The wave of voters that President-elect Donald Trump rode into office this Election Day clearly swept through Riverhead, where the unlikely Republican candidate trounced Democrat Hillary Clinton by nearly 3,000 votes, according to preliminary election results.
Fueled by a burst of support in Wading River, Mr. Trump won 58 percent of the vote across Riverhead Town with 8,346, beating out Ms. Clinton’s total of 5,628 votes, roughly 39 percent of the vote, according to the Suffolk County Board of Elections.
It was a trend that was repeated elsewhere in Suffolk County, where Mr. Trump won 52 percent of the vote. Mr. Trump is the first Republican candidate to win a majority of Suffolk voters since George H.W. Bush in 1992.
Mr. Trump’s margin of victory in Riverhead Town far exceeds the slim win Mitt Romney pulled off over President Barack Obama in Riverhead Town in the 2012 presidential election, according to historic data. In 2012, Mr. Romney managed to beat Mr. Obama by just 721 votes.
Mr. Trump also carried voters in Southold Town by a wider margin than in 2012, according to Suffolk County Board of Elections results.
Part of the key to Mr. Trump’s victory in Riverhead Town appears to have been a collapse of support for the Democratic nominee, according to the data. Ms. Clinton underperformed Mr. Obama’s polling numbers by 12 percentage points, and drew in 1,333 fewer votes.
Mr. Trump also turned out more voters to his side than Mr. Romney, according to the data. Third party voting also saw a marked increase from the year before, with nearly double as many people voting for Libertarian Gary Johnson or Green Party candidate Jill Stein than in 2012. However, the total third-party vote only made up 419 votes, not nearly enough to overcome Ms. Clinton’s deficit.
In Riverhead, Mr. Trump’s strongest areas were in the western edge of town in Wading River. The two large districts in Riverhead Town were in that area and showed a sharp drop in Democratic support, coupled with a boost for the Republican ticket.
The biggest shift of votes came in Election District 17, north of Route 25A. In the 2012 election, Mr. Romney squeaked out a 663-630 victory over Mr. Obama. But in 2016, Mr. Trump won the district in a landslide, 744-482.
Of the 22 election districts in town, Mr. Trump carried 18. Ms. Clinton eked out minor victories in election districts in downtown Riverhead along the Peconic River as well as a winding stretch between Baiting Hollow and Northville.
Though Mr. Trump received a bump in votes, overall turnout across the town was down slightly compared to 2012, despite an increase in the number of registered voters throughout the town, according to the board of elections. A total of 14,393 people voted in the 2016 election; Turnout in 2012 was listed at 14,934 votes.
Graphics credit: Paul Squire