February 29, 2016

MICHAEL BARONE: Honey, They’re Shrinking The Democratic Primary (Cont’d):

I’m not the only one who has noticed that Democratic caucus and primary turnout so far has been down as compared to 2008 and that Republican caucus and primary turnout has been up as compared to either 2012 or 2008.

Anna Greenberg, the Democratic pollster, made the same observation on a joint American Enterprise Institute/Brookings Institution/Center for American Progress panel last Thursday. The results of the South Carolina Democratic primary Saturday confirm the trend. Total turnout was 370,000, down from 30 percent from 2008’s 532,000 (I’m rounding off figures to the nearest thousand, and the 2016 numbers may be off a little from the final returns and exit poll numbers).

Many commentators have noticed that blacks constituted a higher percentage of South Carolina Democratic voters this year, 65 percent according to the exit poll, than they did in 2008, 55 percent. But this represents not a surge of blacks into the electorate, but rather the fact that black turnout declined by only 18 percent, whereas white turnout fell nearly in half, by 44 percent.

The Democratic Party is hemorrhaging white voters. More here: “What’s happened is a flight of moderates and conservatives from Democratic contests. The number of moderates and conservatives is down 46 percent in Iowa, 38 percent in new Hampshire and a whopping 64 percent in Nevada. You might regard this year’s Democratic contests as being determined by the liberal rump of the party, with the moderates and conservatives acting as if they had been expelled.”

We’re hearing a lot more about the GOP’s problems, but the fact is that both parties are increasingly unpopular.

Also: Democrats Should Be Very Nervous About Their Terrible Turnout Numbers: Low turnout equals President Trump.

In primary after primary this cycle, Democratic voters just aren’t showing up. Only 367,491 people cast a ballot for either Clinton or Sanders on Saturday. That’s down 16 percent from the 436,219 people who came out in 2008 for Clinton and Obama. Factor in the 93,522 people who voted for John Edwards back in the day, and you can see the scope of the problem. Democrats in 2016 are only getting about two-thirds of the primary votes that they received eight years ago.

Republican turnout in the South Carolina primary, by contrast, was up more than 70 percent from 2008.

South Carolina’s turnout numbers are not an anomaly. They’re consistent with other primaries to date. Republicans are psyched. Democrats are demoralized.

Well, when you run two old white people after 7 years of saying that it’s time we quit listening to old white people. . . .

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