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December 2018

As families gathered on Thanksgiving, especially those of varied political persuasions, they tried to steer clear of political discussions.  Many of us pointing toward a permanent place of retirement may choose to live among folks with opinions similar to our own, or at least not diametrically opposed.  For them, we offer a few outcomes of the midterm elections in popular golf destinations.

 
December 2018 
DeBordieu Colony, Georgetown, SC

Showing True Colors

 

Golf community residents can form a significant voting block in their surrounding voting districts, especially in rural locations.  A total of 4,430 votes were cast in the midterms in McCormick County, SC, for example, home to the sprawling Lake Thurmond community of Savannah Lakes Village. More than 2,100 people live in Savannah Lakes, a sizable chunk of the county’s electorate and not, if recent election cycles are a guide, a very predictable one.   The county voted for former President Obama in 2008 and 2012, and then voted for current President Donald Trump in 2016.  (McCormick County results are not available for this year’s Congressional Race, but the incumbent Republican won the district with almost 68% of the vote and Republican incumbent Governor, Henry McMaster, won McCormick County with 52.5% of the vote.)

For those of us – count me as one – who prefer diversity of opinion in their home community rather than a uniformity of thinking, light pink or light blue or, better yet, purple is the preferred color.  You might find the color that suits you in the list of golf communities below.

(Note:  We looked at county by county voting for Congressperson and, where applicable, Senator and Governor.  Purple indicates elections with 5 percentage point margins of victory or less, or a red/blue split among multiple races; light blue or light red indicates a 10 point margin or less; and dark blue or dark red more than 10-point margins.  Where specific county results were not available, we estimated based on past voting patterns.  Data source:  Politico https://www.politico.com/election-results/2018/)

 

FLORIDA

TownCommunity(s)County
Fernandina Beach Amelia Island Nassau
The Villages The Villages Sumter
Vero Beach Grand Harbor
Pointe West
Indian River
Port St. Lucie PGA National St. Lucie
Sun City Center Prestancia Hillsborough
Sarasota Lakewood Ranch
Concession
Manatee
Venice Pelican Pointe
Sarasota National
Sarasota
Naples Audubon
Heritage Bay
Collier

 

Georgia

TownCommunity(s)County
Greensboro Reynolds
Harbor Club
Cuscowilla
Greene
Savannah The Landings
Savannah Quarters
Chatham
St. Simons Frederica Glynn
Evans (Augusta) Champions Retreat Columbia

 

SOUTH CAROLINA

TownCommunity(s)County
Greenville Cliffs Mtn. Park
Harbor Club
Green Valley
Greenville
Columbia Cobblestone Creek
Wildewood
Richland
Elgin (Columbia) Woodcreek Farms Kershaw
Aiken Woodside Aiken
Hilton Head Island Wexford Charleston
Mt. Pleasant Rivertowne Charleston
Isle of Palms Wild Dunes Charleston
Pawleys Island Pawleys Plantation
DeBordieu Colony
Georgetown
Myrtle Beach Grande Dunes
Pine Lakes
Barefoot Resort
Horry

 

NORTH CAROLINA

TownCommunity(s)County
Sunset Beach Ocean Ridge Plantation
Sea Trail
Brunswick
Leland Brunswick Forest Brunswick
Wilmington Landfall
Porters Neck
New Hanover
New Bern Carolina Colours Craven
Chapel Hill Governors Club
Chapel Ridge
Preserve at Jordan Lake
Chatham
Durham Treyburn Durham
Southern Pines Pinehurst
Talamore
Moore
Hendersonville/Flat Rock Champion Hills
Kenmure
Henderson
Asheville Cliffs at Walnut Cove
Country Club of Asheville
Buncombe

 

VIRGINIA

TownCommunity(s)County
Cape Charles Bay Creek Northhampton
Charlottesville Glenmore
Keswick Hall
Farmington
Albemarle
Nellysford Wintergreen Resort Nelson
Williamsburg Kingsmill Resort
Governors Land
Independent City
Richmond Federal Club
Independence
Kinloch
Hermitage
Henrico

 


If you are considering a search for a permanent or vacation home in a golf-oriented area, please contact me for a free, no-obligation consultation at editor@homeonthecourse.com


2018 Election Special:
Southern Blues Dot a Red Landscape

To state the blindingly obvious, our nation is divided politically, with few signs of near-term improvement in our civil discourse.  This is causing some baby boomers to consider more seriously their choice of colors for their future home territory—blue, red or tinges in between.  

Although some states are divided almost 50/50 in terms of politics — Florida chief among them — individual voting districts offer more clear-cut choices to those looking for political views that match their own (although you will still find plenty of unlike-minded folks to debate wherever you wind up). 

The following recap of November’s district-by-district voting patterns in the Southeast should be taken with a grain of salt.  As they say in ads for investment products, “past performance may be no indication of future results.”  

 

Florida

No state comprises a stronger mix of natives and migrants than does the Sunshine State.  And by “migrants,” I don’t mean only immigrants raking golf course bunkers or hammering roofs onto new homes in searing summer heat.  I also mean the millions of folks, like my grandparents in the 1950s, who started the migration from the cities of the North to what they saw as a more winter-friendly and lower cost of living environment.  That migration has continued apace ever since, with Florida’s population growing from 5 million in 1960 to 21 million today.  The human stew of backgrounds and political views among a population from many other states and countries has made Florida reliably unreliable in terms of predicting voting outcomes.  Elections in Florida, current ones very much included, always seem to hang by a thread, or a few chads.

