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January 30th, 2009
11:49 AM ET

They're registered Democrats, but they didn't support Obama

Program Note: Tune in for Gary Tuchman's report on 360°'s visit to King County tonight on AC360° at 10pm ET.

Most people in King County, Texas are registered Democrats, but 93.2 percent voted for Sen. John McCain.
Most people in King County, Texas are registered Democrats, but 93.2 percent voted for Sen. John McCain.
A small church in King County, Texas.
A small church in King County, Texas.

Ismael Estrada
AC360° Producer

King County, Texas is a place for quail hunting, ranching, and beautiful countryside. It’s the kind of place where the residents know everyone in town–a place where people here feel so safe that they leave their homes and car doors unlocked.

It’s also where John McCain received the highest voter support in the country. 93.2 percent of King County voted for the Arizona senator and only 8 voters cast a ballot for Barack Obama. What’s most interesting is most people here are registered democrats.

Now that President Obama has taken over the reigns, we wanted to come to King County to find out how these voters feel about our new President.

At first, it was a challenge to get anyone to talk with us. We called ahead to let people know we were coming, but when we approached them people said they were simple people and had no desire to talk with us. Some people talked off camera about their concerns of having Barack Obama as their president. Others raised his religion as a concern still believing President Obama is a Muslim, but they weren’t comfortable going on camera.

Finally, we met people who were more than happy to talk and interview with us. We were told that county officials asked residents not to talk with us, but some decided they wanted to anyway. We talked with the principal of the county school. He told us he didn’t know any of the 8 voters who supported the president in November. Perhaps, he says, they’re keeping it quiet.

The main concern from most people was morality. They feel President Obama doesn’t share their beliefs about abortion and were much more comfortable with John McCain and Sarah Palin leading the country.

In a small church here, we met with a pastor, his wife and some of his congregation. The pastor says he encourages people to get over the election, embrace our new president and move forward. Some aren’t as ready as others to follow their pastor’s lead, but one church member says she’ll put her trust in God.

“Ultimately, God is in control, so he has a plan with Obama to be in there, so I’ll support God’s plan, and we’ll see what happens.”

soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. TJ

    And to the people who are saying they are Ignorant for not going on camera. From the 6 seniors Guthrie(King County) had two years ago. All but 1 went to College and he went straight to day working on a ranch.

    February 1, 2009 at 11:50 pm |
  2. TJ

    To answer your question, Of the 8 that voted for Obama, none were black. Might have been Hispanic but I do not know. I know alot of these people personally and abortion was the big Topic with a majority of them. King County is 90 to 100% Pro Life. I was surprised to hear that anyone voted for Obama but I don't know. I agree with KC yallar acusing racism already and you haven't met a single person from king county most likley. If yallar going that there arn't any blacks in King County so they are racist then think again. I know of alot of Black people from other surroding towns who are best friends with people down their. One of my best friends dads(who is black) is best friends with a white guy from guthrie, so before you start acusing racism, why don't you find out a few facts. Alot of folks from Guthrie(king county) didn't speak to CNN becuase the media tends to distort what people say.

    February 1, 2009 at 11:47 pm |
  3. llt

    I believe that in Texas you register to vote, weather you are democrat or republican is not a designated issue, the majority of Texas at one time was a Democratic state, from research they have a Democratic and a Republican chair and precints in which to vote in during the spring primary, however in the general election in November they vote at designated voting places by precincts, with one ballott listing all candidates weather Democrat, Republican, Independant etc. , I don't feel it is fair that you say they are registered Democrats, they are simply registered to vote! CNN needed to do a little homework prior to their apparent visit to King County! I think the "simple" place of King County is a model for what democracy should be! Thank God they are comfortable with their freedom to vote how they want to, leave it at that!

    February 1, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  4. Kent, Illinois

    Lampe.........nice name.

    You voted for Bush twice...........I don't think your opinion is important after that..........

    January 31, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  5. Susan B

    I know everyone in Guthrie. It is pretty simple. Obama is black. They think he is Muslim. Not to mention they are 100% conservative. If they registered democrat, it was by accident. This is the county that the sheriff was disqualified from being elected because he registered with one party and ran in another! The population is about 85% white and 15% hispanic... so to the person who was wondering if any white people voted for Obama, probably so. Those who voted democrat won't be speaking up. You don't want a town full of cowboys chasing you with lassos and hunting rifles via horseback. Why is this getting national, televised attention? A small ranching town with less than 100 registed voters all voting the same way is NOT news! Texans in general are stubbornly conservative and finding a community living in a conservative cowboy bubble is nothing to harp about. Give us something important to ponder over. And for God's sake, stop with the Obama propaganda and start discussing real problems.

