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Mahoning Co. sees 1K Dems defect to GOP



Published: Thu, March 3, 2016 @ 12:09 a.m.

Officials attribute switch to Trump phenomenon

By David Skolnick

skolnick@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

About 1,000 Democrats in Mahoning County so far have switched their party affiliation to Republican with election officials saying several did it to vote for Donald Trump, the GOP presidential front-runner.

“We are seeing something this election cycle I’ve never seen before to this degree,” said board Chairman Mark Munroe, who’s also the county Republican chairman. “Every day I take phone calls or get voice messages from people saying they’ve been Democrats all their life and they’ve had it. They want to vote for Donald Trump. I’m surprised at the volume of inquiries we’re getting. It’s remarkable.”

A number of Democrats taking a Republican ballot when voting early at the board “say they want to vote for Trump,” said Joyce Kale-Pesta, Mahoning County Board of Elections director.

About 7,000 Mahoning County voters have cast early votes. Early voting started Feb. 17 and ends March 14, the day before the primary.

Of those 7,000, about 14 percent were Democrats who voted Republican, Kale-Pesta said. That’s about 1,000 so far.

The percentage of Democrats switching parties will grow even more, said board Vice Chairman David Betras, who also is the county Democratic chairman.

And it doesn’t concern Betras.

“I knew Donald Trump’s message would resonate with blue-collar Democrats,” he said. “But once they learn about his record – besides him being anti-trade – they will change their minds in the general election. I assure you that come the general election, voters will vote our way once we tell the story of Donald Trump. The more chaos created in the Republican primary, the better Democrats will do in the general election.”

Betras, who backs Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, said it “would make me happy for Donald Trump to beat John Kasich,” the Ohio governor running for president as a Republican.

About 5 percent of Republicans – 350 voters – cast Democrat ballots of those who’ve voted so far, said Chris Rakocy, the board’s information technology manager.

Munroe, who supports Kasich, said that if the governor isn’t the Republican presidential nominee, “I’ll be glad to support whoever is our nominee.”

When asked about Trump’s various controversial statements, Munroe said, “Should Trump be the nominee, he’ll have plenty of time to rehabilitate himself.”

Trump is the reason turnout will be higher than normal for this primary, Munroe said.

“We’re seeing this all over the country; the Republican vote is way up and it’s because of Trump,” he said. “Now, it’s happening in the Valley. Whatever you think of Trump, you can’t take away his ability to energize the electorate.”

There are 161,009 registered voters in the county, including 40,958 Democrats and 14,663 Republicans. The rest are independents, who don’t vote in primaries, with a tiny number affiliated with third parties such as Green and Libertarian.

In Ohio, party affiliation is basely solely on voting in a primary, Munroe said.

“All you have to do is tell a poll worker that you want to vote for a certain party in the primary and that becomes your affiliation,” he said.

Election officials in Trumbull and Columbiana counties say they aren’t keeping track of how many voters are changing party affiliations.

“But we’ve had some people say, ‘I want to switch to the Trump party,” said Stephanie Penrose, Trumbull County’s elections board director.

“There are a lot of Democrats switching over,” said Kim Meeks, Columbiana County’s elections board deputy director. “We see a trend, but we won’t know details until after the primary.”


Comments

1questionreality(736 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Trump's name printed 12 times in this article. Heck, why don't we just open these ballots early and see how they voted. Sheesh!

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2NoBS(2841 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Trump has already done great damage to the established Republican party - they're fractured. If he wins, the Republican party will fall apart. Trump is no more a conservative than Betras is, and that so many Republicans are blindly backing him shows how the thrust of elections has shifted from electing the best-qualified candidate to beating "their" candidate. Partisanship at its finest. You see it with Munroe - he might as well have said he'd vote for a yellow dog before he'd vote for a Democrat. (Yes, I know the reference)

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3republicanRick(1741 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Vindy "reporter" David Skolnick includes 5 negative quotes about Trump, even as he reports the surge towards Trump.

NOT ONE negative quote about Hillary! NOT ONE!? Democrats are running away from this long time crooked, it's all about me, politician.

And Skolnick still heavily slants the article away from her, the proven crook, to the politically incorrect talking Trump.

This, once again, is not honest reporting by the Vindicator. It is an outright attempt at steering voters toward the Vindicator endorsed candidate.

Oh for the days of an honest, unbiased newspaper.

