Vineyard voters feel the Bern, but Massachusetts goes to Clinton

Bernie Sanders wins in all six towns; Trump is tops in the GOP.

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Updated 12:40 pm, Wednesday. Chart with all results is below.

Although Hillary Clinton has always been warmly embraced by Islanders in the 20 years she and former President Bill Clinton have been coming to Martha’s Vineyard, Tuesday’s primary election was more of a handshake than a hug.

In a repeat of the 2008 Democratic primary race against then Senator Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Clinton captured the state of Massachusetts, but did not win the plurality of Vineyard voters.

Island-wide, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders won 55 percent of the vote, Ms. Clinton won 44.23 percent of the vote. Sen. Sanders won in all six Island towns.

Statewide, the Democratic race was much closer than in 2008, when Ms. Clinton won by 15 percentage points. Yesterday, Ms. Clinton bested Sen. Sanders by a mere 20,000 votes statewide, or 1.8 percent.

On the Republican side, Island voters rallied behind Donald Trump, who topped second-place finisher Ohio Governor John Kasich by 15 percentage points. Mr. Trump garnered 45.4 percent of the vote to Mr. Kasich’s 30 percent. Mr. Kasich was bested by Florida Senator Marco Rubio in Oak Bluffs by eight votes; it was Kasich’s only third-place finish in the six Island towns.

As of late last night, 4,899 Democratic votes were cast Island-wide, almost four times more than the 1,266 Republican votes cast.

Town clerks said the voter turnout was extremely strong.

By lunchtime on Tuesday, 750 people had voted in West Tisbury. “The last primary election, we had about 500 for the entire election,” town clerk Tara Whiting said. “We’re seeing a lot more younger voters and absentee ballots. I think online registration has a lot to do with it.”

At a busy Oak Bluffs polling station, town clerk Laura Johnston said she’d received over 200 absentee ballots, more than double the amount from the last election. “It’s the most I’ve seen in 20 years of doing this,” she said.

Vineyard voices

The Times polled Islanders outside of polling stations in Oak Bluffs, Edgartown, and West Tisbury.

Tami Brown of Oak Bluffs took the day off from work at Middletown Nursery, and was sitting on her car hood in the town hall parking lot with a homemade sign reading “Bernie = democracy.” At noon she’d already been there for three and a half hours, and was prepared to stay all day. “He’s a man of the people, and he’s been saying the same thing for decades,” she said.

Gretchen Tucker Underwood and Christine Todd were chatting a few feet away, Ms. Tucker Underwood holding a “Hillary” sign. “She is my candidate, and I think she’s the best chance we have,” Ms. Tucker Underwood said. “It’s kind of scary to me when I look at the Republican side.”

Ms. Todd voted for Bernie Sanders. “I think it’s time for radical change,” she said. “I felt I had to vote with my heart. But if he doesn’t get the nomination, I will put my support 100 percent behind Hillary.”

“It’s the fact that she’s experienced,” Edgartown voter Michelle Vivian said about her vote for Hillary Clinton. “She has experience being in the White House, she has experience being a senator, and her experience with foreign relations is very important.”

Edgartown resident Paul Nourse voted for Hillary Clinton, echoing Ms. Vivian’s reasoning that Clinton has the most experience, especially in foreign affairs. “I like Donald Trump,” he said. “I think he could be good for our country, but I don’t think he’d be good with the problems in the Middle East.”

Allen W. Norton, an Edgartown resident since 1938, voted for Ted Cruz. “I believe in the word of our Lord Jesus, and I think he does too,” he said. Mr. Norton said he has voted Democratic once, for John F. Kennedy. “He was a great president,” he said. “If I could have, I would have voted for FDR 1,000 times.”

A West Tisbury voter who declined to give his name told The Times he’s been a registered Republican his entire life, but expressed concern about the demise of the moderate Republican. He voted for Gov. Kasich.
Another West Tisbury resident who declined to give his name said he was voting for Bernie Sanders. “I just read his biography. The man has never wavered from his principles,” he said. “He knows he can’t do it alone if he gets to the White House. He’s going to ask people to put pressure on their congressmen. Republican or Democrat, everybody’s tired of gridlock.” As for the Republican front-runner Donald Trump: “He scares me. He really does.”

