GOP Enthusiasm Gap Widens
I wrote yesterday on the GOP's turnout problem, with numbers mostly down from 2008. Many of the downturns can be explained by extraneous factors (such as Missouri being demoted to "beauty pageant" status). However, the trend is unmistakable, as confirmed by the wankerish "Bipartisan Policy Center" (Bob Dole and Tom Daschle are co-founders).
Rather than stopping at just the turnout numbers, they went further and calculated what percentage of eligible voters participated:
Average Republican turnout in the presidential primaries through this
week’s Super Tuesday contests has been smaller than the average turnout in the
primaries in the same states in both 2008 and 2000, the previous two years of
competitive GOP contests.
Based on final and official results from the six states whose primaries preceded Super
Tuesday and near final and unofficial results from the seven Super Tuesday primaries,
7,846,172 voted out of 68,125,000 eligible citizens or 11.5 percent. Turnout in 2008 was 13.2 percent of eligibles and it was 12.2 in 2000
In fact, the only states that showed an uptick were "states that allowed independents or both independents and Democrats to vote in the GOP primaries in a year when there was no Democratic presidential contest."
The chart below is a bit hard to read, but I'm too lazy to rebuild it. So I'll try to explain—VAP means "voting age population"—a measure of how many people who could vote in that state actually did. The chart compares the 2012 to the 2008 VAP percentage, then notes how many points up or down it is.
The total drop in VAP turnout was 1.69 points in the primary states, or a drop of 13 percent. Yes, Missouri skews the numbers, but that doesn't explain the drop in the swing states of Arizona and Florida, or the drops in GOP bastions like Georgia, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
In 2010, conservatives would've walked barefoot over broken glass to cast their vote against Nobama-Democrat Kenyan socialists. This year, they've taken a look at their options and have decided that meh, like George Will said:
From Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to Wisconsin’s Rep. Paul Ryan, Republicans have a rising generation of potential 2016 candidates. This does not mean conservatives should be indifferent to the fate of this year’s nominee, and it is perhaps premature to despair of Romney’s and Santorum’s political aptitudes. Still, the presidency is not everything, and there will be another election in the next year divisible by four.