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Mitt miss breaks Republican trend

November 10, 2012

For the first time in at least the last 84 years, a Republican candidate for president captured Auglaize County with greater than 70 percent of the vote but failed to capture the White House.

On Tuesday, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney earned 16,802 votes, or 73.44 percent of the ballots cast in the race in the county and failed to defeat the Democratic candidate.

“It has been true for the last elections, but on Tuesday that fell apart,” Auglaize County Republican Party Chair Wayne York said. “It was close in 2008, John McCain received 16,414 votes, or 69.8 percent, to Barack Obama’s 6,378 votes, or 28.65 percent.”

York said President George W. Bush captured 74 percent in 2004 and 68.13 percent in 2000 and won both times.

York clarified a Republican candidate does not need to eclipse 70 percent to win, they could have a lower percentage. But all those who did exceed 70 percent of the vote always won the White House until Romney.

Researching past elections in the Wapakoneta Daily News, a Democrat has won the county only three times since 1928.

President Lyndon Johnson narrowly defeated Republican challenger Barry Goldwater with 8,632 votes, or 52 percent, to 7,932 votes, or 48 percent.

President Franklin Roosevelt won Auglaize County over President Herbert Hoover in 1932 and Roosevelt defeated Alf Landon in 1936. Roosevelt’s popularity waned in 1940 when he lost in Auglaize County to Republican challenger Wendell Willkie and in 1944 when he lost to Republican presidential nominee Thomas Dewey.

Neither Willkie nor Dewey garnered more than 63 percent of the vote.

“In the U.S. Senate races or even the state races, if a candidate got over 70 percent in Auglaize County than you were assured of winning statewide, but then again that fell apart this week,” York said.

“I think what it means is if you can hit 70 percent in Auglaize County than that means you are probably doing well enough in farm country throughout the state that you can win, but it didn’t happen this time,” he said.

He explained it is not economically feasible for the county party to do any polling and then try to make a push to get the word out to break the 70 percent mark.

York said it is wiser to put the money into campaigning and campaign materials than to conduct a poll.

Another point of interest is that since 1928, no Republican presidential ticket has won the race without a Nixon or a Bush on the ticket.

After Roosevelt and President Harry S Truman, President Dwight D. Eisenhower ran with Richard Nixon. After losing to Kennedy in 1960, Nixon took the White House in 1972 and 1976.

After four years under President Jimmy Carter, President Ronald Reagan took office. His running mate for eight years, George H.W. Bush.

Bush captured the White House in 1988, but lost it in 1992 to President Bill Clinton, the lone Democrat to win two terms since FDR until President Obama won Tuesday.

After Clinton, President George Bush won two terms with Dick Cheney.

The question now before the Republicans is do they court former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to make a run in 2016.

If he would win and then win re-election, that streak would extend to 96 years.

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