Bainbridge goes big for Pres. Obama; president wins every precinct on island by large margin

Kitsap County voters have once again said they want Barack Obama to be president, and Bainbridge Island voters are again leading the county in support at the ballot box.

President Obama was leading former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in Washington state, and Kitsap County, in unofficial vote tallies this week.

Obama had picked up 54 percent of the vote, while Romney had 43 percent, in Kitsap County.

In the 2008 presidential election, Obama won 54 percent of the vote against U.S. Sen. John McCain, who finished with 42 percent of all ballots cast in the county.

Across Washington state, Obama was in front with 55 percent of the vote this week to Romney’s 42 percent, with 2.1 million votes counted.

Bainbridge once again was in the president’s corner.

Mirroring his first presidential election, Obama again won every precinct on the island.

Obama’s strongest showing on Bainbridge was in the precinct of Eagle Harbor, where the president pulled in 83 percent of all ballots cast. That was slightly up from the 80 percent Obama received in Eagle Harbor in 2008.

Manzanita followed with 78 percent, followed by the precincts of Winslow and Blue Heron (both 79); Skiff Point (78); Blakely and Azalea (76); Meadowmeer, Finch and New Brooklyn (75).

Obama’s softest support on the island was in Wing Point, where he received 67 percent of the vote. (Obama got 73 percent of the vote there in 2008.)

The president earned 70 percent or more of the vote in 20 of the island’s 22 precincts.

The Review’s analysis of the precinct vote used unofficial results with slightly more than 83,000 votes counted.

The high vote tallies for Obama on Bainbridge came after much work by local volunteers.

As campaign work wrapped up on Election Day for the Democratic Party office in Winslow, Barry Peters said volunteers had made more than 11,000 phone calls.

“Literally today there are hundreds of doorbells being rung around Bainbridge to try to encourage folks to vote,” he said.

It was just part of the get-out-the-vote effort, Peters said.

“Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, people have been out on foot ringing doorbells in neighborhoods where there has been a low voting percentage to try to encourage people to vote, to mail in their ballot,” he said.

Roughly 30 canvassers were at work on the island over the four-day push, going out in three-hour shifts twice a day.

Data entry volunteers at the Winslow headquarters were taking note of the contacts, so a second shift of volunteers who would work until polls closed at 8 p.m. wouldn’t be knocking on the same doors.

An experiment was also underway with a telephone system that alerts a volunteer when someone in a swing state picked up the phone.

“It dials the number of people who haven’t voted yet and when someone answers, it sounds a tone in the volunteer’s ear and the volunteer knows there is someone on the phone they can talk to about voting,” he explained.

Here on Bainbridge, the calling is still done the old-fashioned way; hit or miss.

Blame the demise of land lines, and more people using voicemail to screen their calls.

“Ten years ago you’d call and get more than half the people answering,” he said.

“Today you have to make about nine calls to connect with a live human being. It’s just a new world,” Peters said.

The campaign for Obama on Bainbridge had a lofty target.

“My goal is that we come close to the historic turnout on Bainbridge in 2008, when approximately 90 percent of our registered voters voted,” Peters said.

“That’s probably too ambitious of a goal, but it’s a great vision to shoot for,” he quickly added.

In the 2008 General Election, precincts on Bainbridge Island had a turnout rate that ranged from a low of 90.37 in Tolo and 91.93 in Eagle Harbor to a high of 94.51 in Liberty and 94.65 in Blakely.

In Bainbridge precincts in that election, Obama received between 73 percent of the vote of all ballots cast in the presidential race, in Port Madison, up to an island-wide high of 81 percent, in Blakely.

This week, Romney did best in the precinct of Drive-In, garnering 72 percent of the vote. The precinct straddles Highway 3 just north of Bremerton National Airport.

Next best for Romney was in the precinct of Luoto, with 60 percent. The precinct is just east of the Navy’s submarine base in Bangor.

He also excelled in Apex and Fairview, (59 percent); Seabeck and Anderson Creek (58); Old Frontier, Meadowdale, Hunter, Clear Creek and Woodridge (57); and Belfair Valley (54).

Kitsap County voters also gave the Libertarian Party presidential ticket of Gary Johnson and James P. Gray a total of 938 votes in early returns.

Virgil Goode and James N. Clymer of the Constitution Party had 236 votes.

County election workers had also tallied 392 write-in votes for president so far.

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