Chesterton Tribune



Porter County, blue in 2008 and 2012, goes for Trump this year

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The blue-ing of Porter County--which began in 2008 with Barrack Obamaís election and continued in 2012 with his re-election--ended on Tuesday.

Donald Trump convincingly beat Hillary Clinton here with 50 percent of the vote, to Clintonís 43 percent: 38,719 to 33,531.

Libertarian Gary Johnson took 5 percent of the vote, with 4,242; and write-in candidates 2 percent, with 1,492.

Trumpís margin of victory in Porter County--7 percentage points--is somewhat wider than Obamaís was in 2012, when Obama beat Republican Mitt Romney by 4 percentage points: 51 percent to 47. That closer result in 2012 reflects a far smaller number of Libertarian and write-in ballots: only 2 percent.

Voter turnout, on the other hand, was actually marginally smaller on Tuesday, when 62 percent of registered voters actually cast ballots: 78,790 of 126,941. Voter turnout in 2012: 64 percent. Turnout in 2008: 66 percent.

That dip in turnout on Tuesday, however, is at least partly the result of a surge in voter registration not subsequently matched by actual ballot-casting: 126,941 residents of Porter County were officially registered to vote, compared to 114,618 in 2012 (an 11-percent increase from four years ago); and compared to 112,811 in 2008 (a 13-percent increase from eight years ago).

In actual raw numbers, on the other hand, 4,980 or 7 percent more residents voted on Tuesday than did in 2012: 78,790 compared to 73,810 (but only 3,997 or 5 percent more than the 74,793 who voted in 2008).

Straight-ticket voting, meanwhile, dropped off on Tuesday among Democrats, who were evidently responding to the new law under which voters cast a straight-ticket ballot still had to individually vote for County Council candidates. Only 49 percent of the straight-ticket ballots went Democrat, compared to 56 percent in 2012; while 48 percent went Republican, compared to 42 percent in 2012.

There was plenty of ticket-splitting, though. Four Democrat incumbents won re-election: Sylvia Graham and Dan Whitten to their at-large seats on the County Council; Surveyor Kevin Breitzke; and Treasurer Michelle Clancy.

GOP winners were challenger Jeff Larson, beating Democrat incumbent Bob Poparad for the third at-large County Council seat; Jim Biggs, to the open North County seat on the Board of Commissioners; and incumbent State Rep. Ed Soliday to his 1st District seat.

In Duneland

In Dunelandís 29 precincts, Trump took 9,273 votes to Clintonís 8,047: 49 percent to 42 percent. Libertarian Gary Johnson took another 1,007 votes or 5 percent; and write-in candidates 791 or 4 percent.

Trump won 19 of the 29 precincts to Clintonís 10. He took all seven Liberty precincts, all five Jackson precincts, Pine 1, and the following Westchester precincts: 8, 9, 11, 14, 16, and 18. Clinton took Pine 2 and these Westchester precincts: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, and 17.

Turnout in Duneland was marginally better than countywide: 64 percent, with 19,118 actually voting of 29,877 registered.

A total of 3,509 or 18 percent of Republicans voted straight-ticket (compared to 18 percent in 2012); while 3,487 or 18 percent of Democrats voted straight-ticket (24 percent in 2012).


Posted 11/9/2016




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