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GOP Turnout Down Yet Again

It may be time for Republicans to start worrying about turnout in their primaries. With the exception of the South Carolina primary, voter turnout in all the primary and caucus contests this year has been down from 2008 levels, and yesterday’s numbers were among  the worst of all:

Missouri

Minnesota

Colorado

Overall, that’s a difference among all three contests of 367,521 fewer voters in 2012 than 2008. Obviously, the biggest part of the difference comes from the fact that, this year, Missouri’s primary was entirely meaningless since it has nothing to do with the delegate selection process. Nonetheless, with even the numbers from Minnesota and Colorado down one had to wonder if Republicans have already given up on 2012.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    This isn’t surprising. It’s a function of the demographics of the GOP primary selectorate and the corresponding demographics of the slate of candidates. The former disproportionately is made up of Bible bot evangelicals, spoiled brats and extreme, foaming-at-the-mouth conservatives. Juxtapose that to the GOP field, which as a separate but related matter is historically weak. The guy who already clinched the nomination, de facto, is a Mormon and a Rockefeller Republican. Santorum is a Catholic. Gingrich is Gingrich. Square pegs, round holes, at least so far as the primary process is concerned.

    Looking ahead to November there indeed is a material possibility that Obama will defeat Romney by the margin of right wingers and erstwhile right wingers who sit out the election.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  2. Brummagem Joe says:

    This reflects the low Republican turnout at every primary and caucus except SC. I know total turnouts were up in NH and IA but this was because of crossovers, estimates suggest real Republican turnout was down. There simply is no real enthusiasm for any of these guys, the only one that got people excited was Gingrich in SC and that’s largely because he’s a bomb thrower. As to the general he was always going to be hard to beat for a variety of reasons and this to some extent explained the weakness of the field but even if any of the great white knights ( Christie, Rubio, Jeb) had been competing does anyone see the nominating process being any different. The chatterers on the right have massive enthusiasm for white knights becasue they are basically a fantasy and the moment they enter race the enthusiasm largely evaporates.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  3. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Tsar Nicholas II:

    The former disproportionately is made up of Bible bot evangelicals, spoiled brats and extreme, foaming-at-the-mouth conservatives.

    The Republican primary electorate is

    always

    made up of your list. It’s an entirely apple with apples comparison.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  4. superdestroyer says:

    Of course the Republicans have given up. When they have to push “2″ for English, they should be able to realize that there is no future in the U.S. for any form of a conservative party. Most conservatives who pay the least attention know that President Obama is going to be re=elected.

    The only question for 2012 is whether Nancy Pelos will return as Speaker of the House in January 2013.

    I more interesting question is whether the media and conservative voters will still believe that the Republicans are relevant in 2016 when President Obama successor will be choosen some time between the Iowa Caucuses and the Super Tuesday primary during the Democratic primary season.

    Conservatives need to realize that the idea of effecting policy at the ballot box is over. All conservatives can do is adapt to the changing landscape of the U.S. and learn how to function with much higher taxes, a much bigger government, more social engineering, and a smaller private sector.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 16

  5. DRS says:

    Does this look to you like a party that thinks they’ve got a lock on the White House in November? Nope.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  6. Brummagem Joe says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Conservatives need to realize that the idea of effecting policy at the ballot box is over. All conservatives can do is adapt to the changing landscape of the U.S. and learn how to function with much higher taxes, a much bigger government, more social engineering, and a smaller private sector.

    Ignoring the hyperbole about the end of the world as we know it, if your premise is correct this would suggest that this is what a majority of Americans want and they give voice to this desire the ballot box. Yes?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  7. Eric says:

    It makes me wonder if the number of registered Republicans are down as well, or it was just the polls. Plus, I just think its too damn early and (the process in the past as well as it might happen this year) is too long. Maybe even voter fatigue. Sounds like a good concept for some research.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. Eric says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Not that it matters, but I’m pretty sure conservatives won’t go away and become a thing of the past. There’s an editor’s pick article on the bottom of this webpage where Huntsman, a proven conservative with dare I say more reasonable views than most in the Republican party, who can help shape the future of the GOP.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  9. superdestroyer says:

    @Eric:

    Huntsman would be the the type of politicians who will be responsible for closing down the Republican Party after demographics has ended any change for a conservative party and the U.S. and when most people have decided that it is pointless to have a Democratic-lite party that has zero effect on policy.

    My guess is that is a few years that Huntsman kids will all be campaigning as Democrats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1