Barry County voters lopsided on 2016 candidates, issues
GOP grabs unusual sweep in General Election
By Murray Bishoff/Cassville Democrat
Barry County residents held solidly to their Republican roots in local results from the Nov. 8 General Election.
Based on unofficial returns, Barry County had 14,830 votes cast, or almost 73 percent turnout. That compared to 13,937, or 65 percent, in the 2012 presidential election, and 14,769, or 71 percent, in 2008.
The highest voter turnout in Barry County was in the Purdy/McDowell precinct at 87 percent, followed by Jenkins at almost 72 percent and Exeter and Golden at 70 percent. Monett city had the lowest voter turnout at 58 percent.
Several spots in Barry County polled more heavily for the Trump/Pence Republican ticket than the countywide tally of nearly 78 percent. The highest precinct was Kings Prairie/Pleasant Ridge, southeast of Monett, at more than 85 percent. The rural Cassville/Mineral and Exeter precincts had 84 percent for the GOP, while precincts in Ozark/Crane Creek, Purdy/McDowell and Jenkins ran 81 to 83 percent Republican.
Monett went for Trump 2,361 (1,210 Barry County, 1,151 Lawrence), or almost 70 percent, to 819 (481 Barry, 338 Lawrence) for the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Clinton's vote in Monett was the largest tally in any Barry County precinct and the highest percentage, at 27 percent. Clinton managed 24 percent of the vote in Golden and Roaring River, while traditionally Democrat-leaning Seligman and Washburn only gave her 18 and 17 percent.
Republican incumbent Roy Blunt swept every precinct in Barry County. His highest margin was 75 percent in Kings Prairie, 525-146 over Democrat Jason Kander. Kander made his best showing in Golden at 33 percent.
In Monett, Blunt received 2,149 (1,112 Barry, 1,037 Lawrence), or 64 percent, to 1,004 (561 Barry, 443 Lawrence).
The same pattern that supported Blunt followed the state races. Republican Eric Greitens swept every precinct in Barry County, as well. His strongest showings were around Monett, taking the Kings Prairie/Pleasant Ridge and the Monett rural and Capps Creek precincts each by 74 percent. Democrat Chris Koster did his best in the Butterfield/McDonald precinct at 33 percent.
Monett leaned to Greitens by 65 percent, 2,185 (1,109 Barry, 1076 Lawrence County) to 1,019 for Koster (583 Barry, 436 Lawrence County).
None of the state constitutional issues were close locally, following the state trend.
Amendment 1, renewing the sales tax for soil and water conservation, passed in Barry County 11,244-3,140, or 78 percent in favor, winning in every precinct.
Monett voted 2,796 (1,476 Barry, 1,321 Lawrence County) in favor and 519 against (284 Barry, 235 Lawrence County).
Amendment 2, limiting campaign contributions, also carried every Barry County precinct, winning 14,168-9,396, or 66 percent.
Monett voted 2,230 yes (1,172 Barry, 1,058 Lawrence County) to 1,048 against (567 Barry, 481 Lawrence County).
Amendment 3, the big new tax on cigarette sales, failed in Barry County in every precinct, 4,960-9,505, or 66 percent opposed.
Monett voted 1,377 in favor (705 Barry, 672 Lawrence County) to 1,950 against (1,065 Barry, 885 Lawrence County).
Amendment 4, prohibiting sales taxes on services, carried in every precinct Barry County also, with 8,826, or 63 percent, voting in favor to 5,352.
In Monett, the measure passed 2,091 yes (1,086 Barry, 1,005 Lawrence County) to 1,179 (657 Barry, 522 Lawrence County).
Amendment 6, imposing new identification standards for voters, again carried in every precinct in Barry County again. It passed 10,568-3,706, or 74 percent in favor.
Monett passed the amendment 2,446 (1,306 Barry, 1,140 Lawrence County) to 846 against (444 Barry, 402 Lawrence County).
Proposition A, the smaller proposed sales tax on tobacco, also failed in Barry County, 5,367-8,948, mustering only 37 percent support.
In Monett, the Forest part precinct showed only a 57-vote difference between the two sides, the closest in any precinct. Overall, Monett downed the measure 1,539 in favor (793 Barry, 746 Lawrence County) to 1,767 against (964 Barry, 803 Lawrence County).