Wonky Muse
Wonky Muse

January 27, 2008

A Sign of Things to Come

Aside from Barack Obama's landslide victory, let's not forget that the other big news from South Carolina yesterday was the stunning turnout for the Democratic primary. A record 530,000+ people voted, up 83% from the 290,000 turnout in 2004 (the vote for Obama alone exceeded that at 294,000) and shattering the party's most optimistic predictions. Considering what a conservative state South Carolina is, that is no small feat.

What does this mean? It means that if South Carolina is any indication, Republicans should be afraid, very very afraid:

The State Election Commission has issued more Democratic absentee ballots than Republican, a reversal of typical elections.

Last week — in ice, rain and cold — Republican turnout dipped about 22 percent from the all-time high in 2000. About 445,000 voted in last Saturday’s Republican primary.

Few think that many Democrats will turn out, but the three candidates, Clinton, Obama and former North Carolina U.S. Sen. John Edwards, have drawn larger crowds this week than most Republican rallies.
Take note that this was an open primary, where even Republicans and Independents can vote as long as they didn't vote in the Republican primary last week. No report on the partisan make-up of this vote yet, but as Todd Beeton of MyDD pointed out, this Survey USA finding is quite telling:

• The number of self-described Independents in the SurveyUSA SC Democratic Primary poll released today is up from 7% in December to 16% today.

• The number of self-described Republicans in the SC Democratic Primary poll released today is up from 4% in December to 8% today.

What happened between then and now? The South Carolina Republican Primary.
And not just South Carolina. In all the primaries and caucuses to date, people are fired up about the Democratic nominees and coming out in droves to vote. In contrast, the Republicans are fractured and uninspired; although they also report record turnouts, they're nowhere near the Democrats' numbers. In addition, consider:

1. Bush's dismal 31% overall approval rating, 28% approval on the handling of the Iraq war and 29% approval rating on the handling of the economy;

2. The economy is the country's biggest concern (34%) more so than Iraq (27%), health care (10%) and terrorism (3%) with a majority convinced the Democrats can handle the economy better (51%) than Bush (29%).

3. Only 19% believe the country is on the right track.

Given all of the above, how many voters do you think are still in the mood for four more years of Republican rule?

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posted at 12:29 AM by Wonky Muse

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Wonk (noun): def. A political nerd. Know spelled backwards.

Wonky Muse is the other Filipino American female political blogger. The sane, liberal one.


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