Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Voter turnout -- did it cost the Democrats? And is it good news for Obama?

The voter turnout looks to be about 2.48-2.5 million voters. This seems to be below the GAB's prediction of 2.6-2.8 million voters. What I think may also be surprising is that the rate of increase was less than in California in 2003. Despite all the money, the turnout will only equal a 14-15% increase from 2010 (might be more when all is said and done).. It will also represent a heavy drop from the Presidential race in 2012, which saw nearly 3 million votes.

As I mentioned, this mirrors the Gray Davis recall. The Davis recall saw an 18% turnout increase.

However, for Republicans, this is could actually be a sobering figure to look at. The talk of record turnout masks a basic reality – more voters show up to a presidential race than even the most high profile gubernatorial one. In 2008, nearly three million Wisconsin voters went to the polls, with over 1.67 million of them voting for Obama. What we saw in the recall may be close to the ceiling for Republicans in 2012. The party and its supporters undoubtedly spent well north of $50 million to win the recall. They are not going to have a better campaign or better get out the vote operation than they did in the recall. With so many other states in play, the party is not going to be able to put a lot of money in Wisconsin, a state that, despite some exceedingly close races in 2000 and 2004, has not voted Republican since 1984.  This recall is quite possibly the best they can do – and in a presidential race, it likely won’t be enough.

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