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Primary Turnout Disparities Portend Possible Avalanche in November

Despite the hope of conservatives that the GOP will retake control of both houses of Congress in November, the most reliable polling firms have indicated otherwise. Rasmussen still has the Democrats retaining upwards of 54 seats in the Senate.

However, voter turnout in this year's primaries suggests something is going on that state-by-state polling may not be detecting. We are seeing an incredible discrepancy in voter turnout between Democrats and Republicans. In Florida's gubernatorial primaries yesterday, the very negative race between ideologically-similar Republicans Rick Scott and Bill McCollum drew 49 percent more voters to the polls than the Democrat primary. Even more telling, conservative Marco Rubio, virtually uncontested in the GOP primary, received over a million votes as Republican voter turnout was nearly 38 percent higher than the hotly-contested Democrat race between Kendrick Meek and Jeff Greene. President Obama won the state of Florida just 20 months ago.

In 2008, over 75 percent more Democrats turned out during primary season throughout the country as voters embraced Hope and Change. The complete reversal during this election cycle may have pollsters seriously contemplating the true intentions of the Likely Voter. As the economy continues to wreak incredible hardship under liberal leadership, it seems fathomable that many dispirited Democrats may simply stay home this November. Conversely, Republicans are just itching to get to the polls. This vast disparity in voter motivation may very well throw the current polls askew. If these turnout ratios hold 10 weeks from now, we will witness an historic shift in Congressional power.


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Comments (29)

Too early for any polling. ... (Below threshold)

Too early for any polling. It comes down to what is motivating the voter. Republicans are a given. They want democrats out. Democrats are a given, they want to keep their seat. What will swing it is the independent voter and polling strongly shows they are dissatisfied with democrat leadership and Obama in particular. All comes down to motivation. The black block vote will not help at all. ww

None of this will matter a ... (Below threshold)

None of this will matter a whit if the voters remain mired in the same stupidity that has incumbents winning primaries all over the map, with the most egregious case being the High Lord RINO in Arizona.


WW - "Democrats are a g... (Below threshold)

WW - "Democrats are a given, they want to keep their seat."

Not necessarily. When a Dem realizes he's been burned, he'll likely turn independent if not downright conservative. And there's a LOT of Dems, I'm thinking, that are looking at Obama and going "You know, this bozo's not at all what he was sold to be" and rethinking their party affiliations.

Time will tell - but I agree with Alan - this is going to be a MEMORABLE election.

Looks like Arizona has a ca... (Below threshold)
Nine Fourteen:

Looks like Arizona has a case of stuck on stupid. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Term limits!

The only reason turnout was... (Below threshold)

The only reason turnout was big in '08 was because everyone wanted to be part of history to elect the first black president. Now that its over, that huge surge of Dems will sit home & do nothing.

Given such a remarkable adv... (Below threshold)

Given such a remarkable advantage in turnout, even standard voter fraud techniques might prove inconsequential. And without votes suddenly found in car trunks, absentee ballots leaning at a 98-2 ratio and sufficient volunteers to drive Jise to 15 different polling places, dems could be in real trouble!!

I'm sure Dane will be along... (Below threshold)

I'm sure Dane will be along shortly to say that the Democrats will actually expand their holdings in the House and Senate.

And Adrian will talk about eggs.

Don't go counting on anythi... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Don't go counting on anything yet. The MSM will protect the Dems all the way past the election. Anything close will be subject to a lawsuit. Recounts will be fought and absentee ballots thrown out. The Dems are far more adept at committing voter fraud than the rest of us are at exposing it and stopping it. Holder's DOJ can be counted on to turn a blind eye at any fraud or intimidation.

And yes, even if we get rid of the Dems we still have the GOP who remain largely interested in their own enrichment and not about actually benefiting the country.

Well, it won't be a histori... (Below threshold)
Tsar Nicholas II:

Well, it won't be a historic shift in the literal sense. 1994 was a historic shift. At that point it had been decades since Republicans had a sniff of power in Congress.

As for this election cycle, it appears the most probable result is the GOP regaining control of the House but falling short of regaining control of the Senate (albeit with a substantial net gain in Senate seats).

The primary turnout here in... (Below threshold)

The primary turnout here in Wyoming, was also high. The state's county clerks reported at some precincts, turnout was nearly 75% and most of them were Republican voters. The Secretary of State is saying that the totals statewide was the second highest in the last four primary elections, at 65%. The highest was in 2004, when there was a 68% turnout. As with the rest of the country, jobs and Obamacare were the two main topics of discussion.

