Story No. 4 of 2020: Trump’s win made history in Mahoning


We are looking back at 2020’s Top 10 stories, as chosen by the newspaper staff. Today’s story on the 2020 election ranks No. 4. Here’s the list so far:

10: Fans and supporters worked to save the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.

9: Two big Black Lives Matter rallies took place in the Valley over the summer.

8: Liberty firefighter death prompts investigation.

7. Three convicted in public corruption probe of Youngstown government.

6. Diocese of Youngstown loses its shepherd; new bishop named.

5: 4-year-old Rowan Sweeney slain in Struthers.

4. Donald Trump won Mahoning, Trumbull counties in historic election

Though Donald Trump failed to win re-election, he was only the third Republican presidential candidate to win Mahoning County since 1936.

Trump also was the first Republican candidate to win Trumbull County in two consecutive presidential elections since Herbert Hoover in 1928 and 1932 before Trumbull and Mahoning counties started consistently voting for Democrats in 1936.

The win in Mahoning County for Trump over Democrat Joe Biden was close, 1.9 percent, while it was 10.56 percent in Trumbull County.

In 2016, Trump lost to Democrat Hillary Clinton by 3.28 percent in Mahoning County and beat her by 6.22 percent in Trumbull County.

In both elections, Trump won Ohio. His margin of victory in the state in this last election was 8.03 percent while it was 8.13 percent four years ago.

Since 1936, the only other Republicans presidential candidates to win both Mahoning and Trumbull counties in the same year were Dwight Eisenhower in 1956 and Richard Nixon in 1972.

Both, like Trump, did so in their second terms. However, Eisenhower and Nixon were re-elected nationally in landslides while Trump lost his bid for a second term as president.

But Trump’s victories in Mahoning and Trumbull counties were key parts of a changing trend in the two counties, both longtime Democratic strongholds.

While no Republican won a countywide executive branch seat in Mahoning County in the November election, the margins of victory were a lot closer than they’ve been in decades signaling elections should be more competitive in future years.

Mahoning County Auditor Ralph Meacham, who wasn’t up for re-election this year, is the only elected Republican in the county’s executive branch.

In Trumbull, Niki Frenchko became the first Republican to win a countywide executive office seat in nearly 40 years when she beat incumbent Commissioner Dan Polivka, who is also the county Democratic Party chairman, in the November election.

Also, Republican Al Cutrona of Canfield was elected to the Ohio House 59th District seat in Mahoning County while Republican Mike Loychik of Cortland won the House 63rd District race in Trumbull County.

Republican Sandra O’Brien of Knox beat incumbent state Sen. Sean O’Brien, D-Bazetta, in the Senate 32nd District race by 2 percent even though she lost Trumbull County by 8.34 percent.

She racked up big wins in the rest of the district, Ashtabula and Geauga counties, to defeat the Democrat.



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