Sunday, January 22, 2012

Turnout in the South Carolina Primary

Republican primary voters are seriously questioning the electability of each candidate. 

Should Republicans nominate a moderate who can appeal to independents or a conservative who will motivate more people to come out and vote?

No party can really do both, so we look for evidence to point us toward a correct conclusion.

Today the Washington Times reports on turnout in yesterday’s South Carolina primary:

“South Carolina's Republican voters set a new primary turnout record Saturday when more than 600,000 of them went to the polls, shattering the previous mark set in 2000.

“With 13 precincts still uncounted Sunday morning, 601,166 votes already were recorded, topping 2000's turnout of 537,101 and well ahead of 2008's 445,499 voters. Earlier in the week, officials had projected a moderate turnout about equivalent to the 2008 primary.”

Roughly 33% more voters went to the polls yesterday than when John McCain won the primary in 2008. We recall how well McCain did in the general election.

Lack of enthusiasm among primary voters translated into an Obama victory.

So, score one for those who believe that a milquetoast moderate will stifle Republican turnout.

By the way, the weather was not very good in South Carolina yesterday.

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