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4repeaters(314 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

"There are 161,009 registered voters in the county, including 40,958 Democrats and 14,663 Republicans. The rest are independents, who don’t vote in primaries, with a tiny number affiliated with third parties such as Green and Libertarian."

---BREAKING NEWS-----
Two-thirds of the registered voters get screwed when it comes to primary voting.

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5Education_Voter(1174 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Anyone remember Rush Limbaugh's "Operation Chaos" in which he tried to disrupt the Democrat's election by urging Republicans to vote as Democrats?

Jeb Bush thinks that Trump will hand the election over to Hillary Clinton.

As far as Hillary supposedly being a proven crook, voters best check out the lawsuit by users of the so-called "Trump University" who got fleeced by this, yes, con man. And how about those tax returns...what's he hiding. Funny how, now that Barack Obama is not running, Republicans have lost their curiousity.

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6grazor50(104 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Notice how the big money "PAC" are spending millions to help RUBIO. Does anyone really believe these super rich really care about the people? They see a puppet they can control . TRUMP cannot be bought, his ideas now resonate throughout the GOP about immigration, fences, health care. The GOP is desperate, they are loosing control. As far as HILLARY, TRUMP hasn't even started attacks on her. CON man maybe, but if that's what it takes to win these deals with foreign countries, get jobs back, then I am all for it.

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7republicanRick(1741 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

The once great City of Youngstown sits mired in blight and aging infrastructure (think sewer lines and Mill Creek Park).

Democrats and Republicans have both been elected to represent us, mainly Democrats. Where has it gotten us? Squat, nothing, little to no help from the federal or state level. Timmy Ryan attends cocktail partys and writes yoga books. Bill Clinton, husband of Hillary, stole the federal jobs project (4400 jobs!) right away from us.

Maybe a non-politician who is beholden to either party would finally do us some good. Trump could do no worse that what has been given us in the past.

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8CompMan(162 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

We get the federal government we deserve.

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9NoBS(2841 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Repeaters says: "There are 161,009 registered voters in the county, including 40,958 Democrats and 14,663 Republicans. The rest are independents, who don’t vote in primaries, with a tiny number affiliated with third parties such as Green and Libertarian."

But ... but ... that can't be right. How many times have we heard that this valley is extremely Democrat?? Huge majority Dem. Now you're saying only a fourth of the registered voters are Dems?!?! Wow.

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10NoBS(2841 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

RickyRepublican wrote: "Maybe a non-politician who is beholden to either party would finally do us some good. Trump could do no worse that what has been given us in the past."

A non-politician would be a breath of fresh air, if he truly weren't owned by the right (Koch bros, etc.) or the left (Soros, Bloomberg, etc.). HOWEVER, Trump doesn't have the mental makeup to handle the job. He's nothing but a huckster - he's all talk. The things he claims he's going to do can't be done. Does he really think he's going to force Mexico to build that wall AND pay for it? Do you?

Is Trump really the guy you want negotiating a nuclear arms deal with Kim Jong Un? Do you think he's got what it takes to go up against Vladimir Putin? Can he do anything with ISIS, other than tick them off?

If, heaven forbid, he is elected, he's not going to be able to fire everyone who doesn't go along with him. The ignorant mocking and insults aren't going to cut it. And he's not going to be able to declare bankruptcy and start over. But he might simply take his toys and go home - he walked away from that one Republican debate. When he discovered it wasn't all about him - the show went on without him - he hasn't done it since. But it shows he's not above simply walking away, if things get tough.

An Independent might be a good idea. But Trump isn't.

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11NoBS(2841 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

RepublicanRick wrote: "Maybe a non-politician who is beholden to either party would finally do us some good. Trump could do no worse that what has been given us in the past."

A non-politician would be a breath of fresh air, if he truly weren't owned by the right (Koch bros, etc.) or the left (Soros, Bloomberg, etc.). HOWEVER, Trump doesn't have the mental makeup to handle the job. He's nothing but a huckster - he's all talk. The things he claims he's going to do can't be done. Does he really think he's going to force Mexico to build that wall AND pay for it? Do you?

Is Trump really the guy you want negotiating a nuclear arms deal with Kim Jong Un? Do you think he's got what it takes to go up against Vladimir Putin? Can he do anything with ISIS, other than tick them off?

If, heaven forbid, he is elected, he's not going to be able to fire everyone who doesn't go along with him. The ignorant mocking and insults aren't going to cut it. And he's not going to be able to declare bankruptcy and start over. But he might simply take his toys and go home - he walked away from that one Republican debate. When he discovered it wasn't all about him - the show went on without him - he hasn't done it since. But it shows he's not above simply walking away, if things get tough.

