Columbia County Republican Party Chairman Lee Muns and his daughter, Heather, have done an incredible job boiling down the numbers from the July 20 primaries.
The resulting statistical breakdown is far more detailed than all but the most committed politics-geek would digest, but here are some interesting gems:
The highest percentage of voters choosing Republican ballots was in Appling at the Kiokee Baptist Church precinct, with just over 98 percent of voters taking a GOP ballot. The highest percentage of Democratic ballots, 29 percent, were chosen at the Grovetown United Methodist Church precinct.
Jim Whitehead beat Joey Brush in all but two Columbia County precincts, Grovetown City Hall and Grovetown United Methodist. Whitehead's biggest margin of victory was at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion precinct, where he received just over 68 percent of the vote.
Including absentee votes, Whitehead won 42 of 44 Columbia County precincts -- which gave him the win in the state Senate 24th District race over the incumbent, who won the other six counties in the district.
Why? Well, negative advertising works only if people don't already know your opponent. People in Columbia County know Whitehead, so Brush's harsh ads at the end of the race may have helped him in the rest of the district, but they hurt Brush here at home.
Sheriff Clay Whittle won every precinct en route to thumping Lewis Blanchard. His strongest precinct was the 80 percent of votes he received at Evans Middle School; his weakest was at heavily black Burks Mountain, where he squeaked by with 51 percent.
District 3 County Commissioner Diane Ford won nine precincts plus the absentee ballots; her challenger, Greg Kernaghan, won four precincts. Ford ran strongest in her back yard at Damascus Baptist Church with just over 63 percent of the vote; Kernaghan did best in his own precinct, Greenbrier High, with nearly 54 percent.
The biggest winners in all this? Voters at the Eubank Blanchard precinct, who turned out the highest percentage of voters at 48.29 percent. Bringing up the rear is the Grovetown United Methodist precinct, turning out just over 26 percent of voters.
Lance in France
More than 20 years ago my cousin Ronnie Martin, at the time 21, got married to a younger girl after a storybook country romance. They had met in high school, and he waited on her to graduate. Shortly after commencement, the two of them tied the knot that June.
After all the waiting and planning that culminated in that happy day, the union was startlingly brief: Within two months, Ronnie was dead from testicular cancer.
Ronnie and I played together a lot as youngsters; he was a big, baby-faced kid, just a couple of years older than me. Though it came years after our summertimes together, his sudden death was still a tremendous shock.
I saw, then, in Lance Armstrong a glimpse of what could have been. Armstrong beat testicular cancer, and then outrode every other significant bicyclist in the world six times in a row to win the Tour de France.
Armstrong still considers his victory over cancer to be his biggest win of all, and it is: Not even the climbs through the mountains are a life-and-death struggle, though I'm sure it would kill me to pedal just one mile.
And now that Armstrong has won the race six times in a row, more than anyone else ever, it's about time we in America impress upon our national broadcast media that they should no longer feel compelled to use the Francophilic pronunciation, as in "Tour de Fronse."
Even the often disagreeable French should agree: France rhymes with Lance.
(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail comments to email@example.com.)
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.