Voters in eastern Wake County appear to be rowing against the tide in early returns.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has a fairly commanding lead, 58 percent to 37 percent, among Wake County voters with 182 of 202 precincts reporting, but Republican Donald Trump was the leading vote getter in every eastern Wake County precinct except one that has reported results so far.
Trump won among voters who cast their ballots at Carver Elementary School, Wendell Middle School, Central Baptist Church, East Wake High School, the Eastern Regional Center, Hodge Road Elementary, Eastern Wake Fire Department. Clinton won the majority of the votes cast at Hodge Road Elementary School.
Poll workers at three eastern Wake County polling places still had not reported results as of 9 p.m. Those polling places are the Zebulon Community Center, Hopkins Rural Fire Department and Knightdale United Methodist Church.
Statewide, with 1,433 of 2,704 North Carolina districts reporting, Trump holds a narrow 49.88 percent to 46.41 percent lead.
Governor’s race following form
The same pattern was holding true in the race for Governor of North Carolina. Across Wake County, voters were supporting Democrat Roy Cooper by a large margin, 60 percent to 38 percent, but voters in eastern Wake County were doing their part to keep incumbent Republican Pat McCrory in the race.
Cooper won the most votes at the Central Baptist Church polling place and at Hodge Road Elementary, but McCrory gained ground at every other eastern Wake County precinct that had reported as of 9 p.m.
Statewide, with slightly more than half the precincts reporting, Cooper holds a lead of less than 8,000 votes.
Burr hanging on
In the race for North Carolina’s U.S. Senate seat, Republican incumbent Richard Burr holds a slight edge over Democratic challenger Deborah Ross, 51 percent to 46.3 percent. But Ross easily outdistanced Burr in Wake County.
As with the other races at the top of the ballot, eastern Wake County voters favored the Republican candidate, handing Burr wins in every precinct except Hodge Road Elementary.
Down the ballot
Incumbent school board chairman Tom Benton is locked in a closer battle than expected in a four-way field. with all but three precincts reporting, Benton trailed Donald Agee by about 600 votes, or about 1.4 percent. Votes still have to be reported from polling places at Zebulon Community Center, Hopkins Rural Fire Department and Knightdale United Methodist Church.
The half-cent sales tax referendum, which would help pay for Wake County’s share of a mass transit program, is winning approval among Wake County voters by a 53 percent to 47 percent margin with 182 of 202 precincts reporting.
But the contrast in voter preference on the transit tax referendum is startling, Every precinct to cast votes in favor of the measure is in Raleigh or western Wake County. Nearly every reporting precinct in the suburban areas outside the beltline have voted against the measure, including every precinct in eastern Wake County.