County hopes to continue trend as bellwether

County hopes to continue trend as bellwether

Bellwether. Defined as “an indicator or predictor of something,” it’s one of the many buzzwords or phrases thrown around with ease at this time of year — many times in the same breath as “swing state” and “red state” or “blue state.” But its accuracy toward describing Chautauqua County’s political trend in an election year is not too much of a stretch — a majority of county residents have voted for the eventual winner of 10 of the last 12 presidential campaigns. The county’s only misses came in the 1976 and 2012 presidential elections, with a majority voting for Gerald R. Ford and Mitt Romney, respectively, in those campaigns. But, from 1980 to 2012, the county was a perfect bellwether, voting for the eventual president-elect in each of those elections. It became one once again in 2016, with Donald Trump carrying 62% in he county over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Election Commissioner Norman P. Green has long said that the county’s representation is closer to the more moderate state of Ohio — which has accurately voted for the winner in every election since 1964 — than it is to the more liberal state of New York, which has not given its electoral votes to a Republican since 1984. Photos by Cameron Hurst As the 2020 Presidential Election approaches on Tuesday, Chautauqua County has a long history of accurately picking the winner. “It’s the midwestern influence just like the state of Ohio is a bellwether state,” he told […]

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