Lake Wales Area Voters Prefer Biden, Trump in March 17 Primary
Percentages Similar to Polk and Florida
Last updated 3/18/2020 at 3:46pm
Lake Wales area voters chose Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Donald Trump as their party candidates for president March 17, with totals that closely mirrored preferences in Polk County and the State of Florida.
Just under 85,000 Polk County residents voted in the March 17 Presidential Preference Primary, making voter turnout slightly less than 27 percent. Polk Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards said turnout was about 13 percentage points less than she expected, but given the COVID-19 virus scare she was "delighted to see that many voters were not discouraged from voting."
Edwards said 45 percent of Polk's voters cast their ballots by mail and 13 percent voted early, leaving just 42 percent going to the polls on election day.
"It went very smoothly. I was a little concerned leading up to the election as more than 100 poll workers called in to say they wouldn't be working because of the COVID-19 concerns," Edwards said. "However, most election workers came to work, rolled up their sleeves and did everything that needed to be done to be sure we had a successful election. I feel truly honored to work with these folks."
Joe Biden was the favorite of about 66 percent of the 3,181 Lake Wales area Democrats who voted in the primary. That compared with 62 percent in the state and about 61 percent in Polk County. The other 1,075 who voted split between Bernie Sanders with 523 votes and 552 for the remainder of the candidates, most of whom had already dropped out of the race. Biden's strong showing earned him 144 of the state's 219 delegates who will cast votes for their party's candidate at the Democratic Party convention.
More than 95 percent of the 3,057 Lake Wales area Republicans who voted in the primary chose President Donald J. Trump over three lesser known challengers. Ninety-five percent of Polk's 40,346 Republicans who voted chose Trump, and he received about 93.8 percent of the vote statewide. Trump earned all 122 of the Florida delegates who will choose the party's candidate at the Republican Party convention. Tuesday's primaries ended with 1,330 delegates pledged to Trump, putting him 55 votes over the 1,276 needed to win his party's nomination.
Since Florida is a closed primary state, Polk County's 129,636 voters who are registered with minor parties or no party affiliation did not get to vote.