Voters in solid-red Cumberland County reaffirmed their staunch support for President Donald Trump, whose quest for a second term remained in doubt days after the election as returns nationally showed his path to victory narrowing.
Trump, as expected, won the county in a landslide, receiving 77.9% of the vote in Tuesday’s presidential election, compared with Democrat Joe Biden’s 20.8%, according to final, unofficial results. That nearly mirrored the spread in 2016 when Trump received 77.4% of the vote to Hillary Clinton’s 19.7%.
But nationally, Biden was edging closer to the 270 Electoral College votes a candidate needs to win, according to projections based on unofficial results that do not include full counts, with the outcomes in several states still too close to call.
If the trend leads to Biden getting to 270 and the results hold up after all votes are counted and after any recounts and court challenges, Trump would lose in his campaign for re-election.
Regardless of the outcome, it is clear that Cumberland County voters stand with Trump.
“This is a red county, and people vote Republican,” said Will Ridley, vice-chairman of the Cumberland County Republican Party.
He credited the work of Republican political leaders locally, in state government and in Congress for keeping the county mostly Republican.
“I think the people of Cumberland County recognize that,” he said.
Disparities between Biden’s showing nationally and Trump’s in Cumberland County also rest in demographics. The great diversity among voters across the nation favors Democratic candidates. The county, however, is largely white and has a large population of retirees, segments favoring Republicans, especially in smaller, rural communities.
I think that’s what makes the difference between us here and nationally,” Ridley said.
Anne Ferrell Quillen, chair of the county Democratic Party, acknowledged that Democratic candidates for national office run into a nearly impenetrable “red wall” in Cumberland County. There’s also not much of an opening for them on the larger scale of the state of Tennessee, which went for Trump 60.7% to 37.4%, also according to final, unofficial results.
Quillen agreed that Cumberland County residents are influenced by demographics, including the influx of “transplants” drawn to Tennessee by its lack of a state income tax, which she said is especially attractive to conservatives.
Further, Quillen said voters’ views can be cemented by “misinformation, exaggerations and outright untruths” they read on the internet. She encouraged voters to shape their political views in part by reading news from sources free of bias and by talking to others about a variety of issues.
“No matter how you decide to vote, it's always best to be informed about the issues, how they affect you, your family and your community, and, finally, which candidates best represent your views and will act accordingly,” she said.
Cumberland County voters also overwhelmingly backed their Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, giving Bill Haggerty 78.9% of the vote to Democrat Marquita Bradshaw’s 19.1% based on final, unofficial results. Haggerty, endorsed by Trump, easily won the statewide vote but by a smaller margin than in Cumberland County. Haggerty will replace the retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander, also a Republican.
County voters supported, also by wide margins, Republicans U.S. Rep. John Rose and state House Speaker Cameron Sexton. Both were re-elected.
Some Cumberland County 2020 voter statistics compared with the 2016 presidential election (2020 figures unofficial):
2020: 45,088 (record)
TOTAL VOTES CAST:
2020: 32,593 (record)
PERCENTAGE VOTER TURNOUT
2020: 72.3 (record)
2020: 19,817 (record)
President of the United States
Donald J. Trump & Michael Pence (R) 25,167
Joseph R. Biden & Kamala Harris (D) 6,728
Don Blankenship & William Mohr (I) 62
Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente & Darcy G. Richardson (I) 9
Howie Hawkins & Angela Walker (I) 31
Jo Jorgensen & Jeremy "Spike" Cohen (I) 232
Alyson Kennedy & Malcom Jarrett (I) 13
Gloria La Riva & Sunil Freeman (I) 1
Kanye West & Michelle Tidball (I) 35
Write In 29
Bill Hagerty (R) 24,411
Marquita Bradsaw (D) 5,908
Yomi "Fapas" Faparusi Sr. (I) 65
Jeffrey Alan Grunau (I) 44
Ronnie Henley (I) 76
G. Dean Hill (I) 50
Steven J. Hooper (I) 52
Aaron James (I) 32
Elizabeth McLeod (I) 140
Kacey Morgan (I) 84
Eric William Stansberry (I) 49
Write In 21
U.S. House of Representatives District 6
John Rose (R) 23,059
Christopher Martin Finley(D) 5,862
Christopher B. Monday (I) 541
Write In 14
Tennessee House of Representatives District 25
Cameron Sexton (R) 24,157
Robyn Deck (D) 5,330
Write In 23
City of Crab Orchard
Emmett H. Sherrill 190
Jeff Sherrill 143
Write In 2
City of Crossville
(Vote for Two)
R.J. Crawford 1,847
J.H. Graham III 1,638
Ralph RandallRegan 1,236
Scot Shanks 1,972
Write In 8
Write In 2
Pleasant Hill Town Council
No Candidate Qualified
Write In 75
Write In 57
Election results are unofficial pending certification by the local Election Commission. Certified results are due to the state by Nov. 23.