Rehashing Old News (Voter Turnout)

I hate to rehash old news; and I’m definitely not interested in stealing Buzz’s thunder, but I wanted to offer up what I would consider to be “troubling” information for the GOP and determine what the general consensus on the matter is.  Is it normal in a hotly-contested presidential primary, in a solidly red state, for the Democratic turnout to be higher than the Republican turnout?  Here’s the AJC story for more information:

Tuesday’s turnout for the Georgia presidential primary was a record breaking 44 percent of active registered voters[…] Of those [1.9 million ballots], 52 percent were cast in the Democratic Primary[…] (emphasis added)

While I am not a graduate of the Georgia Technical Institute[sic] and my math skills are somewhat to be desired (although I can count to seven straight), doesn’t this mean that only 48% of the ballots were cast in the Republican Primary?

I know there are people out there who are far more adept in Georgia electoral history, so please help me to understand this.  Is there a historical precedence for this type of discrepancy?  As we know, Democratic turnout has exceeded Republican turnout in nearly every state so far…Georgia is not an exception.  Does this mean that Georgia could possibly go blue in November?  Is this a sign of things to come?  Or is this simply the result of Republican dissatisfaction over a non-stellar field of candidates?

26 comments

  1. Doug Deal says:

    Jace,

    Also, you are assuming that everyone is voting in the party primaries for the person they want. People have different reasons for voting, and the turnout is so much lower than in the GE, that those numbers can be skewed by a number of things.

    For example, Hillary has high negatives, so people who are Republican might go to the polls to vote against her. Hillary is also viewed as a weak candidate, so they may vote for her in order to help her win the nomination. She is also the first serious female candidate for President, so someone wanting a woman as President might vote in a primary who is usually only a GE voter.

    Obama has similar issue going for and against him racking up votes or sending some to Hillary that might not ordinarily come in a primary.

    The Republicans, on the other hand, are pretty much boilerplate candidates that propbably don’t really inspire people to the polls on a primary election.

    The fact is, every year, and in every state, pretty much any candidate will get virtually all of the partisans, about 1/3 for each party, and that middle 1/3 will decide the election, as always.

    This is why liberals run right and conservatives run left, you really can’t win an election by appealing solely to the base. Strategically, the numbers just aren’t there.

    I think the reason why the elections have been so close in recent times is that over-rated idiots like Rove (who could barely beat 2 McGovernesque candidates) have the mistaken idea that the way to win is by energizing people with marriage amendments, anti-gay legislation and abortion laws. This might get you 50% if the independents break right, but it won’t get you 60% like Reagan.

  2. StevePerkins says:

    I haven’t seen any head-to-head poll numbers, but I could see Obama carrying Georgia and a few other Southern states against McCain. Sure, there’s the race factor… but the demise of the flaggers in the last election shows that the hardcore “over my dead body” racists are in decline. I believe that over 20% of the state population is black, and the white conservatives are awfully lukewarm toward McCain. I think the Dems are still underdogs, but Obama would have a shot this year.

  3. Doug Deal says:

    Chris,

    But who are those people? Are they additional voters to be added to the mix, or are they Democratic loyalists who would have voted Dem in the November election anyway?

    Are some of them the curious who just want to see him to see what the hype is about, but have no intention of voting for him?

    For the bleeding hearts out there, the following analogy evokes an infamous character, but only to demonstrate the correlation between enthusiasm and electoral result, not politics or tactics.)

    Adolph Hitler used to draw huge enthusiastic crowds in Germany, and his opponent, Paul von Hindenburg was unable to even campaign due to serious health problems, yet the election results were:

    Paul von Hindenburg 19,360,000 (53.0)
    Adolf Hitler 13,418,000 (36.8)
    Ernst Thälmann 3,707,000 (10.2)

    That’s a 15 percent blowout in favor of the bedridden Hindenburg. As charismatic as he was, Hitler only took power due to a coup, not electoral might.

  4. Jace Walden says:

    Doug,

    I’m not really assuming anything. In fact, I would be very surprised to see Georgia go to a Democrat, particularly a black Democrat, as sad as that is.

    I didn’t really know what the electoral history in the state was, so the post was more about curiosity and sparking discussion.

  5. Doug Deal says:

    Jace,

    I didn’t really think that you personally were assuming anything, but untold countless thousands of MSM reporters and other bloggers like to try to use rally sizes as a predictor for electoral success. I think that the rally size predictor and feinting school girl anecdotes, used by those people is flawed.

    Despite the screaming fans clogging the portals of every venue, Elvis will indeed leave the building. The real question becomes: Is he Young Elvis, or Fat Aging drug addicted Elvis?

