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September 16, 2010

Nationwide Republican Primary Vote Figures Top Democrats For First Time Since... 1930

Actually, 1930 is just the first year for which we have good data; so this could be the first time ever.

Michael Barone mentioned this fact twice when he was discussing this at a DC Dinner Party (TM).

There are a lot of tea leaves here. Sexy, dirty, juicy tea leaves.

Brief commentary mixed in the quote, in brackets, by ArthurK.

In another sign that the Democratic Party is in deep trouble in the 2010 mid-term elections, the average Republican vote for statewide offices (U.S. Senator and Governor) in the primaries held through August 28 exceeded the Democratic vote, the first time this has happened in mid-term primaries since 1930, according to Curtis Gans, director of American University's Center for the Study of the American Electorate.

[ Wow.]

The average percentage of eligible citizens who voted in Democratic primaries was the lowest ever.


The average percentage of citizens who voted in the GOP statewide primaries was the highest since 1970.


GOP statewide primary turnout reached new records in nine states.


Democratic statewide primary turnout fell to record lows in 10 states.



So far, 30,283,128 citizens have voted in the primaries. Of that number 17,182,893 voted in Republican primaries; 12,963,925 voted in Democratic primaries and 136,310 voted in Green and Libertarian primaries or for candidates other than those running for major party nominations. (The GOP had three more statewide contests than the Democrats—Indiana, South Dakota and Utah— but the total votes cast in those GOP primaries was 826,603, hardly accounting for the more than 4 million vote difference between the parties.)

One caution here: This is good, but...

A great many extremely-animated voters are re-engaging in the political process and making sure to vote in the primaries. But these primary voters are still a fraction of the total general election vote; something like a quarter. If, say, 5% of the public has become very-committed SuperVoters, and they're largely on the GOP's side, that's great -- we'll take that all day and twice on Tuesdays -- but it's still just a small slice of the ultimate voter cohort which will cast votes on November 2. We can't be sure -- or even confident -- that we can project anything about the November 2 vote based on the atypical 5% of SuperVoters.

As Winston Wolf's paternal grandfather, Walter "Watchmaker" Wolf, said so eloquently in 1955: let's not start setting each other's clocks just yet, gentlemen.

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posted by Ace at 12:31 PM

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