Luzerne County Voted For Trump, And Has Matched Pa.'s Outcome Since 1932

Nov 18, 2016


Donald Trump addresses a crowd of supporters in Wilkes Barre, Pa. in April. Luzerne County voters overwhelmingly chose Trump on Election Day.
Credit Mel Evans / AP Photo

If last week's election taught us anything, it's that polling and predictions don't always match up to the final outcome. By 2020, we may have resorted to reading signs in tea leaves or the stars to guess who the next president will be. 

Or, should we just watch Luzerne County?

Luzerne, in Northeastern Pennsylvania, has voted for the candidate that took the state in every election since 1932. The last time Luzerne County disagreed with the rest of Pennsylvania was when Franklin Delano Roosevelt won the presidency and Luzerne County, but lost the Keystone State overall.

And Luzerne County doesn't just pick the state's winner. Recently, the county has even matched the percentage of votes earned by the winner, within a point.  

In 2012, 52.08 percent of Pennsylvanians voted for President Barack Obama; In Luzerne County, 51.68 percent did. In 2008, 54.65 percent of Pennsylvanians voted for Obama, compared to 53.63 percent in Luzerne County. Lest you think Luzerne County is just good at predicting Obama wins, in 2004, note that the county voted 51.15 percent for Al Gore, whereas the state voted 50.96 percent. 

This week, Luzerne County voted along with the rest of Pennsylvania, going red for the first time since 1988. But voters there overshot the mark a little. While the election was very close statewide, Luzerne County was a blowout. Trump earned 58.6 percent of the vote, compared to Clinton's 38.5 percent. 


Keystone Crossroads is a statewide public media initiative reporting on the challenges facing Pennsylvania's cities. WPSU is a participating station.