Record number of Georgia voters fueled Trump, Clinton victories

By Greg Bluestein - The Atlanta Journal Posted: 5:27 p.m. Wednesday, March 2, 2016 A…

Georgia (Mar 3, 2016)By Greg Bluestein - The Atlanta Journal


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Posted: 5:27 p.m. Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A record-high number of Georgia voters fueled the wins of Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, but the fracturing of the state’s delegates shows why the race for the White House is anything but clear-cut.

Trump earned the votes of almost four in 10 GOP voters and the lion’s share of the state’s 76 delegates, but Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz was poised to win more delegates than Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, even though Rubio topped Cruz in the popular vote.

And despite Clinton’s rout of Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders in Georgia — she captured more than 70 percent of the Democratic vote — he was set to take about a quarter of the 102 Democratic delegates up for grabs.

The Georgia results were a microcosm of the emerging national picture. While Super Tuesday cemented Trump and Clinton as the most likely candidates to win each party’s nomination, most of their rivals amassed enough support to stay in the race. …

More than 2 million Georgians cast ballots in Tuesday’s primaries, narrowly topping the 2008 record fueled by Barack Obama’s historic candidacy. In that contest, about 50,000 more Democrats cast ballots than Republicans. In this one, though, Republicans far outnumbered their counterparts: Roughly 1.3 million GOP votes were cast, compared with about 760,000 Democratic ballots.

Trump and Clinton both won the state by dominating the party’s core constituencies.

The billionaire won all but four of the state’s 159 counties — Clarke, Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton — racking up big margins in Atlanta’s exurbs. He bested Cruz in every county, and he kept Rubio’s margins in the four counties he won relatively slim. Exit polls showed Trump’s appeal cut across all demographics, regardless of age, education level, gender, religious beliefs, and degree of conservatism. And his victories Tuesday in states stretching from the South to New England gave his candidacy a new aura of inevitability.

“To all my Republican friends out there, and Democratic friends for that matter: Donald Trump is going to be the nominee,” Kennesaw State University political scientist Kerwin Swint said. “Get used to it. Accept it. Prepare for it.” …


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