NC voters want Trump, Clinton

Meghana Iragavarapu, Staff Writer

March 25, 2016

For the 2016 North Carolina primaries 2,302,076 out of 6,511,143 possible ballots were cast.

On March 15, voters selected candidates for local, state and federal offices.

With all 2,709 precincts reporting, Donald Trump won the Republican presidential primary with 40.24 percent of votes and Hillary Clinton won the Democratic presidential primary with 54.59 percent of votes.

“I have been quite surprised at how casual the assumption (on campus) that no one is voting for Trump is,” said Maria Rosales, associate professor of political science.

With 458,428 ballots, Trump stole North Carolina from Sen. Ted Cruz by 3.47 percent. Nonetheless, in Guilford County, Ted Cruz surpassed Trump by 1,820 votes.

In the Democratic presidential N.C. primary, there was almost a 14 percent difference between top candidates Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

“I have seen a lot of students advocating particularly for Bernie Sanders,” said Rosales.

Even so, Sanders fell more than 156,000 votes short of a North Carolina victory. In Guilford County, Clinton beat Sanders by a margin of 9,676 votes.

“I know many Guilford students that support Bernie Sanders,” said first-year Katie Claggett. “So those students may have been a little disappointed.”

For many Guilford students, this was their first time voting.

“I voted at the Greek Orthodox Church right off of West Friendly,” said Claggett. “It was my first time ever voting so that was exciting for me personally. My experience seemed fairly standard.”

For these first-time voters, the significance of voting seems obvious.

“It is important to not just vote in the big elections but also in the local and state elections as well because those candidates typically influence your life on a daily basis more so than candidates in the bigger elections,” said Claggett.

However, data collected by the North Carolina State Board of Elections shows that there was only a 35.36 percent voter turnout. With less than half of voters casting ballots, how accurate are these primary results?

“We had a slightly higher turnout than we did in the 2012 primary,” said Charlie Collicutt, director of Guilford County Board of Elections. “We had less turnout, by percentage, than we had in the 2008 primary.”

Although this primary marks the first election with the new voter ID laws in place, the increase in voter turnout from the 2012 primary suggests that voters were not deterred.

Regardless, the relatively low percentage of voters did not only affect presidential primaries but also races for local offices like North Carolina governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.

“There are a lot of people that will vote in these elections for anything with president on the ballot, primary or general,” said Collicutt. “They are coming to vote for president. Either the presidential race overshadows or they (voters) were never inclined in the first place to care about the stuff further down the ballot.”

North Carolina voters showed staunch support for the $2 billion Connect NC Bond referendum by a 2-to-1 margin. With the approval of this state bond referendum, 17 University of North Carolina campuses will receive financing from the state for infrastructure improvement projects and about $1 billion of the funding generated by the bonds.

Candidates have announced, campaigned and received the results of statewide primary elections. Now, more campaigning, party conventions, the general election and the votes of the Electoral College await the government officials of 2017 and beyond.

Collicutt, director of Guilford County Board of Elections. “We had less turnout, by percentage, than we had in the 2008 primary.”

Although this primary marks the first election with the new voter ID laws in place, the increase in voter turnout from the 2012 primary suggests that voters were not deterred.

Regardless, the relatively low percentage of voters did not only affect presidential primaries but also races for local offices like North Carolina governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.

“There are a lot of people that will vote in these elections for anything with president on the ballot, primary or general,” said Collicutt. “They are coming to vote for president. Either the presidential race overshadows or they (voters) were never inclined in the first place to care about the stuff further down the ballot.”

North Carolina voters showed staunch support for the $2 billion Connect NC Bond referendum by a 2-to-1 margin. With the approval of this state bond referendum, 17 University of North Carolina campuses will receive financing from the state for infrastructure improvement projects and about $1 billion of the funding generated by the bonds.

Candidates have announced, campaigned and received the results of statewide primary elections. Now, more campaigning, party conventions, the general election and the votes of the Electoral College await the government officials of 2017 and beyond.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s