President Barack Obama coming to Century Village in West Palm Beach tomorrow

NewsChannel 5 will be live streaming President Obama's Thursday arrival and speech on WPTV.com and the WPTV mobile app.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — President Barack Obama will visit Century Village of West Palm Beach — a legendary but shrinking bastion of Democratic retiree votes — on Thursday as part of a two-day Florida campaign swing, the Obama campaign announced Tuesday.

After campaigning earlier in the day in Jacksonville, Obama is scheduled to appear at the main clubhouse at Century Village shortly after 6 p.m. Obama will spend the night in Manalapan, then head to campaign events in Fort Myers and Orlando.

At Century Village, a limited number of tickets for Thursday's event were to be distributed to residents Tuesday.

"I'm thrilled…. We are so anxious to see him," said Century Village Democratic Club President Mae Duke.

Obama got 69 percent of the vote in Century Village in 2008, compared to 61 percent in all of Palm Beach County and 51 percent statewide.

While Century Village remains a valuable source of Democratic votes, it isn't the gold mine it used to be.

When it opened in the 1970s, the condo community just east of Florida's Turnpike and north of Okeechobee Boulevard attracted large numbers of Democrat-leaning refugees from the northeast. By 1976, there were 10,387 registered voters there and 8,766 of them, or 84 percent, were Democrats.

By 2004, the number of voters in Century Village had dropped to 5,776 and the number of registered Democrats was 4,112, or 71 percent.

The latest Palm Beach County records show 4,770 registered voters in Century Village, with 2,814 Democrats — 59 percent of the total. Republicans make up less than 20 percent and people registered with other parties or no party are 21 percent.

Century Village's overall population has dropped from 10,619 in the 1980 census to 6,376 in 2010. Duke, a 20-year resident, said Century Village has also seen an increase in snowbirds who are registered to vote elsewhere.


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