Pathetic Turnout

Pretty pathetic turnout all around.  Early numbers indicate that 477,771 people voted in the Democratic Primary and 416,749 voted in the Republican Primary. (Based on the number who voted in the top ticket race) 

This shocks me, quite frankly, given that in the 2004 Primary, there were 651,282 Republican Primary voters and 625,154 Democratic Primary voters.  I just assummed that the the Democrats decline would continue.

While participation for both parties primaries was way down, more people voted in the Democratic Primary this year than people who voted in the Republican Primary.  And that is with the hotly contested Reed-Cagle race on the Republican side.

GOP Primary participation declined 36% from 2004 while Democratic Primary participation declined 23%.

Do Republicans have anything to worry about in November based on these numbers?


  1. Demonbeck says:

    No, people come to vote for the top ticket races. In 2004, you had a Presidential Race and several other top ticket races in the R primary. As contentious as the Cagle-Reed race was, it was still for a down ticket race. Our Gubernatorial candidate was already decided (yes I know McBerry was on the ticket, but give me a friggin break here.)

    You’ll see the 2008 primary will have more R’s than D’s and turnout will be much higher.

  2. Ronin says:

    I am always tempted to get into numbers comparisons (because I have a math/science background) in the primaries but generally find that it is not indicative of how the results will go in the Fall.

    But there were things that I thought were “interesting.” 48,000 people voted against the incumbent governor for a candidate with no advertising (and the “Mainstream Media” and GOP telling everyone Perdue was running unopposed) Is it reasonable to assume those 48,000 people vote for Taylor or “skip it” in the Fall? *Probably* not. But there are probably some flaggers who feel that they need to make a statement no matter the who the “other guy” is.

  3. GAWire says:

    I’m not that surprised at the numbers. Actually, I thought they were higher in many areas. N. Fulton ended up being high b/c of Johns Creek, etc. Typical for non-presidential cycle and no big congressional. There weren’t as many people concerned with the LG race as many of us probably think, and no one was concerned about Sonny so a lot of folks stayed home. Those numbers are better for GOP b/c the Dems actually had a high stakes race on their hands and their already lackluster numbers were low. Good for GOP; Bad for Dems.

  4. “There were 61,969 more Democrats who cast a ballot for a Democratic Governor, or 15% more Dem voters than GOP!” as quoted by Daily KOS.

    The national statistcs show that the country is starting to lean a little more to the left.
    It’s a constant swing back and forth and it’s now the dems time.

  5. StevePerkins says:

    At the Presidential level, Georgia is a red-state and probably not looking back anytime soon. In a Presidential election year, the general public’s focus is on that race… and more people are going to weigh in on John McCain vs Bill Frist than on Joe Biden vs. Evan Bayh.

    However, at the state and local levels, “rumors of the Democratic Party’s demise have been greatly exaggerated”. I have family throughout the rural southern half of the state… and although they are die-hard conservative they mostly LIKE Mark Taylor, don’t care for either Reed OR Cagle, and strongly dislike the perceived “country club” wing of the Georgia GOP.

    Now, you put Cythnia McKinney on the ballot, and statewide voters are going to take a giant crap all over her. However, a moderate white boy is still a contender for any statewide spot on the ballot… Democrat or not. Over the past few years we’ve seen a pretty strong backlash against 150+ years of one-party rule. However, don’t let that fool you into thinking that we’re a one-party state in the other direction now. That kind of complacency and arrogance is already causing the GOP some problems.

  6. Decaturguy says:

    “In 2004, you had a Presidential Race and several other top ticket races in the R primary.”

    First of all, the Presidential race was not only the ballot in the July 20 2004 general primary which was for the numbers I quoted above. That was decided on March 2, 2004 in a seperate Presidential Preferance Primary. Even if it had been on July20, George Bush did not have opposition.

    The only top ticket race in that year was the Senate Primary between Isakson, Collins and Cain. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seemed to me like the Cagle-Reed race would have generated more attention this year than the Senate race. Or maybe it shows the inability of the Religious Right to get out the vote.

