For all the worry about how the lingering corruption scandal would influence voters, Ed Fitzgerald pulled out a tidy win to become County Executive.
How did this happen?
A Plain Dealer analysis shows that party loyalists and heavily Democratic precincts carried Fitzgerald to the win.
Check out the details and a helpful map graphic after the jump.
According to the PD, Fitzgerald dominated on the East Side and predominantly black districts in East Cleveland, Bedford, Maple Heights, and Warrensville. There were 11 precincts where Republican Matt Dolan didn't receive a single vote.
"To get to 45 in a six-way race, that's outstanding," said Bill Burges, whose consulting firm led last year's campaign to pass Issue 6, the reform measure that created the county executive position and an 11-member county council. "That's close to a majority."
Burges noted that the swell of support for Issue 6 did not lift Republican Matt Dolan's campaign in the way his supporters must have hoped. Dolan finished a distant second with 30.7 percent of the vote.
"The story here is that the Democratic base stuck with FitzGerald," Burges added. "It's obvious that these guys worked the base really, really hard."
The lesson: For now, there isn't a chance in hell of a Republican winning a countywide election.