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Enthusiasm gap in Illinois

Some of the data that emerged from yesterday's primaries in Illinois was far more interesting than who won and who lost. Tom Jensen at Public Policy Polling writes (hat tip the Corner):

Based on the current numbers 885,268 voters were cast in the Democratic primary for Senate compared to 736,137 on the Republican side. Those numbers are awfully close to each other for a state that's overwhelmingly Democratic.

For sake of comparison the last time there were competitive Senate primaries on both sides in Illinois, in 2004 when Barack Obama was nominated, there were nearly twice as many votes cast in the Democratic primary as the Republican one. 1,242,996 voted in the Democratic race to 661, 804 for the Republicans.

Last night's turnout is yet another data point on the enthusiasm gap, showing that Republicans are much more excited about this year's elections than Democrats, even in a deep blue state.

Both the Democratic and Republican primary contests were highly competitive so one can't blame lack of enthusiasm on an predetermined race. These data certainly don't guarantee a Republican win in deep blue Illinois, but looking at similar enthusiasm numbers from other state primaries will definitely be of interest.


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Comments (6)

I'm sure The One has a reas... (Below threshold)

I'm sure The One has a reason why 'the gap'. Being a suspicious person by nature, I suspect that it's due to the absence of ACORN.

Acorn is present in Illinoi... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Acorn is present in Illinois. They have offices in downtown Chicago co-located with the SEIU (surprise).

As for the lack of enthusiasm in the GOP primary it is because even when the voters nominate a real conservative in the primary the party apparatus then abandons that nominee. The reason Fitzgerald declined to run for reelection was that he knew that the party would never support him. It's not that voters don't want a good conservative candidate, it's that the party itself works against them.

If you want to blame someone for Obama's ascent blame the Illinois GOP who scared off Fitzgerald leaving and empty seat and then ran a candidate with the same last name as their indicted governor and who had to drop out after the unsavory details of his divorce became public. They then floundered about and brought in an out of state Alan Keyes to run for the seat and provided that joke of a candidate no support. They wanted him to lose.

The Illinois GOP is filled with hacks and political time servers who have no moral compass and no real convictions (unless you count the former governor who is now serving time in the federal pen. He has at least one conviction).

Just look at their candidate for Senate: A pro abortion, pro cap and trade imbecile, who is possible slightly left of Joe Lieberman.

You're dealing with a state where the 'conservative' newspaper thinks that it costs the government money to give a tax break to entice businesses to relocate into the state. The state of conservatism in Illinois sucks.

Jim is right. Kirk was one ... (Below threshold)

Jim is right. Kirk was one of three Republicans (Snow and Collins were the other two, as I recall) who crossed the aisle to give a squeaker vote on Cap and Trade. This Bozo describes himself on his own House website as "The Greenest Legislator on Capitol Hill".

Earlier, despite the fact that Kirk is a career reservist, he was one of the Republicans who voted to defund the war in Iraq.

So it's a tough call. Hold your nose and vote for Kirk The Waffling RINO, or vote for another in an endless line of corrupt Democrats.

And he's right about the Illinois Republican Party hacks. They don't even bother to slate candidates for most of the smaller offices.

I can barely remember when Chicago didn't have a Daley for Mayor. I think people were wearing polyester leisure suits at the time. Disco was king.

Kirk probably will win this... (Below threshold)
Caesar Augustus:

Kirk probably will win this seat.

The Rats rely on massive margins in Chi-Town, but Kirk plays well there. He's got mucho dinero to spend too. He's a stronger overall candidate than Peter Fitzgerald was, and Fitzgerald was able to beat a ruthless incumbent, whereas Kirk is running against a kid who still has training wheels on.

With Mike Castle a dead-solid lock in DE, it looks as though the Republicans will take both the Teleprompter's and Biden's old Senate seats. Imagine that. Not quite the change for which Democrats were hoping, but a major change nonetheless.

Looking at the voter turn o... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Looking at the voter turn out numbers I would not take them as being all that significant. Mark Kirk was expected for months to win his primary and he did so handily. The Governor's race was populated by over half a dozen little known candidates none of which generated any real traction with voters.

Poor candidates and races that are forgone conclusions does not make for an energized electorate.

The reason there is a gap i... (Below threshold)

The reason there is a gap is because the One who stalks behind his big ears leaves a chasm of nothingness yearning to be filled!






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