Tennessee is a solidly red state. But there is no county in Tennessee as deeply red as Scott County.
After voting for Republican Gov. Bill Lee by a wider margin than any other Tennessee county in 2018, Scott Countians did it again in Tuesday’s presidential election, supporting Donald Trump by a wider margin than any of the state’s other 94 counties.
Trump received 88.42% of the vote in Scott County. That equated to 8,004 votes for the incumbent president, compared to just 986, or 10.89% for Democrat challenger Joe Biden.
Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen received 32 votes in Scott County, while rapper Kanye West received 15 votes.
Scott Countians supported Trump’s initial election bid in 2016 by the second-widest margin of any county in Tennessee. This time, though, local voters sided with Trump by a larger margin than even in Wayne County, where Trump received 86.92% of the vote to Biden’s 12.3%.
Among neighboring counties, Trump fared well. Anderson County voted Trump by a 65% to 33% margin. The margin was 83% to 16% in Campbell County. In Fentress County, Trump won 85% of the vote to Biden’s 14%. Morgan County had an 84% to 14% advantage for Trump. And Pickett County voters supported Trump by an 81% to 18% margin.
Statewide, Trump received 61% of the vote to Biden’s 37%, earning him the Volunteer State’s 11 electoral votes.
As of early Wednesday afternoon, the election remained too close to call, though it appeared that Biden had the upper hand. The former vice president had the lead in Arizona, Nevada, Michigan and Wisconsin, while vote-counting continued with razor-thin differentials in Pennsylvania and Georgia. In order to win, Trump would need both Pennsylvania and Georgia — he was ahead in both, but his lead was rapidly shrinking in Pennsylvania as absentee ballots from Democratic-leaning parts of the state were counted — as well as one of the other states, all of which were being led by Biden.
It wasn’t just Trump who fared well in Tennessee on Tuesday. It was a big night for Republican candidates as a whole in the Volunteer State — with Scott County again leading the way.
In the 3rd Congressional District, Republican incumbent Chuck Fleischmann defeated Democrat challenger Meg Gorman with 67% of the vote. Gorman received 30% of the vote.
As was the case with the presidential race, Scott County voted red by a wider margin than any other county in the 3rd District. Fleischmann received 87.96% of the vote in Scott County, or 6,979 votes. Gorman received just 10.17%, or 807 votes.
The next closest county was Morgan County, where Fleischmann received 84.39% to Gorman’s 13.48%.
Fleischmann carried every county in his re-election bid. The narrowest vote margin was in urban Hamilton County, where Fleischmann received 57% of the vote to Gorman’s 41%.
Not surprisingly, the same trend was true in the U.S. Senate race, where Republican Bill Hagerty and Democrat Marquita Bradshaw were squaring off in a bid to replace retiring Republican Lamar Alexander.
Scott County voted for Hagerty by a wider margin than any other county in Tennessee. The former Bill Haslam cabinet member carried 87.49% of the vote here, to Bradshaw’s 10.09%.
The next-closest county was again Wayne County, where Hagerty received 86.78% of the vote to Bradshaw’s 10.91%.
Hagerty, who survived a tough primary bid against Dr. Manny Sethi in August, carried nearly every county in Tennessee, with Davidson and Shelby counties being notable exceptions. He defeated Bradshaw, who won an upset bid in the Democratic primary, with 62% of the vote to 35% for Bradshaw.
In the 38th House District, Republican Kelly Keisling of Byrdstown rolled to re-election with 86% of the vote, defeating Democrat challenger Carol Abney, who received 14%.
Again, Keisling carried Scott County by the widest margin of any county in the district. He received 89.54% of the vote here, compared to 10.46% for Abney. Even in his home county, Pickett, the margin was somewhat slimmer, though Keisling still dominated with 83% of the vote to 17% for Abney.
In fact, Keisling carried Scott County by a wider margin than any other Republican on Tuesday — even Trump. That might be partially attributed to Abney’s reference to Scott County as a “war zone” community earlier this year. The Celina CPA’s comments came amid debate over Facebook comments made by a Scott County deputy sheriff in relation to Black Live Matters protests. Abney’s comments prompted widespread criticism, though she fought back in defense of the remark.
Finally, in the 12th Senatorial District, Republican incumbent Ken Yager received 68,932 courtesy votes in his unopposed bid for a third term. In Scott County, Yager received 6,965 votes.
The Tennessee Senate will remain heavily Republican. The GOP entered Election Day with a 27-6 majority in the Senate, but had privately expressed concern that incumbents might be in trouble in a couple of races. Instead, incumbents ruled the day. The only two incumbent Democrats on the ballot — Heidi Campbell in District 20 and Sara P. Kyle in District 30 — won re-election. Campbell defeated Republican challenger Steven R. Dickerson by a 52% to 48% margin, while Kyle was unopposed.
Elsewhere, Republicans won the remaining 14 races to maintain the 27-6 majority. In one of the districts seen as potentially troublesome, incumbent Todd Gardenhire defeated Glenn Scruggs in the 10th District, 53% to 47%.
In Knoxville, Becky Duncan Massey, a Republican incumbent with Scott County ties, won re-election with 63% of the vote against challenger Jane George, who received 37% of the vote. Massey is the daughter of the late Knoxville mayor John Duncan Sr., who was born and raised in Huntsville and later represented Scott County in Congress. Her brother, Jimmy Duncan, is a former congressman, as well.