The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Presidential history: Super support for GOP


March 4, 2020

Fourteen states held primary elections on Tuesday, including Texas. That makes today a good day to look back on the region’s choices for president through the years.

Some interesting tidbits from Bailey, Curry, De Baca, Parmer, Quay and Roosevelt counties:

• All six local counties have voted Republican since 1980, with one exception. In 1996, De Baca County chose Bill Clinton over Bob Dole by 20 votes — 509-489.

• All six counties overwhelmingly supported Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016, but Trump received fewer votes from the region (17,504) than any Republican candidate since Bob Dole in 1996 (16,343). George W. Bush received 23,270 votes between the six counties in 2004.

• All six local counties voted for Richard Nixon in each of his three presidential runs, including 1960 when Nixon was defeated by John Kennedy.

• No local county voted for incumbent Jimmy Carter when he was ousted by Ronald Reagan in 1980. But Bailey, De Baca, Parmer and Quay counties all chose Carter over Gerald Ford in 1976. Roosevelt County went with Ford by just 158 votes in 1976.

• The last time Curry and Roosevelt counties disagreed on a presidential preference was ... never. They’ve voted for the same candidate every presidential election year since New Mexico became a state in 1912.

• Curry and Roosevelt counties have gone with 17 Republican candidates since statehood. Ten times they’ve both chosen Democrats, most recently in 1964 when all of the local counties chose Lyndon Johnson over Barry Goldwater by close margins. Curry County chose Johnson by just 108 votes; Roosevelt by 143 votes.

• Roosevelt County voted for Franklin Delano Roosevelt all four times it was presented the opportunity. The margin was more than 2-to-1 every year except 1944, when FDR received 2,359 votes to 1,610 for Republican Thomas Dewey.

• Roosevelt County had one opportunity to vote for its namesake, Theodore Roosevelt, which it declined in 1912. That Roosevelt, who was president from 1901 through 1909, ran as the Progressive Party candidate in 1912 after Republicans selected William Howard Taft as their nominee. Democrat Woodrow Wilson was the nation’s choice as well as Roosevelt County’s choice that year.

• Bailey and Parmer counties have both voted red in recent decades, but both favored Democrats more often than not before 1980. Both Texas counties chose Democrats in 1976 (Carter), 1964 (Johnson), 1956 (Adlai Stevenson over Eisenhower), 1948 (Harry Truman), 1944-1932 (Roosevelt) and 1924 (John Davis over Calvin Coolidge).

• The first time most of the local counties voted for a Republican in the presidential race was 1928 when all but De Baca County went with Herbert Hoover over Democrat Al Smith. De Baca favored Smith by 40 votes. Then in 1932, all six local counties went on a 20-year run favoring Democrats. All voted for Roosevelt, then Harry Truman before choosing the Republican Eisenhower in 1952.

David Stevens writes about regional history for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at:

[email protected]

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