Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump cruised to easy victories in Middle Georgia, according to unofficial election results.
Tuesday’s election results throughout the region were not surprising as recent polls showed Clinton, a former Secretary of State running as a Democrat, and Republican billionaire businessman Trump with big wins in the Peach State. In Bibb, Crawford, Houston, Peach, Jones and Monroe counties, the two candidates earned a high percentage of votes in their respective party primaries.
In Bibb County, Trump garnered 5,942 votes in the Republican primary, followed by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio with 3,519 and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with 3,401. Clinton outdistanced her rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, with 12,944 votes to his 2,632 ballots in Bibb.
“Frankly, the Democrats are hopeful it’s Trump on the other side,” said John Swint, Bibb County Democratic Party chairman. “I think that Hillary in a debate will tear him up to shreds.”
(Click on the map to see how Republicans voted in each county.)
Calvin Palmer, interim chairman of the Bibb County Republican Party, said Trump’s supporters favor him because they are tired of the “political establishment.”
In Houston County, of the 19,160 people who cast ballots in the Republican primary, Trump led the field with 7,091 votes. Cruz came in second with 5,133 votes, and Rubio snagged 4,130.
Henry Childs, chairman of the Houston County Republican Party, said he voted for Trump because he thinks the maverick candidate has the best plan to fix the economy and end deficit spending.
“People are just tired of nothing happening,” Childs said.
Houston’s Democratic primary drew 8,260 voters, with 6,274 of them voting for Clinton and 1,946 for Sanders.
(Click on the map to see how Democrats voted in each county.)
John Lovejoy, chairman of the Houston County Democratic Party, said he expected Houston’s results would mirror the state in both parties.
Lovejoy said it’s looking like a Clinton-Trump matchup in November, which he predicts would be favorable for Democrats.
“Unless the American public is dumber than I believe, they are not going to elect Trump,” he said.
In Crawford County, 1,727 people voted Republican, and Trump won the county with 901 votes. Cruz had 387 votes to Rubio’s 237.
Clinton won big in the county’s Democratic primary with 441 votes to Sanders’ 114.
Jessie Randle, chairman of the Crawford County Democratic Party, said the outcome in both of the county’s primaries matched his expectations.
“She had a great base,” he said of Clinton. “People got out and were eager. They wanted the best candidate.”
Meanwhile, in Jones County, Clinton earned 80 percent of the votes, with a total of 1,585 votes compared to 371 votes for Sanders. Trump received 2,318 votes while the other Republican candidates lagged well behind. Cruz secured 1,021 votes with Rubio getting just 736.
For many people Clinton was an easy choice over Sanders, who has been more of an independent candidate than a Democrat, said Jimmy Mills, chairman of the Jones County Democratic Party.
Clinton has “been around awhile and we’re looking for someone that knows what they’re doing,” he said.
Monroe County’s Republican voters appeared to mirror many other Georgia counties with Trump, Cruz and Rubio leading the pack, said Denise Herring, chairwoman of the county’s Republican Party.
Trump earned 2,262 votes there, with Cruz getting 1,455 ballots in his favor. Rubio was just behind the Texas senator with 1,014 votes.
“The (local) GOP will support our nominee no matter who they are,” Herring said.
On the Democratic side, Monroe voters supported Clinton with 1,250 votes. Sanders got 300 votes.
Clinton and Trump both won big in Peach County.
Randy Goss, chairman of the Peach County Democratic Party, said he thought Sanders might do a little better in the county among young voters.
But the Clinton wave was too strong. She received 1,675 votes, while Sanders eked out just 316.
“I guess it was more continuing President Obama’s agenda when it came to Hillary Clinton,” said Goss, who voted for Clinton.
On the Republican side, Trump trumped both Cruz and Rubio in Peach County. Trump garnered 1,325 votes to Cruz’s 794. Rubio came in third there with 516 ballots.
If it is a Clinton-Trump matchup in November, Goss said the election could have a record-setting turnout because both candidates have high negative ratings.
Tom Morrill, chairman of Peach’s Republican Party, said he wasn’t surprised to see the county go for Trump.
“A lot of voters are angry,” he said. “They are upset over the economy, health care and a number of issues. He had an angry voice that they followed.”
Morrill himself voted for Rubio and isn’t all that excited about voting for Trump in November. But he said he would if Trump is the party nominee.
“I will probably have to hold my nose when I vote,” he said, calling a Clinton-Trump showdown “the most unique election in history.”
To contact writer Stanley Dunlap, call 744-4623. To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.
Correction: This story has been edited to include the correct vote totals for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in Houston County.