IMO getting your base out t... (Below threshold)

IMO getting your base out to vote has always been one if not the most important strategy. Yes shaving a few votes off the middle helps but pales in comparison with getting the base out. The Democrats have known this for a long time and are quite active in programs to do just that. Getting the base out is why I not a big fan of promoting Dem-lite candidates. No reason to vote when both candidates are pretty much the same. Yes I understand a Rep from Maine will be much different one from Texas.

As for this election, I see conservatives being much more motivated and having higher turnouts. Only time will tell though.

Another post of perspicuity... (Below threshold)
gary gulrud:

Another post of perspicuity, we like reliability.

Agreed on polling, even done objectively- McCollum was up 8 or 9 across the board.

Arizona was effectively locked out, McCain had millions, the Palin endorsement and another chameleon shape-shifter to battle. Tough luck for the best electorate.

Sad to say, this election, though coming events portend to guarantee victory, will barely begin the task of dismantling Federal excess.

I'm afraid you may have mis... (Below threshold)
Alan Orfi:

I'm afraid you may have missed the point. Reliability is the product of applying known factors to possibly confounded data.

The pollsters were fine (most in-state polls correctly had Scott ahead of McCollum) and nailed the outcome. The heavy Republican turnout had zero effect on the primary races. However, with motivation being far less across the aisle, it seems quite possible that this disparity will play out as a Republican landslide in the general elections. It will be most interesting to see if the better pollsters pick up on this and start weighting the data to reflect the vastly different levels of voter motivation between the two parties. Rasmussen already admits they do that and I suspect that will be reflected in burgeoning leads for Republican candidates down the stretch.

My best guess is also that ... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

My best guess is also that the Republicans make major gains. But that's a staggering fact for several reasons: 1. The Republican national party central committee has half the money of Democrats due to poor fundraising attempts under Michael Steele. 2. Many Republican candidates are less qualified and political novices compared to their Democratic opponents. In Oregon for example former Portland Trailblazers center Chris Dudley is holding a 7 point lead over former Democratic Governor John Kitzhaber. Kitzhaber is very experienced and has presided over boom economic times in the past and is an excellent money manager. Chris Dudley has never held any political officer, and was a low scoring basketball player as well. 3. Many Republican candidates would have actually allowed both GM and Chrysler to go broke, would have allowed many banks to fail, and would opposed stimulus money that provided jobs in road construction or expanded food stamps spending, which has benefited grocery businesses such as my own.

Probably on the strength of some major public dissatisfaction with the Obama Administration many Republicans will ride a wave to victory. But few of them hardly earned their own victory by offering constructive plans to get the economy moving. The Democrats actions on the economy have been slow and inadequate with spotty results, a far cry from the economic boom under other Democrats such as Roosevelt, Johnson or Clinton. By that standard, the Obama Administration has thus far fallen far short.

Dwaye has it; if a voter wa... (Below threshold)

Dwaye has it; if a voter wanted to be part of a historical vote in '08, how many more want in on the greatest political upheaval ever?

Hard to predict what could ... (Below threshold)
John S:

Hard to predict what could happen. The economy has deteriorated by a shocking amount in just the past four weeks. By November we likely will be back in a technical recession even when measured by the administration's bullshit numbers. And official unemployment will be above 10 percent. But if you include the long-term discouraged that the Clinton administration defined out of existence years ago, real unemployment is approaching 25 percent. So there are maybe 30 million people with no job to go to on Election Day, who are pissed at all incumbents.

posted by a concerned groce... (Below threshold)
Nine Fourteen:

posted by a concerned grocery store owner:

"2. Many Republican candidates are less qualified and political novices compared to their Democratic opponents."

Didn't stop the 'Won in the least did it?

"The Democrats actions on t... (Below threshold)
Nine Fourteen:

"The Democrats actions on the economy have been slow and inadequate with spotty results, a far cry from the economic boom under other Democrats such as Roosevelt, Johnson or Clinton. By that standard, the Obama Administration has thus far fallen far short."

What do you mean Paul? Barry has outperformed all prior Democrats combined and if you disagree its cause he is BLACK!

