A large percentage of voters turned out Tuesday, March 15 in Platte County, and they didn’t choose either of the current favorites.
When the final numbers came in about 9 p.m., Ted Cruz narrowly edged Donald Trump in the Republican race, while Bernie Sanders finished ahead of Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side. More than 43 percent of registered voters (24,730 of 56,774) in Platte County turned out for the Missouri Presidential Preference Primary.
In 2012, just 5.5 percent of Platte County voters turned out for the preference primary.
Nearly 10,000 Democratic ballots were cast with Sanders collecting 52.59. Clinton came in second at 47.05 percent. No other candidate nor uncommitted voters totaled more than 1 percent for the Democrats in Platte County.
On the Republican side, nearly 15,000 ballots were cast with Cruz taking 5,798 (39.18 percent) to Trump’s 5,324 (37.17 percent. Ohio governor John Kasich was third in the crowded race at 14.58 percent, while Marco Rubio collected just 7.14 percent.
Marco Rubio suspended his campaign earlier in the night after Trump decisively won Rubio’s home state of Florida.
Just 49 votes were cast in the Libertarian primary in Platte County. Austin Petersen (10), Marc Allan Feldman (7), Steven E. Kerbel (7), Rhett R. Smith (1) and Cecil Ince (1) all received votes. The other 23 were uncommitted.
Seven ballots were counted as uncommitted Constitution party voters in Platte County.
All 27 precincts in Platte County experienced turnout greater than 35 percent. Riverside ranked the lowest at just 36.98 percent, while Lake Waukomis (52.55) and Embassy (50.51) experienced turnout of better than 50 percent. Farley was just below at 49.66.
Overall results for Missouri were not finalized as of 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday night at The Citizen’s deadline. With more than 89 percent of precincts reported, Sanders held a 50.6-49.3 percent lead on Clinton on the Democratic side, while Trump held a slim lead of less than 0.4 percent over Cruz for the Republicans.
Shortly after midnight, Clinton was declared a comeback winner, while Trump held on for another important victory. Both wins were by less than 2,000 total votes.
Overall Missouri turnout had been projected at 34 percent earlier in the week. Final tallies were believed to be about 39 percent.