An Independent might be a good idea. But Trump isn't.

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12republicanRick(1741 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

The overriding theme of this election, with Trump leading the Republicans and the socialist Bernie Sanders coming close to Queen Hillary, is that the voters are fed up with the ruling elite.
The ruling elite comprises top Republicans and Democrats along with the corrupt and lazy media.

Vote for the same old and get the same old.

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13DwightK(1537 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Is anyone really shocked by this? The local flavor of Democrats has been tainted by corruption and scandal. Just look at McNally staying in office after pleading guilty in that Oakhill mess. I'm surprised more people haven't jumped ship.

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14cambridge(4156 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

republicans are so funny, they elected people to congress who ran on the platform of "vote for me and when I go to Washington I'll do nothing" and now cry against them for doing just that. They now see donald trump as someone who will get "terrific" things done.

It's taken the republicans, teabaggers, ruppert murdoch, rush limbaugh, glenn beck and the fixed noise network eleven years to create their Frankenstein but now they have him....donald trump. You reap what you sow.

trump/humptydumpty 2016.

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15dontbeafool(2101 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Federal Republicans are stuck in obstruction mode and they don't know how to get out of it. They are at the point where they are obstructing progress in their own party and can't agree on anything.

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16redeye1(5677 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

DBAF. You sound like the dems haven't done these things What about Old senile Harry reed who stopped any bill that didn't fit into his agenda He would just let them sit and collect dust. But in your mind if dem does it must be right. People like you are the biggest problem in this country

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17republicanRick(1741 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

There is a psychology to being a Republican and Democrat.

A Democrat will never, ever admit their way or their guy is wrong. Ever. Witness the continual Democratic voting in this area as we slide further and further into economic oblivion. Witness devotion to Hillary Clinton after decades of crooked dealings and her utter disregard for the "little man".

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18notthead(66 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

The 50,000.00 DEMS in the valley are stuck in the past.with the MILL HUNK mentality. of letting their union leaders and party head do there thinking for them.morality in either party does not matter any more.I count twenty nine judges since 1970 that have been disbared and or gone to prison.not counting a former congressman. how about big Daves ex partner,We the citizens of the valley are to blame.Were oh where has our morality gone?

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19concerned(328 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

I have never been married to a political party. In 30 yrs of voting I have crossed party lines many times. I have already voted for Trump as one of these folks that switched parties.
Every other candidate is a politician and will bring more of the same. I love that Trump is self funding. That is why both sides hate him. The potential for him to shake up the political system is downright exhilarating.

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20rocky14(839 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Both the Dems and Repbs get their money from the same Pig Stye. Vote for Trump!

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21oviets(1163 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

The reason that people are switching from the Democratic party to the Republican party has nothing to do with Donald Trump. We have finally got to the point that the working class are completely sick and tired of being enslaved by the non-working class.

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22Roger_Thornhill(1068 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

The LOSERS of the 2008 & 2012 presidential campaigns, McCain & Romney, are lecturing Republicans not to vote for Trump because if they do, the GOP will lose the general election.

Priceless!

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23Roger_Thornhill(1068 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Another priceless moment in GOP contest is that worm Marco Rubio downplaying Trump's vote totals by saying "65% of Republicans have voted against Trump" while the putz evidently completely misses the fact in that 80% of Republicans have voted against him (Rubio)!

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24concerned(328 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Trump is the only GOP candidate who can beat Hillary.

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25Attis(1134 comments)posted 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Lots of Independents have joined Democrats this election (and many more will before/on March 15) to ensure that Sanders is the nominee, the only one that can stop the disaster of a Trump presidency.

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26HappyBob(360 comments)posted 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Two of the 1000 who changed registration are myself and my wife. We changed to cast a ballot against trump, largely because we find him to be a disgusting person.
In November we will be voting for HRC.

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27LivesInWarren(52 comments)posted 4 months, 3 weeks ago

HappyBob, that would be considered voter fraud.

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28billdog1(5942 comments)posted 4 months, 3 weeks ago

LivesInWarren, I see you don't know how the process works. There is no fraud in what HappyBob describes. I'm appalled by the entire process right now. We have the Trumpeteer and two mini Hitler's on the republican side and an aging hippy and a woman that only wants to be POTUS so she goes down in history as the first woman POTUS. It brings a tear to my eye.

