Some observations on Clinton’s win in Cobb County GA — by the numbers

From the Cobb DFCS website

As many of you know, Hillary Clinton won the vote in Cobb County by a 2.1% margin.  This surprised many people, since Cobb has been solidly GOP red for decades. As soon as the precinct-level results became available (at about 1 a.m., unfortunately for my sleep patterns) I loaded a spreadsheet and began figuring out how people voted in different areas of the county.  It will be a few weeks before I’m really finished with this, if I ever really stop rearranging and mulling over the numbers, but I’m going to post interesting things I find as I slog through the data.  If you are a numbers geek like me, you can get the complete data in several formats at the Secretary of State’s election reports on Cobb County.

First I should say that this wasn’t a Democratic tidal wave in the county.  Incumbent U.S. senator Johnny Isakson beat Democratic challenger Jim Barksdale in Cobb.  But he didn’t win by nearly the statewide margin.  (Cobb: 50.9-45.4, Statewide: 55-40.8%),  The Libertarian candidate, Allen Buckley, got just over 5% of the vote in Cobb.

Smyrna city councilwoman Teri Anulewicz wrote a good summary of the results: “Is Cobb County Trumpophobic?”.

The first thing I’m going to post is a simple list of the top 20 precincts for Clinton.  Then I’ll do the same for Trump, followed by Google’s useful precinct map. If you click on the little icon on the upper left of the map, it will give you a menu of the precinct by name, so you can figure out where any district is on the map.  I ranked by number of raw votes within each precinct, not who won the district (hence Smyrna 4A is in both Trump and Clinton’s top 20, since both candidates posted significant numbers from that precinct).  I did this because raw numbers of votes accumulated is what’s important in determining who won the county, not who won within each precinct:

Precinct Total voters in precinct Trump Clinton
Harmony Leland 01 4520 646 2753
Smyrna 7A 5062 1358 2622
Bryant 02 4395 140 2450
Oregon 02 4354 858 2300
Pebblebrook 01 3913 500 2283
Smyrna 3A 5045 1373 2241
Vinings 02 4920 1221 2238
Smyrna 2A 4138 785 2199
Lindley 01 3836 796 2170
Smyrna 6A 5054 1635 2161
Chattahoochee 01 4413 780 2134
Marietta 3A 5009 1499 2095
Nickajack 01 3921 703 2088
Smyrna 4A 4989 1765 2065
Clarkdale 02 4110 981 2063
Cooper 01 3769 625 1998
Austell 1A 3578 523 1995
Terrell Mill 01 4372 869 1982
Kennesaw 3A 4537 1227 1899
Mableton 01 3805 982 1794

Here are the top 20 precincts for Trump:

Precinct Total Voters in Precinct Trump Clinton
Lost Mountain 03 4312 2342 1081
Roswell 01 4798 2292 1534
Lost Mountain 02 3572 2112 680
Bells Ferry 03 4866 2108 1357
Durham 01 3590 2056 718
Kemp 03 3372 2032 633
Hayes 01 3392 1796 789
Kennesaw 5A 4676 1788 1708
Smyrna 4A 4989 1765 2065
Acworth 1A 4166 1721 1363
Hightower 01 3697 1713 1146
Mount Bethel 01 3618 1668 1172
Eastside 02 3556 1651 1115
Kemp 02 3319 1643 978
Mars Hill 01 2783 1638 472
Smyrna 6A 5054 1635 2161
Post Oak 01 3181 1629 849
Murdock 01 3415 1611 1035
Acworth 1B 3866 1607 1152
Lasssiter 01 3148 1606 843

I’ll be writing much more about what these numbers mean in subsequent posts, but here are a few things to ponder.  First, there were very few true blowout precincts.  I haven’t looked over other counties yet, but I suspect that there are north Georgia precincts where the spread in Trump’s favor was enormous, and likewise precincts in the City of Atlanta where Clinton’s vote was near-unanimous. Second, while Clinton’s support is generally clustered in south Cobb and Smyrna, and Trumps best performance seemed to be to the east and north, there are a significant number of votes for each candidate spread across the entire county.  Clinton won a Kennesaw district, Marietta and its surrounding areas were a mixed bag, and Trump won a Mableton precinct.  Mableton was particularly interesting because there were a number of competitive precincts, where a GOTV effort could have tilted the precinct.   Here are a few Mableton precincts:

Precinct Trump Clinton
Mableton 01 982 1794
Mableton 02 503 948
Mableton 03 829 903
Mableton 04 536 468

As I digest these numbers, I think clearer patterns will emerge.  There are two things I’m really interested in exploring.  One is to figure out how much of Clinton’s success was due to aversion to Trump among some otherwise Republican voters.  The second is to get an idea of how much impact demographic changes have  had on Cobb’s voting patterns over time.  Finally, voter turnout among registered voters gives an interesting picture, that you see by visiting  this map from the Secretary of State.  The heaviest turnouts were in the Mableton/Smyrna/Vinings area, East Cobb, and west Cobb. North Cobb and south Cobb (around Six Flags) had lower turnout.