It’s still too early to tell exactly how the Cascadian states—Washington, Oregon, and Idaho—voted in the presidential election. Final vote tallies won’t be available for a few weeks, since many votes in Washington—and virtually all in Oregon—are absentee ballots, cast by mail.

The Cascadian states overall seemed to favor a Kerry presidency: eighteen of their twenty-two electoral votes went to Kerry. But the public vote was far, far narrower. In fact, using today’s (incomplete) vote count, a slim plurality of the region favored a Bush presidency. Idaho, in particular, voted lopsidedly in favor of Bush, as did the Oregon and Washington counties east of the Cascades.

I expect that as the rest the Washington and Oregon votes are counted, the region as a whole will have supported Kerry. But only narrowly.

UPDATE: As of early on November 5, the combined tally in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington favors Kerry by one tenth of a percent. Including Cascadian Montana and California expands the margin, as noted here.

And, clearly, the historic political divide between the densely populated areas west of the Cascades, and the rural areas east of the Cascades, has been maintained. As far as I can tell, every county in Idaho, and every county in Oregon and Washington east of the cascades, cast the majority of its votes for Bush. East of the mountains, you’d have to drive as far as Missoula, Montana before you came to a place that was solidly in support of a Kerry presidency.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s an unbridgeable cultural divide in the region. But as we all work together to fashion a way of life that supports both our people and the natural systems that support us, that divide is certainly something to be aware of.

Update: My bad. Blaine County, Idaho, voted for Kerry, as did 2 eastern Oregon counties. See here (big pdf file).