As much as Donald Trump’s detractors insist they will never support him for president, he seems to be having an effect on turnout similar to what Obama did for Democrats in 2008.
Republicans continued to shatter turnout records in their presidential primaries and caucuses Tuesday, while Democrats lagged behind in what analysts said was a clear indication of an enthusiasm gap heading into the general election.
Virginia’s GOP primary tallied more than 1 million votes, shattering the record set in 2000 by more than 50 percent. Democrats, meanwhile, were 200,000 votes shy of their own record, set in the contested 2008 primary.
Records were also likely to be set in Georgia, Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Massachusetts.
Democrats, though, were struggling, seeing turnout drop by massive levels in all of their races Tuesday night. That included Vermont and Arkansas, where their two candidates had home-state advantages of sorts, yet still couldn’t match the enthusiasm of the 2008 contest.
GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump said he’s the chief reason for the shifts in both parties, saying he’s drawn Democrats and independents into the Republican process this year, boosting his party at the expense of Democrats…
The strong GOP showings Tuesday follow record turnout in the first four contests: Republican turnout in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada was up 27 percent compared to 2012.
By contrast Democrats’ turnout is down 25 percent compared to their record-setting 2008 campaign, when then-candidate Barack Obama faced off against Hillary Clinton, who is trying again this year.
It’s not just Democrats crossing over, Trump is also drawing out people who have literally never voted, ever. I’m sure Bernie Sanders is getting some of that support as well, but at this point it’s safe to say he’s not going to be the nominees, and Democrats will have a hell of a time trying to keep all the Bernouts engaged and excited for a woman who is also (paging Bill Clinton) their second choice.