Results started pouring in from the various town clerks right after 8 pm Tuesday; the Tisbury tally was the last we received, around midnight. The table below also includes results from various town races.

Presidential and State Committee Votes

 AquinnahChilmarkEdgartownOak BluffsTisburyWest TisburyIsland Totals
Presidential Preference
Democratic
Bernie Sanders85220549639
6536472793
Hillary Clinton611624735825634652306
Roque De La Fuente0010001
Republican
Donald J. Trump528189224136100682
Ted Cruz0638353126136
Ben Carson0110148942
Marco Rubio3961614830212
John Kasich52582536049274
Green Rainbow Party
Sedinam Kinamo Christin Moyowasifza Curry0000000
Jill Stein0020204
William P. Kreml0000000
Kent Mesplay0000101
Darryl Cherney0000000
State Committee Woman
Republican
Judith A. Crocker744264241198138892
Democratic
Robin Louise Hubbard811806026416776232804
State Committee Man
Republican
Francis P. Manzelli52816817313092596
Ronald R. Beaty Jr.21184664735245
Devin Manning21155494824189

Town Committee Votes

AQUINNAH 
MEGAN OTTENS-SARGENT (D)101
MARSHA SHUFRIN (D)86
ROXANE ACKERMAN (D)90
ELISE LeBOVIT (D)85
SIBEL SUMAN (D)99
CHILMARK
No nominations as of Feb. 29
EDGARTOWN
DIANE G. DRAKE (D)524
RHONDA I. COHEN (D)511
ERIC H. STRICOFF (D)474
CHRISTINA BROWN (D)630
GERTRUDE C. CARTER (D)504
DAVID JEFFREY HOLWAY (D)476
OAK BLUFFS
RAYMOND TAYLOR (D)499
KAREN S. ACHILLE (D)638
LINDA M. WILSON (D)504
STEVEN AUERBACH (D)554
ELEANOR S. BETH (D)520
HARVEY JOHN BETH (D)520
MARIE T. DOUBLEDAY (D)501
THOMAS J. HALLAHAN (D)543
MASAYUKI H. KIMBALL (D)481
RICHARD J. TOOLE (D)600
MARGARET A. STAFURSKY (D)578
WILLIAM J. STAFURSKY (D)570
T. EWELL HOPKINS, JR. (D)
695
TISBURY
JAMES G. OSBORN (R)154
ANGELA A. CYWINSKI (R)172
CAROL JEANNE OSBORN (R)137
PATRICIA L. HAND (D)618
BETTY BURTON (D)783
JOHN R. SUNDMAN (D)635
SALLY J. RIZZO (D)639
NORA M. NEVIN (D)674
JOHN A TONY NEVIN (D)662
DEBORAH MEDDERS (D)780
WEST TISBURY
PATRICIA I.W. MOORE (D)638
ANDREW BRADFORD WORLOCK (D)534
DANIEL B. CABOT (D)635
EDWARD A. BAYNE (D)514
LEON ARTHUR BRATHWAITE, II (D)495
BRENDA J. BRATHWAITE (D)497
CATHERINE ANN BRENNAN (D)582
JOHN S. ALLEY (D)663
ROBERT E.L. KNIGHT (D)526
TOTAL VOTES CAST21121
WRITE IN NOMINATIONS
WEST TISBURY
JOE GERVAIS (R)10
JANICE CRAMER (R)8
MIKE FONTES (R)5
BERNICE KIRBY (R) 10
DAVID LA RUE (R)6
CHILMARK
WILLIAM GAMSON (D)11
ZELDA GAMSON (D)13
GAROL GOLUB (D)11
HERBERT GOLUB (D)11
SUSAN KLUVER (D)15
RONALD KLUVER (D) 11
JONAH ASHER MAIDOFF (D)12
MAXWELL R. MCCREERY (D)10
TISBURY
BRUCE DOTEN (R)8
TOTAL WRITE IN VOTES141
OVERALL TOTAL VOTES21262