It’s a story not quite as fishy as the 59 Philadelphia voting divisions giving fully 100 percent of the vote to President Obama, but it’s enough for the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Rich Exner to call it “incredible.” Nine precincts in Cleveland, Ohio, reported a total of zero votes for Mitt Romney.
In the largest of the nine districts, Obama won 542–0 over Romney. Overall, Obama won 96 percent of the vote on Cleveland’s East Side and 76 percent on the West Side.
Cuyahoga County, and Cleveland in particular, are Democratic strongholds, so an Obama victory there was no surprise, and networks had called the election before the county had even reported. And unlike the situation in Philadelphia, Romney, and some third-party candidates, did win a scattering of votes — many in single digits — in some precincts. That’s not enough, though, to convince some that voter fraud didn’t play a role.
In a post by the Examiner’s Byron York, GOP strategist Mark Weaver credits turnout for Obama’s Ohio victory. “Obama won Ohio because he did what Bush did in 2004 — surprised pundits by increasing turnout in his base. Also, by demonizing the undefined Romney, he tamped down Romney’s ability to motivate weak Republicans to turn out.”
Weaver has a point. Perhaps more incredible than the lack of votes for Romney in some precincts is the reported 66.5 percent voter turnout for the reliably blue Cuyahoga County. As Exner concludes, “without Cuyahoga County, Romney was the winner in Ohio.”