YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Polling locations across the region saw a dramatic increase in voters for the 2016 Ohio Presidential Primary, and with a massive shift of Democrat and Independent voters switching to the Republican side, local Elections directors are citing the Trump factor.
Mahoning County Deputy Elections Director Tom McCabe said in his 212 precincts, there were 14,000 registered Republican voters, but more than 34,000 votes were cast for Republican candidates. The shift is believed to be due to divisive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
While Ohio Gov. John Kasich may have won his home state’s 66 delegates, unofficial county-wide voting totals show Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties overwhelmingly supported Trump.
Trump received just more than 50 percent of Mahoning County’s votes — or 17,139 votes — to Kasich’s 12,669 votes (37.4 percent). Republican candidate Ted Cruz received 2,725 votes (around 8 percent).
Trump continued his wide lead in Trumbull County, with 52.6 percent of the votes or 15,125 votes to Kasich’s 9,792 votes (34 percent), while Columbiana County was a closer call. In Columbiana County, Trump received 46.6 percent of the votes (8,823) to Kasich’s 37.5 percent (7,094).
Where Kasich excelled was in Franklin County, where he pulled 63.7 percent of the votes.
Among Democrats in Mahoning County:
- Hillary Clinton: 59 percent, or 21,000 votes
- Bernie Sanders: 39.7 percent, or 14,066 votes
In Trumbull County:
- Hillary Clinton: 53.9 percent, or 17,903 votes
- Bernie Sanders: 44.3 percent, or 14,726
In Columbiana County:
- Hillary Clinton: 52.6 percent, or 4,106 votes
- Bernie Sanders: 45.8 percent, or 3,573 votes
Hundreds of voters in each county also voted for candidates who had already dropped out of the race. A breakdown of votes by county can be found on the Ohio Secretary of State’s website.
Official numbers will not be released until outstanding absentee ballots and provisional ballots are counted, but McCabe said this year is shaping up to be a record-breaking year.
Unofficial results show 3,137,109 ballots were cast with a 41.48 percent turnout — the second highest turnout in a primary election, according to Joshua Eck, press secretary for the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office.
The record for voter turnout in the state was set in the 2008 Presidential Primary, with 3,603,523 ballots cast and a 46.04 percent turnout.
“I think it’s good that people are participating in the process yesterday, and that’s good to see that you got a good turnout, where sometimes you’re kind of disappointed that people don’t participate,” McCabe said.
The 2016 Presidential Primary unofficial results, as well as results on local issues, are available at http://wkbn.com/election-results.