February 12, 2016

NOT LIVING UP TO THE HYPE: Bernie Sanders’ Political Revolution Is Off to a Slow Start: He has pledged to mobilize millions of new Americans to transform politics, but so far, Democratic turnout is down.

The first tests are in, and the signs of a revolution at the ballot box are scant. Rather than a surge of the previously disaffected, Democratic turnout was down in the first two states to hold contests in the nomination race—by 28 percent in Iowa and 13 percent in New Hampshire.

In Iowa, 172,000 Democrats took part in the party caucuses. The number in 2008 was 240,000.

In the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, 251,000 Democrats voted. The number in 2008 was 288,000.

In other words, the grassroots enthusiasm, vast small-dollar donations, and massive crowds at Sanders’ rallies so far hasn’t translated into historically greater voter turnout for his party.

Meanwhile, Republican voter turnout is up from 2008 levels—by 15,000 in Iowa, and 33,000 in New Hampshire.

The numbers pose a challenge to Sanders’ argument that he’d succeed where President Barack Obama failed in mobilizing Americans to transform the political process. It also may bolster one of the main lines of attack by Hillary Clinton—that Sanders is making promises he can’t keep.

To be fair, Bernie’s making promises he can’t keep, but Hillary’s making promises she won’t keep.

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