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29HappyBob(360 comments)posted 4 months, 3 weeks ago

@LivesinWarren,
Please explain why you think what we have done is fraudulent ?

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30LivesInWarren(52 comments)posted 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Because you are falsifying that you are a Republican by voting in the Republican primary when you are a Democrat and fully intend to vote Democrat. That's why it is voter fraud. You, as a Democrat, are supposed to be voting in the Democratic primary.

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31LivesInWarren(52 comments)posted 4 months, 2 weeks ago

So yes, what you did is indeed falsification and fraudulent. I intend to vote in the Republican primary on Tuesday (for Trump) because I agree with the general principles of the Republican party and because I vote primarily Republican.

It would be fraudulent for me to go and state that I wish to change my party affiliation to Democrat in order to mess with the Democrat party's choice of presidential candidate.

This is why the Ohio primaries are referred to as semi-closed. Yes, you can vote for whichever party you want but you are making a good-faith claim that you are switching parties, and in your case that claim is false since you have admitted that you will be voting for HRC in the general election.

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32HappyBob(360 comments)posted 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Called the (republican) Ohio Secretary of State office, who confirmed that what I have done is perfectly legal. According to their office, I have not falsified anything.

Since the Secretary of State probably knows more about election law than you do, I'll probably go with their advice.

As it applies to my general election choice, are you suggesting that a registered republican is required to vote for a republican, to do otherwise would constitute fraud?

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33LivesInWarren(52 comments)posted 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Clearly you do not understand how the primary process works in Ohio.

You are supposed to vote for the candidate in the primary that is of your political affiliation.

If you are a Democrat (which I assume you are since you are voting for HRC) then you are to request a Democratic poll.

You can be challenged (ORC 3513.20 Effect of challenge to voter at primary.) Ok, so you were not challenged.

"Before any challenged person shall be allowed to vote at a primary election , the person shall make a statement, UNDER PENALTY OF ELECTION FALSIFICATION, before one of the precinct officials, blanks for which shall be furnished by the board of elections, giving name, age, residence, length of residence in the precinct, county, and state; stating that the person desires to be affiliated with and SUPPORTS THE PRINCIPLES OF THE POLITICAL PARTY whose ballot the person desires to vote;"

(My emphasis)

This is why Ohio primaries are considered semi-closed.

The general election is open. You can vote for whomever you want regardless of your party affiliation.

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34LivesInWarren(52 comments)posted 4 months, 2 weeks ago

See form 10-W: http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/upload...

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35HappyBob(360 comments)posted 4 months, 2 weeks ago

You have accused me of committing a felony.

However, I have not signed any document that pledged my support to any political party, consequently I have not falsified anything.

Your accusation is without merit.

OTOH, you illustrate the absurdity in the law. It seems that this provision would seek to reserve the primary to the party stalwarts. I do not support with ALL the "principles" of the Republican Party, simultanously I do not support ALL the principles of the Democratic Party. Furthermore, I reserve the right to alter my support at a future time ( weeks or months later) as circumstances and events change.

So, were I to be challenged, I would decline to sign the form 10-W, and would be prohibited from voting. Somehow that does not appear to be a free democracy in action.

At the end of the day, your accusation of my felony is without justification.

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36JustanotherBuckeye(4 comments)posted 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Trump will keep our factories in the USA. He will save coal and steel. Kasich voted for NAFTA and is pro TPP. He is for Common core and was one of only a few republicans to jump ship and received a personal thank you from Bill Clinton for supporting the assault weapons ban. He is hoping for a brokered convention, far from the will of the people.

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37cambridge(4156 comments)posted 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Justanotherbuckeye...."trump will keep our factories in the USA". You're not paying attention, trump has his own clothing factories in Vietnam, Mexico and China, NONE in the USA.

Seriously, how can you vote for a guy that sends thousands of jobs out of this country and think he's going to keep other companies from doing the same thing he does? Unbelievable!

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38HappyBob(360 comments)posted 4 months, 2 weeks ago

@LivesinWarren.
Last night was good, both of my candidates won in Ohio!

@Justanotherbuckeye:
Trump has said that he would impose a 45% duty (tariff) on Carrier Corporation products coming from Mexico. So my question is this: Can the President impose a sanction (aka punishment) on a specific corporation? Would he do that by executive order or would he need congressional legislation?

Also consider the consequence to american industries that are producing the parts used by Carrier to assemble their finished products.

Great care has to be exercised, because sometimes sanctions will come back to bite you.
Reminds me of "cutting off one's nose to spite the face".

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