Kathy McGee and Chris Walker, both of Sequim, look at updated news on the presidential election on Nov. 7 as they rally with other community members to show their support for the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Kathy McGee and Chris Walker, both of Sequim, look at updated news on the presidential election on Nov. 7 as they rally with other community members to show their support for the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Clallam keeps presidential picks streak going

Sequim votes Biden after two-plus decades for Republicans

Forty years later and seven presidents selected, Clallam County seems to know how to pick them.

Multiple news outlets and election trackers confirm Clallam’s choices as the longest accurate streak in the nation since 1980, when residents chose Ronald Reagan.

With the Clallam County Auditor’s Office reporting about 1,800 ballots left to count as of press time Tuesday, President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris received 50.4 percent (23,801) to incumbent President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence’s 46.7 percent (22,050). Clallam has an 82.5 percent turnout as of Nov. 10.

According to the Secretary of State’s website, Clallam voters chose the president every time except in 1976 (Gerald Ford, rather than Jimmy Carter), and 1968 (Hubert Humphrey, rather than Richard Nixon) with county voter data for presidential elections unavailable prior to 1936 by press time.

In interviews with the Peninsula Daily News, Dick Pilling, former chair of the Clallam County Republican Party and present state committeeman, commented on the county’s “perfect string” and joked, “Maybe we could just dispense with all this election nonsense and just poll Clallam.”

Liz Bumgarner, chair of the Clallam County Democratic Party, said the county is home to a large variety of people who are independent, proactive and solution-oriented.

“They are people who don’t sit around saying, ‘Oh woe is me.’ … It’s not only that they’re smart; the people who are here — small business people, farmers, people who have been here for years — are used to taking action.”

Here’s a look at Washington compared to Clallam’s voting trends in previous presidential elections through 1980:

• 2016

State: Hillary Clinton 54.3 percent; Trump 38.1 percent

Clallam: Trump 47.6 percent; Clinton 44.8 percent

• 2012

State: Barack Obama 56.2 percent; Mitt Romney 41.3 percent

Clallam: Obama 48.8 percent; Romney 48.4 percent

Note: a difference of 143 votes

• 2008

State: Obama 57.7 percent; John McCain 40.5 percent

Clallam: Obama 50.6 percent; McCain 47.3 percent

• 2004

State: John Kerry 52.8 percent; George W. Bush 45.6 percent

Clallam: Bush 18,871; Kerry 17,049 (other votes, percentages unavailable)

• 2000

State: Al Gore 50.2 percent; George W. Bush 44.6 percent

Clallam: Bush 49.5 percent; Gore 42 percent

• 1996

State: Bill Clinton 49.8 percent; Bob Dole 37.3 percent

County: Clinton 42.6 percent;Dole 42.1 percent

Note: a difference of 153 votes

• 1992

State: Clinton 43.4 percent; George H.W. Bush 31.2 percent; Ross Perot 23.7 percent

Clallam: Clinton 37.7 percent; Bush 34.1 percent; Perot 27.1 percent

• 1988

State: Michael Dukakis 50.1 percent; Bush 48.5 percent

Clallam: Bush 49.1 percent; Dukakis 48.8 percent

Note: a difference of 77 votes

• 1984

State: Ronald Reagan 55.8 percent; Walter Mondale 42.9 percent

Clallam: Reagan 57.3 percent; Mondale 40.9 percent

• 1980

State: Reagan 49.7 percent; Jimmy Carter 37.3 percent

Clallam: Reagan 51.6 percent; Carter 36 percent

What about Sequim?

Despite Clallam’s picking abilities, precincts in the Sequim School District boundaries don’t appear to align with the rest of the county.

Available precinct data on the county’s elections website dates back to 1996 for presidential voting per precinct, which shows the Sequim area leaned Republican every four years, from 1996-2016.

Bob Dole (1996), George W. Bush (2000, 2004), and Mitt Romney (2012) won nearly two-three times more Sequim-area precincts than their Democratic challengers. However, John McCain won one more precinct than Barack Obama in 2008, and Trump won four more than Hilary Clinton four years ago.

Precinct totals might not be as revealing though, as population totals vary. For example, Trump edged Clinton by 284 votes in the Sequim precincts in Clallam.

So far, Biden won 25 of Sequim’s Clallam precincts to Trump’s seven.

Of those, two are significantly narrow leads among neighborhoods, with a difference of two votes (for Biden) in Monterra and six (for Trump) in Prairie North.

In the City of Sequim’s six precincts, all favored Biden as of Tuesday by 838 more votes. Those same precincts leaned Democratic in 2016 too, by a smaller margin: 222 votes. The precincts split in 2012, however, with 11 votes more in the city going to Romney.

For more information on local races, visit clallam.net/elections and www.sos.wa.gov/elections.

Executive Editor Leah Leach and Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb of the Peninsula Daily News contributed to this story.

Virginia and Roger Huntsman of Sequim gather with fellow supporters of President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris. Virginia said she “hopes we can draw this country together under God and get rid of all the vitriol and hatred.” Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Virginia and Roger Huntsman of Sequim gather with fellow supporters of President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris. Virginia said she “hopes we can draw this country together under God and get rid of all the vitriol and hatred.” Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

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Virginia and Roger Huntsman of Sequim gather with fellow supporters of President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris. Virginia said she “hopes we can draw this country together under God and get rid of all the vitriol and hatred.” Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

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