Should Democrats be worried about enthusiasm and turnout?

By Tom Arthur from Orange, CA, United States (vote for better tape) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Tom Arthur from Orange, CA, United States (vote for better tape) 

The narrative is clear on the cable news channels. Donald Trump is polarizing and unelectable and thus the Democrats have this election in the bag. This view is reinforced by the plethora of Democratic operatives that are paid to come onto cable news shows and spout the party line.

We’ve discussed previously on this site how Trump’s lack of a defined ideology and shouts of populism might actually serve to peel off some working class white voters in key states. Particularly as Trump talks about protectionism on trade issues while hedging on issues like Planned Parenthood, infrastructure development and other issues that matter to liberals, one has to wonder if he peels off voters.

Perhaps it is the Trump factor in the GOP that has stimulated a rapid rise in turnout and enthusiasm among Republican primary and caucus goers when compared to the Democrats. While I hate to cite conservative news sources, The Daily Caller has a revealing article about the drop in Democratic turnout in Super Tuesday states when compared to 2008. The turnout is up by a similar percentage among Republicans when compared to 2012 and that could either be new voters or Independents crossing over to support Trump or Obama fatigue. Either way Super Tuesday turnout mirrors what we saw in the earlier primaries and is a real cause for concern.

What do our readers think about this trend which seems quite apparent through 15 primary and caucus contests this year?

6 comments

  1. I’m concerned. I took some flack a couple of days ago for posting a Shaun King column from the New York Daily News about the lack of voter registration drives on the Democratic side. King suggested it might be another effort by Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the DNC to deter new registrants from voting for Bernie. That might not be the case, but if any lessons should have been learned from the Obama campaign, it’s that voter registration drives are imperative if we want to win.

    1. Utter hubris on the part of party apparatchiks to suggest that limited voter drivers *at any time* are strategic.

  2. David Jones · · Reply

    The efforts of the DNC leadership to manipulate the process by limiting the number of debates and scheduling them at inopportune times prior to the commencement of the primaries and caucuses was damaging on multiple levels. The spotlight was cast upon the Republican candidates as our Democratic candidates were left out in the cold with their hands tied during a critical portion of the campaign cycle. Hard feelings resulted and entire factions of the Democratic base became frustrated and demoralized. Newly registered Democrats have quickly learned that the Democratic Party is very undemocratic. They stand in aghast as the will of the people as expressed through their votes is undermined by ‘super-delegates’ who have shown a propensity to ignore the collective preference of their own constituents.These aforementioned problems are compounded by the fact that long-time Democrats, who privately acknowledge there are some severe problems with the process, do not have the intestinal fortitude to voice their concerns to the party elites who are responsible, thus allowing the elephant in the room (pun intended).

    1. The folks left in the party who are willing to speak up are becoming fewer. For years the party has bled registrations to NPA precisely for the reasons you cite, and they will continue to lose the interest of registered members and prospective members alike as they willfully ignore the wants and needs of their constituents.

  3. Ruth Ann Eaddy · · Reply

    All politics is local; we hear this over and over, but without the help from the state and national party for local candidates it is difficult to give locals a reason to vote.

  4. I think the cable news folks have a key point of the narrative wrong. Trump, in an important way, isn’t polarizing. To the contrary, he’s unifying in his critique of the Establishment’s contempt for the voter. He can skate with an otherwise authoritarian platform as long as he pretends to be a comic book hero for the put-upon little guy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: