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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.
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/)
Grand Harbor Pointe West
Port St. Lucie
Sun City Center
Lakewood Ranch Concession
Pelican Pointe Sarasota National
Audubon Heritage Bay
Reynolds Harbor Club Cuscowilla
The Landings Savannah Quarters
Cliffs Mtn. Park Harbor Club Green Valley
Cobblestone Creek Wildewood
Hilton Head Island
Isle of Palms
Pawleys Plantation DeBordieu Colony
Grande Dunes Pine Lakes Barefoot Resort
Ocean Ridge Plantation Sea Trail
Landfall Porters Neck
Governors Club Chapel Ridge Preserve at Jordan Lake
Champion Hills Kenmure
Cliffs at Walnut Cove Country Club of Asheville
Glenmore Keswick Hall Farmington
Kingsmill Resort Governors Land
Federal Club Independence Kinloch Hermitage
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.”
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’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.
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).
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.
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