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Professor says evangelicals propelled Huckabee's win in Georgia
Northeast Georgia bucked state's trend by voting for Clinton
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0210VoteBullock

Listen to University of Georgia political science professor Charles Bullock analyze the results of Super Tuesday.

A review of the region’s vote in Tuesday’s presidential primary reveals few surprises.

The region, unlike the state, voted overwhelmingly Republican. The region followed the state trend in voting for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and went against the state trend in voting for New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.

The turnout surpassed the previous record for presidential primaries, which had been set in 1988, the year the first President Bush was elected.

"It’s also interesting that it appears even in this race that Republicans outvoted Democrats in Hall County (by a ratio of) 4-to-1," said Paul Stanley, chairman of the Hall County Republican Party. "I’m quite pleased with that, and that is without a get-out-the-vote program from the Republican party."

Charles Bullock, a political science professor at the University of Georgia, said Republican voters largely were evangelicals.

"The number of evangelicals was awfully high and that obviously is what delivered the state for Huckabee," Bullock said.

In Hall, Huckabee narrowly edged former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by just 198 votes, 7,947 to 7,749. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. received 5,553 in Hall.

On the Democratic side, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama carried Hall with 4,335 votes to 4,166 for Clinton.

The counties surrounding Hall gave overwhelming support to Clinton by significant margins. The former first lady received 68 percent of the vote in Banks County, 59 percent each in Dawson, Habersham and Lumpkin counties, 54 percent in Jackson County and 58 percent in White County.

Those same counties gave their largest percentage to Huckabee, who received 48 percent of the vote in Banks County, compared to 28 percent for McCain and 21 percent for Romney.

Other Republican results in area counties followed a similar trend, with only Dawson putting Romney second over McCain:

Dawson County: Huckabee, 37 percent; Romney, 32 percent; McCain, 28 percent.

Habersham: Huckabee, 45 percent; McCain 26 percent; Romney, 24 percent.

Jackson County: Huckabee, 41 percent; McCain, 28 percent; Romney, 26 percent.

Lumpkin: Huckabee, 38 percent; McCain, 30 percent; Romney 26, percent.

White County: Huckabee, 41 percent; McCain, 29 percent; Romney, 25 percent.

A significant departure from those results was noted in Forsyth County, where voters chose Romney with 35 percent. Huckabee was next with 32 percent and McCain was third with 29 percent.

Forsyth County’s 9,488 Democrats were split almost evenly between Clinton with 4,551 and Obama with 4,537, a difference of only 14 votes.

Statewide, the number selecting a Democratic ballot exceeded the number voting Republican. There were 1,051,000 people who voted in the Democratic race with 957,140 voting in the GOP primary.

This was not a surprise to Bullock.

"I don’t think Republicans have ever turned out more voters in a primary," he said. "They’ve come close. It hovers around 47 percent Republican in the summer primaries."

He said that Obama fared well among those without party loyalty.

"Obama is the one who has a monopoly on charisma. If you’re a not particularly interested voter and not committed to a party, I think it’s easy to see how he could capture your attention."

Nationally, the Super Tuesday delegate selection left the race between Clinton and Obama in a dead heat with no clear winner.

On the GOP side, Romney ended his campaign Thursday, leaving McCain as the leader in the delegate count and as the presumed nominee, although Huckabee is continuing his campaign for the Republican nomination.

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