Does Low Primary Turnout Spell Trouble For Democrats In November?

By Jonathan Shapiro Voters from both parties showed up in fewer numbers for Tuesday’s primary…

Georgia (May 23, 2014)

Publication

Link To Article

http://wabe.org/post/does-low-primary-turnout-spell-trouble-democrats-november

Voters from both parties showed up in fewer numbers for Tuesday’s primary election, and some say that’s far more significant for Democrats than Republicans.

Georgia Democrats have high expectations for the 2014 ticket led by gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter and U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn.

“It’s been years since we’ve seen this kind of excitement and energy," said Georgia Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson in November. "We’ve got such good candidates that are announcing for office and we’ve got so many important issues to talk about. This excitement level is just off the scale."

But about 75,000 fewer Democrats voted Tuesday than in the 2010 primary, the last nonpresidential election year and one that turned out historically bad for the party.

Republicans had a similar drop-off this year, but it didn’t stop Brian Robinson, spokesman for Gov. Nathan Deal, from boasting on Twitter that even with opposition, the governor received more votes than the total number of Democrats that showed up to the polls.

Kennesaw State University political science professor Kerwin Swint said a number of factors were at play, including an earlier primary than past years. Still, Swint says the writing appears to be on the wall - he says any anticipated demographic shift favoring Democrats is still several years away.

“Obama’s not on the ballot. It’s not a presidential year. Turnout is deflated. And so Democrats – even those with famous names like Carter and Nunn – are swimming upstream,” said Swint. …

 



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 38,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.

©