Vigo County voters nearly perfect picking president


While political pundits are arguing over who will be America's next president, the voters of Vigo County probably already know.

They have an uncanny ability to pick the president. Voters there are almost never wrong.

"I was surprised. I didn't know Terre Haute was so politically savvy," said Richard Pittelkow, just after he voted early.

So savvy that the combined political pulse of the voters in Vigo County is almost always in rhythm with the whole nation. The people of the county have correctly picked every U.S. president since 1956. Since 1892, they've only been wrong twice.

What makes 76,141 registered voters so right, so often?

Perhaps because researchers and residents see a community as diverse as the coffee flavor bar at the Corner Grind in downtown Terre Haute.

"Diversified in the sense, we have a little bit of everything," said Tracie Taylor.

"We have a lot of white collar, a lot of blue collar, a lot of students," said Gail Thompson.

The small city is surrounded by three universities, factories and farm fields. Voters' ages and faces pretty much mirror the nation's population.

There is also an air of independence. Voters are notoriously not loyal to any one political party.

"I would say it is common sense," said Mic Orman, from behind the counter of his photography studio.

For years, Orman has photographed the portrait of the community he grew up in.

"I don't want to say we are flip-floppers. We are not flip-floppers, but we are good at judging," he said." We are good at judging the character of a person, most times."

And this time?

"I would love to think I just picked the President," laughed Sally Pittelkow.

Who will that be? If history foretells the future, Vigo County will tell America on Election Day.