Nearly 2 in 5 registered Clinton County voters participate in primaries

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By Liam Tiernan
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

A Bernie Sanders lawn sign in DeWitt

A Bernie Sanders lawn sign in DeWitt

Michigan’s March 8 primary was attended by thousands of voters across the state and Clinton County was no exception.

Clinton County’s 2016 presidential primaries were attended by 38.31 percent of Clinton County’s registered voters. Of these voters, 12,528 were registered Republicans and 7,819 were registered Democrats.

The candidates receiving the most votes in their respective primaries were consistent with state results; Bernie Sanders won Clinton County with 55.72 percent of the Democratic primary votes and Donald Trump won 29.63 percent of the Republican primary votes.

“Bernie is absolutely my favorite candidate still in the race,” said St. Johns sanitiation worker James DeLongue. “He’s sensible, he’s consistent, he’s compassionate. He’s the candidate this country needs to get back on top.”

“I’m a huge fan of Donald Trump’s campaign,” said DeWitt resident Dan Whittaker. “He’s a businessman, he’s a very successful one too. If anyone can help the economy it’s someone who knows money.”

The voter turnouts are consistent with expected voter turnouts of rural areas. Rural areas like Clinton County are generally expected to have higher numbers of Republican voters than Democratic voters. According to statistics published by The Atlantic magazine, only four urban areas voted for Republicans in 2012; Phoenix, Oklahoma City, Fort Worth, and Salt Lake City.

“Primaries in rural areas generally have higher turnouts of Republican voters,” said Wisconsin Professor of Political Science David Canon. “As population in a certain area decreases, the percentage of the population that identifies as republican increases, and vice versa.”

Behind Sanders’ 55.72 percent lead was Hillary Clinton with 42.16 percent. No other democratic candidates approached the number of votes these two candidates reached.

Donald Trump had a lead in the primary with a 29.63 percent majority. However, unlike the Democratic party, several other Republican candidates also received a substantial number of votes. Ted Cruz was the runner-up with 28.18 percent of the votes while John Kasich had 26.3 percent.

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