Torrance County, New Mexico was Gary Johnson’s Best County in the U.S.

It appears that Gary Johnson polled his highest share of the vote in the United States in Torrance County, New Mexico. He polled 5.97% in that county. Within Torrance County, his best precinct was precinct 15, which is in Moriarty, New Mexico. Moriarty has approximately 2,000 people and is 40.8% Hispanic. Johnson polled 8.98% in that precinct.

Torrance County is in the center of New Mexico and is fairly close to both Albuquerque and Santa Fe, although it is predominantly agricultural. Johnson does not live in Torrance County, and maybe Governor Johnson himself would be the best person to ask why he did better there than in any other county in his home state. Johnson’s 2nd best county in New Mexico was Los Alamos County, which was also the best county in New Mexico for Bob Barr in 2008, for Michael Badnarik in 2004, and for Ed Clark in 1980.

Johnson’s best county outside New Mexico appears to be Mineral County, Montana, where he got slightly over 5.00%. Earlier reports that he had polled 18.0% in Wibaux County, Montana, turned out not to be correct, although he did receive 4.60% there.

It is conceivable that there are some better Johnson counties in states in which I haven’t checked, but that seems unlikely.


Torrance County, New Mexico was Gary Johnson’s Best County in the U.S. — 3 Comments

  1. Torrance is not really agricultural. As you can see by this map of commissioners districts, the population is highly concentrated in the north end.

    I-40 goes east from Albuquerque over the mountains/national forest and into the blue district (which has 1/3 of the population). The blue district has 2 election precincts; the green district has 4 elections precincts, including one small precinct with 91 voters for the big green blob in the eastern part of the district; the purple district has 10 precincts, but most are small. Johnson had 7 precincts with over 5% in the county, including all in the northernmost 2 districts, and the northernmost precinct of the southern district.

    Overall, Johnson’s strongest counties were in the Albuquerque area, if we include Los Alamos. Johnson grew up in Albuquerque, and that was where his construction company was (and still is). Big J is a specialty mechanical contractor that does mechanical contracting for companies like Intel and Sandia National Labs, which is in the eastern part of Albuquerque, so would be a relative easy commute if someone wanted to live outside the city.

    Torrance County lost half its population from 1940 to 1970, and then doubled between 1980 and 2000. Between 2000 and 2010 it lost a small amount, but basically has plateaued.

    The developed in the area appears to be mainly ranchettes, where the developer bladed some roads in the desert and sold the land. It is possible that the lack of population increase in the last decade was due to tightening of development regulations.

    Precinct 15 appears to be south of the Moriarty, in an area that has nice rectangular grid, with maybe 1/3 of the lots developed. Maybe the others were sold, before the buyers figured out how hard it would be to live out there.

    So you start with a 4% to 5% level of support for Johnson throughout the Albuquerque area from Sandoval, through Bernalillo, Valencia, and Socorro.

    Add a filter of 10 miles of national forest, but good interstate access, so it is not spillover suburban growth, and a small population, and you have enough of a selection bias to push the Johnson percentage up a couple of percent.

  2. Commendations to Moriarity, New Mexico and Mineral County, Montana. I would like to visit those places some day.

  3. Gary Johnson’s best precinct in Mineral County, Montana was Alberton where he received 8.86% of the vote.

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