Trump wins big in Nome
Preliminary results from the March 1 Republican Presidential Preference poll in Alaska show that New York real estate magnate Donald Trump took 47.3 percent of Republican votes in Nome. Nome had by far the highest percentage of Republican voters casting their preference poll for Trump, followed by Barrow, where Trump received 42.9 percent or nine votes.
In Nome, 93 votes were cast. Forty-four votes went to Trump. Texas Senator Ted Cruz placed second and received 23 votes (24.7 percent); Florida Senator Marco Rubio received 14 votes (15.1 percent), Ben Carson received eight votes (8.6 percent) and Ohio Governor John Kasich received four votes (4.3 percent).
Arne Handeland volunteered to run the Republican preference poll in Nome and noted that voter participation tripled compared to the last presidential preference poll. “Last time we had maybe 30 people turn out, this time the number tripled to 93,” Handeland said. He also reported a record number of 17 newly registered Republicans during the poll. “Normally we get one or two show up at the poll and say ‘might as well commit and get registered,’” Handeland said.
In addition to the 20 or so people that Handeland considers “regulars”, there were one third of the 93 who he has not seen before at the polls. He also noted that the voters knew their preference. “ People walked in and knew already who they would vote for. Nobody seemed undecided,” Handeland said.
Statewide, 21,930 votes were cast in the Alaska Republican presidential poll, making it the highest number of voters turning out to cast their preference in decades. The highest-voting district was district 14 Eagle River with 1,114 voters. The majority of votes there went to Ted Cruz. Bettles, the smallest site that voted, had just one person cast a ballot. Lowest percent of votes for Donald Trump were cast in Bethel with 9.8 percent. Highest percent of votes for Donald Trump were cast in Nome at 47.3 percent.
The preliminary results indicate that Ted Cruz won Alaska with 7,973 votes (36.4 percent), binding 12 delegates to his name. Donald Trump got 7,346 votes (33.5 percent), winning 11 delegates. Marco Rubio received 3,318 votes (15.1 percent) and five delegates. Ben Carson had 2,401 votes (10.9 percent) and John Kasich 892 votes (4.1 percent). Kasich and Carson did not get any delegates.
According to the Alaska Republican Party website, after the Alaska Presidential Preference Poll, the Republican party will hold district meetings, with each district choosing delegates to the state convention, to be held April 28-30 in Fairbanks. Nearly 550 delegates from across the state will be represented at the state convention. From those, 28 delegates and 25 alternates will be chosen to attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio from July 18 to 21. There, the party will pick its nominee to run for the President of the United States office.