Political Tompkins: Presidential Elections in Tompkins County Since 1828 by Joe Mareane
Published by the Tompkins County Historical Commission, 2021
A Republican Stronghold Flips to Democrats
Within a generation of embracing Andrew Jackson and the Democratic Party in 1828, Tompkins County turned to a new Republican Party in 1856. For almost 130 years - even as Republicanism evolved into the party of business and limited government and the Democrats seized the banner of progressivism - it would be hard to find a County more faithful to the GOP than Tompkins.
The most popular presidential candidates in the County's history haven't been Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, but Dwight Eisenhower, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover. In a County now defined by its progressive politics, the very architect of the New Deal, Franklin Roosevelt, lost in landslide defeats in all four of his presidential runs.
Only now are Democratic candidates beginning to achieve the levels of popularity historically enjoyed by Republicans.
In nature, a lake responds to seasonal climate changes by "turning over," bringing bottom water to the top. So too did political power rapidly turn over in Tompkins County, lifting long-suffering Democrats into a position of almost unchallenged dominance."