Forsyth County Plays Big Factor In Presidential Election

12:21 AM, Nov 7, 2012   |    comments
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Kernersville, NC -- The Director of the Forsyth County Board of Elections told News 2 they anticipated a 75% turn-out, but 45% of voters voted early.

Forsyth County was deemed a swing county and a "must-win" for Governor Mitt Romney because it is a snapshot of how North Carolina votes as a whole.

Dr. Daniel Prosterman, with Salem College, said there were two factors in play in Forsyth County.

First was the change in demographics.  The Hispanic population doubled in Forsyth County between the 2000 census and the 2010 census, which played in President Obama's favor.

On the other hand, people are frustrated with the high unemployment.  North Carolina's economic recovery is moving slower than other states.  And we're behind the national unemployment rate.  Prosterman said that plays into Romney's favor.

But President Obama took the lead early Tuesday night in Forsyth County and held on, even though Romney was declared the winner in North Carolina.

Interestingly enough, Governor-elect Pat McCrory, a Republican, took the lead too.

Experts attributed that to the roughly 60,000 unaffiliated voters in Forsyth County and their split-ticket voting.

"You find voters, when asked about who they're deciding to pick, I think they give a pretty clear sense of why they're picking one candidate over another. And it's not strictly according to party ideology or party allegiance," said Prosterman.

Barry Lawing, a history instructor at Forsyth Tech also said that women outnumber men in Forsyth County (53% to 47%).  That too played into the presidential election results.

"Men tend to vote more for Romney. Women tend to support more Obama. So you got a lot of those factors going in there also," said Lawing.

The Director of the Forsyth County Board of Elections had anticipated about 75 percent voter turnout in Forsyth County. 

While it was slow to start, voter turnout was about 71 percent.  However, 46 percent of voters voted early or by absentee ballot.


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