    January 31, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  6. KSuzanne San Leandro, Ca.

    Cindy...do you also believe that this country can only be governed by white patriarchal rule? If so, I hope you avail yourself the opportunity to truly witness the shift in our consciousness as a nation. Limited thinking, putting folks in boxes is a practice that is fading...there is along way to go, we are certainly not beyond race, but now we are finally putting it in perspective, maybe we can begin to look at the class system in this country and realize many of our issues evolve around class and race. Cindy I am encouraged because you post so much to this blog that you are willing to see another perspective and learn to embrace this changing world. Maybe when you become truly enlightened you can go to such places as King county Texas and help these folks!

    KSuzanne from San Leandro

    January 31, 2009 at 5:11 am |
  7. jim Fallbrook CA

    Good for them. At least some democrats wised up to Obama being a socialist president.

    January 30, 2009 at 9:24 pm |
  8. Megan Bliesner

    In response to Michael "C" Lorton at the top of the comments:
    You said God wouldn't change things. Well, all due respect sir, you couldn't be more wrong. He tells us plainly in 2 Chronicles if we will just humble ourselves and seek Him through prayer, He will heal our land.

    Also in response to you saying ,"if God wanted a candidate he would have provided one," I say, "you have no idea what you are talking about." The only reason anything in this entire universe is the way it is, is because God wants it that way. He makes ALL the decisions.

    January 30, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  9. KC

    Perhaps the citizens of King County Texas voted for John McCain because they felt he was the best candidate. Maybe they even considered both candidates, weighed the issues, and chose the person who they felt would be the better president. Seems "simple", but isn't that the beauty of a democracy?

    January 30, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  10. Lyn

    I am disappointed and disheartened by the way this county was represented by CNN and also the negative response generated. We are so lucky to live in a country where everyone is entitled to their opinion and vote. If the people of King County felt that McCain was the best person for the job, that is their right, whether they are registered Democrats or Republicans. If these same people "choose" not to go on camera, that is their choice, and not necessarily a reflection of shame or ignorance. The beauty of our diverse and the supposedly accepting nature of our country is that we can all live and agree or disagree peacefully. To call or insinuate that someone is ignorant because of who they chose to support in the presidential election is small minded and a contradiction to all that our country stands for. Perhaps we should not be so quick to label, generalize or identify the people of King County purely based on the short visit of a journalist.

    January 30, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  11. lampe

    What makes you people so sure, that they are racist? If, you don't have the same beliefs as someone, does that make you a racist? Those comments show just how stupid Americans can be. I did not vote for Obama, and I am a Democrat. I did not vote for him, because I did not feel he was ready to handle the major problems we have as a Country. And, I had questions about his religious beliefs. Does that make me a racist? When people voted for him because he is Black, does that make them racist? Whenever we elect any politican, we take a chance, he can only hope that they do what they promised. In some cases it is a wrong chioice, and in others it is the right one. And, only time will tell with Obama.

    January 30, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  12. abc ~ anything but california hugh

    Where any of the eight democrats who voted for Obama in King County Texas white?

    January 30, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  13. Kent, Illinois

    The GOP is shrinking and pretty soon it will only be in these remote areas that anyone cares about Republicans. If they are true Democrats they would follow Party lines. Pretty shameful....nice job King County. Way to represent..........

    January 30, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  14. Lisa

    I'm a registered Democrat and I didn't vote for Obama. I didn't vote for McCain, either. I wrote in a candidate – Ron Paul. I didn't vote for Obama not because of his skin color or because of his supposed religion. I didn't vote for him because I'm tired of politics as usual. He sealed his own fate for me when voted in favor of the Wall Street wealthfare bailout - talked a good game, then went along with the crowd. Frankly, the Dems have not for the past, well since Clinton, fielded a candidate at the state or local level that has earned my ballot. The GOP hasn't either. The boxes are either being left blank or checked for a third party.

    January 30, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  15. Angela

    When you have people that will not speak on the subject of why they voted...when you have people that say that they beleive that Barack Obama is muslim, though his former christian pastor has been blasted on the airways over and over...they are hiding or not saying..I am a racist. They do not have pride in the way they think, but are not willing to break away from the tribe. To ensure that no one breaks away from their tribal ways, county officials asked the residents not to speak.....

