Surprise! Republican turnout up in primaries

posted at 4:50 pm on March 25, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

When I first read the headline from the Washington Post that turnout in the Republican primaries are actually up over 2008 and not depressed as the media has insisted for the last two months, I assumed that the comparison would be off, thanks to the longer, more drawn out process this year.  After all, the primaries stopped being meaningful in February in 2008, while we’re heading into April with a fight still on our hands.  However, the Post’s Aaron Blake accounts for that, and still concludes that in states which had meaningful primaries in both cycles, Republican turnout in 2012 has still risen over 2008:

Whatever the case, Florida is one of just a few genuinely competitive states in 2012 where turnout has dropped, along with Oklahoma and Tennessee. Turnout was also down in Arizona, but that state’s Feb. 28 primary wasn’t highly contested and Romney won by 20 percent.

A strong majority of the most competitive races, meanwhile, have actually seen turnout increase since 2008, including Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, Alabama, Mississippi and Illinois. Of those states, only Mississippi wasn’t also competitive in 2008.

The takeaway: When there is major vote in a competitive race, Republicans are turning out to vote — at a rate slightly higher than they did four years ago.

The difference was the Super Tuesday of 2008.  Twenty-one states held their contests on that February 5th, while John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee were all viable candidates for the nomination.  By February 6th, over 40% of the delegates in the Republican race had been allocated. This year, Super Tuesday took place in March and only involved 10 states, and at the end of March’s contests, we’ve seen slightly under 45% of the delegates allocated, if one counts the unbound delegates from non-binding caucuses.  Those competitive states from 2008′s Super Tuesday have been distributed in March, April, and May.

That makes the 2008 comparison very valid, and the turnout increases this year very meaningful.  Republican enthusiasm hasn’t waned since 2008, although the small level of increase (two percent overall) makes it hard to argue that it’s waxing.  However, the trend has amplified in March, which means that GOP voters seem to be getting more enthusiastic as the race continues — and that’s a good sign for Republicans, and a bad one for Barack Obama.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

Bazil9
I thought the only disagreement we had was I put an s instead of a z in your name.lol
ya, I’m starting to have problems with my right hand now, it’s numb, we’ll see what happens with that. Its he!! getting old!

angrymike on March 25, 2012 at 8:22 PM

haha, true. You can call me bazil or basil. Only you now. :)
Bazil was a cat I had..the 9 is for the 9 lives he had. A few years ago, I had to quickly register before they closed the window. I had to think of a moniker fast.

Mike, the numbness makes sense. I had that a year ago in my left hand. Your spine connects to all those nerves. They run down your arm to your hand. Obviously, something in your back is pinching a nerve ending. My left hand was numb…my chiropractor did fix it. This time on the right hand, it is painful pins and needles. Treatment was only getting me so far. Had an EMG (nerve test) to identify the exact area causing the problem.

I am only close to 40 but had several bad car accidents when I was younger. I feel old man! I hope you are getting treatment. I splurge on a massage when I can, it helps.

My bill is in the mail- ;)

bazil9 on March 25, 2012 at 8:31 PM

katy the mean old lady on March 25, 2012 at 8:17 PM

Hear!..Hear!..*clink*..:)

Dire Straits on March 25, 2012 at 8:32 PM

Katy the mean old lady
Ya know as far as I’ve seen your about as mean as I am angry!;-)

angrymike on March 25, 2012 at 8:28 PM

You haven’t seen her in action. ;)

bazil9 on March 25, 2012 at 8:33 PM

:

Katy the mean old lady
Ya know as far as I’ve seen your about as mean as I am angry!;-)

angrymike on March 25, 2012 at 8:28 PM

Snicker. We both have our moments. :D

katy the mean old lady on March 25, 2012 at 8:33 PM

I thought the turnout was depressed in states where it was almost certain Romney would win, and in states Santorum won the turnout was increased.

No?

shannon76 on March 25, 2012 at 8:40 PM

I thought the turnout was depressed in states where it was almost certain Romney would win, and in states Santorum won the turnout was increased.

No?

shannon76 on March 25, 2012 at 8:40 PM

No. Read Ed’s post.

