McCain takes county,Clinton narrowly wins
Published 8:05 pm Wednesday, February 6, 2008
By By Kerry Whipple Bean
Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee were the projected winners in Alabama Tuesday night – but Escambia County voters chose their closest competitors, Hillary Clinton and John McCain.
In the county, former Arkansas Gov. Huckabee drew 40.47 percent of the vote to U.S. Sen. McCain's 44.94 percent. On the Democratic side in the county, the vote was even closer. Clinton, a New York senator, had 48.82 percent of the vote to Illinois senator Obama's 47.17 percent.
With just more than 80 percent of precincts reporting statewide, Huckabee had 42 percent of the vote to McCain's 38 percent. Obama had 56 percent to Clinton's 41 percent.
Courthouse officials estimated about a third of Escambia County's voters came to the polls.
"It came out about how we expected it would," Escambia County Republican chairman Mike Edwards said at the courthouse Tuesday night. "Huckabee and McCain were running pretty close."
Across the country, with McCain looking to have a big night on what was a 24-state Super Duper Tuesday, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee likely drew similar swaths of the Republican vote, Edwards said.
"Romney and Huckabee are probably hurting each other," he said.
With so many early primaries before clear nominees for each party were chosen, many states saw more activity from candidates, Edwards said.
"It makes it more interesting," he said.
Probate Judge Rachel Agerton said voting was smooth Tuesday.
Atmore resident Jim Corman, vying for a chance to be a Huckabee delegate, said he was not surprised at his candidate's Alabama results.
"I fully expected for Huckabee to win Alabama and the deep South," said Corman, who did not yet know Tuesday whether he had won the chance to go to the GOP convention. "What I've been surprised at are his win in other states. I really expected, particularly once (Fred) Thompson pulled out of the race, that Huckabee would win in Alabama. I thought the Huckabee campaign had lost some momentum, but by winning this many states on Super Tuesday he has regained this momentum."
In Atmore, first-time voter, Leigh Ann Everette, said she had a wide range of people to vote for on the Republican side.
"It's kind of scary," she said. "but it's not as bas as I thought it'd be."
Turnout was strong at the Atmore Public Library, poll worker Gordon Everette said.
"We've had pretty close to 450 show up to vote by 3 p.m. today," he said.
Advance managing editor Adrienne McKenzie contributed to this report.