SEEKONK, Mass. (WPRI) — Bristol County is Trump country, relatively speaking.
Even as Joe Biden was romping to a 66% showing across Massachusetts in Tuesday’s election, President Trump retained a sizable base of support in Bristol County, with preliminary results showing the Republican incumbent receiving nearly 43% of the vote across its cities and towns. Biden got 55%.
While that still provided Biden with a clear double-digit victory in the region, it was the highest level of support Trump attained in any of the Bay State’s counties on Tuesday.
The ring of four cities and 16 towns that hugs the Rhode Island border — represented by Democratic Congressmen Joe Kennedy and Bill Keating — has had large pockets of support for Trump since before he was president, dating back to his landslide in the 2016 Massachusetts GOP primary. Its sheriff, Republican Thomas Hodgson, served as Trump’s honorary co-chair in Massachusetts.
Trump had 112,779 votes across Bristol County as of Wednesday night, an increase from the 105,443 he received there in 2016, according to a tally by The Associated Press. Biden had 144,928 votes, well up from the 129,540 that Hillary Clinton received in the county four years ago.
Turnout countywide was on pace to exceed the 252,000 voters who cast a ballot in 2016 by at least 10,000 votes.
Trump took 37.4% of the vote in New Bedford, Bristol County’s largest city, up from the 31.6% he got in 2016. He also gained significant support in Fall River, improving from 36.5% to 42.8%. He got 42% in Taunton, unchanged from 2016. But he lost ground in Attleboro versus four years ago, falling from 41.9% to 39.6%.
In raw numbers, Trump received more votes in all four cities than he did in 2016, according to the preliminary results.
Trump was on pace Wednesday night to once again take at least six of the seven Bristol County towns he won back in 2016: Rehoboth, Swansea, Dighton, Berkley, Freetown and Auchsnet. He also won Raynham in 2016, but that town’s results had not yet been posted by the AP as of late Wednesday.
Among the Bristol County communities won by Biden, the Democratic nominee’s best showing was in Mansfield, where he received over 62% of the vote. Trump’s best town was Acushnet, where he got almost 55%.
Ted Nesi ([email protected]) is WPRI 12’s politics and business editor and a Target 12 investigative reporter. He is a weekly panelist on Newsmakers and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook