By Sarah Hall
So how did residents of Onondaga County vote on Nov. 8, and how does that compare to four years ago?
County voters favored Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, following typical trends of selecting the Democratic candidate. However, in 2016, more than 10,000 fewer voters came to the polls than four years ago, and many more voters pulled the lever for third party candidates in 2016 than in 2012.
So what does that mean?
“These results seem like a starker version of what happened across the country,” said Dr. Grant Reeher, director of the Campbell Public Affairs Institute and a professor in the political science department at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. “In the county, Clinton’s vote total was 16 percent lower than Obama’s in 2012, while Trump’s was only 1 percent lower [than Mitt Romney’s].”
Reeher said it’s hard to make a definitive determination as to what really happened in this election, as the Onondaga County Board of Elections did not yet have a more specific breakdown of last Tuesday’s numbers.
“We don’t know how many Trump voters previously voted for Obama, for instance,” Reeher said. “But the numbers seem to suggest there was some kind of drop-off that was more pronounced among Clinton supporters or would-be supporters. This may reflect the ‘enthusiasm gap’ problem that was identified way back in the primaries.”
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.