    It's just that simple. I am from Texas and I am not surprised.

    January 30, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  16. Mary V., Salt Lake City, UT

    There are plenty of people out there who call themselves Christians, but do not adhere to the Great Commandment Jesus gave us, "LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU." (John 15:12)

    Racism is alive and well in our Nation, let's not fool ourselves!

    However the VAST majority of our Nation, IS fair, thoughtful, intelligent and has the brains to discern! Obama won, regardless of his race! I know plenty ....... white people old & young here in the "red state" of Utah who voted for Barack Hussein Obama!

    WHY? We are ALL sick and tired of the politics of hate.... lies.... fear and division that the Republicans spew!

    January 30, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  17. Megha Bansal

    Now isn't this unpatriotic? When Palin said that Obama was unpatriotic, for not supporting the 'war'. Isn't this worse? No matter who one voted for in the elections, we now have a President, shouldn't we all support him in this extremely hard time?

    Texas is filled with people who are not happy at the way things have come out.

    January 30, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  18. Tesap; Savannah, GA

    Well.... thank God... we have an entire country.. and not just this county...... because if they thought Palin could do a better job than Biden and Mccain -Obama... then something is in the water.... hey DON'T DRINK THE KOOL AID..........

    January 30, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  19. Surafel Sacramento, CA

    This may be one of so many place in the nation who still believe Barack is Muslim and so many don't believe he shares their values and morals. To be exact 59 million people feel that! But he got a chance to show them what he is capable of doing. Hopefully, four years he will convince more than half of the 59 million people.

    January 30, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  20. Cori

    These people are ignorant. They're obviously using the lie about his religion to vote for the other guy, when we really know it's because he's African American. My sister lived in Texas only for a few years when she got married, then moved back to California. She couldn't believe how racist people were, especially against African Americans. Besides, when did Muslim become a deragatory term? Is it against the law to be of Muslim religion in the U.S., and be president, or is that right only reserved for Christians? Palin speaks of lies, and throws out terms like Muslim and terrorist, and suddenly, it's as though she's speaking scripture to the right wing conservatives about satan leading the country. It's disgusting. It's scary to think there are still so many ignorant people like those "simple" Texans out there.

    January 30, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  21. meenas17

    Colour discrimination affects party allegiance. It is a shameful paradoxical scenario.

    January 30, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  22. Cindy

    Al I'll say is that I don't blame 'em!!

    Cindy...Ga.

    January 30, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  23. Ike

    I was a skeptic myself. I never thought that the Democrats would ever elect a black president despite their claim to hold very liberal views. We must not forget that this party is the same one that fully supported Jim Crow and any tactics that had to do with the continued oppression of blacks and people of color in this Country. I am glad that a majority of them realize that they can no longer ignore the natural change that is developing, that soon the minority will be the majority and that new majority is no less American than any body else. King County, history proves that change is good, embrace it.

    January 30, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  24. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    Hi Gary,
    The sad truth is a lot of Texans don't think a black man should be President. There I said it.
    As a native Texan I hear this and see this and it is just the plain truth!
    Texas used to be a democratic state. Let's hope it can change once again.
    Thanks for keeping them honest. This is shameful!

    January 30, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  25. Alex (Aliso Viejo)

    Hmmm....I will never talk about anybody's religion but everything happens for a reason. :) in a religious and a not so religious way

    January 30, 2009 at 9:14 am |
  26. Stephanie, NOLA

    I think that their reluctance to speak with you says volumes. Did you happen to ask why they are registered as democrats?

    I know people in Louisiana that register as democrat, yet they vote republican. A few claim that they were told they had to register that way, I had never heard that one before. Others have said it has to do with the limited selection of those that are running, whatever that means. I overheard enough to know that the real reason is so they can sway the votes in the primaries. I heard many conversations about how furious they were because Hillary would get the nomination since she was the stronger candidate and Obama could never win. They believed that McCain would slide in if Obama won the nomination. I'm thrilled to know that they unintentionally helped get a democat into office.

    January 30, 2009 at 9:13 am |
  27. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    King County, Texas will one day realize that if God wanted a candidate to run for President, he would have provided one. I agree that America has lost sight of its morality and family values-–but God only affords us the opportunity to change it--–he want do it for us. King County Texas might consider themself "simple people,"--but they live in world that is constantly changing-–they can participate in the change--or they will have to live with what the world deals-you can run-but you can't hide.

    January 30, 2009 at 8:44 am |