Our County Geography tour this time continues, this time with Yadkin County. From Wikipedia: “Yadkin County is located in the Piedmont region of central North Carolina. The Piedmont consists of rolling farmlands frequently broken by hills or valleys formed by streams. The extreme western section of the county contains the Brushy Mountains, a deeply eroded spur of the much higher Blue Ridge Mountains to the west. Yadkin County marks the eastern end of the Brushy Mountains range; none of the peaks rise more than 400-500 feet above the surrounding countryside.”
Yadkin holds the distinction of being the most Republican county in the entire state. It gave 72% of the vote to John McCain in 2008, and Mitt Romney did even better, winning 75%.
Part of the Foothills region, Yadkin is heavily white (95%) with no urban centers to speak of, contributing heavily to its deep red Republicanism. Yadkin is also a historically Republican county – in fact, Yadkin County and Republicans go way, way back, voting Republican for President in every election since 1868. Feelings of disconnection from the powerful, slaveholding eastern counties and a strong Quaker presence contributed to Yadkin being a hotbed of anti-Confederate politics, and after the war this shifted to support of the Republican Party. Hence, unlike most rural areas in the South, Yadkin never went through a realignment – the parties and their platforms changed, but Yadkin did not. Thus, this is also one of the few counties in the United States to have never voted for a Democrat for President.
1988: R+35 (Solid Republican)
1992: R+32 (Solid Republican)
1996: R+53 (Solid Republican)
2000: R+53 (Solid Republican)
2004: R+51 (Solid Republican)
2008: R+53 (Solid Republican)
2012: R+55 (Solid Republican)
Prognosis: Yadkin is as red as it ever was. The county growth rate from 2000 to 2010 was 5.7% (below average). Barring a massive realignment in the party system or sweeping demographic changes, Yadkin should continue to vote overwhelmingly Republican for the next 150 years.
John Wynne is the “conservative voice” at PoliticsNC, where he also provides polling analysis and commentary on legislative campaigns. When not writing about politics, he enjoys gardening and listening to opera. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.