The recent election cycle was no different; mandatory recounts were invoked in both the Senator and Governor too-close-to-call races before the Republican candidates won in both.  We did see some clarity, however, in the county-by-county voting results.

In Indian River County, for example, home to Vero Beach and the golf communities of Grand Harbor, Pointe West and others, Republicans earned a significant share of votes in the House, Senate and Governor races, with no Republican candidate receiving less than 60% of the vote.  A couple of hours north in the Jacksonville area, two adjacent counties, both home to an assortment of nice golf communities, showed divided inclinations.  Nassau County, home to Amelia Island Plantation, went strongly Republican, while Duval County, whose center is the city of Jacksonville, showed a slight preference for the Democrat candidates.  

On the Gulf Coast, a stream of Republican red ran from the Alabama border all the way down to Naples, interrupted only in the Tampa Bay area’s Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties.  Manatee County, home to the immense and popular Lakewood Ranch and Longboat Key communities, and Sarasota County, which encompasses the golf-rich cities of Venice and Sarasota, showed modest preferences for the Republicans, while Collier County, where Naples is located, went strongly Republican.  For those looking for a pure mathematical balance of political views, try sparsely populated Monroe County, just south of Naples, where 36,000 votes were cast in the Senate race and Democrat Bill Nelson led Republican Rick Scott by only 10 votes after all votes were counted.  Key West is the principal town in Monroe County, which almost entirely encompasses Everglades National Park.

 

Georgia

Georgia’s voting results were pretty much reflective of the election nationwide, with a clear split between urban and rural.  The state’s population centers of Atlanta, Savannah, Augusta and Columbus pretty much tilted blue, while almost all rural areas in the state went red.  

In the voting for Governor, only 60,000 votes out of 3.9 million separated the two candidates, with Democrat Stacey Abrams eventually conceding to Republican Brian Kemp.  Voting in Chatham County, site of The Landings, the 4,800-acre golf community on Skidaway Island outside Savannah, showed a 59% to 40% lead for Ms. Abrams.  On the other hand, Greene County, home to the sprawling Reynolds Lake Oconee in the northeast part of the state, showed a 65% to 34% edge for Mr. Kemp.  Pickens County, where the mountainous and large Big Canoe community is located, went for Kemp with a whopping 85% of the vote.

    

South Carolina

The biggest news out of the state was the flipping of the 1st Congressional District from red to blue.  The 1st is one of those incomprehensibly shaped districts borne of gerrymandering; it runs roughly from Hilton Head Island through Beaufort, Charleston and Kiawah Island all the way up to Mclellanville and inland through North Charleston and Summerville.  The district encompasses at least parts of three counties.  Democrat Joe Cunningham defeated his GOP rival Katie Arrington by just 4,000 votes out of a total 285,000.  Ms. Arrington upset incumbent Mark Sanford, he of Appalachian Trail fame, in the primary.

A state map of election results showed that Republican incumbent Governor Henry McMaster won 54% of the vote to defeat his Democrat rival, James Smith, and that McMaster did well in the golf-community rich coastal counties of Georgetown and Horry, while Smith captured Charleston County and its namesake city.  Of the six Congressional races in the state, James Clyburn, a Congressional veteran of 25 years and third-ranking Democrat in the House, was the biggest winner, garnering 70% of the vote in the largest district by area in the state (including Orangeburg—excellent semi-private golf club there—and the southern edge of Columbia).

 

North Carolina

There was little drama in any of the Congressional district voting results in the Tarheel State; every seat was retained by the party in power.  In the 10th Congressional district, which includes Chocowinity and the community of Cypress Landing, the Republican scored a significant victory.  However, in the adjacent 1st District, comprising Greenville and Durham and many smaller towns in between, G.K. Butterfield (Dem) earned nearly 70% of the 270,000 votes that were cast.

Congressional districts with a strong university presence often vote blue, and that was the case in North Carolina’s 4th District where incumbent Democrat David Price, with 72% of the vote, easily defeated his GOP rival.  NC’s 4th is shaped like a mutated axe, with its jagged handle encompassing Chapel Hill, Raleigh and the Research Triangle area, and the blade a large swath of a largely rural area to the northwest.   Chapel Hill and Raleigh are chock-a-block with an excellent choice of golf communities like Governors Club, as well as University of North Carolina, North Carolina State and Duke.

The Republican running for Congress in NC’s 8th District, which includes the area of Pinehurst and Southern Pines and extends west almost to Charlotte, won fairly easily.  Republicans also held the mountain districts that comprise Asheville (10th) and Hendersonville/Flat Rock (11th), home to the Champion Hills and Kenmure communities.

Republicans held onto the two seats that were up for grabs along the coast, including the 7th, which includes Brunswick County and runs from the South Carolina border to Wilmington.  In the Congressional 3rd District, which runs from Wilmington to the Virginia border, the Republican candidate ran unopposed.

 

Virginia

The Democrats flipped three house seats in Virginia, including one district that encompasses Richmond, an underappreciated city for retirees.  The other two included the Norfolk, Newport News and Virginia Beach area, as well as the tip of the Delmarva Peninsula (Bay Creek Resort and community); and the 10th, which extends from the D.C.’s western and southern suburbs all the way across Interstate I-81 in the Winchester area.

Seats captured by Republicans included the 5th, which comprises Charlottesville and the fine community of Glenmore; and the 6th, which includes Nelson County and the mountain community of Wintergreen. 

 

For a list of top golf communities and how folks voted in the surrounding Congressional districts, see the attached sidebar at left. 

 

 

Larry Gavrich
Founder & Editor
Home On The Course, LLC

 

 

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