Paul Hooson, great to hear ... (Below threshold)

Paul Hooson, great to hear from you but the left has lost its credibility with "experienced" candidates when they nominated and elected the most inexperienced empty suit in US history. His inadequacy is so obvious now it is almost sad. Again, the left set the bar so low it is too late to raise it. ww

"The Democrats actions o... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"The Democrats actions on the economy have been slow and inadequate with spotty results, a far cry from the economic boom under other Democrats such as Roosevelt, Johnson or Clinton."

I guess that would be the result of applying the policies of Carter and we are seeing the same results that Carter got. I didn't realize that Barry wanted to grow the economy I thought he wanted to remake this country. I mean, that's what he said he wanted to do.

"The Democrats actions o... (Below threshold)
Alan Orfi:

"The Democrats actions on the economy have been slow and inadequate with spotty results, a far cry from the economic boom under other Democrats such as Roosevelt, Johnson or Clinton."

Whoa there... Roosevelt clearly lengthened and worstened the Great Depression through similar social engineering endeavors. Johnson did not at all apply the same Keynesian economics and Clinton was simply astute enough to ride the Republican Congress's tax cuts to economic prosperity and reelection.

Paul Hoosen: "But few of th... (Below threshold)

Paul Hoosen: "But few of them hardly earned their own victory by offering constructive plans to get the economy moving."


Simply "wow".

How any leftist/lib/dem etc could write that sentence after we just experienced 2 years of substantive "plans" like "Hope and Change" and "Yes, We Can" and "We are the ones we've been waiting for" is simply beyond astonishing.

And is absolutely laughable.

"Didn't stop the 'Won in... (Below threshold)

"Didn't stop the 'Won in the least did it?"

I'm starting to think there's a certain minimal level of political competence we're needing - and Obama's far below it.

Of course, there's a certain maximum level, beyond which the politician sees himself as an aristocratic being that the rules foisted on the proles don't apply to. See Pelosi and Reid - though I'll admit Reid is a few steps below Pelosi on that scale.

In certain people, those two levels overlap.

Obama's a marvelous example of that overlap. I don't know HOW he manages that, but he does!

The markets are borderline ... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

The markets are borderline - staying close around the moving averages, short and long term, moving above or below - but the downside seems more likely when the worldwide problems are considered, not to mention September is the most notoriously bad month for equity markets.

The housing glut and shaky exports portend economic pain, since these are the sectors which have led us out of every recession or depression for nearly the last century.

As an aside, the new attempts to blame the deficits on the Iraq War fall short - Obama blew more on his wasted "stimulus" bill within a month of taking office than the total cost of the Iraq War from build-up to today.

"I'm afraid you may have mi... (Below threshold)
gary gulrud:

"I'm afraid you may have missed the point...The pollsters were fine (most in-state polls correctly had Scott ahead of McCollum)"

Via Drudge, "2010 Campaign: Why Political Polls Sometimes Get It Wrong":


Perhaps you live in Florida and have access to polls I don't at RealClearPolitics. Indeed, you may have material for another post correcting the rest of us, "The polls were fine"?

Yeah, the turn out was encouraging, but don't get cocky.

Yes, it's a mistake in my o... (Below threshold)
Alan Orfi:

Yes, it's a mistake in my opinion to employ the RCP method of blending various polls. RCP is so bad because they leave dated polls in their averages. Furthermore, they make little effort to scour obvious outliers.

Local pollsters down here were dead on in the gubernatorial race. Sunshine State News had Scott up all the way. It was the some of the obscure and unreliable polls included in the RCP totals that threw their numbers off -- again.

Rasmussen has a new Florida... (Below threshold)
Alan Orfi:

Rasmussen has a new Florida Senate poll out today and surprise, surprise... Rubio up by 10. One may conclude much of this overnight "gain" is simply Rasmussen's weighting to account for the expected higher Republican turnout. In the next couple of weeks, I think we will see many polls tilting heavily toward Republican candidates as other firms embed similar weighting in their numbers. That is really the only way they can be accurate when one side is highly motivated and the other side isn't.

They need a new poll catego... (Below threshold)

They need a new poll category "Absolutely-damn-sure-gonna-vote voter". 100% of them are going for the challenger over the incumbent.

"Sunshine State News had Sc... (Below threshold)
gary gulrud:

"Sunshine State News had Scott up all the way"

Robocall poll beats the national pollsters. I'm reassured?






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