to 27 percent of the votes. Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich garnished 16 percent of the vote and Texas Congressman Ron Paul got 9 percent.

In Yavapai County, the tally was 40 percent for Romney, 31 percent for Santorum, 19 percent for Gingrich and 8 percent for Paul. Forty percent or fewer Republican voters liked Romney in Cochise, Gila, La Paz, Mohave, Santa Cruz and Yuma counties. But he was hugely popular in Graham County where he got 68 percent of the vote, and he garnished 57 percent of the votes in Navajo County.

Seventy-five percent of Arizona's voters cast their ballots early, including 78 percent of voters in Yavapai County. Statewide, early voters chose Romney by a slightly smaller margin of 42 percent.

But those who voted at one of the 30 vote centers across Yavapai County last Tuesday gave Santorum a slight edge, with 37 percent picking him compared to 36 percent for Romney, 16 percent for Gingrich and 10 percent for Paul.

Election-day voters in four other counties also gave Santorum more votes than Romney: Cochise, Coconino (by one vote), Santa Cruz and Yuma.

But in the end, Arizonans gave Romney his strongest state victory yet.

CNN exit polls showed Romney winning throughout a wide variety of demographics including men, women, whites, Latinos, all income levels, all education levels, and Republicans who identified themselves as liberals, moderates and conservatives.

He got 96 percent of the votes from his fellow Mormons, but also took the most of Catholics even though Santorum and Gingrich are Catholic.

Associated Press exit polls showed the top concerns for Arizona Republicans were the economy, immigration and ability to beat President Obama, and Romney got the majority of votes from those people.

Jill Stein was an even stronger winner in the Green Party election, with 69 percent of the votes. She is a Lexington, Mass. doctor who co-founded the Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities.

-- Joanna Dodder Nellans

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