LIMA — President Donald Trump once again won the vote totals from local residents after an outpouring of conservative sentiment ended up keeping the area in the Republican camp.
As of press time this year, Trump took home 68.9% of voters in Allen County. In 2016, he ended up winning 66.4% of the vote.
Poll worker Julie Jordan said she saw plenty of his support firsthand Tuesday. While working at a polling place at the Allen County Fairgrounds, plenty of voters walk through the front doors wearing Trump memorabilia.
As for her own vote, she too supports the president.
“I voted for Trump. I hate everything that Biden stands for,” Jordan said, naming abortion as one of her top issues. “Trump’s not a typical Washington politician. I appreciate that.”
Oscar Clark echoed those ideas after he voted Tuesday at the same location.
“Well, Trump’s helping people. He’s helping them get jobs,” Clark said. The Lima resident also named Social Security and other related entitlements as programs he sees Trump fighting to protect.
“The Democrats are attacking Social Security. They talk about taking it away, and Trump isn’t going to let that happen,” he said.
Residents in rural Auglaize and Putnam counties also have a history of voting overwhelmingly for the incumbent president. Putnam County had 82.5% of its votes go to Trump, while Auglaize County had 80.7% of votes going to Trump, an increase in both counties from four years prior. In 2016, 79.7% of voters in those counties ended up giving Trump their votes.
“I’ve seen what’s happened with the economy, and I believe there are a lot of positive things that have come in the economy with jobs and everything when it comes to what’s happened in the last four years,” Shelly Barrett, of Wapakoneta, said. “Unfortunately, that’s been clouded by personality issues that people have with our president, but the reality is I don’t have to hang out with him. I see what he’s done with the country as far as our economic growth and what he’s done with taxes, and I’m grateful for those things.”
“I think he’s doing a good job of getting jobs back to Americans. Unemployment has been low,” said Joshua Heigel, of Gilboa, on Monday outside the Putnam County Board of Elections.
While Trump won the local majority, he wasn’t the only one on the ballot. Plenty of voters headed to the polls to vote for his rivals.
Tessa Gamble, 45, of Lima, had voted for Trump in 2016, but she decided to vote for Joe Biden in 2020 after Trump told the Proud Boys, a far-right group that encourages violence, to “stand back and stand by” during the first presidential debate.
Three days after making the comment, Trump walked back the remark by denouncing white supremacist groups, but many political commentators saw the initial act as a dog-whistle after the president’s words began appearing on Proud Boy T-shirts.
“I normally vote Republican, but when he said that he changed my whole outlook on his presidency,” Gamble said. “That was the moment he put his nail in his coffin with me, was when he told them to stand by and stand down. It was just, nope. You’re not getting my vote. But we’re screwed either way we go. It is what it is. You’ve got to vote for somebody.”
Jeff Adams, of St. Marys, said he voted Joe Biden because of his support for unions.
“I just think that Joe (Biden) has our best interests at heart, as far as unions go. Trump supports a national right to work law which will probably dismantle the unions, I mean we could go on for hours,” Adams said.
Michael Keith, 37, of Lima, decided to vote for neither major party candidate due to worries about where the country is headed. Instead, he opted for Libertarian Jo Jorgensen.
“I’m not a fan of getting rid of Obamacare, but I think it definitely needs tweaked. Jorgensen had looked at what we have now, it’s not what was presented. Premiums just keep going up and deductibles, stuff like that,” he said.
While voter tallies are finished in local counties, it may be weeks before the winner of the presidency will be declared nationally due to varying laws in each state. Meanwhile, voters in the region will just have to wait and see if their version of the future matches with the rest of America’s.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.