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From 1960 through 2004, the state of Missouri (along with Tennessee) was a bellwether, going with the winner in every presidential election. Two years ago, it broke the trend when John McCain won the state by fewer than 4,000 votes (3,903 to be precise–slightly higher than Walter Mondale’s 1984 margin in Minnesota). With 49.23% of the vote, Obama ran 3.64 points behind his national tally of 52.87%.
Well, yesterday, voters in the Show-Me State may well have been the first Americans to vote on Obamacare in a statewide initiative. And they rejected it — decisively.
According to the Missouri Secretary of State’s office, 71.1% of primary voters “approved Proposition C, a ballot initiative that says Missouri residents do not have to purchase health insurance or pay an annual fine to the federal government, as the new law states.”
It even won in counties that Obama carried, losing only in the City of St. Louis and Kansas City. In Boone County, which Obama carried with 55.20% of the vote 60.3% of voters rejected the mandate. Obama may have carried Buchanan County by 54 votes (0.13%), but Prop C passed by 5,965 (a margin of 43.2%). Obama edged McCain in Iron and Washington County, but more than 70% of voters in each backed the Proposition.
Obama enjoyed a 14-point victory in St. Genevieve County, but Prop C won by more than 22 points. In Jefferson County, just south of St. Louis, Obama won by 2,663 votes; Prop C passed by 13,490. In St. Louis County, where Obama trounced McCain by margin of 3 to 2, Prop C passed with a similar margin.
UPDATE: Ed Morrissey reads the returns and observes:
If anything, this shows that opposition to ObamaCare is growing, not receding, but that’s probably not what actually happened. While general-population and registered-voter samples may have seen a bit of softening to ObamaCare opposition, those aren’t the people turning out to vote this year. Even Rasmussen may be underestimating the power of ObamaCare repeal in its likely-voter turnout, as their last poll on this question in Missouri clearly underestimated (in an indirect survey, of course) the results for this election.
Bear in mind that over 315,000 Democrats turned out to cast ballots in the primary that nominated Robin Carnahan, while over 577,000 Republicans hit the polls. That is about a 65/35 split — which means that a significant amount of Democrats either supported the ballot measure repudiating ObamaCare, or didn’t bother to cast a vote to defend the program. Actually, Prop C got more votes than the combined voting in both Senate primaries — which tells us something even more about the passion in the electorate.
Bold added. Via Instapundit.