Closer Look

How did the North Fork vote in the 2020 election?

New York may be a blue state, but recently certified results from the Suffolk County Board of Elections show the region continued to be a Republican stronghold in the 2020 general election.

But in an election year that saw massive voter turnout and shifts in party alignment, President Donald Trump’s margin of victory shrank dramatically.

The president narrowly won in Suffolk County with a total of 381,253 votes to 381,021 cast for President-Elect Joe Biden.

In the last presidential election in 2016, Mr. Trump won the county by more than 50,000 votes.

Election results broken down by town and election district give a clearer picture of where support for each candidate comes from.

In Southold Town, Mr. Biden won 53% of the vote with 7,837, beating out Mr. Trump’s total of 6,529 votes, roughly 44% of the vote, with the remaining votes cast for third party and write-in candidates. In 2016, the scenario was reversed, as Mr. Trump won 53% of the vote and carried 14 of 19 election districts in Southold.

Mr. Biden’s 1,308-vote lead in Southold was fueled in part by a dramatic increase in voter turnout and changing demographics that resulted in an uptick in registered Democrats on the North Fork.

Data released by the state Board of Elections in November shows there are now 6,133 active Republican voters in Southold Town to 6,131 Democrats — a stark contrast to the 2016 election, when there were 1,637 more registered Republicans in town than Democrats, according to the state.

This year, Mr. Biden won 13 of the town’s 19 districts, including eight that favored Trump in 2016. His strongest areas of support were election districts within Greenport Village, as well as Orient, Fishers Island and sections of Greenport and East Marion that voted for Mr. Trump in 2016.

Mr. Trump secured victories in Mattituck and Cutchogue, as he did previously.

In Riverhead Town, where Mr. Trump trounced Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton by nearly 3,000 votes in 2016, the margin decreased considerably, with Mr. Trump earning 1,887 more votes than Mr. Biden, 9,783 to 7,896.

Wading River, Calverton, Baiting Hollow, Aquebogue and Jamesport continued to be Mr. Trump’s strongest areas of support, though two election districts located just north of downtown previously won by the president flipped and were won by Mr. Biden.

The strongest show of support for the president came from Election District 20, which covers the area between Route 25 and Route 25A to the Brookhaven Town line in Wading River.

Of 22 election districts in Riverhead, Mr. Trump won 16 of them. Mr. Biden saw victories in districts in downtown Riverhead along the Peconic River as well as a stretch between Baiting Hollow and Northville.

Mr. Trump is the first Republican candidate to win a majority of Suffolk voters since George H.W. Bush in 1992.

Overall, voter turnout across town spiked, according to data from the Board of Elections. A total of 18,016 voters cast ballots in this election, compared to 14,393 people in 2016 and 14,934 in 2012. 

Electors in New York voted Monday to cast the state’s 29 electoral college votes for president-elect Joe Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris. Across the country, 538 electors from every state and Washington, D.C., cast their votes, officially securing Mr. Biden’s victory.

Republicans dominated in all other local races for Congress, state Senate and state Assembly, though they all fared better in Riverhead than in Southold.

According to a breakdown of the data, Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) was reelected to a third term in Congress with 55% of the vote countywide. In Riverhead, he earned 10,107 votes compared to 7,293 won by Democratic challenger Nancy Goroff. Mr. Zeldin lost in Southold Town, receiving 6,969 to Ms. Goroff’s 7,338.

Similar trends were documented in the race for State Assembly, won by Republican Jodi Giglio with 56% of the vote. Ms. Giglio won over opponent Laura Jens-Smith by over 2,000 votes and lost by just 586 votes in Southold.

In the race for State Senate, incumbent assemblyman Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk) was elected to fill the seat long held by Ken LaValle. While he won by a considerable margin of more than 2,500 votes in Riverhead, Mr. Palumbo, who resides in New Suffolk, won Southold by just 42 votes.