Rational Thought on March 25, 2012 at 8:43 PM

HondaV65 on March 25, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Correct statement! Conservatives, make your objections known now. Both candidates, either big government Obama or big government under a different label Romney are unacceptable! After the financial collapse of the USA, there needs to be a plurality of people to provide the leadership necessary for building the political prison required justice.

If you don’t believe this is purposeful, think again!

jjnco73 on March 25, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Well said Gentlemen.

DDay on March 25, 2012 at 8:54 PM

Bazil
I polished musical instruments for 20 years one day a suzaphone bell, ya know the big bell you see in college football games, pulled me into the wheel, screwed my back up bad. Now I do other things in the shop. But all of a sudden my shooting hand starts going numb, so me and my doc’s are working to get it allowed under BWC.

angrymike on March 25, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Bazil
if your still around, I’m waiting on the emg, doc thinks its in the neck so…… we’ll see what happens.

angrymike on March 25, 2012 at 9:08 PM

lovingmyUSA on March 25, 2012 at 8:10 PM

Your in Iowa, no? There are 2 of you I always confuse. Who moved to S Dakota and their home was destroyed from the floods?
I know you were tight with Ladyingrey. Haven’t seen here in ages either.

bazil9 on March 25, 2012 at 8:16 PM

Think you’re talking about TXMomof3. she’s doing good, almost ready to move into her newly remodeled house…been living in a FEMA trailer, no computer service, ‘cept her phone. Lady has been posting, you must’ve missed her. I lurk and jump in once in awhile–the trolls are so low-class now–not as much fun to bat around.

lovingmyUSA on March 25, 2012 at 9:20 PM

katy the mean old lady on March 25, 2012 at 8:33 PM

Damn, I just snorted my Pepsi…

lovingmyUSA on March 25, 2012 at 9:23 PM

that’s what you get for being Kenyan

DHChron on March 25, 2012 at 9:23 PM

Bazil
if your still around, I’m waiting on the emg, doc thinks its in the neck so…… we’ll see what happens.

angrymike on March 25, 2012 at 9:08 PM

Had dinner..back. Could be..the neck discs and spine connect and the nerves. Glad you are on it. Get an EMG that if you can. My neck is also the culprit from so much whip flash. Take care buddy. When I see you around..give me an update. Add you to my long list of people I am praying for.
Remember heat and ice too. I do it 3 times a day. 25 heat/20 ice. Get a good pillow too.

bazil9 on March 25, 2012 at 9:24 PM

DHChron
Hey buddy how ya doing? Ppl are asking about ya.

angrymike on March 25, 2012 at 9:25 PM

Thanks Bazil, will do.

angrymike on March 25, 2012 at 9:26 PM

Angrymike to DHChron, comeback over

angrymike on March 25, 2012 at 9:29 PM

they are? weird

I’m well. Usually if I don’t like someone (i.e. Ed) I stop reading them.

hope you’re good Mike. How ’bout them Buckeyes!

DHChron on March 25, 2012 at 9:30 PM

DHChron
yes ppl miss your wit, they think you went over to Dr tesla land. I knew better. Buckeyes all the way! I thought you were banned for a minute, glad to see your writing. ;-)

angrymike on March 25, 2012 at 9:39 PM

I gave you my email, if ya ever want to talk USE IT!

angrymike on March 25, 2012 at 9:44 PM

haha

nah, the master of chocolate milk insults didn’t ban me ;)

I’ll probably hang out more when the primary is over, help rally some of these cons against the Kenyan.

DHChron on March 25, 2012 at 9:45 PM

they are? weird

I’m well. Usually if I don’t like someone (i.e. Ed) I stop reading them.

hope you’re good Mike. How ’bout them Buckeyes!

