On the Democratic side, Obama won his match-up with Clinton in early voting, where some 3,185 votes were cast (including mail-in absentees), 1,974 of those for Obama to 1,174 for Clinton. That winning margin for Obama could not be overcome in precinct voting today, even though 11 of 20 precincts today went for Clinton.
Generally speaking, Clinton was strongest in the more rural parts of the county but not everywhere. For example, Elk and North Fork tipped to Obama. Watauga precinct (Foscoe and Valle Crucis) went for Obama. The three Boone precincts and New River 1 went for Obama. Blowing Rock and Blue Ridge turned in dead-even ties between Clinton and Obama.
Fifth Dist. congressional candidate Roy Carter carried Watauga by some 1,300 votes but appears to be slightly behind Diane Hamby district-wide (as of this writing).
U.S. senatorial candidate Jim Neal had an impressive showing in Watauga (2,291 votes), though he lost to Kay Hagan by a thousand votes in the county and to Hagan state-wide by a huge margin. Watauga was probably one of his best counties, perhaps because he made two visits here prior to the voting.
Likewise, Dan Besse came in second to Walter Dalton in Watauga. Good showing for Besse here, while he was losing the rest of the state.
On the Republican side, the most astounding local numbers were local dentist Jerry Butler's loss of his own county to Alexander Co. resident Dwight Shook in the State Senate Dist. 45 primary. Shades of Virginia Foxx! Butler can't carry his own county but wins the district and will be facing incumbent Senator Steve Goss this fall.
Oh, and Ron Paul didn't win the Republican presidential primary, though with 367 Watauga votes, he did out-poll "No Preference."
A total of 2,660 Republican ballots were cast, to 7,081 Democratic ballots. That may turn out to be the most significant bellwether of the night.