    Maybe there is nothing to it, but if I were a Republican I’d be somewhat concerned about the dropoff in numbers.

  7. Ronin says:

    I agree with Steve. Things are closer than the seem, but things have definitely been trending towards the Republicans.

    I don’t vote either party line … but between the point that Steve makes about the GOP being “country club” and the comment Demonbeck made to Sen. Stanton about the GOP pushing Christian demagoguery … is the GOP more fractious than it lets on?

    I think it is obvious that the Democrats hold together a tenuous coalition. I just wondered how pronounced it was at in the GOP.

  8. LINDA says:

    Dear Steve Perkins,

    You nailed it! When jobs are lost, when there is uncertainty over wars and when people perceive that they are not BEING REPRESENTED by their leaders, the pendulum turns toward change. We do not have fiscal responsibility in the state capitol and we do not have fiscal responsibility on a federal level, and we never will. The Libertariun candidate that ran for Senator in Georgia in 2004 was so correct when he talked about the fact that it was almost too late to turn things around.

    We are good at regulating everything from seat belt laws to smoking in public, but ask your leadership to cut the spending and lower taxes and you get the same spin. We have balanced the budget, and we are doing the best we can. Unfortunately the best we can is not cutting the mustard. This state will get as liberal as Illinois, and it is just a matter of time. But not before all of the fat cats make their money and build homes in gated communities away from the commoners.

    Sorry to be a pessimist, but I cannot tell a lie.

  9. Demonbeck says:


    Georgia has the 2nd most fiscally conservative budget process in the nation to Utah. We just came out of a recession and Republicans were in control for the first time ever. It does take a little time to catch up from the hole we were in.

    If things remain as is, you’ll find that the coming General Assembly will be looking very seriously at revenues and spending habits of the state and its agencies/departments.

  10. LINDA says:

    There was a time when we had newspapers that wrote about candidates running for ofice, and people could actually read the paper. Now, when 20% of the electorate is illiterate, when 30% of the public either works for the goverment or lives off the government, when 35% of the people could care less about the government that leaves 15% of us that vote and have no affilitation to government whatsoever. Now who do you think will win out in elections?

    Yeah, my numbers are out of my head. But everybody else makes up numbers and mine are closer to reality than our Tourism numbers in Bibb County!

  11. LINDA says:

    Well Demonbeck, instead of giving raises to teachers this session our leaders should have held the line! Georgians are losing good jobs, and the only thing that is holding up Georgia’s economy is this war. We have leaders in this state and all states giving away the candy store to get jobs in this state, and I believe in complete “hands off” government in the economy. The raises to teachers was a big voter bloc, but this is doing the very same thing that the Republicans accused the Democrats of doing.
    We had the leadership this session, and the spending matched the windfall of revenues of coming in instead of giving back tax money to those that created the windfall.

    The exemptions for ages 62 and over for state income tax purposes are great for me and my husband, as we get closer to that age, but it puts a strain on the younger workers. We have a situation in Georgia that is much like the Appalachian Mountain area, where the government lures wealthier retirees to the community with tax breaks with the poor getting poorer and poorer. I am sorry Demonbeck, but I just do not share your optimism. I will vote Republican, and take my tax breaks when I get 62 even if it means my son and other young people cannot make a decent living in this state. I

  12. JP says:

    Maybe Democrats were even more frightened than Repubs of Ralph Reed being in charge of anything. I hope they maintain the momentum til November.

  13. duluthmom says:

    Please tell me you are kidding about teachers raises. How are you going to attract competent teachers if you refuse to pay them sufficiently? I left a lucrative job in sales to teach for $33,000/year. My husband’s assistant with no college degree makes twice as much as I do and has significantly better health ins. benefits. So why do I do it? Because I love teaching. But when taxpayers keep saying I’m not worth it via refusals to give me a pay increase, it is disheartening to say the least. I’m not saying we should throw money at the educational system, but like any other profession, we deserve to be properly paid.

  14. duluthmom says:

    And without decent teachers those illiterate figures you came up with will never change.

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