DHChron on March 25, 2012 at 9:30 PM

Look up thread, I just asked about you- ya weasel. You make me laugh from time to time. Glad to see you alive and kicking.

bazil9 on March 25, 2012 at 9:47 PM

no sh*t! was I trashed? good chance I was. hook it up again

another new development: I stopped effin’ drinking. It’s boring but I can remember stuff. It’s a tradeoff

DHChron on March 25, 2012 at 9:48 PM

lovingmyUSA on March 25, 2012 at 9:20 PM

For some reason I confuse the 2 of you. Glad things are looking up for her. How horrible.

bazil9 on March 25, 2012 at 9:50 PM

DHChron on March 25, 2012 at 9:48 PM

Helps with belly fat too ;) good for you.

bazil9 on March 25, 2012 at 9:51 PM

well look at that…bazil9 asked after me – I feel special! even though you did call me nutty :)

actually does feel good – nice to know someone missed me

DHChron on March 25, 2012 at 9:57 PM

DHChron
your my bud, if you look back, I was asking about you daily, Check the thread’s.
I hope all is well and you get back to your ornery self!

angrymike on March 25, 2012 at 10:02 PM

I shouldn’t do this but I’m angrymike427@gmail
I quit a while ago, any problems or just to BS, use it. I work 2nd shift so it hard to catch me then.

angrymike on March 25, 2012 at 10:08 PM

I don’t dream about non buds – especially not in bloody crushed word form. I’ve been worse off then now angry to the mike. be back to myself in no time

DHChron on March 25, 2012 at 10:08 PM

cool mike…thanks man. will do

DHChron on March 25, 2012 at 10:12 PM

DHChron on March 25, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Slim pick’ns around here lately. :)

You amuse me. Not an easy task.

bazil9 on March 25, 2012 at 10:14 PM

Well I’ve seen been pretty bad off my self so if you want to talk you got my email. I wouldn’t give that to just anyone, of course the whole world knows it now. Oh well fluke it lol.

angrymike on March 25, 2012 at 10:16 PM

angrymike on March 25, 2012 at 10:16 PM

I just emailed you ;)

I am here to talk about your nerve pain, back. Whenever you need to.
Fluke it, you can trash that box if ya need to.

bazil9 on March 25, 2012 at 10:18 PM

bazil9 on March 25, 2012 at 10:14 PM

thanks bazil9 :) I’m glad, that’s all I try to do, so if I do it 5% of the time I figure I’m a smashing success.

more fun! that’s what this blog needs.

DHChron on March 25, 2012 at 10:24 PM

anyone else uses it mike, I’ll throw down. box some ears! knuckle some sammiches

DHChron on March 25, 2012 at 10:26 PM

more fun! that’s what this blog needs.

DHChron on March 25, 2012 at 10:24 PM

I agree. Everyone is dealing with heavy crap and lots of depressing news. You usually lighten things up. I like variety on the blog. You help balance out the assh$holes.

bazil9 on March 25, 2012 at 10:28 PM

This doesn’t surprise me one bit.

I have known all along that Romney has wide support and will be able to attract independents and the very people needed to win in November.

Romney is dumped on by both the liberal media AND the conservative media, yet he continues to enjoy strong support and WILL win in November. Just you wait.

We are very lucky to have dodged a bullet when Santorum’s campaign crashed and burned.

bluegill on March 25, 2012 at 10:32 PM

DHChron
I’m not worried about conservatives using it, its ppl like bluegrill, libtard4life….
you get my drift, we’ll just use the kill room! hehe
I have missed ya though!

angrymike on March 25, 2012 at 10:37 PM

kill room’s always open for business mike. I’d say it’s the best room in the house…but I never kill in my house. It’s what my grand pops taught me…keep your murderin’ outta the kitchen!

DHChron on March 25, 2012 at 10:43 PM

DHChron
you know I’m locked and loaded here in Ohio, no boxing needed, I pray for the day they come to take them. I told ya I love Texas gun laws!

angrymike on March 25, 2012 at 10:45 PM

DHChron
Me and your granddad would have got along just fine.;-)

angrymike on March 25, 2012 at 10:47 PM

DHC, come to QOTD. I am making Mike dizzy.

I just have a 9 and a 45. Am I in the cool club?

bazil9 on March 25, 2012 at 10:54 PM

Message to Romney Santorum/Gingrich/Reichsfurher Paul: We REALLY don’t trust you.

apostic on March 25, 2012 at 5:16 PM

Corrected free of charge.

Alberta_Patriot on March 25, 2012 at 10:55 PM

No, Lib, let’s compare the turnout of DEMS in 2012 to 2008. That is all that we will need to see. Maybe at that point you will figure out that the once enthusiastic voters for Obama just ain’t there anymore.

