Is Cobb County Trumpophobic?

The dust from yesterday’s election has yet to settle – but there’s one major story that’s emerged, and that’s a blue Cobb County.

Y’all are familiar with Cobb County. It’s the county that famously lost its chance of having an Olympics venue – or even a glimpse of the torch run – in the 1990s after Commission Chair Bill Byrne supported a resolution condemning the “homosexual life style.” A decade later, the Cobb County Board of Education made national news when they decided to embellish every science textbook in the county with a sticker declaring, “Evolution is a theory, not a fact.” Cobb County is home to Senator Johnny Isakson and former Attorney General Sam Olens – and it is not home to MARTA. Cobb has always been a reliable GOP stronghold.

Until last night.

Every election night, I pull the numbers from the Smyrna 3A precinct. That’s Smyrna’s Ward 3, which I am proud to have represented on the Smyrna City Council since 2008. Smyrna 3A is my community, it’s my neighbors, it’s the people I see when I take my children to the playground or the library, it’s who I stand in line with at the supermarket. And, as it turns out, it voted overwhelmingly for Democratic candidates. Smyrna 3A has skewed blue for the past several elections, and Trump did not win the precinct in Republican primary in March. Here’s how Republicans fared in 3A last night:

President –

Clinton (D): 2,241
Trump (R): 1,373

Barksdale (D): 1,874
Isakson (R)(I): 1,638

Howard (D): 2,068
Hill (R)(I): 1,623

Evans (D)(I): 1,559
Vaughn (R): 910

Tate (D)(I): 75
Morrow (R): 65

Allen (D): 635
Golick (R)(I): 670

Gilstrap (D): 1,964
Warren (R)(I): 1,781

You read that right – even longtime Sheriff Neil Warren, of the annual Corn Boilin’, lost Smyrna 3A to a relatively unknown challenger. The only Republican candidate to finish ahead was Representative Rick Golick, who won Smyrna 3A with 35 votes. His vote against the RFRA bill no doubt bolstered his support in his district; Hunter Hill, the Republican Senate incumbent who supported RFRA, lost Smyrna 3A to Democratic challenger Jaha Howard, a pediatric dentist from Smyrna who has been outspoken in his advocacy for Smyrna’s public schools. United States Senator Johnny Isakson, who opened one of his first real estate offices in Smyrna in 1967, lost Smyrna 3A to challenger Jim Barksdale by 236 votes.

Average turnout in Cobb was close to 79%. This is by no means a deep dive into demographics or other turnout indicators – but I pulled numbers to see how the other cities (and quasi-cities) in Cobb voted in the Presidential race, and it’s clear that Clinton won Cobb’s cities bigly:

Acworth –

Trump: 4,365
Clinton: 4,047

Kennesaw –

Trump: 6,108
Clinton: 6,197

Mableton (not actually a city) –

Trump: 2,850
Clinton: 4,113

Marietta –
Trump: 9,036
Clinton: 12,119

Powder Springs –
Trump: 1,962
Clinton: 4,531

Smyrna –
Trump: 8,082
Clinton: 14,237

Vinings (also not actually a city) –
Trump: 4,066
Clinton: 5,703

This analysis is by no means any kind of a deep dive, and I haven’t pulled overall numbers for precincts in East Cobb – but Trump lost Kennesaw, y’all.

Cobb is an increasingly diverse county and many have predicted that Cobb would eventually be purple; I don’t think anyone anticipated Cobb would join Fulton and DeKalb (and Gwinnett!) as blue counties in the red sea that’s nearly every other Georgia county, and a lot of races that shouldn’t have been close in Cobb, including that for the U.S. Senate, were probably won by a narrower margin than predicted.

TL;DR: Clinton won Cobb, it’s a big deal, the Cobb County Republican Party is remiss if they don’t have a serious come-to-Jesus conversation when the national celebrations subside, and the Cobb Democrats are remiss if they don’t seriously consider finding candidates for every race in the county. Cobb is no longer a reliable GOP vote machine.

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