Our votes do matter

By Baker City Herald Editorial Board November 14, 2012 09:37 am

It’s natural for some Baker County voters to feel a trifle disenchanted in the aftermath of last week’s election.

Slightly more than two-thirds of us — 67.5 percent — cast our votes in the presidential race for Republican Mitt Romney.

President Barack Obama, who handily won a second term, polled just 28 percent here.

Baker County is hardly unique in this regard, of course.

Geopolitically, Oregon looks like a sea of Republican red with scattered islands of Democratic blue — 25 of the state’s 36 counties went for Romney.

Four of those 25 counties were even more pro-Romney than Baker County — Lake, 75.7 percent; Grant, 74.8 percent; Harney, 72.7 percent; and Malheur, 69 percent.

The national map shows a similar colorscape.

But lest any local voters lament that their opinions were rendered moot, consider Congress. For the eighth straight election, voters in Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes all of the state east of the Cascades, elected Republican Greg Walden to a two-year term.

A compelling case can be made that Walden’s position more directly affects Baker County than whoever is living in the White House. When a flood wrecks irrigation ditches, for instance,  it’s Walden who’s likely to be the most vocal and influential advocate for local needs and concerns. Our majority voice still rings clearly in the House of Representatives.