  6. drjay says:

    Jace Walden // Feb 14, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Doug,

    I’m not really assuming anything. In fact, I would be very surprised to see Georgia go to a Democrat, particularly a black Democrat, as sad as that is.

    well it really depends if its someone like a.g. baker–maybe??

    if it’s more like another denise majette–not so much…

  7. Jace Walden says:

    Rugby_fan,

    At the risk of being labled an “extremist” or a “tin-foil hat wearer”, I’m going to speak truth to power.

    I think the power brokers at “Tanalach Media” (a well-known front of the Illuminati) have secretly conspired to keep us “Has Huckabee Won His Last Primary” threaders in the fringe. We know too much. Is it just cooincidence that the same people who comment on the aforementioned thread are also the same people who know the truth about the “swearing-in” of Paul Broun or the alleged “swearing in” or Erick Erickson?

    Hell no. It’s not a coinicidence. It’s a conspiracy. And I think its only a matter of time before those same powers that be take you and I off the front page. We have to speak truth to power before its too late. I wouldn’t be surprised if this comment was deleted for hitting too close to home.

  8. rugby fan says:

    Good God Jace, it was so simple and yet we went so long without recognizing the truth.

    I tell you it truly is frightening the reach that this “Tanalach Media” group has. Wouldn’t be surprised if the lot of them are Freemasons.

  9. rugby fan says:

    To answer my own question, they probably approbe of our efforts to speak the truth.

    What they are disgusted by is Erick’s silence on a new Peach Pundit record.

    Oh, and the Paul Broun “situation”.

  10. IndyInjun says:

    In Virginia the Dems drew about 970,000 and the GOP about 470,000.

    Virginia used to be a red state too.

    I don’t think citing the imbalance in favor of the Dems in Georgia in past years is in any way indicative, as there were incumbents on the ticket. This year both parties had hotly contested races, and the imbalance is heavily in favor of the Dems in state after state.

    Add to this the overt hostility of many toward the GOP nominee – I won’t be voting for him and neither will MANY other conservatives – and you have the recipe for a GOP defeat.

    A pretty good prediction, though, is that by November we will be utterly sick of them both.

  11. IndyInjun says:

    “What they are disgusted by is Erick’s silence on a new Peach Pundit record.”

    Yeah, after all that effort – NO RECOGNITION of our tireless efforts to succeed in scaling the heights of PeachPunditry just to give Doug’s baby a fitting name.

    I still like Gnu Deal.

  12. Doug Deal says:

    Obama Hussein Deal, to name him after a known cult leader.

    Herschel Mohammed Deal to help heal the Middle East?

    Laed Deal since I like palendrones?

    The choices are so many that it is quite frankly unHuckabelivable!

    GODeal?

  13. Ms_midtown says:

    Nice link, excellent anaylsis by Dr. Bullock

    The Gwinnett Cobb partisan shift is the real story.
    The November result could make it look like it was easy, but there will be no campaign cakewalks for incumbent Republicans this year.

  14. Bullock’s article is interesting, however I think he selectively ignores a couple of things. The high percentage of voters in the Democratic primary in summer primaries is generally accounted for by the continued dominance of Democrats on the local level in Georgia’s rural counties.

    In 2004, 99% of Miller county residents who voted in July picked the Democratic primary, but John Kerry only got 33% of the vote in November, and the general electorate was pretty similar to the primary electorate.

    Significant for 2006, I think, is that nearly 2/3 of the state’s counties saw more Republican voters than Democrats, but Democrats still had an overall edge. So, even with places like Miller County (that had something like 1 Republican primary voter in 2004) voting more like it does in a general election (more R voters on Super Tuesday than D’s) Democrats still had a majority.

    I doubt we’ll carry Georgia in November, but the fact that more people voted in a very high turnout election for a Democratic candidate in Henry county than for a Republican candidate should worry the GOP. Polls consistently show that high percentages of Clinton/Obama voters would be happy with the other as a candidate, but the same can’t be said of supporters of McCain/Huckabee/Romney.

  15. Icarus says:

    Doug,

    Call home. I’m pretty sure I correctly predicted your child would be born last night shortly after 11:00 pm.

    Call your wife/girlfriend/sig other and find out what she named him.

  16. juliobarrios says:

    Chris-

    I has not looked at the Henry numbers, but obviously there are counties that are rapidly trending Democrat (such as Newton and Rockdale) and other counties that have added more Dems the Repubs (like Cobb and Gwinnett). From the GOP perspective the hope is those trends are offset by the increases in population in the fast growing northern outer counties (Cherokee, Forsyth, and Hall).

    I never saw the poll you mentioned, but hopefully Romney’s endorsement of McCain will help to heal some wounds. I was always under the impression that many of Hillary’s supporters could support Obama, but the same is not true for the Obama folks. You’re going to have a lot of really pissed off people if the Clinton’s, and all of their devious ways, “steal” this election from Obama.

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