Albuquerque continues to turn more blue and its surrounding counties more red.
A precinct-by-precinct analysis of voting results for the presidential election shows Albuquerque voted Democratic while Torrance and Valencia counties and Rio Rancho voted Republican. Despite Rio Rancho’s strong red turnout, Democrat Hillary Clinton won Sandoval County by 3 percentage points.
“Albuquerque is leaning more and more Democratic as the decades pass and has been behaving more as an urban area, and urban tends to vote more Democratic than rural areas,” said Brian Sanderoff, president of Research & Polling Inc. “What’s happening is as the decades pass, Democratic support levels and strength is moving eastward deeper into the Heights.”
The analysis shows support for President-elect Donald Trump was most concentrated in the farthest Northeast Heights neighborhoods, which are some of the wealthiest in the city. Other neighborhoods, including the Four Hills, Tanoan and Paradise Hills, also supported Trump.
Other high-end areas in the Heights, Los Ranchos and around the University of New Mexico and the Albuquerque Country Club tipped in support of Clinton, reflecting the majority of Albuquerque precincts.
“The entire South Valley and North Valley of Albuquerque sweeping right up into Corrales is a Democratic stronghold. The West Side is mixed, and the middle Heights is still up for grabs,” Sanderoff said. “There was a time years ago when the Northeast Heights was more Republican, but over time Democratic support levels are increasing.”
That is likely because home prices are down from years ago and more apartments are available, he said, meaning the area is home to more young people than years past. And more Hispanics are moving to the Northeast Heights, too. Those populations tend to vote Democratic.
Trump and Clinton each won precincts with less than 50 percent of the vote because of support for third-party candidates. Trump did not take more than 60 percent of votes in any precinct in the region, but Clinton’s support in some precincts was as high as 86 percent.
Overall, Clinton won Bernalillo County by 18 percentage points, which Sanderoff calls a “pretty impressive victory.”
While Clinton overwhelmed Trump in the city, the opposite was true in Rio Rancho.
Only two precincts of Democratic support emerged in Rio Rancho. Trump won the city by 8 percentage points. Yet Clinton won Sandoval County by 3 percentage points, mostly because of very strong Democratic support in Bernalillo, Corrales, Sandia Pueblo and Placitas.
Valencia County aligned with Rio Rancho. Trump won the county by 8 percentage points.
He won Torrance County by 30 percentage points.