Pike County’s local election results proved the county is somewhat of a microcosm of the nation’s closely divided electorate, with high enthusiasm leading to a high voter turnout and close up-ballot races.
Among Pike County’s 25 voting precincts, eight precincts had a difference between 50 and 150 votes in the presidential race between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, while the rest were blowouts one way or the other.
Precinct 21 at the Old Progress Volunteer Fire Station had a margin of just 65 votes, with Biden leading with 492 votes to Trump’s 427. Precinct 16 at Summit Town Hall was similarly tight, with 67 of the 739 votes cast separating the presidential candidates.
Biden won the county with 8,473 votes (50%) to Trump’s 8,363 votes (49%), which was a razor-thin 110-vote difference.
Among third-party candidates, Libertarian Jo Jorgensen had 90 votes for third place. Rapper Kanye West, who ran as an independent, had the next most, at 41.
The U.S. Senate race between Democratic candidate Mike Espy and Republican incumbent Cindy Hyde-Smith was a squeaker as well, but not as close as the presidential race, with Espy beating Hyde-Smith in Pike County but losing the state.
Espy won Pike County with 8,862 votes (52%) to Hyde-Smith’s 7,940 (47%). This means Espy picked up votes from supporters of Trump and third-party candidates, in a trend that also held true statewide.
The 3rd Congressional District race between incumbent Rep. Micheal Guest and Democratic challenger Dorothy “Dot” Benford was much closer in Pike County compared to the state. Guest, running on the power of incumbency in a district that has long favored Republicans, won Pike County with just 52% of the vote, getting 8,556 votes.
Benford, who has unsuccessfully run for office multiple times on low-budget, low-publicity campaigns, received 7,787.
Districtwide, Guest received 65% of the vote.
Pike County’s election results also stayed consistent with statewide results on three ballot initiatives.
Medical marijuana passed in Pike County with 71% of the vote, compared to 68% statewide, while 75% of the county’s vote also went to Initiative 65, which was put on the ballot by a petition effort organized by medical marijuana advocates, over the legislature’s Initiative 65A, which medical marijuana opponents favored. Comparatively, Initiative 65 passed with 74% of the vote statewide.
Voters in both the county and state also overwhelmingly approved House Concurrent Resolution 47, a Constitutional amendment to do away with a requirement that says a statewide candidate must win the popular vote as well as a majority of the state’s 122 House seats in order to claim victory. The measure passed with 82% approval in Pike County and 79% in the state.
And 76% of Pike County voters agreed that the state flag should be changed, as did 73% of the state’s electorate.