DrStock on March 25, 2012 at 6:16 PM

Yep,and according to CNN 2008 exit polls, 9% of republicans, 20% of self identified conservatives and 60% of self identified moderates were deluded into falling for Obama’s centrist moderate lip flapping campaign rhetoric, and his lack of a record in which to scrutinize. Now, 51% of all respondents in last months Gallop national poll said Obama is “too liberal”.

Obama ain’t getting that republican conservative “benefit of the doubt” support in 2012.

Cavalry on March 25, 2012 at 11:07 PM

at a rate slightly higher than they did four years ago.

Slightly? After 4 years of 0bama???

Color me unimpressed.

DannoJyd on March 25, 2012 at 11:18 PM

Saw this article (on another site) from the Palm Beach Post that suggests FL didn’t have the drop in turnout as suggested when you look at percentages because GOP registration has gone up there since Obama 2008. It’s from January 21, 2012 — funny how the national media hasn’t picked it up.

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/state/gop-closes-in-on-democrats-in-florida-voter-2107649.html

Dark Star on March 26, 2012 at 1:54 AM

Breitbart was right, the media is the enemy.

scotash on March 26, 2012 at 3:50 AM

How is GOP turnout doing in comparison to Dem primary turnout in 2008?

libfreeordie on March 26, 2012 at 7:53 AM

Ed Morrissey, if Rick Santorum doesn’t win Wisconsin, will you call on him to drop out of the race?

This can’t go on too much longer, especially when there is no plausible way for Santorum to get to 1144 delegates. I hate to see Republican candidates trying to tear apart other Republicans.

Regardless of who anyone supported, I think it’s time for all of us to unite around Romney and work towards getting rid of Obama.

bluegill on March 26, 2012 at 8:11 AM

How is GOP turnout doing in comparison to Dem primary turnout in 2008?

libfreeordie on March 26, 2012 at 7:53 AM

Do you think Democrats are less enthusiastic about Obama this time? I can say that, anecdotally, I have heard from Dems I know who definitely seem less excited about the upcoming election. Some of them didn’t even know that there is an election this year. Last time, Obama was “cool”, and the election was considered “historic”. This year it’s about making excuses.

The response I get regarding their feelings about Obama is almost ALWAYS, “Well, he is doing what he can. We need to understand that Bush left the country in such horrible shape, and Obama can’t be expected to fix it all overnight. At least Obama is making an effort, while the Republicans are trying to stop him from making progress.”

It’s eerie how similar their opinions are. It’s almost always a variation of the above quote. “Well, he’s trying, it’s not his fault” is not exactly a strong and enthusiastic vote of confidence. Basically, they just make excuses for Obama rather than talk about his accomplishments (e.g., Obamacare).

A lot of the swing voters still like Obama, even if they don’t believe that he has delivered on his promises. I know that many commenters on this site mocked Romney for saying, “Obama’s a nice guy, but he is in over his head.” Actually, that kind of attack will be deadly against Obama with independents. These voters will reject as unreasonable and tune off someone ranting about Obama as “evil” and “socialist”, but they are much more apt to listen to someone who isn’t putting down Obama personally, but who is pointing out what most of us already know. A lot of you HotAir commenters don’t seem to grasp that, when Romney says those kinds of things, he isn’t talking to YOU (since you’re already a lock to vote against Obama); he is talking to the portion of voters who consider themselves independents. That is going “soft” on Obama. It’s being smart and playing to win.

bluegill on March 26, 2012 at 8:26 AM

Er, I meant that is NOT going “soft” on Obama. It’s being smart and playing to win.

bluegill on March 26, 2012 at 8:28 AM

Yes, it’s up because we saw what happened in 2008 when we snoozed and went with the status quo candidate and ended up with McCain. And here we are repeating history. Except the republican electorate is throwing a lot or wrenches into the system this time around and the establishment ain’t too happy that we’re not accepting their candidate because we have to. It’s wonderful to see democracy playing itself out instead of our nomination going to the highest bidder.

mozalf on March 26, 2012 at 8:35 AM

Santorum’s berating of a NYTimes reporter for twisting his words was one of his better moments in the campaign.

