Economic worries push Trump to victory

Published 10:11 am Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The people of Lincoln County — and Mississippi — have spoken, and they want Donald Trump.

Trump easily won the Republican presidential primary locally, claiming 47 percent of the almost 6,000 votes cast. Ted Cruz came in second with 36 percent. John Kasich finished third with 7 percent, and Marco Rubio finished fourth at 5 percent.

Every single candidate on the Republican ballot got at least one vote in Lincoln County, even George Pataki.

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Trump did just as well state-wide, winning 47 percent compared to Cruz’s 36 percent.  So how did he do it? Exit polls show that 8 in 10 voters were very worried about the economy, according to the Associated Press.

“More than half of voters in the Mississippi Republican primary regarded Trump as the candidate best able to handle the economy, and he also got around half of the voters who said the economy and jobs are the most important issue facing the country.”

Cruz’s strong showing was largely due to those who describe themselves as very conservative. He won half of those voters. But not even the endorsement of Phil Bryant could push Cruz to victory.

Hillary Clinton had no trouble in Mississippi or Lincoln County. Locally, she won 85 percent of the vote. About 2,000 votes were cast in the Democratic primary.

Her numbers were nearly as strong state-wide; she won about 83 percent across the state.  Clinton fared much better with African-Americans, who made up about 70 percent of Democratic primary voters. Nearly 9 in 10 backed her.

The “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders may have been too liberal for Mississippi. Almost 8 in 10 voters rated Clinton’s ideology as about right.

Trump’s wins in Mississippi, Michigan and Hawaii no doubt pushed him closer to the nomination. It appears Rubio and Kasich  have no shot of disrupting that, meaning only Cruz can slow him down. After Tuesday’s performance, that’s looking less likely.