I’ve been highly critical of Rick, but I can’t blame him for taking it to this guy.

Rick strikes back.

EddieC on March 26, 2012 at 8:41 AM

The conservative media went along with the “turnout is depressed because of Romney,” and didn’t check the facts, Newt was saying it so it must have been true. The total votes for Romney are around 3.5 million, more than for any other candidate. Three and a half million people who are not depressed, and a majority of primary voters who are enthusiastic about a Romney candidacy. A majority of primary voters prefer Romney.

It didn’t have to be this way but the hubris and egos of the two candidates that Laura Ingraham suggested ought to pool their support, spoiled it for any kind of consensus. It is really their egos and self importance I dislike, so I guess it is fitting. And Laura was right.

Fleuries on March 26, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Looks like you forgot someone in the photo. You might want to go to any of the delegate selection meetings taking place to see who. Boy, are you guys going to be surprised!

dom89031 on March 26, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Democrats and enthusiasm.

In True Blue Massachusetts, when you talk to people who voted for Obama last time, but are independents, their eyes appear to roll into their head and they don’t really want to talk about it. They are in denial that they voted for him last time.

A lot of them already signaled that fact when they voted for Scott Brown.

The Brown vs. Warren race might turn out voters from the left, but we don’t know yet how that will affect that election or the presidential election. Gov. Patrick will probably make an effort. He himself survived his own last election by having an independent in the race, he got only 40 something percent of the vote, and that was including the government workers. But unions with real men in them, have supported Brown in the past and won’t be tricked that way by Mini Me.

In my small town, 1000 turned out for the Obama primary this year, and 2500 turned out for the republican primary, although they would probably have included independents/MA Unenrolled in any Party. I would also say that knowing the voters, there was a Huckabee voter presence voting for Santorum, but it was 12 people. 12 people also voted for the winning GreenRainbowWorkingBat party candidate.

So, in my small town, 2.5 to 1 for enthusiasm.

How did it look where you live? In MA, I don’t think the dems are interested…yet anyway.

Fleuries on March 26, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Look I am voting for the nominee … I don’t like any of the four remaining ….
I don’t trust Romney …. Rick is not hitting on all pistons sometimes …
Gingrich … NY23 and Nancy and him on a couch …. Paul … well that is all that needs to be said ….
so whoever it is I will vote for ….. not sure what I will do on primary day …
probably write in a name ….

there is NO JOY in any of this …. I am looking forward to down ticket races ….
we have a Gov. and a US senator to replace …. and maybe a couple more house seats to switch ….

conservative tarheel on March 26, 2012 at 8:59 AM

Three words: The Paul Effect.

libertarianlunatic on March 26, 2012 at 9:03 AM

I’ve been highly critical of Rick, but I can’t blame him for taking it to this guy.

Rick strikes back.

EddieC on March 26, 2012 at 8:41 AM

I think he was right to correct the reporter by pointing out the rest of his sentence that wasn’t quoted back to him, but he took it too far. Not presidential at all.

Rick saw the positive reaction when Newt took it to the media, so he apparently thinks he’ll get some mileage out of trying that tack. But he doesn’t quite know how to do it in a way that doesn’t come off sounding like a petulant child. (Notice Newt never said to a reporter, “That’s bullsh*t.”) That seems to be Rick’s personality, though.

Syzygy on March 26, 2012 at 9:10 AM

In the past, we were always led to believe that 2 or 3 state primaries already decide the thing and then we move on to the general election with the other 48 states just going through the motion with no purpose. And from the past couple of presidential elections, then we either squeak by or lose. But now we see what happens when the people vote and if they don’t like the establishment candidate, can actually make a difference and change the outcome. The excitement of changing the losing tide here or even of a brokered convention gives one some hope and change on our side for once. Instead of the business as usual in the 2 parties.

mozalf on March 26, 2012 at 9:11 AM

It’s so difficult to differentiate between enthusasm and sheer panic at the betrayal of the conservative causes by the GOP ruling elitist machine.

Attacking and spinning off the hated “social cons” to run with the the government money men,(bearing Etch-a-sketches) may well read as one of the fatal mistakes of American history.

Don L on March 26, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3